Wednesday, 1 June 2011

361 Lords not leaping.

Another politician has fallen from the sleaze allegations "Lord Taylor", once one of the most promising Tory politicians of his generation, was jailed for a year  for defrauding the taxpayer of more than £11,000.

Taylor had denied fraud, claiming that he had been told by a fellow peer that he was entitled to claim travel costs and an overnight allowance despite living in London. He said that he regarded his fraudulent claim as "In Lieu of Wages"

In other words he regarded this as Perks and his claim that other Peers made similar fraudulent claims has properly an element of truth.

Personally I can't see that much difference between Taylors fraudulent claim  and that of David Laws  who had claimed over £40,000 on his expenses in the form of second home costs, from 2004 to late 2009, during which time he had been renting rooms at properties owned by hiss "secret lover" .

Certainly  I can't see anybody getting away from falsely claiming Housing benefit  by claiming "he didn't want to disclose his sexuality".

And of course in reality Taylors fraud is no different  from a factory or office worker nicking goods from their place of work because they feel they deserve it as "Lieu of wages"  and claiming as Taylor seemed to be alleging  "We all do it it's Perks",

Of course there's  a major difference between Taylor than any other person found guilty of stealing from his employer he has not been immediately dismissed Taylor need not even feel l that his political career is over. An anachronism in the British constitution says that a life peer is a life peer, no matter what. Even a Community Councilor would have lost his or her seat if they had been convicted of even a relatively minor offence.

And theres no reason to fel that the second chamber would change things. Thy  recently they voted down Nick Clegg's  proposal for reform of the House of Lords .About 500 peers, including former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, showed up for the vote and Peers backed plans to remain as a fully appointed house by 361 votes to 121 - a majority of 240.

So "Three cheers for Democracy". well done the 361 who obviously don't want any chance of someone entering that august chamber who's  not one of the remaining Hereditary Peers, A Bishop of the Church of England or a receiver of political patronage including those rejected by the Electorate as John Taylor was at Cheltenham in 1992 ( there may have been an element of racism in his defeat but it was small).
So how do we reform the House of Lords How about?
  • Making all Citizen of the realm a Peer on their  18th Birthday  
  • Having elections amongst those eligible for the Lords  (ie all of us) based on multiple constituencies using  STV.
  • Removing the ban of Peers sitting in the Commons. .
This could prove a lot simple method than working out what do do we the existing member of the Lords . They would still have their Peerages It would just mean that there would be lot more of us.

So in anticipation of my and everyone else elevation . I sign  myself

Lord Glyn of Beddau.

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