Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Yes, the Lords must go

I won't rehearse again the many failings of the political life peers, who like some malignant contagious disfigurement have destroyed the integrity of our upper chamber. Worthless dross, dags and liggers, spivs and crooks, the filth of their touch befouls anything good. And as Nigel Farage writes in the Telegraph today (£) the process of putrescence has accelerated under both Blair and Cameron - archly corrupt chisellers both, sofas and chums and honours for bribers, rent-seekers and hairdressers. I won't say it will be no pleasure; defenestrating the effete Andrew Adonis or the pervert Rennard will be fun. Calls will grow for abolition from all quarters, and the discussion must swiftly move to what we must replace it with. 

Clearly, electors will expect some say in who sits in a second house, but a national election list would be impossible to administer. People are also frustrated at the domination by the metropolitan political class. The CofE bishops must go - to retain them would be to open the doors to Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses and Zoroastrians to be represented. However, there may be a place for some appointments made by an independent commission for which the most senior of the professions and the armed forces would be eligible. 

Here's an initial suggestion (% or senate, take your pick) -

English ceremonial counties (old Yorkshire ridings etc)    - 48
Welsh counties                                                                -  8
Northern Ireland                                                             -  5
Scotland                                                                         - 12
City of London                                                                -  1
Greater London (smaller than GLA )                                 -  6
Total 'elected'                                                                - 80
Appointments Commission                                               - 20     

If we assume that the Lords in its present form will go, and concentrate on with what to replace it, I think we'll be on the right track. 

If you haven't already signed the abolition referendum petition, I urge you to do so -
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/209433

22 comments:

right-writes said...

What is more, it will help with the vexed among MPs and other associated bottom feeders, where to "sit" whilst they spend £billions renovating the buildings that they clearly have no respect for.

The new "lords" can assemble in a "chat room" and the MPs can take over the current HOL chamber, for the foreseeable future.

Then just get Alton Towers or similar to make a proposition for the commons...

A bit like their proposals for Battersea Power Station twenty years or so back... Inevitably of course, the HOC will be knocked down and replaced by a plastic version that conceals a bunch of "luxury flats".

wiggiatlarge said...

"Blair and Cameron - archly corrupt chisellers both, sofas and chums and honours for bribers, rent-seekers and hairdressers."

Nothing changes only the numbers, the place was decribed by a friend of mine back in the sixties as being "full of poofs ponces whores and banjo players" he wasn't wrong then and you are not wrong now.

John Brown said...

I have no problem with the appointing of HoL members except the CofE bishops for the reasons you give.

There is even no need for an immediate cull as there may be many Lords who can contribute usefully to debates and the appointment of many people seen as totally unsuitable as a Lord does help to “grease the wheels” of state and is often used to defuse conflict.

But voting on legislation should be restricted to a select group (of perhaps around 300) of HoL members and who are selected by each political party in proportion to the total number of votes they received at the last GE.

These party selected voting members should include members of parties who failed to get an MP in the FPTP HoC.

rapscallion said...

Radders, I would also suggest a few places go to Northern Ireland. I would also suggest that under no circumstances can the appointments commission put forward the name of any politician - there are enough vermin in the HoC already.

As it stands the Lords now must go. They are doing everything in their power to prevent any government employing the ultimate negotiation tactic of walking away. I have no doubt that most of the verminious filth have either a financial interest in the EU or are paid by the EU in pensions (somthing they never declare). Barring a few exceptions they are liars, cheats, and traitors. What they are doing is openly defying the biggest mandate in British political history; they are defying the people. They had better tread very carefully indeed if they aren't to dance at the end of a rope.

Poisonedchalice said...

Already signed R.

Raedwald said...

Rapscallion - oops! Now amended ...

miker22 said...

May I quote the fable of the frogs by Aesop: The Frogs were tired of governing themselves. They had so much freedom that it had spoiled them, and they did nothing but sit around croaking in a bored manner and wishing for a government that could entertain them with the pomp and display of royalty, and rule them in a way to make them know they were being ruled. No milk and water government for them, they declared. So they sent a petition to Jupiter asking for a king.

Jupiter saw what simple and foolish creatures they were, but to keep them quiet and make them think they had a king he threw down a huge log, which fell into the water with a great splash. The Frogs hid themselves among the reeds and grasses, thinking the new king to be some fearful giant. But they soon discovered how tame and peaceable King Log was. In a short time the younger Frogs were using him for a diving platform, while the older Frogs made him a meeting place, where they complained loudly to Jupiter about the government.

To teach the Frogs a lesson the ruler of the gods now sent a Crane to be king of Frogland. The Crane proved to be a very different sort of king from old King Log. He gobbled up the poor Frogs right and left and they soon saw what fools they had been. In mournful croaks they begged Jupiter to take away the cruel tyrant before they should all be destroyed.

"How now!" cried Jupiter "Are you not yet content? You have what you asked for and so you have only yourselves to blame for your misfortunes."

Be sure you can better your condition before you seek to change.

jack ketch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jack ketch said...

I'd rather they amended the Parliament Act(s), restricting its use to budget bills (as it was originally). Re-instate all the hereditary peers, kick out all the entertainment Lords (sport stars and the like) and most importantly of all return sovereignty to the sovereign by allowing her a free hand to ennoble whom she thinks fit...with a bar on former politicians except in special circumstances.

Although I did like the suggestion once mooted on AR's site that if the Lords be scrapped then the 'senate' should be chosen by national lottery.

Budgie said...

If we end up remaining in the EU via the customs union, single market, etc, what use is the HoC, never mind the HoL? If we are to continue to be ruled from Brussels we don't need a UK government at all.

FrasnkS said...

By email this morning:
"Dear ^&^%$£$(&&^%,

Parliament is going to debate the petition you signed – “Give the electorate a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords”.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/209433

The debate is scheduled for 18 June 2018.

Once the debate has happened, we’ll email you a video and transcript.

Thanks,
The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament"

Budgie said...

As before I advocate an elected HoL where unelected Lords can speak, but not vote. The new HoL should only be a revising chamber like now. I like Raedwald's idea of restricted numbers, and shire based. It should be based on PR elections, no appointments.

Sobers said...

Go back to the hereditary peers only. They have a wealth of life experience (often of a far more gritty nature than the metropolitan political classes who end up infesting these sort of political structures - where else would you get a legislator able to speak from personal experience about heroin addiction, as the hereditary Lord Mancroft did in the HoL some years back?) which they could bring to the legislative process, and crucially as they are fully aware of their completely undemocratic status they would always defer to the elected HoL. The trouble with putting former politicians and bureaucrats into the HoL is (among many other problems) that they think they have as much right to govern as the elected MPs, as we see in the Brexit debate.

Its like the monarchy argument - a monarch knows they are not democratic, so keeps their nose out of politics, by and large, and a purely hereditary legislature would feel equally constrained to do anything more than say 'Are you sure? Really really sure?' then give way to the elected one. Selecting people means they will feel they have a right to power, which is the last thing we want. What we need (and used to have) was a body that had lots of outside politics experience, and could ask the government to think again, but crucially no democratic legitimacy. It was a very good idea, and we f*cked it up.

Anonymous said...

First paragraph description of the HOL - WOW! Just lip-smacking delightful to read. I would add Uddin as another Peer who belongs on the 'little list' of those who 'would not be missed'.

Budgie said...

Sobers, The are many advantages to having only hereditary peers in the HoL acting as advisors. Not least that they haven't been paid politicians. I suspect it would be a difficult sell, though.

right-writes said...

As Sobers points out, although I do not entirely agree with the return of the concept... There is nothing quite so variable as a man's trouser tadpoles. Indiscriminate use of these chaps throws up any number of varieties of the human being.

What is more, they all tend to come from a fairly well heeled class, so they have not suffered the privations of a disastrous state indoctrination, or education as the state likes to call it, they will have had a reasonable education and will have the money to while away their dotage in the HOL.

Where I disagree is where they as in this brexit situation sit on their heels dig in and will not be moved, rightly or wrongly that is too much of a challenge. to the supposedly democratic side of our government.

The "Parliament Act" happened because the Liberals were attempting to introduce a universal pension scheme. The Lords thought it was unaffordable, which was correct, but the politicians didn't work that out until last year.

The point about democracy is that it is not always right, so it needs to be checked, but if it is determined it should not be put off by the ermined.

The difference with the current situation is that the democracy was hoodwinked into being subsumed in 1973, and now that we have (as a whole) found it out, the wrong sort of Lords.. the same crowd that were responsible for the initial wrong are trying to repeat the same trick.

Blair was cleverer than we thought, his "reform" of the Lords must have been planned, since he promised to continue his reforms, but somehow, they just stopped at the filling the pace with his cronies bit.

Hector Drummond, Vile Novelist said...

Going back to hereditary peers would be an improvement. But realistically, even if there is Lords reform, it's never going to go back to that.

Anonymous said...

There are ( is it ) 90 Hereditary peers still sitting in the Lords. Throw out all the life peers and political appointees and elect from universal franchise 90 from the Aristocracy.

Continuity with the constitution and democratic accountability.

Dan said...

One way to solve this problem would be to give a huge variety of different organisations the right to nominate a very few prospective Lords each to the House, and stipulate that a certain small number must join the House each year.

Then give the current House of Lords veto over who gets to join them, provided that this small quota is met each year, together with the prospect that if they veto everyone then a random selection (truly random) will be made from the rejectees.

This would then give the House its self responsibility for vetoing the more egregious political appointees, and with a very large number of organisations each permitted to nominate perhaps one prospective Lord ever few years, you get such a spread of input choices that the new House of Lords will never be a homogeneous collection of crusty old politicos.

Anonymous said...

They really are an abomination, aren't they? Can't do better than Raedwald who's a past master at excoriating this undeserving seat warming fraternity:

'I won't rehearse again the many failings of the political life peers, who like some malignant contagious disfigurement have destroyed the integrity of our upper chamber. Worthless dross, dags and liggers, spivs and crooks, the filth of their touch befouls anything good.'

Delicious.

Here's my twopenn'orth:

Sack the fucking lot then get some people in who've done something really useful in their life. Numbers limited to a maximum never to be exceeded and with both a minimum and maximum age limits - excepting the Speaker. I want people especially who have shown no interest in politics because they were too busy doing good stuff like creating jobs and generally championing this country and it's people overseas.

I want people in a revising chamber who actually like this country and will fight for it with every breath that they breathe.

I want people who are strangely brilliant at inventing and innovating.

I want people who have won gold medals in sport and gallantry medals on the battlefield.

What I don't want is slags like Mandelson, et. al., and his mess of pottage.

That is all.

Steve

rapscallion said...

Steve @2 May 2018 at 15:03

Quite so, I want people I can look up to and respect, not mendacious quislings that I would rather spit on.

Anonymous said...

Even if they start out as not-Politicians, once in there they morph into Politicians.

We have a system for electing Euro MPs. WHen Euro MPs are no longer elected to the European Parliament, why not use the same engine to elect a House of Lords?