Monday, May 17, 2010

Peering In From Outside

Oh, goody. From The Times:
Coalition creates 100 peers with Lords deal

David Cameron and Nick Clegg will create more than 100 peers to ensure that controversial legislation gets through Parliament.

The coalition government has agreed to reshape the House of Lords, which is currently dominated by Labour, to be “reflective of the vote” at the general election. That saw the Tories and the Liberal Democrats together get 59 per cent.

None of Labour’s 211 existing peers can be removed, so the coalition must appoint dozens of its own to rebalance the upper chamber. Lib Dem estimates suggest that the number of Tory peers would need to rise from 186 to 263 and Lib Dem peers from 72 to 167.

Here's a better idea, guys. Instead of more jobs for the boys and snouts in troughs, how about scrapping the Lords entirely, or if you really must keep it, making the place elected instead? So like, y'know, voters get to decide who we want in a 2nd chamber, rather than having it stuffed full of other people's cronies?

The Lib Dems would be likely to reach into local government for some appointments. Party donors could be rewarded, although the Lib Dems have ruled out putting any with non-dom tax status in the second chamber.

That's a shame. Lord Brown of Absentia has a certain ring to it, don't you think?


Unknown said...

We need fewer 'Lords', not more claiming expenses from our pockets! We need to abolish the house of lords, it is long past its sell by date.

Eric the Well Read said...

Hi Richard,

From a 'save the Union' stance, the smart thing to do would be to bring in the Australian system of PR for the upper house, which they call the Senate. Their lower house already uses the system the Con-Dems are proposing to bring in.

From an 'End London Rule' Scottish perspective, the more ridiculous the British parliament appears, the better. Unfortunately, I don't think Scots consider ending our links with feudalism as a strong reason for independence.

Your post does highlight though just how utterly farcical the House of Lords has become. If its job is 'to reflect the vote in the Lower House', what on earth is the point of having it? What an appalling waste of taxpayers' money.

Liberal for Life said...

Hey Richard
I note you've still got the brass neck to rub.

If you would rather have had an unfettered Tory government then just admit it. After all they have supported you guys so often in Holyrood that its hard to tell sometimes between Alex and Annabel as to who is the biggest Tartan Tory.

We are already delivering on some of the fiscal commitments to the Scottish Government despite the fact the SNP have no influence at Westminster.

Here below is a reminder of what wee Eck was spouting before the 6the May and its the LibDems in goverment who are delivering my boy -

The SNP manifesto sets out a number of areas where nationalist MPs would seek to make gains - by, for example, pressing for Holyrood to have greater financial powers. The SNP today called for further capital spending to be brought forward to boost economic recovery.

Salmond, who is standing down from Westminster at the election, argued that a hung parliament would be the "best thing for the people across these islands". A House of Commons where no one party had an overall majority could "help everyone", he said.

Enough said or are you going to continue to write more abusive anti-liberal script between now and next May?

Richard Thomson said...

A cheery 'hello' to you as well, Galen. Trust you're managing to settle back into normal life after the election.

While my preference would have been for a Labour/Lib coalition, with the SNP, Plaid and the Greens supporting on budgets and issues of confidence, it's pretty clear that Labour simply wasn't up to the task and preferred to walk away into opposition instead.

Contrary to your suggestion, a minority Tory government would certainly have been fettered by a lack of a majority, and would arguably have given your party more influence in certain respects. However, as I said in an earlier post, I wish the new government no harm, and that, for the moment, is how I still feel.

When the Lib Con administration does something I consider worthwhile which touches on what I'm writing about, then you can be sure it will be given the prominence I think it deserves. On that note, I wait with baited breath for firm announcements on the fossil fuel levy, borrowing powers etc, and hope that you'll come up with something better than the haphzard Calman Commissions proposal for devolving more control over income tax.