Lords reform – Part three

Lord Soley

This is the third part of my article on Lords reform and follows from the two below. Read this and then prepare yourself in body and soul for the last terrifying instalment!

This brings me to the critically important issue of the scrutiny of legislation. Select Committees in the Commons do a good job on ministerial departments but on Bills, which become the final laws, the Commons scrutiny is superficial. Most admit that the Lords do an excellent job of subjecting our legislation to detailed analysis – far better than the Commons. Who is going to do this in future if it is not the Lords?
The pressure on MPs is far greater than on Lords. We underestimate just how hard MPs work and how they are torn between conflicting pressures. Many of the amendments made in the Lords are accepted because they improve the legislation and because the Commons want them. If the second chamber is elected are we sure that good scrutiny will still take place? Elected members of a second chamber will have similar pressures to MPs. Would not an elected second chamber become a carbon copy of the Commons?
Only now is the Government beginning to address the question of deadlock between the two Houses. Critics of the present House will say other countries manage without gridlock so why can’t we? Well, we could IF we wrote a constitution – starting virtually from scratch. Consider the implications. You would need to write down the powers and responsibilities of the two Houses. If the Lords is to be only partially elected what is the relationship between elected and unelected members? If wholly elected you would have to remove the unelected Bishops and that means you would have to write a new relationship between church and state and the monarchy. All of this is perfectly possible but is it sensible? Rewriting large parts of our constitution would be a major legislative programme no doubt fought line by line in both Houses. A government that followed that route would find the rest of its legislation grinding to a halt. Any opposition Party worth the name would have a field day. And if the electorate don’t want it and the country doesn’t need it, why do it?

48 comments for “Lords reform – Part three

  1. Gareth Howell
    27/04/2012 at 7:13 am

    If wholly elected you would have to remove the unelected Bishops and that means you would have to write a new relationship between church and state and the monarchy. All of this is perfectly possible but is it sensible?

    The monarch presides as an unelected member of the chamber.

    My considered outbursts against the monarchy, which lord Norton just deletes,are based on this problem; that if it is to be an entirely elected chamber then the monarch would either have to be elected too, or an exception to the case.

    If the 90+ hereditary members continue to be elected amongst themselves, which has more attractions than it did, as a method of election,then the monarch is one of those.
    If it is 100% elected then that cannot be so.

    The best compromise, politics so often about compromise, the notion of 100% elected should include those 90 members who are hereditary
    and elected amongst themselves.

    The number of hereditary peers as members of the chamber should be cast in stone.

    The problem then is that any number of hereditary peers may want to sit in the house of commons in their name of Mr or Mrs Oojukumflip, which they may certainly do, by making constant disclaims of their hereditary rights. It may not be a big problem.

    OR they may want to sit in their non-hereditary titles, as elected members, which they would be able to do.

  2. Gareth Howell
    27/04/2012 at 7:27 am

    To bring the disunited kingdom in to the modern world, an elected president AND an unelected monarch, who might not even need to attend to open parliament(the elected president would do that), would be possible.

    An elected president for the United kingdom, holds considerable attraction, and would command the respect from for example the US president and the French one, which is not currently so.

    The big but about an elected pre/non elected monarch ruling at the same time, is that the Church/state/monarchy/bishops in parliament question, that lord Soley mentions above would be open to further sensible legislation.

    The Law Lords reform had knock on effects which have been useful including greater “expenses” transparency, Lord chancellor in the HofC and so on.

    If you consider the power of the CofE clergy
    to rally the troops( sometimes in no uncertain terms) a bishop of the church, NOT elected to the HofL would not find it difficult to persuade his congregations to go to the ELECTIONS ballot box, to vote him in to the House of Lords.

    The utter chaos of morals and organisation of the Church of England/Anglican CofE communion
    would be better resolved by putting their bishops or any clergy to the test of democratic election.

    The fifth most powerful man in these island would also no longer be the fifth most powerful,namely the Archbishop of Canterbury, who looks like being a son of Uganda before long, and whose brother is a bent evangelist living the high life in that country.

    As head of the Church of England he would still be making moralising statements about the state when required.

    All these things can be done, Lord Soley.

    • Lord Blagger
      27/04/2012 at 10:01 am

      The Law Lords reform had knock on effects which have been useful including greater “expenses” transparency,

      ==========

      So why do the Lords get their expenses made a state secret, by getting David Beamish to sign state secrecy orders? Or is it that David Beamish is doing this off his own back? That would be even more of a problem given part of his job as Clerk of Parliaments is to administer the cash.

      The Lords aren’t implementing greater transparency, they are implementing more secrecy.

      The evidence is the number of state secrecy certificates signed by David Beamish with regards to expenses. Hardly needed for defence of the realm.

    • maude elwes
      27/04/2012 at 11:15 am

      @Gareth Howell:

      Your last line was the crux of it. Government can do anything it decides to. You only have to follow T. Blairs method of administration to note that. He removed our freedoms at the drop of a hat. Without once getting the courage to put it to the voters with clarity. He arranged war on the same basis. Just as Cameron did with Libya. In both cases, with Iraq and Libya, it was decided and in motion long before they asked for Parliament to dot the i.

      Then, we must remember Cromwell, he set a prededent. How did he rid the country of Monarchy? Did he feel there must be a Presidential election before doing so or as a result of it?

      Your point on Europe and their positive move to Republicanism was excellent. Which of course is one of the reasons the Tories, in particular, hate the idea of a united Europe. No more easy access for those with titles to impose themselves on a free or democratic Parliament. Which would lead to an end of titled rights on birth.

      The odd thing in this discussion is, here, we, the British people, are still tied up with this medieval idiocy, whilst eccentric MP’s, akin to Jacob Rees Mogg, writhe under the clothing in hopes of special condescention for loyalty toward something that should have been dealth with in c1800.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republicanism_in_the_United_Kingdom

      Of course you could always give the public ten options in referendum. But, that would be decisive wouldn’t it? And we all know government intensely dislikes decision. Especially of the voter.

  3. Gareth Howell (3rd post )
    27/04/2012 at 7:51 am

    If the bishops are not members of the HofL then they would be able to stand for election as President.

    It would actually be better, and easier, to legislate to elect the President of the House of Lords, by public mandate, than it would be to have an elected house.

    The method of electing the whole house
    would become clearer to the whole populace if the existing president of the HofL, Lord speaker, (Baroness Speaker D’Souza) were to be elected to the post.

    The subject matter is a very emotional thing for many people, but the election of a President (in the modern world) surely is not. The role of the monarchy would be unaffected, as above.

  4. Lord Blagger
    27/04/2012 at 7:53 am

    Who is going to do this in future if it is not the Lords?

    ===========

    The voter. Except you want to deny the voter a say on any issue. You want to keep that for yourself so you can dictate to the voter what they can and can’t do.

    Since you dictate, you are responsible for the consequences.

    When as an example, the public work out that politicians have been lying over the debt, they will work out your role in it. Subtleties about constitutions won’t matter. With a break down in law and order, I predict a few MPs will be strung up. If 30 million have lost their pensions because of your errors, they will be enough nutters who extract revenge.

  5. MilesJSD
    27/04/2012 at 9:51 am

    Just make every member and every group, party and committee in both Senate and Commons
    fit for our Longest-Term Survival & Thrival Purpose
    and for its Plan B back-up.

  6. Senex
    27/04/2012 at 12:40 pm

    Gareth, don’t be too enamoured with republics or their attributes. Take the membership of the EU Parliament, all now republics. All its members are failed states that have suffered ‘continuous’ dictatorship or revolution (the French are on their fifth republic) thats why there is an EU. Unique amongst this family are the British with only two civil wars and one dictator in 850 years. The EU Parliament has never been stress tested it too will fail.

    Parliament’s investment is in the institution and office of Monarchy not its person. You are beginning to sound like Cromwell somebody who got fed up with the shortcomings of Monarchy. The people thought otherwise and restored their investment and provided remedies to most short comings in the Bill of Rights 1689.

    Long may that investment continue.

    • maude elwes
      28/04/2012 at 10:45 am

      @Senex:

      I don’t go along with your take that anti European leaning has anything to do with why republicanism is counter productive. Or, that being a European republic is a bad notion.

      The continuation of Britain as a monarchy, is far more to do with the wealthy, top echelon, of our society wanting to hang on to their privilege and financial power, gained via that institution, than concern over the welfare of the British people as a whole.

      I don’t buy the thought that Europe is a unification of failed states as a result of being grouped by republics. Quite the reverse. The French people were brought to their knees by monarchy, as was Russia, before their respective revolutions. Both had abject poverty and starvation of their nations, prior to redistribution of wealth those uprisings created.

      As I have been plugging from the onset, Britain, in cahoots with wealthy corporations and families, who own the majority of the worlds world’s great finance, is threatened by the advance of Europe and its monetary system, the Euro. And austerity is a move to reclaim more of what they feel they lost over the last half century, as a result of socialism.

      In effect, the top percentage of the world’s monied want to reduce us to the poverty of the past. And bringing in cheap labour was the first step to regain that control. Look how Blair benefited from it. From poor man to millionaire overnight. Vested interest looked after him for making it possible for them to return us to cap doffers, begging for a crust.

      This helps to exlain the downfall of the Euro. As I relayed previously, sabotage was at the back of it.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FQXxuv2msU

      So, you see, nothing whatsoever to do with Europes states being republics. Do you really believe they were better off with a monarch? Or, that the French would want to return to those good old days before their revolution?

      http://glassvisage.hubpages.com/hub/The-Old-Order-The-Monarchy-of-the-French-Revolution

      And as far as dictators are concerned, I take it that is a reference to Hitler. So lets look at another form of monarchy, the Saudi Royal family. Absolute control. Would you say they were dictators or is that a play on words. What does dictator really mean? Or is it simply a case of splitting hairs, because in reality, no one rules absolutely. There is always an establisment, a pack who run the show whilst pretending the great one is on top. He/she, they say, has the final decision.

      Britain being a constitutional monarchy keeps the establishment in control of our system, which eliminates the power of the people. So, in great part, this is why our government is so out of touch with the electorate. The monarchy keeps the hereditaries in place. And they, in turn, ensure the monarch remains well seated. Back scratching in the real sense of it.

      Although you pretend otherwise, Europe is far more democratic without dynasty as figure heads. We have an unelected second chamber, either appointed or hereditary, under a constitutional hereditary head of state, a monarch. What could be less democratic than that?

      And as far as the story on how we would all be open to a possible dictator, should we change our system. I’m sure you know all too well, leaving the family in order to fly for yourself is part of a natural process of passage to wisdom.

      A nation cannot be considered mature if its people are unable to face their decisions, good or bad.

      And how many wars have we, in a constitutional monarchy, been involved in since the end of WW2? Would that have been any higher had we been a republic? As most Europeans have not had to face the overwhelming pressure placed on us in these wars, republicanism is working for them in this matter? And as the US ‘is’ a republic, and we follow that nation very closely, both socially and as a paid up war machine, what difference is there between being ruled by a rogue state, rather than, as you believe, ruled by a Europe we do have an opportunity to be part of in election?

      That would raise an interesting debate wouldn’t it? Why are we joined at the hip to a country we have no voice in? And why are our ‘subjects’ being extradited there instead of being tried within the protection of the Crown?

      • Lord Blagger
        29/04/2012 at 7:05 pm

        I’m interested in your views as to the finance system being against the ‘Euro’ and are the cause of its imminent demise.

        Perhaps you care to explain the role of government debt in the demise, all of it. Not just the part lent by the ‘market’. I’ve used the word market in quotes because when you look at people lending to governments, most it is forced lending.

        For example, bank capital. Has to be in Gilts in the UK. Ditto for Insurance companies. By law. Next we have pensioners. Two parts, first the people not yet retired. The rules have change, and most pension funds are force to hold large quantities of gilts. For annuitants, the same applies.

        Look at the 100 year gilts about to be offered. Who will buy those? No one unless forced too. That’s the plan

        Being forced to lend to the government isn’t a market.

        Next for the other big debts, the pensions. State pension – you are forced to pay – and the money is spent.

        It’s back to the basic cause. Governments have been running a fraud. The collapse of the Euro is just a symptom.

        • maude elwes
          30/04/2012 at 2:06 pm

          @LB:

          Really, the first move you have to make, LB, is to lose the idealism that blocks the ability to find resolution with a different method than you presently cling to.

          You know the demise of the financial system began with US Wall Street greed way back in the 80’s and 90’s. Suppported by the US government and encouraged by them across the planet. In fact, the US government along with others, invested in this greed and as a result, set up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It created the massive property explosion, which spread to Europe and the world.

          This was not a mistake it was deliberate. As we have already exposed repeatedly, this action made the very wealthy top segment richer. As they get richer they always, without fail, cry high taxes and regulation holds them back. It certainly does, as it keeps a hold on them taking off with the lot.

          Listen to this guy carefully. He hasn’t got the full grasp but he is on the way.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ7TRv6Qoaw

          As is this guy.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ebiN4dWrLA

          As you must have looked at my previous post above, this lead to a threatened collapse of the dollar and the US had to attack the Euro as they feared the oil countries were about to transfer their funds from the dollar to the Euro. Which, indeed they intended to do and did, in part. This then meant sabotage on the Euro, as that was the only way to prevent the nightmare they foresaw taking place with the dollar.

          The major cause of this, was acceptance of globalisation by the rest of the world. It was, as I wrote before, a con. The US had its means then to spread its bad debt world wide and the pandemic of greed that lay beneath it took the world to fantasy land. That blocked conscience and careful decision from being the prime mover.

          Now before anything can be done to remedy this problem, the truth has to be recognised. As without that, there cannot be a solution, because the adjustments needed will not take place.

          • Lord Blagger
            30/04/2012 at 6:11 pm

            Your first link. Greeks are going to be poorer.

            It’s not the banks, its the Greek government and the EU at fault. They borrowed vast amounts, mostly from their own citizens in the form of pay us the cash now, and we will pay you a pension later – promise. Secondly they lied to get into the EU, result was a large increase in credit by Greek banks, and now they can’t pay. Notice the big crook – the Greek government.

            Same with the second. It’s all governments. The person says, look governments have a right to protect themselves. Well, so do the citizens and the people who lent them money.

            Remember, for every CDS there is a matched buyer and seller.

            I’ll make my usual offer, knowing full well that people won’t take it up.

            List the UK government debts and the present values of them. For example, how much does the government in the UK owe its citizens for past contributions to the state pension.

            A lot of the conclusions are correct. It’s a spiral downwards. However, the reason is clear. Massive government debts without matching assets.

            No wonder the Peers keep quite.

  7. 27/04/2012 at 3:51 pm

    There are 819 Members in the House of Lords at the moment, and looking at the list of daily travel costs, Rail/ferry/coach/air allowances it costs us wee poor folk a good few pretty pennies. However, as I have followed many debates in that House of Lords, I congratulate the high standard those debates are. Not quite as good as they used to be when ALL the dedicated Hereditary Peers took part but good enough AND I SEE NO REASON WHY THE HOUSE OF LORDS SHOULD BE CHANGED AGAIN SO SOON. No change at all should take place, at least until the proposal that Scotland should become independent or remain within the United Kingdom.

    For the moment the Act of Union remains, indeed a Treaty between two separate Nations/Countries, in fact Kingdoms, that once decided to be united, a coming together to be ruled by one Parliament situated in England, and that this was to be for all time, Article XX11 of that Treaty is entrenched within it. There is no doubt at all the Act of Union, was and is entrenched. (Protected) it was indeed a TREATY and although at the time of writing the 1706 Treaty, it was insecure up until the Treaty had been ratified. It was ratified.

    There is no doubt at all that without representation of the Hereditary Peers and representation in the House of Commons in the Westminster Parliament guaranteed by statute, there would have been no Union. In other words those Members in the Scottish Parliament would not have agreed to the Treaty of Union if the position of the Scottish Hereditary Peers and of Members of Parliament had not been entrenched.

    However, should the United Kingdom be torn apart and Scotland becomes a separate Country and Nation once more there will be no requirement or NEED for any Scottish MP’s or Peers of any nature in an English House of Commons or a House of Lords. For now 16 Scottish Hereditary Peers (Only Hereditary Peers existed at the time of ratification of the Treaty)should remain, as should 45 Scottish MP’s in the Commons.

    Of course, there may be no need of either Houses in our Parliament once the REGIONS Mr Cameron has set up for the European Union gets going in full flow. As you are well aware Lord Solely, Scotland is already classed as an EU Region as is Wales, and this is exactly why the EU’s Localism Bill only applied to ENGLAND. However, when people realise this for fact, it will be too late to put the genie back in the bottle. The EU’s Committee of the Regions will be able to direct their Regions according to EU law.

    Any attempt at any NEW written Constitution will be a waste of time, for any New, I am sure the people will be allowed to vote for and a YES will be given, the people will then have over-riden their own Longstanding Common law Constitution that has last 600 years-which in spite of previous attempts (Through war) to get rid of it, cannot according to law-for to destroy our Constitution is an act of Treason. Should the people vote for a New Written Constitution, having done its job in getting rid of The people’s own Magna Carta and Declaration and Bill of Rights 1688/9 the EU will then over-ride any NEW WRITTEN CONSTITUTION. JOB DONE!

  8. Fingermoving
    28/04/2012 at 11:25 am

    If the House of Lords is to scrutinize legislation effectively it needs expertise in many fields. The obvious way to combine this need with a democratic process is to have a system of “indirect election” where a wide variety of groups within society elect representatives to serve in the House of Lords preferably for a fixed term. These groups would include various professions – the armed forces, the clergy ,science and engineering, law, medicine and the professions allied to medicine…; and many other bodies – the Universities, the learned Academies, the Charitable sector, the NGOs, the Trade Unions ….. They would elect from their own constituencies.

    Indirect election was considered by the Waakeham Commission who rejected it in the grouds that identifying the relevant bodies would be difficult and preferred a system where the House of Lords appointments commission would select members of the House of Lords. This is totally undemocratic and its real purpose was to ensure that those appointed are “safe pairs of hands” which is the last thing an effective revising chamber needs.
    An indirectly elected House of Lords would not compete with the House of Commons for political authority but should ensure that more of our laws are fit for purpose.
    Surely this is the way to go.

    • Lord Blagger
      29/04/2012 at 7:08 pm

      If the House of Lords is to scrutinize legislation effectively it needs expertise in many fields.

      =============

      No it doesn’t.

      For example, do you employ a heart surgeon and a brain surgeon, just so as you have them on hand when you need them. You could also get them to fix your car when you need that done. Or do your washing.

      Sensible people get the experts in when they need them, not have them on the payroll.

      • Fingermoving
        30/04/2012 at 9:15 am

        Lord Blagger’s response epitomises the attitudes that make Lords reform so desirable. Why bother to have expertise when we political appointees know everything so much better?

        • Lord Blagger
          30/04/2012 at 10:18 am

          Except they don’t.

          So lets widen the set of people who get to decide on bills.

          How wide should that be?

          How about the electorate? That’s has lots of expertise. Far more than any group selected by patronage, or bought by donations, or by virtue of whom your ancestor shagged.

          As for politicians knowing things, its highly questionable.

          For example, 7 trillion of debt. They are keeping very quite about that. That’s the fundamental issue behind everything in the UK. The government has run up debts, and now it can’t pay it.

          • Fingermoving
            30/04/2012 at 9:43 pm

            Since the electorate are all of us they clearly encompass all the country’s expertise. But you cannot have 50 million people sitting in the House of Lords. Some method is needed to get a spread of the expertise needed for an efficient revising chamber into a few hundred members. For this purpose indirect election is both more democratic and likely to be much more efficient than nomination by political appointees,who, we both agree, may not be that knowledgeable

          • Lord Blagger
            01/05/2012 at 9:53 am

            Well, do you need a revising chamber? Why can’t the MPs do their job properly? Lots of other countries don’t have second chambers.

            The UK has had law makers making laws for a long time. Over that long period, even when the Lords are active, they will have refined and revised those laws. Not much of a need for new laws is there?

            Now for the real issue. Democracy. Why shouldn’t the electorate have the final say? It’s called democracy. If you don’t have a say, then its dictatorship.

            There are so many flaws with the current set up, its a joke.

            1. We can’t get rid of criminal Peers.
            2. The Peers won’t get rid of criminal Peers
            3. The Peers won’t investigate and publish what peers have been up to.
            4. The Peers cost us 2,700 quid a day, just for them to turn up.

            In General.

            MPs lie over manifestos. For example, the lib dems and their manifesto promise over tuition fees. Out the window. The Lib Dems lied over the right of recall. Again a manifesto promise. The two are connected. They won’t implement the second because that would mean the electorate taking action against them for the first. What does the Lords do about both? Nowt.

            What about all those things left off manifestos? Revised or prevented by the Lords Nowt. Not a peep.

            The major area is over secrecy about debt. Not a peep by the Lords over the state of government finance. Lots of MPs were in on it, since the electorate kicked them out, and then they were imposed on us without a vote. Why should people that the electorate don’t want legislating, get a job doing that because they have brown nosed a PM?

  9. Gareth Howell
    30/04/2012 at 7:39 am

    Thanx to Senex and Maude for their replies to L.Soley’s post!

    The meaning of the word “Dictator” is fairly clear in undeveloped countries, but that we tolerate some and then choose not to tolerate them when they are no longer rational, or when they are no longer convenient to UK Foreign policy.

    I am not expert on the French republics except to say that the Duc de Paris seems to fare very well as an in-officious permanent pretender.

    We could improve on that with a Du-archy, or
    Dem-archy. Monarchy is too much!

    A demo-cratic demi- monarchy.

    DEMARCHY

    A publicly elected president and a backseat non elected monarch, the latter therefore not robbing and pillaging the country in exactly the same way as Hanningfield and Taylor, and a good many others in parliament today,

  10. Fred Bloggs
    30/04/2012 at 7:41 am

    Thanx to Senex and Maude for their replies to L.Soley’s post!

    The meaning of the word “Dictator” is fairly clear in undeveloped countries, but that we tolerate some and then choose not to tolerate them when they are no longer rational, or when they are no longer convenient to UK Foreign policy.

    I am not expert on the French republics except to say that the Duc de Paris seems to fare very well as an in-officious permanent pretender.

    We could improve on that with a Du-archy, or
    Dem-archy. Monarchy is too much!

    A demo-cratic demi- monarchy.

    DEMARCHY

    A publicly elected president and a backseat non elected monarch, the latter therefore not robbing and pillaging the country in exactly the same way as Hanningfield and Taylor, and a good many others in parliament today,

  11. 30/04/2012 at 9:45 am

    You know Lord Soley without doubt, if you wrote a Constitutional document it would be over-riden by the EU anyway.

    You either fight to keep the Lords as it is yourselves or lose it. The EU will govern all nine of its English Regions that have so recently been set up by this very Government, as it will govern the Regions of Scotland and Wales.

    The people will not be able to afford to pay their taxes to keep either Houses in that once highly respected Houses of Parliament for they will hardly have enough money to pay their taxes for the new EU Regions, with elected Mayors, full cabinets and all the Pomp and Circumstance that goes with them.

    I am not sure at this point in time if the people can lawfully pay foreigners to govern this Country directly? Perhaps you could tell me? You know people go on about our un-elected Monarch and uneleted Hereditary Peers but have we done well in electing Governments and MP’s in the House of Commons that have to put through EU legislation which even THEY have to obey?

    Strange isn’t it.

  12. Gareth Howell
    30/04/2012 at 4:37 pm

    Anne Palmer has a thorough hold on the issues.
    I agree with what she says, mainly on account of its factual basis.

    I would say that Regional government should be reconsidered in UK, and the counties merged three or four put together through out these tiny islands, to form the nine distinct regions as a local concept, as well as a European fact.

    The 1100 year old Earldoms=(Countiesates)
    are outdated as a system and should be replaced with the regions visualized at the beginning of Blair’s govt.

    The Lord lieutenant, Queen’s representative
    should be regionally based and not the existing “County” based, or would it become too obvious to the proletariat, as to who owns what and how much?!!

  13. Gareth Howell
    01/05/2012 at 8:08 am

    “Identifying relevant bodies for indirect election”

    is one that may solve itself before long in part. the city mayors of some cities are to be elected. They have a fund of experience when they get to the hot seat, and an added prestige for their work as mayor would be to sit in the House of lords.

    You might say that if they are only mayor for a year, they would not have time to get up to town to do the talking, but is that not so any way for people who are “made a peer” , attend once, realize what a farce it is, and never go again.

    There is definitely mileage in the Mayor Peer
    idea as an extra dimension.

    It works very well in France.

  14. 01/05/2012 at 12:47 pm

    I look across to the Continent especially to France, Spain and Greece and I see absolutely nothing to encourage this Country to copy their system of governance at all.

    This Government has already opted for the EU’s system of Governance through EU Regions (Regional Governance is already here) but in time it will be the EU’s Committee of the Regions that will eventually ‘assist’ in their governance. I feel sure you know that already Gareth

    This Government is already reducing their number by 50 in the House of Commons. How long before their numbers are reduced to about 50 altogether? The people cannot afford this extra layer of Governance AND keep those numbers within the two Houses in Parliament. Is there any need for a House of Lords no matter who is in it? We certainly do not want it turned into a dumping ground for failed MP’s do we?

    • maude elwes
      02/05/2012 at 2:03 am

      @Anne Palmer:

      When you look across the continent of the Europe you feel is despicable do you do so wearing blinkers?

      Today we have the revelation that the UK has the ‘worst social mobility in the Western World.’ Along with our American ‘allies’ who follows closely at the bottom with us.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2137585/Britain-worst-social-mobility-Western-world.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

      Denmark, in Europe, has the highest opportunity for aspiration. Funny that it would be Europe that provides this kind of mobility to their population, yet you fear we are being taken over by those ‘rotten’ foreigners across the channel. Not those ‘rotten’ foreigners across the Atlantic ocean.

      But somehow, like this British government of ours, you fail to see that we, along with our US masters, have the most deprivation in the Western world. Much worse than those you site. Even Italy beats our record on family aspiration and opportunity.

      Mr. Camerons Britain today, with his new policies against the poorest in society, will create a society as dire as the US administrations have done. Because that is where these new welfare policies and ideas come from. IDS followed the already disastrous notions he saw taking place there as it said to save more money which enables the wealthy top echelon to profit further by paying less tax than the rest of us, leaving the poorest in society, mainly womena nd children, to service the debt capitalism steeped us in.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXkCcfkDP0M

      Why are we are in bed with the USA, who some years ago, under Clinton, stopped much of their totally inadequate welfare programmes? It was felt the rich 2% of their population were paying too much toward the upkeep of the poor. Even though they imported more through rampant immigration. Yet we see these weatlthy people percentage wise pay far less than half the tax the rest do? Still we remain glued to US policy like brown stuff to a blanket. Even when it’s obvious their policies have failed their people badly. Mind you, you would never gain that knowledge reading British newspapers. Now I wonder why that is?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME8XhkOGzOs

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNpLm0Lk0UA

      And our government are selling this as the way for us to go. They want to be more integrated with US policy and separating us from the EU is where it all begins. Hence the constant flow of anti EU propaganda. As they have that dreaded human rights act which prevents abuse of the kind we see in that part of the world. But if we continue with these devastating right wing policies it will be little time at all before our poor will be as desolate as these people you see here. Althoug we already have some, it is not yet as wide spread as there.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba2CmLJYN3Y&feature=related

      Why is it you fear Europe but not this real threat to our well being?

      What has belonging to an elected democratic European Union created in yourlife that you feel we must separate from it as a priority? Greece is a red herring as we and Greece are not that far apart. What is it about EU policies that lead you to feel you will be worse off as a result of this union we have with Europe? Do you have specifics we can look at and compare?

      Political correctness is not a good starting point as those can be highlighted in the US long before they found their way to Europe and the UK. And I have first hand knowledge of it. It had already begun in ernest in the US long before the end of Thacherism.

      American schools reduced their teaching of European history, culture and connection during the early 80’s. Some time ago this expanded into what we have now here. Denial of our history.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdY1ns-oEus&feature=relmfu

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czZlb7LshN0

      • Lord Blagger
        02/05/2012 at 11:57 am

        Today we have the revelation that the UK has the ‘worst social mobility in the Western World.’

        ==========

        Why is that?

        1. Demise of selective education. The way out in the past.

        2. Taxation. By social mobility, you mean becoming wealthy. To become wealthy, you need to spend less than you earn, and invest the difference.

        If you are taxed to the point of poverty, where you have to spend everything on existence, then you can’t save. High tax rates, lack of saving, is the issue.

        What is it about EU policies that lead you to feel you will be worse off as a result of this union we have with Europe?

        Two spring to mind.

        1. The funding of the EU makes us worse off.
        2. Economic migration of the poor of the EU to the UK.

        • Gareth Howell
          02/05/2012 at 5:41 pm

          Taxation. By social mobility, you mean becoming wealthy

          Or poor.

          I appreciate Anne’s application to detail.

          She asks why the government should not discuss in advance publically what they are going to do. I should think the main reason was that the cabinet needed to stick to what it had agreed amongst themselves, without (Heath?)suddenly changing his mind on the way there!

          • Lord Blagger
            03/05/2012 at 12:29 pm

            Quite.

            Now don’t forget that the politicians definition of wealthy ignores debts. Just so long as you give the appearance of wealth …

            Now their debts are falling due, the game is up.

            How are you going to pay your share of their crimes? 230,000 pounds when the median wage is 26,000

  15. Lord Blagger
    01/05/2012 at 2:15 pm

    So look at the countries who are doing better.

    Switzerland for example, where they have small government, and even then the politicians are controlled by the electorate.

    End result. They aren’t in the mess created by politicians who have lied over the debts.

    Rather a large number of those politicians, kicked out by the electorate because they don’t want them making laws, now making laws in the Lords.

  16. 01/05/2012 at 4:17 pm

    Switzerland has not only a small Government it’s population is under 10 million where as the population of the UK is about 59 Million if not 60m in reality.

    Although surrounded by the EU, in its last “poll” re joining the EU in 2000/1 (can’t remember whether it was 2000 or 2001)75% rejected the idea. They remain a free country and can Govern themselves.

    • maude elwes
      01/05/2012 at 11:04 pm

      @Anne Palmer:

      The Uk population is somewhat higher than you suggest. And daily increases, promised by this government to be reduced once they took office, are currently inefective.

      The estimate for our UK population is 62,262 million. Making this the 22nd largest population per country on the planet. Which I believe will be higher when the true figures are revealed in September.

      http://worldpopulationreview.com/population-of-uk-2012/

      And the reason the Swiss govern themselves is because they have the good fortune to be democratic, in the real sense. No monarchy to harbour and support along with hereditary peers, and referendum on issues they want to raise as a result of discontent, when their government goes away from the Swiss populations will.

      And one of the main reasons the Swiss did not fully unite with Europe was, they didn’t want to end up a military puppet to the USA. They favour armed neutrality and have not been involved in war since 1815.

      REad all about it!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland

      • Lord Blagger
        02/05/2012 at 11:53 am

        In other words, a successful model.

        Does away with the Lords, controls MPs. No wonder they won’t give us a choice on that sort of structure.

        A or B, with them keep their right to dictate.

    • Lord Blagger
      01/05/2012 at 11:19 pm

      So what has the population size got to do with it?

      How many more laws does a country of 60 million need compared to one of 10 million?

      If it needs more laws, what are they?

  17. Gareth Howell
    01/05/2012 at 5:56 pm

    The Europe as a group of failed states is obviously not so, but the world, and Europe could suddenly become a much larger place compared with the much smaller one that is has become over the last 50 years.

    FRY(Former Republic of Yugoslavia) must suddenly have seemed a lot bigger when they started squabbling with each other after Tito’s demise.

    Anne does not see anything to recommend in Greece or Spain’s methods with which I agree,
    Spain being a monarchically enhanced clone of the UK system, but France’s President and France’s Mayors in the senate is worth imitating.

    It would be foolish not to look for better methods of govern..ance, where they may well exist.

    We examined slightly the Californian and other US systems of government late last year, and they probably have comparatively
    interesting methods. Not all their states have active senates, I believe.

    The Federal method of US government should also be re-examined, for the sake of the
    UK.

    It is the Federal government of the United States.

    Tiny islands in the Atlantic could well have the Federal government of the United Kingdom
    if Scotland goes independent in the way that it wants to.

    There must surely be a logical con/sequence of bills and acts of Parliament which will determine, how peers wil be chosen democratically AFTER the independence of Scotland issue has been resolved, and not before.

    The question of the English regions will become much clearer then too.

    The logical sequence is of course determined by cabinet decisions, guided by the Principal
    permanent secretaries, (yes minister).

    It is a question of what can be done, and when, not what Gar and Maude want done on Friday night.

  18. 01/05/2012 at 8:53 pm

    Should Scotland cut itself loose and become independent that action will also affect the Act of Union and the Act of Settlement for starters.

    There will be no Scottish Lords in the House of Lords and no representation of Scottish MP’s in our Parliament. As a REGION of the EU-which is what they are at present, that too will be no more and they can either remain FREE from foreign rule or join the EU.

    The 12 mile limit round their shores and what is in the sea and underneath the sea bed and perhaps undiscovered as yet will also be theirs as will the Air space above them. World Maps will have to be changed to show these changes. That is just for starters.

  19. 01/05/2012 at 9:47 pm

    OR! Just another thought. Scotland can remain in the EU, and the rest of what is left of the United Kingdom will be free to govern itself according to its long standing Constitution which, of course, it should be doing anyway. Surely that is what the people pay them for, or at least contribute towards them.

    Sorry! Fell over doing a jig.

    • maude elwes
      02/05/2012 at 3:08 pm

      On Scotland and its requirements as an EU member state, separate from the present UK.

      Government says:

      http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN06110

      Europe says: Scroll down and get the full gist of what Europe means to the UK. And Scotlands position is very much of it’s own making on this matter. It can be as Ireland is, part and parcel of the EU as a full memeber state.

      http://www.euromove.org.uk/index.php?id=6509

  20. 02/05/2012 at 12:32 pm

    maude elwes we elect and pay our MP’s to govern our Country according to its Constitution. Without America’s help in the last war many people that are free and alive today, may not have been.

    Had the people been told the truth about the EEC/EC/EU by their own Politicians at that time, and had been asked before any Treaty had been ratified, we would never have joined the EU at all.

    We did not have Internet in those days to research, we believed our then politicians, but here for you is what was with-held from the people.

    Mr E Shinwell 3.8.1961 Column 1727: In the course of the Lord Privy Seal’s speech, (Mr Heath) I ventured to ask him a simple question, quite recent to his speech. It was whether he would state precisely the conditions upon which negotiations were to proceed. His reply was astonishing. He said that it was not in the public’s interest to disclose the Government’s intentions. What does that mean? It means that either the government have no clear idea of what they intend to propose in the course of consultations or negotiations with the representatives of the common Market, or they are asking the House for a blank cheque………… ….The electors are not to be allowed to express an opinion about whether the government’s policy is right and desirable in their interests. There is no question, even when the negotiations are concluded, whether satisfactorily or not, of asking the electors to state whether they accept the government’s decision”.

    Sir R Grimston 3.8.1961 Col 1748: During this debate, we have heard a good deal about sovereignty. I shall be brief because other hon. Members wish to speak, but I must remind the house of what my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade said about this in 1959. He said,…”we must recognise that for us to sign the Treaty of Rome would be to accept as the ultimate goal, political federation in Europe, including ourselves”. [Official Report. 12th February, 1959; Vol. 599, c, 1382.] End of quotes. (So soon after the Second World War too!)

    Even now, legislation the LIBDEMCONs have so recently made into an act and which started its Journey from the EU-the Localism Bill which started its Journey and is recorded in the Council of Europe’s Website and it is also on the United Nation’s web page, yet the people once again were never told. HS2 is also part of the EU’s TEN-T Policy and other parts require us to trasfer sovereignty over our air space for the EU’s Single European Sky and the terrible loss of our 12 mile Limit eventually, and our Ports for the EU’s Motorway in the Sea. Check with Lord Soley, I feel sure he too will know. I like Europe and have many friends on the Continent but I do not like paying for a British Government that only obeys the same orders that we have to obey.

  21. 03/05/2012 at 11:01 am

    I had placed here for you maude elwes, and Gareth Howell, but particularly for maude a poem written a while ago now by yours truly.

    It was written at the time when there was only 11 Nation States in the European Union. ‘Europanto’ was created in 1996 by Diego Mariani a journalist, author and translator for the European Council of Ministers in Brussels. Europanto was a linguistic jest presented as a “constructive language” with a hodge-podge vocabulary from many European languages. Marani created it in response to the perceived dominance of the English language, it is an emulation of the effect that non-native speakers struggling to learn a language typically add words and phrases from their native language to express their meanings clearly. He thought this was easier than Esperanto which one had to learn.

    I reponded to him-Yup-me, writing to Diego Mariani with a ‘skit’ on his proposal using all eleven foreign Languages in a poem and what is more he obviously enjoyed reading it and had a good laugh because he wrote back to me.

    I placed it here on this blog but sadly I have received an very nice e-mail informing me–“I’m afraid we do not allow posting in languages other than English on the blog – mainly because all posts need to be pre-moderated and we do not have facilities for translation”, That I could write it again in ENGLISH should I so wish to do so.

    However, the whole point of it was that I had used eleven languages in an unusual way, so the point would be lost in English. It was just to show you that, Yup! I like Europe Maude, speak two other languages because we holiday on the Continent, but do not like being in the EU.

  22. maude elwes
    03/05/2012 at 11:18 am

    @Anne Palmer:

    You sound like my Mum and her sisters. They too believe our wartime propaganda.

    The US did nothing in WW2 that in any way could be construed altruistic. It was a purely a money making concern for them.

    Clearly you have a tendency toward WW2 myopia snd self deception. You didn’t have to have the WWW to understand and be aware of indoctrination along with prolonged propaganda. Especially over the seventy years since onset.

    My Mum and Aunts went to English state schools where Empire days were a treat. The children dressed immaculately and marched around their playground singing ‘Rule Britania.’ So I know where you are coming from.

    It appears you are in desperate need of a book titled: America and the Ignorance of Imperialism by Andrew Alexander. It is an excellent, well researched analysis and explanation of reality in WW2. And John Wayne is not part of it.

    A.A. argues that the world is a far more dangerous place today as a result of the US determination to save it.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/books/7637268/real-and-imagined-danger.thtml

    Read it if you are at all interested in truth. Otherwise, I have to bow out of debate on this matter, as delusional rhetoric is not something that excites me.

    This clip below is what these wonderful yanks carried out on the Japanese people days after they declared defeat and submitted to US power. They had surrendered.

    And they did this because it was too good an opportuntiy to pass up for testing their experiment in all its glory.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnFCdvY1VQ0&feature=related

    Hero’s. Indeed.

    • 03/05/2012 at 4:35 pm

      No maude elwes you have no idea where I am coming from and sadly I couldn’t march round my school singing “Rule Britannia” because it was bombed as were our Houses.

      Perhaps you would be wiser if you listened to your mother and her sisters. The world is not yet a more dangerous place, but indeed it will be-and without doubt-if you and our present alleged leaders do not learn from the past.

      You obviously have no idea what happened to prisoners held by the Japanese, for one lady cousin of mine was held in such a camp. There are two sides to every story and true stories at that. Just pray such things never happen again. Recognise who started both wars, for it certainly was not the UK and it was not America.

      Listen to your Mother and her sisters while they are still here.

  23. maude elwes
    04/05/2012 at 1:52 pm

    @Anne Palmer:

    There are no two sides to nuclear war.

    The salient point here is, yes, as they up the anti men in war are indeed atrocious. Just as today we read and see in our papers the horrors of torture and triumphalism in Iraq and Afghanistan. But this act on Japan, levelled at non military targets, once the victims had surrendered, was satanic. It was not self defence or retribution. We did that with Dresden.

    The Japanse people were begging for deliverance and a gloating group of conquerors savaged them as they did so. This was a gang bang. Cold blooded killing of a people this way is unacceptable on any level. Propaganda is a force that maddens. You were brainwashed. Clearly its effects are long lasting.

    The purpous of the bombing was to threaten Russia. To show how much power was in the hands of the US madmen and that they would use it as they did here.

    John Pilger made this documentary, which has been tampered with somewhat. But you still get the message.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_ii-P2DcpY&feature=relmfu

    And, Madam, you are wrong in your assumtion, sadly, I have no leaders.

    • maude elwes
      04/05/2012 at 5:00 pm

      As the above youtube clip of John Pilgers documentary ‘The Truth Game’has been so tampered with in that piece, especially in parts that discuaa the gross distortion of information to the public, in respect of dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I felt this was so important, I had to find the full film for those interested to view.

      This is what propaganda looks like up close and in your face.

      http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-truth-game/

    • maude elwes
      04/05/2012 at 5:11 pm

      Sorry, once again, John Pilger was erased. Not by this website I hasten to add. So the Lords are not to blame.

      Here it is.

      http://notcorporatetv-pilger.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/truth-game.html

  24. 04/05/2012 at 5:01 pm

    How dare you! To even think that people that actually went through that war were brain washed!

    The Japanese are a very proud people and you think, you think even for one moment they were “begging for deliverance”?

    You know nothing, you learn nothing and sadly because of that you will come to realise one day the facts of what the previous generation went through. It is after all the people-not the leaders- that cause the wars in the first place, people that suffer and sadly, because you do not learn, you and perhaps your generation will not listen-most certainly you were not taught the true facts at school, there will more than likely be a third World War-the war to really end World Wars. I fear for your Generation, I really do.

    Only people that went through the bombing, and were in the Forces during that war as was my husband, know the truth and it was nothing as you seem to believe. Leaders have to make terrible decisions at time, ones they would rather not make-this happens on both sides of war, and some decisions they make are hard to live with afterwards, but make them they have to.

    People in the first World War either had to kill- hand to hand- at times or be killed. Which would YOU chose?

  25. maude elwes
    08/05/2012 at 1:12 pm

    @Anne Palmer:

    You, sadly, are the heart of the Tory party. Which is why they are struggling so badly.

    I find the line you wrote telling us here that ‘leaders’ do not cause wars, it’s the ‘people’ who do, seriously disturbing. Brainwashed has to, therefore, be an understatement.

    Wars are a money making machines for people who sell arms and alarm. I hope you will be able to absorb at least some of reality as you continue through your life.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYa4qoFM95Y

    And I have Japanese people in my family and I know for sure they most certainly did plead for deliverance for their people not for themselves.

  26. Gareth Howell
    09/05/2012 at 8:50 am

    There are no two sides to nuclear war.

    The one big thing tht worries me about a Federal United Kingdom is the acronym.

    Talking about the quote, I taught a class of 12 year old prep boys including the BBC radio correspondent Bannister and Guardian’s Jack and the class they most enjoyed was the one on nuclear missiles and anti missiles, and anti anti missile missiles.

    I would turn my back and continue with the Maths on the board while they lanced their projectiles with impunity.

    Some of them met in mid air which only went to prove the theory that anti missile missiles were useful.

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