Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Good Riddance to Lords Like Lipsey

The great thing about an elected House of Lords is that arrogant twats Peers like Lord David Lipsey won't be there any longer. He regards himself as such a superior being that he wouldn't want to be bothered with elections. Far too downmarket.

Lipsey has been trying to persuade gullible journalists lately that an elected chamber would cost £2 billion to run. Typically for him he doesn't mention that would be over a 15 year term. Actually the annual running costs would be as little as £39 million. See HERE for the full story. If ever I have any doubts about an elected House of Lords, all I have to do is think of the Blairite appointee Lord Lipsey and my convictions return immediately. See HERE for more on Lord Lipsey.

49 comments:

Adam said...

Colour me as strongly opposed to the proposed changes. The current system looks on paper like a crock, and the one it replaced even worse, but it works OK. Conservatives, it seems to me, generally feel that there are enough things that are broken without trying to fix things that really aren't but which can be used for a little electoral flash.

You may not get people like Lipsey anymore (but then again, why do you think that? Electoral politics brought us Blair) but the lawyerish Lords that pore through legislation and pick every available nit, those are the ideal sort for a revising chamber and those are also the sorts that I can't see getting into the electoral sewer to get that place in the Lords.

TitzareGlitz said...

Iain, an elected HoL will not guarantee anything of the sort.

We'll probably have regional PR party list, with piss poor turnout, in which case;

(1) Lord Lipsey will be attracted by a nice financial package like a fly to shit - he'll say (and do) anything to get a party nomination
(2) He will be placed near the top as a well-heeled party hack
(3) He's guaranteed election by default (without bothering with canvassing "electors")
(4) He'll be in as long as the maximum term is, or "ad-infinitum" if there is no term limit.


All an elected HoL will do is make new Lords (or Senators - gulp!) slavish to the party whip - and you can kiss goodbye to the independents/crossbenchers.

Why democracy is viewed as "the end" rather than "a means to an end" always baffles me. There is no need (or real appetite) for democracy for the sake of it in the HoL other than the smug self-satisfaction of looking 'more democratic' than Labour.

It is a crap, crap, crap crap crap idea. The crappest idea ever. Uber crap. King of crap. Gruppenfuhrer Goering of crap.

Since when did we stop being the party of pragmatism?

Ed said...

The House of Lords we have at the moment is illogical and outmoded. No democracy would choose to set it up like that. But it works quite decently at the moment.

The question is whether a more principled House would work better. We can't know, because we have had this current system for so long. Who knows what legislation an elected House might have thrown out or passed without question?

To people who say that a "legitimate" Upper House would cause gridlock: maybe that's a good thing!

Colin D said...

Iain: the HOL has done us alright historically. Not perfect not even bloody good but alright. Only the "blair" disease has brought it out into the limelight, for all the wrong reassons.

Ed said...

Can you imagine the cabinet putting thought into draconian legislation if one party controlled both houses?

David Anthony said...

Just wondering Iain.

If you are against appointed Lords, where do you stand on a political figure like Prince Charles becomming Head of State?

Lord Lipsey said...

Iain, I think you're an arrogant twat...

PJ said...

"The great thing about an elected House of Lords is that arrogant twats Peers like Lord David Lipsey won't be there any longer."

Sorry, Iain, but how many arrogant twats are there in the Commons?!? The names Peter, Hain, Stephen and Byers have just come to mind. Not sure why.

TitzareGlitz said...

"The House of Lords we have at the moment is illogical and outmoded. No democracy would choose to set it up like that. But it works quite decently at the moment."

Why is it illogical?

It's only illogical if you think "Democracy" is the ace card which trumps all others. Only if you think that Democracy is a concept so goddamn brilliant that it should dominate every facet of ours lives. Lets elect everyone - whoopeee!! Whilst we're are it, let's sit in a giant circle around a campfire and pleasure ourselves whilst moaning about how progressive we are.

Give me a break.

Our country is full of decisions that are made "undemocratically". We don't elect judges. We don't elect jurers. We don't elect lawyers. We don't elect heads of quangos. We don't elect CEOs of private companies. We don't elect who inherits money, businesses & wealth of the dead. We don't elect army officers. We don't elect the Monarch.

Why? Because it is expensive, counterproductive, undesirable and stupid. Just as an elected HoL is.

Democracy. Equality. Fraternity. Ecology. Group-masturbation. These are all left-wing ideologue obsessions that seek to put abstract principles above pragmatism and good common sense.

We need democracy to legitimise and select those who seek to raise taxes and pass laws on our behalf - that is all. Seeing as these guys can ultimately override virtually everything else, this seems fair to me.

I'm flabbergasted why a majority in the HoC (apart from the 200 MPs who do) can't see this.

Chris Paul said...

Iain: Just what are your language rules Squire? Twat is OK but fuckwit is not? Is that it? Well shiver me rigid, and sideways.

Titz etc: Don't want elected judges. But just look at some of the buggers before you reel them out as a good example of non-election.

Tory magistrates naturally the worst ...

TitzareGlitz said...

Sorry, forgot another example of the shiteness of democracy - hands up who thinks removing interest rate decisions from the Bank of England and putting the "democratic" Gordo back in charge is a good idea??

Hahahahahaha...

And, just to be positive, my suggested reforms for a fully appointed HoL would be:

(1) Independent Commission (genuinely independent, maybe a max of 12 people - run by a mix of people from all walks of live - teachers, doctors, farmers, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers) - Monarch annoints all
(2) No ministers at all can be drawn from the Lords
(3) No new legislation can be initiated there (can be suggested/debated though)
(4) No hereditaries - all to be life peers
(5) No Bishops (keep law lords, we need 'em)

That would remove all the logical arguments against an appointed house. No hoorah henry hereditaries (although I don't think there's so bad), no legislative/government powers, no corrupt party poltical appointment and no religious favouritism. I'd keep the parliament act as a stick to hit the government with if they write bollocks legislation.

And, f*** it, whilst I'm at it. I *like* the name "House of Lords" - pretentious, yes, but spot on. It's historically contigious, dignified, serious and unique.

TitzareGlitz said...

"Titz etc: Don't want elected judges. But just look at some of the buggers before you reel them out as a good example of non-election."

Chris, my old chum, *exactly* my point.

Many of them are useless idiots. But no-one bats an eyelid about it. Certainly no-one suggests they should be elected, because they recognise it would be a barmy idea that would - whilst being totally impractical - ruin impartiality and demean the legal process.

At least the current Lords are actually doing a half-decent job.

hg said...

If anyone cares to look:

http://www.gamblingstudies.salford.ac.uk/PersonnelCV/SponsorsCVDLipsey.php

gives the perfect snapshot of the thing that is David Lipsey.

Richard Lipsey, the economist, had an unfortunate run-in with Professor Friedman in the late sixties, on inflation and unemployment, since when he has lived in Canada.

Ed said...

titza, i obviously didn't explain myself properly: my point was that although one probably wouldn't set up a system as it is now, there is no guarantee that a new system will be better.

i take the conservative line that if it ain't broke, don't fix it...

i am not an institutional revolutionary unlike blair and brown.

Anonymous said...

He is the most dreadful advocate for the status quo (remember his pathetic performance on Newsnight against Helena Kennedy recently?) but that should not detract from the case against an elected Lords:

1. It must be assumed that it will be difficult to be elected without party patronage.

2. If that is the case, most of those elected will feel as beholden to their parties as are MPs and will be just as obedient to the requirements of the Whips.

3. The scope for the Government to be called to account and for its proposals to be scrutinised and amended by independent-minded people concerned more about public than party interest must be greatly diminished under such a system.

Those who claim that the Lords will carry greater weight once it is "legitimised" should think for a nano-second about the way the Executive (under Labour and the Tories) has treated the Commons and the public standing of our party-politicised elected representatives at Westminster.

We should still get rid of Lipsey, however!

i spy strangers said...

This really is quite irrational, Iain. As others have pointed out, an all-elected second chamber would hardly be a guaranteed 'twat-free' zone. What we really need is an appointed chamber where the appointments are well regulated and not susceptible to politcal interference.

If you have time, do take a look at the HoL Hansard record of the reform debate yesterday. There are some terrific contributions from (to name a few) Betty Boothroyd, Nigel Lawson and (dare I say it?) Derry Irvine in what was, amazingly, his maiden speech as a backbencher.

Hayek's Grandad said...

I think an elected chamber would work so long as it wasn't stacked with would be MP's and party hacks.

I feel there is a very strong case for ensuring that anyone who as ever put their name forward for selection as an MP should be excluded from the reformed house. Also obviously anyone having put themselves forward for the reformed house should be excluded from standing for election as an MP.

This would help to stop the reformed house becoming a 'feeder' for the commons or a retirement home for old and/or failed MP's.

It would also ensure that those in the reformed house were free to do the right thing rather than simply toeing the party line.

Anonymous said...

I'll go with Adam. If it works, don't fix it.

Voyager said...

The simple fact is Iain that our system was not designed for political parties.

It is the party system that is the problem. It is looser in the Lords and Crossbenching makes it weaker still

The disaster in Germany is the Volksparteien which are now dying as people abandon them - just like here - they still however control the machine and seek to prevent any alternative.

Our institutions are permeated with party politics - Austria shows how disastrously this can be when schools have two caretakers, one from each major party - and the nation is carved up by gangsters essentially

What we are really saying is that the House of Lords is illegitimate because it is not controlled by the Parties

As for Lipsey, I am of your opinion - as for £2 billion he should price the 661 Oblomovs in the Commons

Newmania said...

So one peer has somewhat misrepresented some figures and behaved arrogantly. Clearly this is an arguement for some appalling ly fudged mish mash or at worst PR by the back door .
Haven`t you noticed how nothing of the sort ever happens in the elected chamber......:)
Iain , you always seem to be on the side of more and more votes and while that might sound like a good idea ,it is not .Votes do not equal democracy , have a look around Africa ..there is a bit more to it

The regional assemblies- More votes
MEPs - More votes

Both of this are there with express intention of removing the accountability of our representatives . PR for the Lords is a staggeringly silly idea and seems to my horror to be the front runner.

I find it a tad ironic that you are so against our admittedly antiquated but fit for pupose system , when you are determined to turn our democracy into the "court" of insiders that a PR seciond chamber inevitably will be
The notion that a directly elected chamber will not remove authority from the executive can be discarded from the off. Of course it will . Anyone who is capable of applying any common sense can see it will . Where does parliament get its authority from ? Votes .
End of subject

It might suit a political insider and Westminster denizen that the nations affairs are settled between cliques in private but it would be a disaster for everyone eles.

Sorry I cannot understand your enthusiasm

Anonymous said...

"an all-elected second chamber would hardly be a guaranteed 'twat-free' zone"

Not unless female peers were barred, no.

David Lindsay said...

The Lords are going to vote for 100% appointment, and the 95 Labour MPs who voted for 100% election after voting against 80% election were mostly, if not entirely, wreckers.

So, how about this for a compromise? Within a generally appointed House of Lords as at present, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and each of the nine English regions (though with their boundaries altered to reflect those of the historic counties) might each elect, from two lists, eight peers.

On one list would be party candidates: vote for one and the top five would be declared elected at the end. And on the other list would be Independents: vote for one and the top three would be declared elected at the end. This would give 96 in all, sitting for life, but with the procedure repeated every 15 years.

Furthermore, since peers, unlike MPs, currently have responsibilities only to the whole nation and not to individual constituencies, there would also be a life peerage for any person independent of party who, by the close of nominations for the above election every 15 years, secured the nominations of at least two thousand registered voters in each constituency used for elections to the House of Commons.

These would therefore be a very few people whom a very significant section of politically the more engaged section of society felt belonged within the parliamentary process, in place of the current arrangements for "People's Peers".

Regarding party nominees, after each General Election, each party represented in the House of Commons and whose members took their seats would be permitted to nominate a number of life peers based on where they came among the parties so represented: two for the smallest, four for the second-smallest, and so on up.

A list of up to 20 (just in case) to be nominated would be published by each party prior to each General Election, having been determined by seeking nominations from branches (including of affiliates in Labour's or its successor's case) and including the top 20 in order of the number of such nominations that they received.

And the Lords Spiritual might be elected every five years, from among those of the Church of England's diocesan bishops who expressed a willingness to be so elected, by a body comprising three politically independent nominees of each of MP (including not fewer than one constituent at the time of nomination, nor more than two) as guardians of moral and spiritual values, holding office for life and with each new MP nominating three.

Yes, there would be some non-Christians, including atheists. But there would also be plenty of Catholics, Evangelicals, Anglo-Catholics, old-style Middle Churchmen, Scottish Presbyterians, and others a very long way indeed from the Liberal Establishment within the Church of England.

I am not saying that any of this would be ideal: no change would be ideal, as it would have been in 1999. But that ideal is no longer an option in practice. And I suspect that a lot of people, including in both Houses, would be a lot more favourable towards the above than towards "election" from party lists.

Madasafish said...

Basically what you are all saying is we have a constitution (sorry bad joke.. a political system) where .. if you have a big enough majority.. you can do anything.
Will an elected second chamber change that?

Nope.

So waste of time.

hatfield girl said...

People vote for policies, not parties, now. It used to take a war to bring the widespread acceptance of this attitude and downsize party importance; now both Blair and Cameron understand it and form ad hoc coalitions across party lines to get agreed policies through, look at education, defence - Cameron even declared he would act to support policies that are 'conservative'.

The House of Lords is supposed to be a revising and cautionary entity, and representative of various institutional aspects of our society - law, military, church, landowners, industrialists, that sort of thing. It also props up the monarchy insofar as it and the monarchy are pseudo- feudal.
It may or may not be desirable to change it, but if it goes then everything else goes with it -organic constitution, hereditary head of state, status of the Commons, electoral system...

It can't just be thought about on its own.

David Lipsey should be abolished though.

Anonymous said...

He is currently pointing out how wrong and misleading Straw was in his comments. Straw also claimed 'overwhelming public support for an elected HOL".

I know who I would trust. NuLab pointless trophy legislation and its muppet sponsor or an 'arrogant' unelected member of the HOL.

HOC is a disgrace and held in contempt by the public as turnouts show. We would have greater 'democracy' if the HOC was abolished - and I am sure the public would have zero interest in an elected Lords.

Observer said...

It also props up the monarchy insofar as it and the monarchy are pseudo- feudal.

Not true - it has been untrue since it was restored after Oliver Cromwell abolished House of Lords and the Monarchy.

As for Cameron - he hasn't a clue and has alienated a lot of the public. He can merge his party with Labour if he wants - but it is voters who decide and 40% turn their backs in the process but can easily bring down a Government - 16 million people is a lot of angry demonstrators for london streets - and 16 million are Abstainers

David Lindsay said...

The 16 million don't need to abstain. Contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, and I will explain what we can and must do...

Anonymous said...

What I find so offensive Iain is that the Tory party are supporting the government in a franklly ludicrous idea like HOL reform.

It is the HOC that is broken, we have a criminal in power, we have an illegal war, we have elctoral inspectors in the country, we are pillioried by Oecd about Bae/Saudi, we have broken umpteen international laws, we have the greatest crisis in the country with party political parties refusing to respect or represent the views of the electorate, we have NO accountability og government, we have secret Home Office inquiries, we have a government deliberately mis-leading the public about migration, we have a parliament that is not even sovereign in terms of law making and we have reached a point where the public simply do not believe elected politicians; and reforming a revising chamber is an advancement of democracy???

An elected HOL will have LESS credibility or legitimacy BECAUSE it is elected. I realise nobody wants to believe this but it is the view of the public.

TitzareGlitz said...

Hayeks Grandad; whilst I (sort of) respect your view - it is full of holes.

"I think an elected chamber would work so long as it wasn't stacked with would be MP's and party hacks."

Brilliant. Now how are you going to do that?

"obviously anyone having put themselves forward for the reformed house should be excluded from standing for election as an MP."

Er, not "obviously". Why not let the 'electorate' decide Mr. Democrat? If we're going to have democracy surely, it should be *their* decision who is elected? I mean, that's the whole point of democracy, right? For example - If I failed to be elected a councillor (aka Mr.Blair, London, early 1980s) I can (he did) still stand to be an MP, I am not denied that opportunity by virtue of being a failed candidate for another body - why should it be different for the Lords?

"This would help to stop the reformed house becoming a 'feeder' for the commons or a retirement home for old and/or failed MP's."

Once again, *hello* electorate?!Democracy?! Free choice??!! Why shouldn't an ex-MP/minister with many years experience be a Lord? Some of the greatest contributors in the HoL are ex-MPs.

"It would also ensure that those in the reformed house were free to do the right thing rather than simply toeing the party line. "

Hmm. "The right thing". What is this?

If we are electing them, they have to be able to differentiate them from the other candidates in order to secure election. That means they have to stand on some platform. That means they are then elected *for* something.

So, once elected, then they (reasonably) have a duty to *do* that thing for their electors who voted for them.

If they do not *do* it, they are betraying their voters, the electorate. They are ignoring the basis on which they were elected. But, with re-election barred, they are electorally unaccountable for their actions. So, what happens? More cynicism about politicans, more mistrust, more depressed turnout and a demeaned Lords.

If they do act on their platform. They *are* politicised. If their party is in government, they aid its legislation through. If their party is in opposition, they hinder it. That simple.

Theoretically they could all run as independents on a "personality and experience" basis, but we all know this isn't going to happen.

Basically, an elected Lords is *going* to be fundamentally different and party political.

And no amount of tinkering will prevent it.

hg said...

4.32, 'not true' seems a bit harsh. I did say pseudo and the glorious revolution left the crown with rather more powers than it should have, even now.

chatterbox said...

You do not "fix" something which is not broken. The HoL does what it is supposed to do, and has often become the only obstacle in the way of this government or an other making bad laws.
We just have to make sure that you cannot buy a seat on ebay or any other auction!

TitzareGlitz said...

David Lindsay, apart from your post being so complicated I lost track of what you were saying, this is the only interesting part which stood out for me:

"There would also be a life peerage for (anyone who)..... secured the nominations of at least two thousand registered voters in each constituency used for elections to the House of Commons...... These would therefore be a very few people whom a very significant section of politically the more engaged section of society felt belonged within the parliamentary process, in place of the current arrangements for "People's Peers"."

Apart from such an individual needing an unlikely 1.3 million votes to secure a life peerage, the odds of getting 2,000 voters in every single constituency in the country; from Orkney and Shetland to the Isle of Wight; to vote for such a person is highly unlikely.

The other problem would be the highly organised and mobile lobby groups hijacking such a process for their own purposes (think animal rights, BNP, hunting lobby etc..)

Otherwise, it's far more likely in our dumbed-down age that we'd get celebrity peers - like, sports/pop stars etc.

Having said that, life-peerages whether nominated/awarded (or both) by a popular vote at a national level, but still annointed by the monarch, is the least worst of electing peers.

There could be annual/biannual or 4-yearly elections in time to match the New Years honours for the numbers of vacanies in the house (assume the number of Lords is fixed) and the public could vote in ranking order. The top 14 (or whatever it was) would get a life-peerage.

That's the only way of preserving a system similar to what we have now.

It's just there's no way on earth MP's will ever let it happen.

Benedict White said...

Iain, the house of commons has its own fair share of "superior" arrogant pratts, which is a good argument against elections there?

Electing the house won't stop pratts getting in.

David Lindsay said...

"Apart from such an individual needing an unlikely 1.3 million votes to secure a life peerage, the odds of getting 2,000 voters in every single constituency in the country; from Orkney and Shetland to the Isle of Wight; to vote for such a person is highly unlikely."

Yes, that's the point. Simon Heffer could do it. Peter Hitchens could do it. Polly Toynbee could do it. Probably nobody else currently in public life and not a party politician could do it. I say again, that's the point. But see below.

"The other problem would be the highly organised and mobile lobby groups hijacking such a process for their own purposes (think animal rights, BNP, hunting lobby etc..)"

I don't think you'd get 1.3 million people to sign up for a BNP-sponsored candidate at all, never mind at least two thousand in every constituency from Orkney and Shetland, to Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, to Fermanagh and South Tyrone. But the animal rights lobby and the hunting lobby could both probably get someone in, or at least come close. And why not? As also with various other lobby groups (CND, Fathers 4 Justice, or what have you), it would be a useful measure of how much support they really had.

"Otherwise, it's far more likely in our dumbed-down age that we'd get celebrity peers - like, sports/pop stars etc."

You really do despise normal people, don't you? Especially provincial ones, it seems. Let's just keep enobling the older members of the Notting Hill and Primrose Hill dinner party sets, and giving safe seats (it doesn't matter at all which party) to the younger ones.

Anonymous said...

Surely by having a closed regional list, like the European elections, we can actually build in the democratic deficit necessary to ensure primacy remains in the Commons?

james higham said...

...all I have to do is think of the Blairite appointee Lord Lipsey...

This is a convoluted argument, Iain. The issue is not appointees but that the hereditary element which served the country so well is being destroyed so that Lipseys of all ilks can come in.

Leave the bloody place alone, as it was and this sort of thing wouldn't happen. If you catch a cold, you don't go out into the winter streets in your underpants as a cure for it.

Anonymous said...

The difference is that once appointed, even by blair, they would be free to find some self-respect. In fact most the best speeches against HOL reform were from Labour peers.
if elected as a labour senator they would be party influenced.....if you want 250 more chris bryants and prescotts then elected HOL is for you

paige said...

I am opposed to fully elected.
The house should be fully appointed.

HOWEVER. The house should revert back to pre 1997 and every newly appointed Lord, Lady should be fully investigated. The house has become far to party orientated thefore biased by appointment.
As we can have no faith in Labours choices and why they were chosen. They should be investigated.

I for one have been following some of Tony's Cronies, who are advising (Without qualifications) in the UK and the EU on matters questionable, according to the spate of companies being opened which profit from proposals they are putting forward and voting on in the House of Lords!

The House of Lords used to be a chamber of revision, now it is an extension of the Commons and worse for it!

BRING BACK THE LORDS PRE 1997!!!
No Confidence in some of Tony's Cronies!

TitzareGlitz said...

"You really do despise normal people, don't you? Especially provincial ones, it seems. Let's just keep enobling the older members of the Notting Hill and Primrose Hill dinner party sets, and giving safe seats (it doesn't matter at all which party) to the younger ones."

Err.. no. Don't try and put words in my mouth numbnuts. I'm simply telling you how it would work out.


"Yes, that's the point. Simon Heffer could do it. Peter Hitchens could do it. Polly Toynbee could do it. Probably nobody else currently in public life and not a party politician could do it. I say again, that's the point. "

No they couldn't and that's why it's a crap point. You couldn't find 2,000 voters in every constituency to "enoble" Simon Heffer - and why would they want to? Its so useless an idea, it's pointless and won't happen.

"But the animal rights lobby and the hunting lobby could both probably get someone in, or at least come close. And why not? "

Because they could nominate 20, 30, 40 even 100 peers - who could all be annointed if they were properly mobilised.

I did you the courtesy of saying that 'some' of your idea had merit but your egotistical and feeble defence of your own idea is as useless as it is short-sighted.

Anonymous said...

Iain, it seems that the majority of the posters on here DO NOT support an elected House of Lords.

Maybe you should let those doubts of yours rise a little more to the surface for the many excellent arguments listed!

Anonymous said...

straaangely enough eco-babble and HOL reform come bottom of everyones agenda after migration/EU, education,iraq,nhs,sleaze,civil liberties etc etc

Devil's Kitchen said...

Yes, Iain, and some extremely hard-working Lords -- I only mention Pearson and Willoughby de Broke because I have been following their debates recently -- will go.

How strange that a Tory should base an argument about an entire group of people and a whole system and structure on the personal dislike of one unrepresentative person.

I could, of course, remind you that were the Lords wholly made up of hereditaries, then Lipsy would not be in it either. Mind you, to judge by this article, he will be as happy to leave as you will be to see him go...

DK

DK

Iain Dale said...

DK, as you well know, I haven't based my preference for an elected chamber on the basis of my dislike of Lord Lipsey.

Newmania said...

Perhaps not Iain but you have dragged out a more than one Lord you seem to have personal dislike for. I `m not sure that you haven`t been fermenting class envy in an unusual top end way.I would love to know what your preference for an elected second chamber is based on given these problems

1 Any conceivable electoral basis for the second chamber will actualy reduce the democtratic accountability of the executive by spreading its political, power .Who do I vote against to get rid of the government . Not half of it , all of it.If you confuse this question you lose true democracy

2 Expertise can be more efficiently outsourced which is in fact the way the Lords operates now...much like a modern private sector company.
3 All other selection methods can only be placemen of one sort or another .

Apart from a ghastly Marxist sense of the " historical inevitability" of the whole thing I am at a loss to see the sense...and I am a seething cauldron of class envy already !

NO doubt it all makes sense to some expert or other. Still as we will be needing another 600 vagrants to sit arounfd chatting I suppose there is a good chance I could do it myself.

Lord Newmanian look pretty unlikely to happen at this stage

Anonymous said...

This has been a shameful day for the Hoiuse of Lords. Speech after speech after speech of people saying how wonderful the Lords are. It would have shown great humility be subordinate to the commons, and accept the fact that they are indeed the upper chamber. I have many many concerns about Lords reform, but I believe that the Lords MUST be accepting of the decision of the ELECTED REPRESENTITIVES OF THE PEOPLE. In the words of Fiona McTaggart "I belive there are no better people to judge how to run this country than the British people". There.

Jack Carter said...

Iain,

Even with crossed out words like "twat", you're not becoming a "Swearblogger" are you?

Heaven forbid...

Hayek's Grandad said...

TitzareGlitz - I agree with most of what you say. It will be very difficult to achieve a properly elected reformed chamber that isn't based along party political lines. However I don't agree that because it is difficult to achieve that we shouldn't do it.

TitzareGlitz said...

"However I don't agree that because it is difficult to achieve that we shouldn't do it."

Eh?

So you agree with me, but you still want an elected Lords. What in the hell sort of logic is that?

Only the logic that could come from somebody wedded to the idea of democracy for democracys sake.

Would you agree with putting the interest rates back under democratic (political) control?

Please put brain before emotion here. A clear rational head before a sense of moral self-righteousness.

An elected Lords will be expensive, lack independence, dignity and will be heavily party politicised. And it will totally throw our existing constitution out of kilter.

You are letting idealism get ahead of logic and common-sense which is exactly what Conservatives DO NOT do.

You are not worthy to be Hayeks Grandad with opinions like that!

David Lindsay said...

Tut, tut, titzareglitz! If you're used to people just telling you how clever you are all the time, then you've come to the wrong place here. Or possibly the right one.

Are you an undergraduate? Or still a Sixth Former? If you're anything more, then you shouldn't be. You really do need to learn that your disagreeing with something does not necesarily, or even ordinarily, constitute the end of the matter.

Anyway, and as if to illustrate that point: "You couldn't find 2,000 voters in every constituency to ennoble Simon Heffer". Oh, I think you could, if the Telegraph organised itself properly, which it would. The same is true of Polly Toynbee and the Guardian, of Peter Hitchens and the Mail on Sunday, and also, on reflection, of Mealnie Phillips and the Daily Mail.

For these are people who say what great swathes of the British People think, views systematically kept out of both Houses of Parliament by the present arrangements, of which you so approve no doubt because you hope to benefit from them. Alas, if they remain in place, then it is only too likely that you will.

"Because they [the animal rights lobby and the hunting lobby] could nominate 20, 30, 40 even 100 peers - who could all be annointed if they were properly mobilised."

I'd thought that it was obvious that no one would be permitted to nominate more than one candidate, just as no one may sign more than one parliamentary candidate's nomination papers.

You should try multiplying 1.3 million by 100. In fact, you probably shouldn't; you'd hurt your head. But everyone else should for you: go one, enjoy yourselves.

And peers are not "annointed". That AS Politics clearly isn't coming on too well, is it?