Saturday, March 10, 2007

[destruction of the lords] the road to autocracy

The Political Umpire is getting into the vital Lords question but sadly, he's gone astray. He starts well:

When Blair wanted the Hunting Act (HA) passed … [the] Lords forced him to face up to that by holding him to his original draft. One in the eye for the opportunist Blair. Another example was the disgusting lie put about by Gordon Brown concerning the Oxford applicant Laura Spence, an attempt at a bit of old-fashioned class war. The Commons was too busy point-scoring to expose Brown's lies for what they were. But the Lords came down on him like an executioner's axe including old-Labourite Roy Jenkins…

Rousing stuff, Political Umpire, so how on earth did that lead to this?

Hereditary peers have no justification. Appointments by PM patronage or some super-quango commission are a better option than hereditary peers but not much more than that.

PU, it is precisely the way the Lords was originally constituted which led to it being an effective House of Review. Elect them or even stack them from outside and the patronage system and the whip will turn the PM into a virtual dictator. And through this, the EU will become your master and mine.

3 comments:

istanbultory said...

I have problems with the idea of the House of Lords. In its current form, it is too often an ermine-ridden quango populated by the clapped out, the unelectable and the unspeakable. In a genuine representative democracy, any and all politicians should be elected.
And yet the Lords are the only ones who have managed to stop some terribly stupid legislation from getting passed. There clearly needs to be some "body" to prevent Governments (of whatever party) from acting as they wish all the time. The HoL continues to be a useful if imperfect check on the excesses and self-interest of the HoC. No wonder Labour wishes to dominate it...

Political Umpire said...

A bit harsh, methinks, since I'm not proposing simply mirroring the commons as is the preferred options of many bloggers. Instead I'm trying to provide the same qualities we hope for in the present lords, by a different route. Will try and come up with a fuller response soon.

Many thanks for the link and your comment, of course.

james higham said...

A bit OTT, yes. I'll watch for your proposals with interest, PU.
Istanbultory, I like your paragraph beginning And yet ...