The House of Lords is in the news, with much lamenting about the size of the House and the impending arrival of new entrants. Yet since the House remains unreformed, of course we need new blood. Otherwise we will simplify fossilise.
The only democratic way to shed numbers must be for the electorate to decide who is in and who is out. The country cannot rely on the political party whips to do so fairly, and it would be ludicrous to expel effective Peers just because they had reached a particular age.
The Coalition Government’s Reform Bill was given a huge majority of 338 MPs in July 2012, with large majorities in all three parties. As I pointed out in the Lords on 21 July “it would have progressed to the statute book had it not been for some silly party games of the Labour leadership with Conservative Back-Benchers.” [HL Deb, 21 July, Col 1001]
Three years later the problems of the Lords would have been well on their way to solution by now. Rather than ineffectual tweaking the House needs root and branch reform.