Tuesday, 17 May 2011


There is a sense of marching slowly towards the enemy with rifles at our waists with the proposals for House of Lords reform but it is a long held belief so fingers crossed that this one gets past the Luddites and Tories. I just hope that Nick now walks around with 'you can't trust the Tories' written on the back of his hand...

Those who defend the idea of sleazy patronage as a means for making laws in our country always point to the expertise in the House of Lords, which is true. However, there is little to be said against the idea of an elected second Chamber beyond the last refuge of a scoundrel - 'tradition'.

Hmm. Perhaps we should revive bear-baiting as that's traditional. What about ducking witches in village ponds? That's traditional, too.

Perhaps the answer could be a classic British fudge: keep the House of Lords as a consultative Chamber, with a formal role in legislation of a complex or technical variety or legislation which is referred to it but replace its role as the second Chamber with a democratically elected one - elected proportionally, of course.

That way we keep the 'expertise', we give a nod to 'tradition' and we get a slightly updated political system. Then all we will need to do is move everyone out of the museum in Westminster...

Too much too soon?

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