Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Don't Elect the Lords

The Fluffy Economist, who seems to be onstream again after a slight hiatus, rightly praises the Lords for their percipacity in kicking Toni's fascistic legislation back in his face, but misses a crucial point.
This begs the question, given their succes in holding up democracy and civil liberties why push to have an elected Lords at all?

[T]he reason the Lords can vote against the government is their independence from it, not because they aren't responsible to the electorate. A partially or fully elected Lords, would also not be dependent on the Honours list or appointments committee for their votes and could, hopefully, vote more freely.

I'm sorry, my children, but up here in our rarified policial blogging strata we tend to forget that the biggest-selling newspapers in this country of ours are such rags as The Sun and The Mail. Many of our fellow countrymen are, alas, in favour of these draconian laws. If they were not, how would the Fascist Party have so much support?

It's all very well saying that they have been elected with the smallest majority ever but, lest we forget, over a third of those who voted put the cross in the box opposite Toni's cronies. And research suggest that it was the Iraq war, not the attacks on free speech or the desire to control our identities that lost them the support that they already had.

If I may quote the great Winston Churchill:
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

Not having to answer to the rabid electorate is a fundamental reason why the Lords are able to take a long view, and to take the right decisions; they do not need to look to their seats.


Anonymous said...

Talk Politics has been wrestling with this one, too. I've been changing my mind over recent months - from being a believer in an elected Lords to being sceptical. I'd like to see a change to the appointed cronies, though - a weakness in my opinion.

Zeppellina said...

Didn`t seem to bother old Tony when George Robertson went to the Lords.

dearieme said...

Of course, to ensure that the Lords take The Long View, you make membership hereditary.

Devil's Kitchen said...

But, of course. We should increase the number of Hereditaries again. The Lords has always—quietly, quietly—done a rather good job, frustrating overly powerful governments time and again (why do you think that the Parliament Act was introduced in the first place...?


Deogolwulf said...

Hear, hear! People rarely give credence to the idea that it is our undemocratic institutions that have so far preserved us from the worst ravages of democracy.

Anonymous said...

For house of Lords reform I favour either
a) Randomocracy for the Lords.
b) Voting based on 1 pound of tax paid, one vote.

option b balances socialist extortion very nicely!

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