Partisan Peers

Lord Tyler
I am really sad to report that the House of Lords seems to be drifting further into the unthinking partisanship that Peers often accuse MPs of habitually exhibiting.

Today’s debate on mandatory sentencing for knife crime was characterised by some particularly powerful speeches from all sides of the House.  The clear majority of the contributions – not least from eminent lawyers with direct experience of relevant criminal cases and former Ministers who had previous relevant responsibility – was that the clause added in the Commons was seriously defective.   Even the Minister responding explained that the Government could not support it in its current form.

A number of Peers who listened to the whole debate declared that they had been persuaded by the force of argument to oppose it.   As a result, prominent Labour members like Baroness Scotland, Lord Richard, Baroness Kennedy and Lord Reid voted with Baroness Trumpington and Lord Deben of the Conservatives, and a solid band of Liberal Democrats and Crossbenchers, against the clause.

However, a larger number of Labour and Conservative members – who had not attended the debate – arrived as the Division Bells sounded and simply obeyed their respective Whips and voted it through (by  228 to 159).   Some Labour Peers are clearly  quite as reactionary as their Conservative allies on this issue.

All too often that is what MPs are perceived to be doing – “don’t listen to the arguments, just do what you are told”.   This is not good for the reputation of the Lords.

PS:  I have now seen the official “scorecard”, and note that the opposition to the Clause included 59 Crossbenchers, 4 Conservatives, 24 Labour and 66 Lib Dems, but 94 Labour Peers voted for the government.

6 comments for “Partisan Peers

  1. 21/07/2014 at 7:38 pm

    I quite agree with you, Lord Tyler. And were the House to be elected, it would be far worse.

  2. MilesJSD
    21/07/2014 at 8:46 pm

    That such blind mindlessness can rule the roost as “Governance”
    let alone as Participative Democracy
    only glaringly shows the unfitness-for-purpose of the UK Constitution itself.

  3. Croft
    22/07/2014 at 11:24 am

    Well if they will keep kicking upstairs hordes of ex-MPs looking for a sinecure its bound to change the nature of the house….

  4. MilesJSD
    22/07/2014 at 7:18 pm

    Surely the Constitution should already have been made watertight enough to include ‘filters’
    requiring:-
    (1) First and foremost
    informed discussion and responsibly-channelled feedback by the People

    of the Issue(s) involved,
    and of the ‘history’ and ‘state-of-the-matter-currently-by-backrooms, lobbies, and media, powers’;

    (2) Secondly,
    mandatory full participation in the whole Matter, by every empowered or potential parliamentary voter,
    for knowledge of its History, current facts & factors, and likely and possible consequences
    of ‘the uncontrolled legal bearing and de facto use of knives by any member of the Public’,
    and thereto any Governmental-Legislation’s and consequent Action’s effect upon any member of The Public.
    (3) Thirdly, a no-fault ‘mandatory abstention’ clause upon every member who has not been seen to be independently internalising both the Matter,
    and the Peoples feedback to It, other Facts & Factors, and the Possible-Consequences
    on the one hand of “do nothing, mark-time, react-xenophobicly, or blindly vote whippedly”
    or on the other hand of “reading, listening, learning, inwardly-digesting, and only thereafter voting according to one’s independently individual searching and reasoning”.
    —————–
    It must surely be The Constitution’s ‘rotten-nesses’ that are the ‘causative’ root of not just this ‘knives free for all’ but of a whole range of unfit-for-purpose and non-sustainworthy legislation and the enforcement regulations that ‘hit’ or ‘neglect’ any part of the Public.

    In short, any empowered person who has not shown both full knowledge of the Matter
    and published their individual formal-argumentation & moral-reasoning thereto,
    needs constitutionally to be excluded from influential or voting participation.

  5. maude elwes
    23/07/2014 at 11:54 am

    Which is why it’s imperative the appointment system is removed from party politics and some other method of voting for, or, deciding who will sit in the second chamber has to be hurriedly progressed. The Commons will follow by the ballot box.

    And, of course, those who sit in back rooms and really are working the numbers on decision making will not want that, will they? Hence the need for a man of real substance and true vision to head the cause. A man who understands clubable subterfuge.

    You have to face facts, Lord Tyler, the grip of whoever it is running our country is so fierce and suffocating, the only way to be free of it is some kind of revolution from inside.

    One banker wrote, or spoke recently, of the pitchforks already out. It’s time those same pitchforks were out in our Parliament fighting to save this nation from the underhanded control choking the little democracy we have on offer. Where did it come from? Who started it? What is the motive? What do they have to gain? How do we be rid of them? A lot of obvious questions, but, unless faced, nothing can take a turn for the better.

    You are sitting on top of it, if you don’t know who’s behind it or what to do about it, how will we on the outside even begin to grasp where to start? In truth, the solution lies with all of you who are cognisant of the facts and know there has to be dramatic change in order to save us all. Think Zorro.

    http://website-pace.net/en_GB/web/apce/anti-corruption-platform

    In case you haven’t read it, a book which exposes the idea of Walpole’s time, when a few, into it up to their necks in excess, were in charge and the mess that led us into extreme chaos. Did Walpole have a view relevant to today?

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-New-Few-British-Oligarchy/dp/1847378005

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