CRITICS WANT THE HOUSE OF LORDS REFORMED – The House of Lords has long been viewed with disdain by the British public. For all intents and purposes many feel the House of Lords serves no purpose other than fleecing the taxpayer.
Currently there are 836 members in the House of Lords; it is the second largest legislative power next to the Chinese Politburo and is made up from those with hereditary peerages and lifetime peerages; the latter being awarded by Government to individuals who have served the United Kingdom in one form or another; or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work.
The public have grown to distrust the political system and often view the honour of a life peerage as nothing less than awarding old school chums or for those donating vast sums to a particular political party.
The truth is that the House of Lords is primarily designed to prevent Government Ministers from passing any laws they see fit; the House of Lords is the buffer of legislation and no piece of legislation can be enacted without their approval; again that’s the idea at least.
Is the House of Lord relevant in a modern society? I would have to say yes but over the decades the House has been eroded by the appointment of Lords for political favours; it’s become the ultimate ‘Old Boys Network’.
There are many hourable members in the House of Lords that work diligently for the benefit of the public but there are many more who simply use their seats as a way to freeload off the taxpayer.
It was recently suggested by Nick Clegg that hereditary peers be removed altogether from the House of Lords; however this idea was shelved due to coalition opposing the idea. If Clegg’s suggestion were to be implemented then the only people remaining in the House of Lords would be those cronies, lobbyists and party donators – it is difficult to see how this would create a ‘balanced’ house.
What is a sensible proposal is to remove those who do not attend or attribute to debate. We also, as it has been suggested, should remove those with criminal convictions.
As usual with the likes of Clegg, Cameron and Miliband they only want to remove those who have criminal convictions which resulted in imprisonment of a year or more; this act alone suggests the selection of removal is corrupt.
What should be implemented is that any peer with a criminal conviction, regardless of whether it resulted in imprisonment or how trivial it is perceive should be removed from the House of Lords.
Peers are currently entitled to claim an attendance allowance of £300 a day; which is a vastly more than the average working family receives for a 40 hour work week. This system of ‘allowance’ is almost the same as it is with MEPs and most of us are fully aware how MEPs have long been abusing such a system.
Another suggestion on the cards is that peers who do not attend the House of Lords or those living aboard should be forced to retire their seat; that doesn’t involve losing their title just that they will no longer be able to partake in debate in the House of Lords or be provided with their daily allowance.
It appears to me that the that House of Lords still remains an important part of our legislative process but it has been tainted by politicians who have filled the House to the brim with corrupt school chums and party donators and anyone who fails to see the wrong in that is clearly detached from reality or simply gaining an advantage.
It is time to reform the House of Lords but it’s unlikely to be an effective reform due to the bickering that will ensue from the main political parties. Each of them will attempt to ensure their friends or those who have donated to their party coffers remains in place.
Will these reforms therefore help the British public? Unlikely unless the reform comes from a poll and referendum by the voting public but despite Government rhetoric of living in a democracy it is unlikely the public will be afforded the ability to democratically voice their opinion.
Do you think the House of Lords should be reformed? If so what would be your suggestion for such reform? Please leave your comments below.