political

Lib Dem peer John Lee urges party to abandon Lords reform plans

Here’s the letter I’ve sent John Lee. If you agree with me, why don’t you also email him on leej@parliament.uk? You can also send letters for publication to Liberal Democrat News on ldn@libdems.org.uk.

Dear John Lee,

I was very disappointed to see you take to the pages of Liberal Democrat News to argue that the party should give up on wanting either a predominantly or totally an elected Upper House, calling those who believed in this policy “fundamentalist” and saying pursuing it would lead to “disaster and humiliation”.

I’m disappointed for two reasons.

First, it’s a basic matter of democracy. I’m sure you do an excellent job when taking part in House of Lords debates and casting votes. Yet you get to vote on the laws that I have to follow and I get no say at all in you being there. You can be brilliant, you can be lazy. You can be liberal, you can be extremist. You can be erudite, you can be ignorant. And not one member of the public gets any say over your power to rule over all of us.

Second, having an elected House of Lords has been Liberal Democrat policy since the creation of the party – and the policy of our predecessor parties for many years before that. Now I fully understand that in coalition government we cannot always get our policies through. But to give up on them before we’ve even barely started? When we’ve secured a coalition agreement that promises to deliver action on the issue? That’s remarkably defeatist.

Because of your unelected, for life, position in Parliament, there’s no need for you to listen to the views of myself or anyone else if you so wish. But I hope you will and that you will change your mind.

I hope that when it comes to it a Liberal Democrat peer will be leading the campaign for a Liberal Democrat policy.

Yours,

Mark Pack

UPDATE:

Two other Lib Dem bloggers have also taken up this issue:

UPDATE 2:

Paul Walter has blogged John Lee’s reply.

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