House of Lords Reform

Baroness D'Souza

This was published today in the Times and brings the total correspondence in the past couple of weeks to five letters of which four strongly support if not a wholly appointed House of Lords at least a plea that the forthcoming White Paper takes the majority vote in favour of an all appointed House into…

Trust

Lord Tyler

The Director General of the BBC gathered together a select band of MPs and Peers this week to discuss the breakdown of public trust in both broadcasters and politicians. Looking round the table, it was difficult to work out why we had been invited. Gerald Kaufman was an obvious choice to bemoan the claimed collapse…

Rushing about

Baroness Murphy

An early start this morning in Whitechapel in the East End of London chairing a meeting of the management group of Centre of the Cell, a fantastic children’s science educational centre about biological and medical sciences being developed inside the heart of the new medical school buildings at Queen Mary University of London . The…

Climate change comes to the Lords

Lord Teverson

Climate change is about as big an issue as you can get. If we – that’s all of us here on planet Earth – get it wrong we suspect it will herald the end of the world as we know it. And there will be a big reverse for the human species in the process.…

Emergency legislation

Lord Norton

The Banking (Special Provisions) Bill – the Bill to nationalise Northern Rock – is being rushed through both Houses. The Government regard it as emergency legislation, hence the perceived need to get it passed within three days. In order to enable it to be passed quickly, its provisions are drawn in general terms – that,…

Artificial organs and puzzling questions

Baroness Murphy

First blog: a good day to start as I’ve been doing a typical day’s work in the Lords. Last week Lord Crisp happened to mention to me he had a question down for this coming Thursday on artificial organs–mechanical heart pumps, plastic corneas, lung simulators and so on and asked if I might contribute. I…

The most fanciable peers?

Lord Norton

It appears that the Sky News team have named their most fanciable MPs. Not to be outdone when it comes to generating lists, the doyen of list-makers and bloggers, Iain Dale, has invited nominations for the most fanciable political journalists. Why is it that when such lists are compiled, the Lords never get a look…

Lords and Senate

Lord Norton

The fact that the race for the US Presidency is essentially (and unusually) between members of the US Senate (Obama, Clinton and McCain) does serve to emphasise the differences between the UK second chamber (the Lords) and the US second chamber (the Senate). One is not likely to see a fight for the premiership between…

What's in a name?

Lord Norton

Both Houses are not sitting this week. A few years ago, the House of Commons introduced a ‘constituency week’ in February for MPs. As the House of Lords now adopts the same recess dates as the Commons (though that may change when business is heavy), it too now rises for the same week. A little…