So the government has backed down on House of Lords reform. That is sheer cowardice and may be the beginning of the end of the coalition- agood parliamentary whacking would have been good for all.. Voices within the LibDem party have to start talking about replacing Clegg before the next election if they are to regain any credibility (or in fact keep their deposits).
Anyway- I have to say I am cautious about Lord’s reform. Yes, the Lord’s is too big. It is weird that you can still get born to it. It is a place of massive patronage- its like school inspectors, you got thrown out as a politician so have a seat in the Lords.
But, and I know that I may get thrown out of all sorts of places for saying this. We need an unelected chamber. Look what our random, crazy ass version of democracy (which isn’t democracy its representative government and is far from that) is doing to us. Look at who gets pandered to and who gets ignored. Look at the gerrymandering and lack of voting clout even if people did get up and vote.
We live in a country where its ok to hack the guts out of the welfare state, apart from winter fuel and pensions.. because the people who receive those gifts are the ones who vote. That kind of democracy does not serve the whole people and is frankly dangerous.
The House of Lords is mad! BUT it is the place where someone will from time to time stand up for those who don’t register as important in an election.. you know people like orphans and widows and aliens (or asylum seekers).
The House of Lords is out of touch. But through the Bishops and through some of the appointees its also more in touch. Believe it or not Bishops travel on buses, spend time among the poorest communities and listen to those who live there. We need someone who is there to speak for others not themselves.
So you find me an ‘elected’ system which will speak up for the poor and the marginalised and I’ll go with it. But until then I am not with Nick.