Tuesday 10 July 2012

LibDems and The Other Place

I briefly mentioned Lords Reform on here the other day, but it seems to be top of the agenda for politicos, so I'm going to have another crack at it.

The House of Lords needs reform. As it stands it is home to a bunch of retired politicians and those who donated large sums to one of the three main parties (largely Labour, unbelievably, no charges were ever made over the Cash for Honours scandal). Nobody gets a say in who is appointed, except the PM. It is a terrible system we have now, worse than having wholly hereditary peers, at least they were unlikely to turn up and make a mess of things. Expenses in the Lords has also been an issue, possibly worse than in the commons, and unlike the commoners, we, the public, have no way of removing the rot.

So, I am very much in favour of reforming the House of Lords. That is pretty much where my agreement with Cleggy on this stops. The reforms suggested by him seem designed specifically to give him and his cronies a retirement home (see above), but with a bit more pretence of legitimacy. Of course, there is no real legitimacy here, 15 year terms? FIFTEEN! And a closed party list to boot! This is not democratising, this is just the elite giving themselves an easier job, I believe at higher pay (though I could be wrong) with pretty much no chance of getting kicked out until they retire. The dream for our 'elite'. I don't see any reason for any of these proposals other than in these corrupt terms. Fifteen years is a huge chunk of a career, only a career politician could think it reasonable to be in politics that long without having to persuade the people of your good works somewhere in between.

So, I do not support these proposals, if what was put before the house now was put to the people in a referendum, I would vote 'no'. That's not to say the current bill could not be reformed to be workable; my support can be gained. However, I am not to be asked, says Clegg, I, who have voted LibDem in local elections (mainly to try to get out Labour incumbents), am being told "we know better than you", by a guy who is purporting to be against unjustified privilege.The Whig tendency in the LibDems in dead. Giving the people a say? Ha! It isn't like this is a constitutional issue or anything, or an issue that deeply divides party political opinions. No, there is to be no referendum, and if the Conservatives don't like it, we'll threaten to  stop the boundary changes going through. Killing two Whig birds with one stone.

Well Mr. Clegg, you just lost any chance of getting a tactical vote out of me ever again, I know it was unlikely, but you represent nothing I stand for, you would rather rip up your manifesto than stop the privilege of your party mates. The current reforms don't really fix any problems and I really can't stand the idea of Sarah Teather, Vince Cable, Simon Hughes, Tim Farron or any other LibDem or other politician of that sort getting to sit in the Other Place for 15 years without facing election. We need less career politicians, not more.

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