miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
I am in favour of Lords Reform, but not of an elected upper chamber. This is not because of the nascent campaign to get me enobled, but because of the function I think the upper house should be performing. The upper house should be scrutinising the proposed legislation of the government, weeding out badly drafted and impractical legislation, and amending wording as necessary. Given my background (law degree, bar vocational qualification, five years doing voluntary work at the CAB) I actually reckon I'd be fairly well qualified for that, but I don't think I would get elected to an upper house. I think people who get elected to the upper house will be overwhelming skewed towards the rich, white, heterosexual men called David who also feature disproportionately in the commons. People vote for what they think a politician looks like, and that is what a politician looks like in many people's eyes.

Neither, though, do I think that the current appointment system is anything like good enough. Each incoming government frantically packs the chamber with its cronies, some of whom have allegedly paid for the priviledge, and it looks like we are going to be no different in that regard. The excuse that we are rebalancing the house to fit the wishes of the electorate will not wash with them; they will see it as further proof of the venality and corruption of all politicians, and telling them we are doing it for their own good will only infuriate them further. We have hundreds and hundreds of peers, and it really isn't necessary.

Why not abolish the current house altogether, and have an independent committee to appoint a small number of working peers - say 100 - after extensive job interview style testing to do the job that needs doing? No need for Lords Spiritual. No need for packing - no OPPORTUNITY for packing - and proper scrutiny and examination of candidates before they get appointed.

Sadly, I think an elected house is an easier sell, and that is the way we will end up going. And the Tories have insisted on grandfathering existing peers. So the House is only going to get bigger, not smaller, as we "balance" it with people who are on our side. This is why #jennieforbaroness discomfits me so much; I think I could do it, I'd like to do it, but the whole system is so rotten that I feel dirty just thinking about it, and it will be very easy to paint me as believing in lots of things I don't if it happens... A bit like being in coalition government with the Tories, then. ;)

About This Blog

Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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