Labour’s dinosaur tendency rides again

Many, many years ago John Gilbert, then a Labour MP, gained widespread respect across the political spectrum for his penetrating questioning of the government over the Westland helicopter crisis.

But that was then and now he’s a politician of a rather different type as shown by his contribution to the debate on House of Lords reform held earlier in the week:

We come to the question of who will be elected to come here [if a wholly or mostly elected Lords comes about]. You would get the sort of oik – for Hansard’s benefit, oik is spelt OIK – that could not get into the Commons, Europe, the Scottish Parliament or the Welsh Assembly and probably not into a half-decent county council.

Worried that elections will bring about the wrong sort of person sitting in Parliament? Worried that democracy lets in the oiks?

How very nineteenth century Conservative. Save that this was a Labour peer speaking in the twenty-first century.

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