Trust the Experts?

Lord Tyler

In the last week I have discussed the role of the House of Lords with two groups of students (40+ at a Sixth Form College in Taunton and later 40+ from Hull University), as well as some 30 middle-ranking civil servants and a couple of exceptionally erudite Canadian commentators. Two impressions are left from all…

lords reform

Lord Lipsey

I am in favour of very radical reform of the Lords, its arcane and inefficient procedures, a statutory appointments commission, the end of hereditaries, the eviction of criminals and tax evaders and much more taking of evidence and less speechifying. The only reform to which I am wholly opposed is election.

More high altitude democracy

Lord Soley

Following my comments below I note that the EU referendum group who got squeezed out of the media by the demonstration on the roof of Parliament decided to climb up a crane on the Middlesex Guildhall to draw attention to their protest. The original EU lobby attracted several thousand to Parliament but the rooftop demo…

Health in the Lords

Baroness Murphy

I’ve been fascinated to read other peers’ blogs, although trying not to rise to the Lord Norton’s bait about the most fanciable peers….(I naturally have a private list) but after reading Lord Dholakia’s diary week then seeing he has been running for charity I feel positively exhausted…I hope it’s doing him some good healthwise…. Health…

so what is a crossbencher?

Baroness D'Souza

The clue is in the title, it doesn’t mean a grumpy peer but one who has no party affiliation. We prefer now to call ourselves Independent crossbench peers (or ICPs) because the important bit is the independence. Most peers vote according to their Political Party line – or if they are seriously at odds with…

So very different in Italy

Baroness Murphy

A blogless gap because I was a few days away in Italy. This does wonders for recharging the batteries but also for appreciating the UK parliamentary system. The people of Lucca in northern Tuscany are deep into the campaign for the forthcoming general elections . So many parties, so little time to find out what…

Parliamentarians sweat it out for charity!

Lord Dholakia

Last Wednesday (27th February) over 50 MPs and Peers came together to run the ‘Westminster Mile’ around St James’ Park for charity Sport Relief. I took part with my researcher and we enjoyed a slightly more leisurely mile than some of the other parliamentarians. This was an excellent example of the way that parliament can…

Democracy but not on the roof of Parliament

Lord Soley

Yesterday there was a very large lobby of Parliament by people wanting a referendum on the EU legislation which they see as a constitution in all but name. Never mind the arguments about the constitution just now but consider why the media gave news priority to a very small group who climbed on the roof…

What are debates for?

Baroness Murphy

We’ve just finished Baroness Eccles’ debate on Quality of Care in the NHS’. 17 peers spoke for 5 minutes each on this wide-ranging topic. I seriously wonder whether this is the best use of parliamentary time. No doubt official(s?) in the Department of Health are obliged to read it and ensure the Minister has responded…