Tuesday, January 27, 2009

House of Lords: more reform?

I felt it was rather predictable that given the story in the Sunday Times, there would be calls for the House of Lords to reform.

I agree that there needs to be some change: the noble Lords in question were, it appears if the Sunday Times allegations are true, abusing their position.

But let's just take a look at those peers who have been mentioned in these allegations:
Lord Taylor of Blackburn is a Labour life peer.
Lord Moonie is a Labour life peer
Lord Truscott is a Labour life peer and a former MEP so is probably very confused
Lord Snape is a Labour life peer.

May I suggest, should it be found that they have broken the rules, that the reform of the House of Lords which should happen is that the Labour Party stop giving out life peerages?

For one, one could argue they only do it to get their hideous legislation through a chamber which is actually capable of rational debate and thought. And secondly, the hereditary members are distinctly unlikely to be involved in such a scandal. Not quite the thing, you know. Got to get back to the farm.

I might, if I were so inclined, say that it's the 'reform' of the House of Lords which has caused a rather downgrading of the upper chamber....


Lobbydog said...

I think you're right Trixy. But if parties don't appoint life peers then who should? Some sort of committee perhaps.
The other option of course is to have an elected second house, but that would just mean more politics, without getting rid of the sleaze.

wonkotsane said...

Ah-ha, could it be that someone else agrees with me on Lords "reform"?

These Life Peers have made a career out of politics and shown themselves not to have the best interests of the country in mind but their own career and that has led them to the monumentally bad decision of apparantly accepting bribes. Would a hereditary peer have taken the bribe? There’s always the chance that they might because even Lords and Ladies get short of cash but it’s far less likely - they tend not to make a career out of politics and there are easier ways of getting your hands on cash if you’ve got a title than taking a bung off a dodgy businessman.

Dave said...

I suspect there's something very machiavellian about these revelations.

Could it be that someone is trying to devalue the standing of the Upper House and turn public opinion towards its abolition?

Just a thought

subrosa said...

Dave, that has crossed my mind.

Back to having the gentry as you say Trixy. 'Can't let the side down', 'got to respect the old school tie' etc. At least most of them were educated and informed.

Reform is essential. How do criminals (although they've served their sentences) manage to stay in a house of legislation? Reason seems to be they can't be expelled. Law needs changing now.

ps It's good to see another woman's political blog. I've been feeling very isolated in the politics (mainly Scottish) blogosphere.

Trixy said...

Personally I would bring back the hereditary crew and just have a few life peers. Most of them I suspect are good you just can't trust this fucking government. Is there any level of government with a Labour official which hasn't been subject to these cash-for-x scandals?

And yes, there aren't many women in the blogosphere. I can only imagine they know something I don't...