Lord Norton

A loss to the House

Lord Norton

2015 saw the death of a number of senior peers.  I have written about the losses in a post on my own blog.  One of the most notable was that of Lord Howe of Aberavon.  Geoffrey Howe was a leading Cabinet minister – Chancellor of the Exchequer, Foreign Secretary and Leader of the House of…

New creations

Lord Norton

A list of 45 new peerages was announced today.  You can see the full list here.  As it is a dissolution honours list, there is an emphasis on rewarding those who have undertaken political service.  It is usual to offer peerages to those who have held Cabinet office, not least those who have held one…

Civil servants and Parliament

Lord Norton

We know from survey data that many people do not know a great deal about Parliament.  The latest Hansard Society Audit of Political Engagement found that, although 41% of those questioned claimed to know a ‘fair amount’ about Parliament, just over half knew not very much or nothing at all.  There is a particular problem for…

Creating a link that doesn’t exist

Lord Norton

The House of Lords has been the subject of much media attention over the past few days.  You may think the reason for this is obvious.  It isn’t.  One peer engages in private conduct that attracts public opprobrium.  As I have pointed out elsewhere, there is no reason to link private behaviour with institutional reform. …

Taking the tablet….

Lord Norton

I began my academic career specialising in voting behaviour in the House of Commons, in particular intra-party dissent by Members.  This entailed manually checking every division list.  For my doctoral research, I estimate I read over 3,000 division lists, with the number of names running into seven figures, in order to identify any Members voting against…