April 03, 2006
Reforming the Lords - again?
I find myself in a quandry over the latest threat to the Lord's from our would be "Lord Protector Cromwell" clinging to power despite the sleaze slowly engulfing him. The Lord's have refused, despite his attemtps to emasculate them and to stuff the Upper Chamber with cronies - most of whom don't seem to attend any debate at all - to kowtow to the illconceived and frequently ill considered dictats of the Labour Party and their agenda to entrench themselves in power. With i ncreasing frequency the Lords have rejected or modified Bills the government is desperate to pass - because it hands ever more power to them or gives them some entrenched advantage over who will rule in future in this country.
Blair and his totalitarianistas cannot stand opposition. So, their solution; reform the Lords again!
Into this mix we must now throw the anxiety of the denizens of the "Class War" warriors who riddle Labour's ranks and who see themselves as being the only legitimate arbiters of how the country should be governed and run. They are demanding a House of Lords so restricted in its authority that it will be littel more than an advisory body to the Civil Service and can be completely ignored by the frequently incompetent and frankly unworthy ideologues and apparatchiks that occupy of the Commons. The demand is that that the Commons must have "Primacy" in all matters of Government, yet, it is the Lords who have consistently shown that they are far better judges of the real needs of the country and, indeed, of the disasterous consequences of some of the legislation this collection of clowns who disgrace the name o government, and their equally incompetent civil servants, have drafted.
This government have all but destroyed the United Kingdom, creating the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament only in order to priovide yet more feather beds for their growing gravy train. England was to have been broken up and destroyed as a "nation" under this plan, but we rejected the "Regional Assemblies" and Blair refuses to allow us to have a "national" parliament precisely because he knows that his Welsh and Scottish power-base would no longer control the English. What really needs reform is the Commons, but, as a friend frequently remarks, "Turkeys don't vote for Christmas!" Thus, we will see the incompetents in the Commons doing yet more damage to our democracy when what is really needed is an elected Upper House with full autonomy and able to block legislation passed by the Commons and vice versa. In short we need both Houses to agree before anything can become law, and we need the expertise in the Upper House to be fully integrated into the Cabinet as well - not appointees, but fully elected Peers.
Naturally, this will create a balance between the two Houses, and will restore the function of Parliament to concensus between the two Chambers. In this it will be a restoration of the balance enjoyed in the US between Congress and the Senate, themselves modelled on the 18th Century English model of King and Council, advised by the Lords and the Commons who actually ran the country since the "Council" was, in reality, the Cabinet of the day.
While I would probably draw the line at returning to a position in which the Sovereign was directly involved in the everyday government of the nation, I am in favour of a fully elected Parliament of two chambers and an elected Cabinet. While we are at it, we also need to revisit the way the Civil Service "manages" the delivery of government policy, but perhaps that is a topic for another day.
For the moment, we need to engage carefully in this latest attempt to destroy what is left of our democracy, and it is supremely ironic that the only guardians are, at present, the unelected Lords!
Posted by The Gray Monk at April 3, 2006 08:58 AM
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» Bashing the Lords .... from Dodgeblogium
Oh dear, Mr Blair and his cronies are not happy, the row over his "Peerages for loans" has prevented his stuffing even more cronies into ermine and lining the Lords with them, and now the Lords have dared to force changes on two of his flagship Bills... [Read More]
Tracked on April 3, 2006 10:14 AM