Monday, 3 August 2015

Cameron's Cronies will be the new Balfour's Poodles

When Arthur Balfour made the controversial decision, with Lord Lansdowne, to use the heavily Unionist House of Lords as a check on the political programme and legislation of the Liberal party in the Commons. Legislation was vetoed or altered by amendments between 1906 and 1909, leading David Lloyd George to remark that the Lords had become "not the watchdog of the Constitution, but Mr. Balfour's poodle." The issue was forced by the Liberals with Lloyd George's People's Budget, provoking the constitutional crisis that led to the Parliament Act 1911, which limited the Lords to delaying bills for up to two years

I don't really know whether Labour leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn intended to be seen backing an SNP call for opposition parties to stop nominating new members for the House of Lords in a bid to increase the pressure for reform or abolition of the institution or and what may be more likely it something he already believed in.

Nevertheless Corbyn’s support does raise the temp added momentum to a new SNP drive to challenge the Westminster system with its un-elected second chamber at a time when the reputation of the Lords is at an all-time low.With the credibility of the Lords in question following the exposé of the former Scottish Labour peer Lord Sewel as a prostitute and cocaine- user, the SNP has launched an attempt to reform the UK parliament.


Speaking to Scotland on Sunday, SNP MP Na h-Eilean an Iar MP Angus MacNeil argued that by agreeing to refuse to put up new members, the parties would de-legitimise the upper house, a state of affairs which would then force it to be changed or abolished.
MacNeil said

:“The public are growing more and more concerned with the cost of Parliament and David Cameron plans on expanding the House of Lords to over 1,000 members; this will do nothing for public finances or public confidence.
“Those who believe that our representatives should be democratically elected should not be adding to their contingent in the unelected house – that is why I am challenging the UK Labour lea
dership candidates, and also the new leader of the Lib Dems, Tim Farron, not to appoint any new members of the House of Lords until concrete reform is established.”
“The SNP do not take up seats in the House of Lords because we do not see unelected legislators as a form of democratic governance, I believe that many in the Labour and Lib Dem ranks believe the same.
“As we’ve seen already in this parliament, the Tories have a weak majority. If all progressive voices in the Commons’ unite on this issue, then we may be able to drag the House of Lords kicking and screaming into the 21st century.”
It is a cause that has been proposed by Wels LibDem  Peter Black who wrote on his blog  on July 29


 The House of Lords is the second largest revising chamber in the World, it is unaccountable and if the Lord Sewel episode is to be believed, it is out of control.  Despite that the Independent reports that the Prime Minister is planning to appoint yet more Tory peers in order to redress the political balance there.
This just perpetuates a merry-go-round in which successive Prime Ministers add to the numbers in the House of Lords to reward loyal service, get rid of troublemakers, open up winnable seats for their favourites, thank financial donors or seek to get a majority of working peers. Occasionally, they appoint people for their expertise. It is the longest-running farce in Westminster.
The Liberal Democrats have long been committed to reform, arguing for a scaled-down and democratically elected second chamber with a clearly defined role within the British Constitution and which will be accountable to voters for its actions. Tim Farron is absolutely right to call for a constitutional convention to get a consensus as to how we can achieve this.
But enough is enough. The Liberal Democrats need to stick with their principles and walk away from this ever-growing fiasco. We should tell the Prime Minister that we are no longer going to help him add to this already bloated body of legislators.
The Liberal Democrats group of peers are doing an excellent job and should be allowed to continue with that role within the system as it stands. But until there is reform Tim Farron should not add to their number. Somebody has to make a stand and as a party with a clear way forward that somebody should be the Liberal Democrats.

Six years ago Plaid abandoned  the principle stand of not nominating Members of the House of Lords . There was an argument for this in that not having the same powers as Scotland it needed Peers to speak out on Bills affecting  Wales.

After a row in which the Party tried to introduce a democratic element by voting  for who they wished to nominate  was vetoed by Gordon Brown Dafyd Wigley entered the Lords to join Dafydd Elis Thomas who had accepted a seat in a personal rather than political nomination.

But Plaid must now join in the "Boycott " it may lead to Cameron's Cronies as opposed to Mr Balfour's Poodle  but  creating more Non-Tory Peers  will only prolong the life of a thoroughly undemocratic institution whose time  (if it was any use) as passed
MacNeil said:“The public are growing more and more concerned with the cost of Parliament and David Cameron plans on expanding the House of Lords to over 1,000 members; this will do nothing for public finances or public confidence.
“Those who believe that our representatives should be democratically elected should not be adding to their contingent in the unelected house – that is why I am challenging the UK Labour leadership candidates, and also the new leader of the Lib Dems, Tim Farron, not to appoint any new members of the House of Lords until concrete reform is established.”
He noted that “generations of UK political leaders have called for and promised reform of the House of Lords” yet none have delivered.
He said: “The SNP do not take up seats in the House of Lords because we do not see unelected legislators as a form of democratic governance, I believe that many in the Labour and Lib Dem ranks believe the same.
“As we’ve seen already in this parliament, the Tories have a weak majority. If all progressive voices in the Commons’ unite on this issue, then we may be able to drag the House of Lords kicking and screaming into the 21st century.”
- See more at: http://scottishindependence.com/2015/08/snp-backed-by-jeremy-corbyn-to-reform-or-axe-house-of-lords/#sthash.CydJBeSs.dpuf
MacNeil said:“The public are growing more and more concerned with the cost of Parliament and David Cameron plans on expanding the House of Lords to over 1,000 members; this will do nothing for public finances or public confidence.
“Those who believe that our representatives should be democratically elected should not be adding to their contingent in the unelected house – that is why I am challenging the UK Labour leadership candidates, and also the new leader of the Lib Dems, Tim Farron, not to appoint any new members of the House of Lords until concrete reform is established.”
He noted that “generations of UK political leaders have called for and promised reform of the House of Lords” yet none have delivered.
He said: “The SNP do not take up seats in the House of Lords because we do not see unelected legislators as a form of democratic governance, I believe that many in the Labour and Lib Dem ranks believe the same.
“As we’ve seen already in this parliament, the Tories have a weak majority. If all progressive voices in the Commons’ unite on this issue, then we may be able to drag the House of Lords kicking and screaming into the 21st century.”
- See more at: http://scottishindependence.com/2015/08/snp-backed-by-jeremy-corbyn-to-reform-or-axe-house-of-lords/#sthash.CydJBeSs.dpuf
MacNeil said:“The public are growing more and more concerned with the cost of Parliament and David Cameron plans on expanding the House of Lords to over 1,000 members; this will do nothing for public finances or public confidence.
“Those who believe that our representatives should be democratically elected should not be adding to their contingent in the unelected house – that is why I am challenging the UK Labour leadership candidates, and also the new leader of the Lib Dems, Tim Farron, not to appoint any new members of the House of Lords until concrete reform is established.”
He noted that “generations of UK political leaders have called for and promised reform of the House of Lords” yet none have delivered.
He said: “The SNP do not take up seats in the House of Lords because we do not see unelected legislators as a form of democratic governance, I believe that many in the Labour and Lib Dem ranks believe the same.
“As we’ve seen already in this parliament, the Tories have a weak majority. If all progressive voices in the Commons’ unite on this issue, then we may be able to drag the House of Lords kicking and screaming into the 21st century.”
- See more at: http://scottishindependence.com/2015/08/snp-backed-by-jeremy-corbyn-to-reform-or-axe-house-of-lords/#sthash.CydJBeSs.dpuf
Speaking to Scotland on Sunday, MacNeil argued that by agreeing to refuse to put up new members, the parties would de-legitimise the upper house, a state of affairs which would then force it to be changed or abolished.
MacNeil’s initiative was last night given a major boost when Corbyn, the bookies’ favourite to become the next Leader of the Opposition, said he agreed with the move.
- See more at: http://scottishindependence.com/2015/08/snp-backed-by-jeremy-corbyn-to-reform-or-axe-house-of-lords/#sthash.CydJBeSs.dpuf
Speaking to Scotland on Sunday, MacNeil argued that by agreeing to refuse to put up new members, the parties would de-legitimise the upper house, a state of affairs which would then force it to be changed or abolished. - See more at: http://scottishindependence.com/2015/08/snp-backed-by-jeremy-corbyn-to-reform-or-axe-house-of-lords/#sthash.CydJBeSs.dpuf
Speaking to Scotland on Sunday, MacNeil argued that by agreeing to refuse to put up new members, the parties would de-legitimise the upper house, a state of affairs which would then force it to be changed or abolished. - See more at: http://scottishindependence.com/2015/08/snp-backed-by-jeremy-corbyn-to-reform-or-axe-house-of-lords/#sthash.CydJBeSs.dpuf
Speaking to Scotland on Sunday, MacNeil argued that by agreeing to refuse to put up new members, the parties would de-legitimise the upper house, a state of affairs which would then force it to be changed or abolished. - See more at: http://scottishindependence.com/2015/08/snp-backed-by-jeremy-corbyn-to-reform-or-axe-house-of-lords/#sthash.CydJBeSs.dpuf
Speaking to Scotland on Sunday, MacNeil argued that by agreeing to refuse to put up new members, the parties would de-legitimise the upper house, a state of affairs which would then force it to be changed or abolished. - See more at: http://scottishindependence.com/2015/08/snp-backed-by-jeremy-corbyn-to-reform-or-axe-house-of-lords/#sthash.CydJBeSs.dpuf
Speaking to Scotland on Sunday, MacNeil argued that by agreeing to refuse to put up new members, the parties would de-legitimise the upper house, a state of affairs which would then force it to be changed or abolished. - See more at: http://scottishindependence.com/2015/08/snp-backed-by-jeremy-corbyn-to-reform-or-axe-house-of-lords/#sthash.CydJBeSs.dpuf

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