A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Lords Reform (again)

A commenter on the post below wants to know what I think about the House of Lords Reform proposals.

I did post about this a week ago, but just to make it extra clear I'll repeat myself.

I don't believe that any one who has not been elected by the people should be involved in passing the laws we live under.

So I am in favour of a 100% elected Upper House, starting now.

No ifs, no buts.

No "phasing out" of hereditaries or life peers.

No Bishops or other faith group reps.

No appointed "experts".

No prime ministerial patronage.

If "experts", bishops, retired or defeated politicians, independents or whatever else want to get involved in passing laws they can stand for election.

It's known as "democracy" - rule by the people.

It's the "democratic" bit of the phrase "the Labour Party is a democratic socialist party" in the new Clause IV of the party constitution.

I haven't got a clue how anyone can justify any other method of picking members of a legislature.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke, I couldn't agree more. It's just that few in New Labour agree with us. Oh well, their loss (wankers).

10:40 pm, February 07, 2007

Anonymous dan said...

News just in -

The first trade union has backed a candidate for Labour leader. ASLEF have unanimously endorsed John McDonnell's candidacy.

ASLEF are seen as an 'Old Labour Right' dominated union and the 'moderate' alternative to the RMT. The fact such a union has unanimously backed John McDonnell suggests they may well be the first of many...

Gonna congratulate them, Luke?

11:44 pm, February 07, 2007

Blogger Dave said...


Congratulations on your principled stance, comrade.

But do you think we need a second chamber in the first place?

12:00 am, February 08, 2007

Anonymous Peter Kenyon said...

Hear, Hear

Hat tip, Luke...and in answer to Dave's question the answer is Yes.

We are a national of over 60 million people, not a banana republic.

But why we need more than 120 members (10 per region/nation) in a second chamber is a bit of a mystery to me. But I'm just a pleb.

12:35 am, February 08, 2007

Anonymous observer said...

I agree wholeheartedly on a 100% elected second chamber. But how about giving them a longer term in office (so we can minimise this short-term politics malarky)?

1:54 am, February 08, 2007

Blogger Bill said...

So New Zealand is a bana republic? What teh white paper misses out in suggesting only small countries are unicameral is that they often have only small legislatures, 650 odd MPs are enough to handle the complxity of UK legislation in a unicameral chamber,a nd they can draw on ad hoc external advice if they really need scrutiny of their legislation.

1:15 pm, February 08, 2007

Anonymous ted harvey said...

Totally agree with you Luke, but, we need some sort of constitutional structure or process that avoids a reformed Lords just being another cloned part of the system as a result of the (two?) main parties inevitable attempts to shape both Houses to their own prejudices and that just rubber stamps legislation.
An end to prime minister patronage in respect of the 'Upper' House' would be ideal... but that ain't gonna happen.
I suggested earlier that it could be alternative voting systems, but equally it could possibly be observer's suggestion of a longer-term in the 'Upper' House

1:56 pm, February 08, 2007

Blogger el tom said...

Luke, I have never agreed with anything you've said more.

12:26 pm, February 09, 2007

Anonymous jdc said...

"I don't believe that any one who has not been elected by the people should be involved in passing the laws we live under."

If you're repeating yourself, so will I!

Abolition of the monarchy?

2:04 pm, February 09, 2007

Anonymous Duncan said...

Sounds good to me JDC!

(The alternative would be to abolish royal assent and transfer the prerogatives to the Commons, I suppose, but we could enjoy ourselves abolishing the monarchy if we wanted!!!)

8:13 pm, February 09, 2007


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