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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Lords Reform

It's over 95 years since Royal assent was given for The Parliament Act 1911, the preamble of which states: "it is intended to substitute for the House of Lords as it at present exists a Second Chamber constituted on a popular instead of hereditary basis, but such substitution cannot be immediately brought into operation." Yet we still have the travesty of a second chamber most members of which are appointed. I don't believe that anyone who has been appointed by virtue of being on a list (whether or not Abe Levy drew it up or was even aware of its existence) should be involved in passing the laws we live under.

In the past I was in favour of a 100% elected Upper House and I would have been delighted by tonight's Commons margin of 113 in favour of a 100% elected chamber. But given the current state of the political opinion polls, the debate about cash-for-honours and the great success of many of the Government's public service charging schemes (dentistry, tuition fees, hospital vouchers, toll roads, etc.) I am now of the opinion that this is not the best option. My view was stiffened when I saw that grinning monkey Jack Straw on TV just now, announcing the result with a smile as wide as Rita Tushingham. If Jack Straw and Simon Hughes support the bill I know it must be wrong.

I think the House of Lords performs a vital role in exerting checks and balances on the government of the day and in the coming years this is likely to be an even more important function than it is now. I see nothing in conflict with the "democratic" bit of the phrase "the Labour Party is a democratic socialist party" in my plan to put everything openly on the table and institute a bill of tariff for the Upper House. So here is my draft proposal. The current bill is bound to be rejected in the Lords and rather than see The Parliament Act invoked I hope MPs will see sense and adopt my novel and creative idea.

A transparent proposal for Lords reform

3 comments:

Elroy Partington-Whistler said...

What. No discounts for senior citizens? Mind you, I suppose...

Chris Paul said...

Your "box office" has missed off several categories including :

The Guest List - reserved for very decrepit, LEGACY

The House Seats - reserved for nubile, SEXUAL FAVOURS, and/or white powders

The Press Gallery - reserved for crooked press barons who press their case with cheery blandishments, Election day front poster cover should secure, two if very crooked

The Choir Stalls - simply sing from the same hymnsheet (not like a canary)

Luke Akehurst said...

The only thing missing from this picture is an extra-large seat marked "reserved for Lord Akehurst".