Tag Archives: Hereditaries

So what did the Lords ever do for us?

The House of Lords provides us with what every proper democracy needs and which every single Law demands in unlimited portions.  WISDOM.

We may well caricature the Lords as the Westminster Chapter of God’s Waiting Room, populated by trembling, Zimmer-pushing geriatrics who spend their days farting and dozing on red leather whilst listening to each others’ arteries hardening, with only the occasional trip to nursey’s office to have the colostomy bag emptied………… It’s nothing like that.

The very first thing that strikes you is its very  “ordinariness”, its informality and its total lack of pomp.

It is certainly NOT full of self-important, puffed-up, swaggering aristos clipping jug-carrying flunkeys around the earhole, screaming  “Another tankard of Port, my man !!”

It is a quiet place. It a a place underpinned by mutual respect and the ability to listen.

None of the raucousness and noisome dissonance of the “other place”. None of the name-calling and playground punchups or “Leave him – he’s not worth it” attitude of the Lower House.

These are the “self-actualised”. Those who “have done it”, “seen it” and who know better.

In general, the House of Commons is anti too much reorganisation of the House of Lords. Ever wondered why?

Is it a rabid dislike of the “hereditaries”? Is it an over-developed sense of “democracy” ? Is it the “They should be elected NOT appointed…” group?

It is none of the above.

Most Honourable and Right Honourable Members of Parliament see the Lords as a reward, something to aspire to, a recognition of their years of selfless sacrifice and a final gift from the Establishment. They covet the ultimate status achievable within the United Kingdom. “Yes, My Lord!” ……It is their Gold Watch.

And why not?

They say that age is a price worth paying for wisdom. The average age within in the House of Lords is 65.

The average age in David Cameron’s Commons sand-pit is about 50.

Mind you, it is David Cameron who has done more to lower the “currency” of a Title  than any previous Prime Minister.  He ennobled 117 individuals within  12 months of coming to office. That told us a lot about his comparative youth, impetuosity plus his demand to impress. No point in complaining that “there are too many of them” (there are 818 voting Lords) after you have just added over 100 to the fire!

He was also aware that one of the major items on the Libdem shopping list was a reform of the House of Lords and that Nick Clegg needed a bone to play with. That is exactly what he was given. No more.

Currently, the Lords is a patchwork of hereditaries, politicians, lawyers, Anglican bishops and various “sundries” from public and commercial life. That is how it should be.

The alternative is an elected bunch of those bred-nurtured-and-educated purely for politics (it’s already happening in the Commons). Soulless and charisma-free Party wonks to whom commerce and normal life are a matter of wonderment and mystery.

On this occasion, let’s once again do what politicians do best. Leave it alone and wait.

House of Lords farce……..

Before MPs vote on whether or not to continue with the reorganisation or reformation of the House of Lords, with the ultimate intent of a totally elected Upper House, they should first consider a few things.

For instance, how many in the House of Commons are de facto “hereditaries”? That is to say, how many have fathers, grandfathers etc who were politicians?

What’s good for the goose…etc!

Will we be given the opportunity to elect The Lords Spiritual? Surely nowadays, a belief in Jesus is  not enough of  a legitimate credential to be handed a seat in the House of Lords, in spite of our mutant God-Monarch Constitution.

Will retired Members of the House of Commons, or worse still, those who lost an election, were rejected by the electorate, be allowed to contest  another election for a seat in the Lords? A seat in the Upper House should NOT be a consolation prize.

Do we REALLY need political parties in the Lords? Is it democratic for both the Commons and the Lords to have the same political majority – because that is exactly what WILL happen if both Houses are elected under the same political banners. Inept bully-boy politicians such as the current crop would automatically wield power totally out of kilter with their ability and mandate.

Why don’t we start small. For instance, by ridding the Lord’s of their fancy dress. You know – the Lords’ Spirituals pretty frocks and the Lords’ Temporal  “ermine” robes. The rabbit population would be ever so grateful.

My own suggestion? Leave it. There would only be a problem if they all turned up at once…and, oh yes……increase their daily allowance to at least £500. The present £300 per day is embarrassing.  Leave the hair-shirts and ridiculously low wages for the Commons to deal with. They deserve it.

Make no mistake, today’s vote could be the straw which broke the Coalition’s increasingly splintering back.

(By the way, guys. While you’re playing at Lords, the economy is still burning. ………Just thought I’d mention it)