Monday, 15 March 2010


Jack Straw, (the weasel faced bastard), is said to be working on plans to include the abolition of the HOUSE OF LORDS and it's replacement with an elected SENATE, modelled on the American legislature with elections held at the same time as a General Election with members being able to sit for a maximum of three, five year terms.

Strangely enough, for once in my life, I broadly agree with LABOUR!  I think it's time we got rid of the House of Lords and it should be elected.  I don't agree though that it should be elected at the same time as at a General Election.  If it was, it would broadly reflect the same vote as the make-up of the Commons, even if it was by proportional representation.  It would be much better if it was elected MID-TERM and then perhaps it would be of a different make-up to the Commons and consequently it would not necessarily agree with the voting intentions of the upper house and would therefore be better placed to be a check on the Government of the day.  It shouldn't be able to make legislation but should be used to scrutinise what the Upper house is doing and if necessary send it back to them for amending.

The wearing of ermine robes should not be compulsory!


Average Joe said...

Instead of elected or hereditary peers, why not draw from a lottery?
No political or class bias.

CrazyDaisy said...


don't agree with jack the Jew straw, although hereditary peers and aristocracy has outlived modern times. The Lords does have a fair cross section of folk who have life experience and are independent of mind and thought, untainted by party allegiance and perhaps enable balance.

Move it to a party system and it will rapidly be fubard joy!


Dark Lochnagar said...

Joe, the only problem with that is that it would be like jury service. What you could do is to have only independent candidates who weren't aligned to any political parties.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Daisy, I agree with you that there are plenty of 'cross-benchers' who have life experiences but they are hereditary Lords and therefore are unlikely to have any great experience of what it is like to be an average Joe. Perhaps as I said above, we could only have independents standing. There are obviously a lot of different possibilities but you can bet your bottom dollar if that fucker Straw's got anything to do with it, it will be a stitchup.

unelected troughers said...

Didn't Labour promise this in 1997 ? It's just electioneering again to try and grab a few votes.
Seeing Baroness Scotland, Lord mandy and Lord Adonis sitting together in the Lords today smiling away was enough to put anyone off the place. Unelected troughers and liars like them pontificating on new laws for us. No thanks.

Average Joe said...

How do you define an "independent" candidate?
If they stand for election their independence is compromised by their desire to win support. And it follows that they then ingratiate themselves with those that can provide that support, and it's back to square one.
What's wrong with jury's? A tried and tested method of gathering twelve random humans with no pre conceptions of the subject at trial.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Troughers, there is no doubt you are probably right, but something will have to be done at some time to bring us into the 21 st century. That's why they should not be party hacks and should be elected not appointed. Personally I thought that the original House of Lords was ok.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Joe, what I meant about Jury service was that you can't take some average punter and tell him he's got to give up his career or family and move to London to sit in a Parliament. Ok maybe if you live in the south-east but what if you live in Shetland or even Newcastle?

banned said...

I take issue with you DL and your libellous "Jack Straw, (the weasel faced bastard)" which should be "Jack Straw, (the weasel faced cunt)."

That aside I see no point in having a second chamber which merely mirrors the composition of the House Of Commons (unlike the USA where one chamber represents The People while the other represents The States).

I'd go for random selection, generously renumerated, from the electoral role or via a lottery. There is much to be said for randomness which is why I support the hereditary Monarchy rather than having a President whose only talent is the abilty to climb the greasy pole.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Banned, I try not to use the cunt word in the postings although it is a word I use in everyday use.
I agree with you that you don't want a chamber that mirrors the main chamber which is why I would have elections for the second chamber mid term and PR so that it might be different from the main chamber and give the Government of the day some trouble. The problem I see is that nowadays, MPs don't scrutinise Government legislation the way they did so we need some checks and balances to the Government. It's how we have that which is important. Hopefully from my point of view Scotland will be independent so it will not really matter to me. I still don't think it can be random for the reasons I outlined to Average Joe above.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

First, a declaration of interest. I am the son of a Peer.

There is a myth that the House of Lords is run by a bunch of toffs who are entirely out of touch with the real world. But as someone who has listened to many of their debates, I know this is not true of every Peer.

The Lords is generally recognised as one of the finest revising chambers in the world. Peers take ill conceived legislation from the Commons (which, more often than not, is drafted on the hoof as a knee jerk reaction to some event) and turn it into something better.

The Lords cannot make laws. If a Bill starts its life in the Lords (which does happen occasionally) it still has to pass through the elected Commons before it can become law. Peers are not allowed to interfere with any finance bills from the Commons and there is also a convention that Conservative Peers do not vote against legislation if it was included in the Labour Party’s manifesto.

That said, there are certainly some issues which need to be addressed. For example, it is clearly wrong that Cabinet members can sit in the Lords and not face scrutiny by elected MPs. It is Labour which has abused this system more than the Tories ever did, and the number of unelected Peers now in government is far too many.

But once you start electing Peers, the whole balance of power changes. Peers recognise the primacy of the Commons. But if they are elected themselves, they will say - with some justification - that they also have a mandate from the public and will therefore feel entitled to vote down legislation from the Commons - including the budget.

Nobody seems to think that the American Cabinet is undemocratic - even though Cabinet members are chosen by the President rather than elected. Indeed the U.S. Constitution specifically prohibits cabinet members from holding a seat in either House, and they have to resign their elected position if appointed to cabinet. I don’t hear many complaints about that.

The bottom line is this. Jack Straw’s proposals are nothing but an ill conceived election gimmick. Labour have had 13 years to reform the Lords and this latest proposal smacks of desperation. There is absolutely no point in reforming the Lords until such time as the elected MPs in the Commons stop acting like sheep, get their act together and start holding the Executive to account. Until that happens it is only the Lords - in its current form - which is stopping this country from descending into a fascist dictatorship.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Fred, I agree with what you say. The Lords have been one of the greatest buffers to hasty and ill-conceived legislation there has been. Many Peers at least from the 'old' days had plenty of money and land etc so they were able to vote for the good of the country as indeed were the old benevelent Tory MPs. However times have changed, not in my opinion for the better. But they have changed nevertheless. MPs are not going to stop acting like sheep and elected Governments are going to continue to bung up the Lords with their placemen. The only alternative IMO is therefore to have a second chamber, call it what you will, that has some sort of independence from the Commons and can scrutinise Bills. How you elect members to that chamber and how long they would serve and how they would be paid, are all questions up for debate. But as you say it's not something to be stuck on at the end of a shite Government's tenure.

Do I have to call you Lord Fred or Sir Fred from now on? :-)

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Sons and daughters of Life Peers are known as “The Honourable…” although I know of very few people who actually use this title and it doesn’t help with restaurant reservations!

Although I do not use the title myself, I certainly consider myself more honourable than most of the elected scumbags in the Commons!

Dark Lochnagar said...

Honourable Fred, Aye and half the scumbag placemen in the Lords, the names Watson, Scotland, Uddin and Foulkes spring to mind, giving it a slight Scottish bent, if you take my meaning! Oh yes, I forgot lord Martin of Springburn!

banned said...

Don't Call Me Dave, excellent contribution, thank you.
My feeling is that grotty Gordon has mounted this last minute attack on the Lords (which has zero chance of proceeding prior to the election) in order to trap dippy Dave and his soppy pals into appearing to defend the 'Toffs' that you mention. Of course, the largest element within the Lords are Labour placemen and henchbitches, very few of whom are 'honourable'.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Banned, I don't think the word 'honourable' should ever be mentioned regarding a Labour fucker. They're only in it to get as much as they can and get out. Look at the Ship's Steward, Prescott. Or that prick Michael Martin.