Why we need the Lords

A victory for free speech: Lords vote to axe law banning insults that had led to countless arrests of ordinary people

The controversial legislation led to countless arrests of ordinary people for making jokes and expressing opinions about religion and sexuality.

Until we get a chamber where prime ministers and parties no longer count but it’s like one big senate, we still need need the Lords or at least a truly bicameral  form of government.  The only way all this PC legislation has got through in the first place was because Blair crippled the Lords by insisting it be elected under the current “vote for the party” system and subject to him rather than to sound, independent values.

There are still those who think that handing the PM more powers is somehow equivalent to free speech, whereas the opposite is the case, as has been shown over and over.  Fighting for an elected Lords at this point, under this parliamentary set-up, is equivalent to making it subject to the big 3 and the prime minister.

If you don’t like the idea of hereditary Lords, fine – the idea is that these people need to be independent of PCism and career politicians.   Put a whole load of grandmothers in there if you wish but don’t let them be career politicians from the Big 3.

9 comments for “Why we need the Lords

  1. December 14, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I agree – this vote highlights the value of the Lords if the malign influence of Big Three can be reduced.

  2. john in cheshire
    December 14, 2012 at 11:33 am

    The unreformed HoL, before Mr Blair and his gang set about dismantling it, worked more in the interests of our country than it has ever done since he packed it with his stooges. Although I’m supportive of having a second chamber that is more accessible than hereditary, I’d rather have the older version. It was cheaper to run too.

  3. nisakiman
    December 14, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Blair and his cronies had no idea what they were destroying when they “reformed” the Lords. They were exactly akin to those Taliban who blew up the statues of Buddha in Bamyan. Petulant children. They ravaged something priceless because of their blind adherence to a flawed ideology. Sheer ignorance and spite.

    The HoL as it was before it was violated, was in many ways the perfect second chamber, whose members were there for no political or pecuniary gain, but because it was their responsibility. I have no problem with it being an hereditary position. In fact I think it is a real bonus. These guys are there by accident of birth. Perfect. No agenda, no jockeying for positions of power, no skimming expenses.

    Blair (and his oh so achingly on-message lefty sycophants) was the worst thing that ever happened to the UK.

  4. December 14, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Absolutely – and look what Hollande’s also doing in France now.

  5. Steve Brown
    December 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    @nisakiman, I concur absolutely with your comments. Well said.

  6. December 14, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    We need a 2nd Chamber, agreed. We also need to cut costs and, surely(?), get away from hereditary entitlement and the informal entitlement of senior civil servants, old politicians, old judges, etc…. Hmmm… For the sake of balance, let prisoners in Pentonville be the 2nd Chamber. We house and feed them already. How come I am just bursting full of great ideas? There is a blogger called Jailhouse Lawyer who may take me seriously, even if nobody else does.

    Or Broadmoor, perhaps… Or Broadmoor could replace the Commons. Would we notice?

    • nisakiman
      December 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm

      The problem with that is that the Pentonville inmates are in there usually because they’re not very bright. Not really the ideal qualification for a member of the country’s revising chamber.

      Regardless of whether it is fair, or just, right or wrong, or anything else, the fact remains that the hereditary peers for the most part had the benefit of a genetic disposition to intelligence (those feudal lords of old weren’t stupid), an expensive and thorough private education, and as landowners a good grounding based on experience of business and economics. Plus for the most part they had no political axe to grind, money was not an issue and nor was power. They were already at the top of the pile.

      Another aspect not often mentioned about the landowning hereditary lords is that despite (or maybe because of) their privileged upbringing they were usually close to the land, and dealt with the people who work that land on a one-to-one basis; something the pols in Westminster have no experience of.

      So the moral dimension of a hereditary HoL notwithstanding, I think that the hereditary system is pretty close to ideal for the second house. There are of course other possibilities, but none quite so simple and elegant.

  7. Furor Teutonicus
    December 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    XX Put a whole load of grandmothers in there if you wish XX

    You never met my Grandmothers, obviously.

    To quote Leg Iron, “Things could get VERY strange, VERY quickly!”

  8. December 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    True Furor, but perhaps getting that is closer to the answer. Just turn the Lords formally into a residential care Old Folks home (it’s not far off that already). The random wisdom (or lunacy) of the old folks would probably be as good a check and balance as we could get, and a steady turnover of membership would be assured. But which old folks? I suggest a random selection chosen by lottery. I would certainly have paid a pound for a ticket to try to get my granny in, when she reached the more troublesome phase.

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