Just Deserts?

Lord Tyler

Over the weekend, a number of Conservative and Labour parliamentarians, from both ends of the building, were moaning and groaning about the arrival of 22 new Peers.

Some were complaining that Conservative Party donors were included; some were querying whether Liberal Democrat activists were sufficiently august; some were griping that there were insufficient numbers of Labour stalwarts in the list, and the media were pontificating that the days of political patronage should be over.  And almost all of them were saying that we shouldn’t have any new Peers now anyway, because the House is clearly over-populated.

What a nerve!  If on 10th July 2012, having given the Government’s Bill a huge second reading majority, those very same MPs had allowed it to make progress, this alleged problem would have been solved.  Egged on by Peers and journalists, they broke their manifesto promises to bring democracy to the Lords by playing party games.  Had the Reform Bill passed, political appointments would have ceased by now and we would be preparing for the first election of 120 members representing every region and nation of the UK, next year.

The choice was theirs two years ago: popular election or party patronage.  They are now getting what they asked for.

6 comments for “Just Deserts?

  1. MilesJSD
    12/08/2014 at 10:48 pm

    “Desserts ?”

    “Egged on by Peers and Journalists (or peers and journalists ?), they broke their manifesto promises to bring democracy to the Lords by playing party games.” ?
    i.e. (“) they had promised to use party games to bring democracy to the Lords(“) ?

    Or should we be understanding
    “… they broke their manifesto promises,
    (namely) to bring democracy to the Lords,
    by playing party games ” ?
    ——————————-
    I’m afraid We The People see only “What a bunch of nerve-cases” !

    • maude elwes
      13/08/2014 at 9:33 am

      The 22 new peers were/are a national insult to the tax payer. Not only are they a waste of space, no pun intended, the mere fact they would accept such a position is showing their obscenity. They ‘gave’ in order to promote their status by being able to Lord it all over the place as they grin with smug satisfaction.

      Subsidised meals for self and those they want to impress, drink likewise. Undeserved tax payer perks because these very fat cats decided to pad the wallets of those who are already jiggling the economic pie in their favour.

      I wouldn’t give up my seat on the bench either. For what? To make way for a bunch ornery looking misfits.

  2. James Hand
    13/08/2014 at 8:45 pm

    Lord Tyler – similarly if after the highly criticised government bill had been pulled, Nick Clegg and other leading LibDems had supported, in the words of a LibDem peer who wrote to me at the time, ‘a beefed-up Steel Bill’ rather than providing limited support to the watered down one, there could have been a (temporary or long-term) solution in place. An appointments commission would have been responsible for any appointments and if the amended-Weatherill approach had been adopted some semblance of party balance could have been achieved without creating a problem of an ever increasing house (e.g. http://eprints.port.ac.uk/2306/1/HAND_WebJCLI_2009_4_hand4.pdf). There is still time for a constitutional reform LibDem success (albeit a less radical one)…

  3. Baroness Deech
    Baroness Deech
    18/08/2014 at 9:06 am

    it is particularly puzzling that the LibDems should be welcoming new peers to their ranks, given their steadfast opposition to unelected peers.

  4. Malden Capell
    05/09/2014 at 11:12 pm

    False dichotomy, Lord Tyler – you can oppose election and oppose the abuse of the appointments system. It’s this ‘my way or the high way’ attitude that means the Lords does not get actual decent reform which would make appointments better and more meritocratic.

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