As we wind down to the end of term, I just want to comment on Lord Tyler’s complaint about the increasingly politically partisan voting of peers. I wonder if the statistics bear out what Lord Tyler claims? I confess I do not know. I have not really noticed any difference in party allegiance over the last ten years or more partisan behaviours. As a crossbencher it has always seemed to me that the LibDem peers are the best ‘whipped’ in that they seem to vote with one accord, followed closely by the vast majority of Conservative and Labour peers who do not listen to the debates but appear by magic from offices all over the Westminster estate as soon as a division is called. Ninety percent of peers will not know what they are voting on, we poor crossbenchers envy them of course, we don’t have the luxury of zooming through the division lobbies continuing our conversations without pausing over the matter before the House. Just as the bell sounds you will find an anxious gaggle of crossbenchers consulting each other on the amendment, often collaring a colleague who has sat through the whole debate so as to be sure we understand what’s going on. For me it’s simple; no understand the argument, no vote. But that of course leads to consistent and justifiable criticism of crossbenchers for low voting turn outs. Of course we adopt the revolutionary approach of asking peers to sign up to participate in bills before hand and then expect those peers to sit in and speak and vote as the bill progressed, and ensuring only those who had actually participated voted on an issue….but no political party would agree to that, nor many crossbenchers neither. But we have to face the fact that party political peers are appointed to vote with their party machine and loyalty to party is stronger than other loyalties when cultivated over many years in politics. We only have to look at the way those who have dared to change parties are treated, with a certain shameful disdain few would want to risk experiencing.