It was more than insufferable arrogance on Blair's part to imagine himself so clever that he could sketch out major changes to our national political institutions with a mug of coffee on the sofa between TV interviews. In the end it was no great vision at all, but a sort of low-grade bastard managerialism. "Strengthening democracy" like so much NuLabourSpeak actually disguised "Destroying democracy" beneath a zealous and well-meaning but ultimately hollow and specious series of inept changes. The way to fix a Hepplewhite chair with a loose leg is to gently steam open the old glued and tenoned joint, clean it up, and re-glue and cramp it up again. Blair's surgery, like a bodged DIY fix, was like nailing some rough four-by-twos to the chair instead.
After trying to abolish the Lord Chancellor (the only office of state with official precedence above the Prime Minister, a fact of which the foolish and vain Derry Irvine often reminded Blair) Blair's bodging DIY efforts turned to the Commons. Yah. More wimmin. More black wimmin, and beansprouts and alfafa in the canteen, and child-friendly hours, and a Speaker's creche, and maybe replace all that gloomy gothic oak and leather with something bright and cheerful from Ikea. With sofas. And why not let groups of primary school children participate in the votes, and sit on select committees, and replace stuffy old PM's questions with a live phone-in from ordinary people. Yah.
Thankfully all Blair's inanities will suffer the eventual fate of all bodged DIY; some things will be restored to their previous state, a few germs of good changes will be designed and done properly, and it will all take twice as long and cost twice as much than if it were done properly in the first place. The creeping realisation that hereditary peers are generally noble, honest and honourable as well as being skilled, diligent and knowledgeable and that Blair's peers are generally either chiselling little crooks or a pointless slack-jawed waste of red-bench space may even cause us to look carefully again at Lords' reform. Either way, the political class have buggered it up and it will be up to us, or those of us who care deeply, to ensure it's fixed.