Tag Archive for Peers

What makes an effective peer?

Lord Norton

To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the Life Peerages Act, and the competition to find the most outstanding peer of the past fifty years, The Yorkshire Post last month carried an article of mine on the attributes that are required to make an effective member of the House of Lords. For anyone who would like to…

Mental health and Parliament

Lord Norton

According to The Sunday Times, the Government is planning to change the law so that people who have had certain mental health problems and are presently barred from being elected to Parliament can stand for election.  People who have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act are barred from standing even if they have made…

The moral dilemma

Lord Norton

Earlier today, the House was debating the increase in world food prices.  There were some interesting speeches, including from Lord Alton of Liverpool on the cross-benches.  He touched upon the extent to which problems such as world poverty may be neglected when people in developed countries come under economic pressure.   It is the enduring dilemma:…

Should abstentions be recorded?

Lord Norton

When MPs and peers vote, they enter lobbies on either side of the chamber and their names are published as voting either ‘Aye’ or ‘No’ (MPs) or ‘Content’ or ‘Not Content’ (peers).  People outside Parliament thus know how members have voted: it is also a useful resource for researchers, as it facilitates analysis of voting behaviour.  However,…

Bringing in new blood

Lord Norton

Interest in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election has naturally focused on the result.  What has been less commented on is the infrequency nowadays of by-elections.  There can be significant changes in membership of the House of Commons at a General Election but relatively little change between elections.  The situation is very different in the Lords.  There…