Political

Lords reform: the Liberal Democrat trio announced

Over the weekend Mark Valladares blogged about the three Liberal Democrats being appointed to the Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament carrying out pre-legislative scrutiny on Lords reform:

From the Lords, representing the constitutional wonk tendency (in a good way), Lord Tyler is the first of the two nominees. Paul has been leading calls for a complete overhaul of the Second Chamber for a very long time and is one of the Party’s foremost constitutional experts…

From the Commons, that rather unusual beast, a former member of the House of Lords, John Thurso. As he has already been abolished once, one wonders how he will feel about the prospects of enabling the abolition of all of his former colleagues. However, he is on record as supporting reform…

And finally, the second Lords nominee, Baroness Scott of Needham Market, of whom I have the highest regard, having married her just over three years ago. Ros has repeatedly voted to abolish herself…

There are more details in Mark’s full post. One Liberal Democrat who has also been vocal about Lords reform but not included is David Steel, whose latest reasons for arguing against the proposals for elections to the Lords were given a bit of a going-over by Paul Walter:

I felt like crying when I read his article in the Observer today. My first reaction was: “Shut up, why don’t you?” It is so frustrating to have a former Liberal party leader arguing against the coalitions’ Lords reform package.

But then you read through Steel’s arguments and you see that his position is built on sand.

Paul pokes the sand in his post here whilst on Sunday’s Marr show Paddy Ashdown also had some sharp comments to make:

It is an affront to our democracy to have a House of Lords which is appointed on the basis that you’re either a friend of the Prime Minister or your great-grandmother slept with the king. The truth of it is that we’re a democracy and power should appear from the ballot box … Of course there’ll be the old dinosaurs, the back woodsman of the Tory Party and the old guerrillas of Labour who will be opposing this, but the reality of it is that in a democracy power and parliament should devolve from the ballot box and from nowhere else

If you agree with Paul and Paddy (and with the idea of elections for the Lords) then you can always sign up to back the Liberal Democrats for Lords Reform campaign.

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