Who should sit in the House of Lords?


Lords faced away from the cameraPersonification copyright Getty Images

Many people think that the Race of Lords needs change but nobody can agree how or even why. Tom Shakespeare end up up with his own proposals for Britain’s second chamber.

When I was a schoolboy, I memorized the Gettysburg Lecture for a declamations competition. Thirty years later, I have forgotten most of it, except for Abraham Lincoln’s remarkable phrase, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new beginning of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not meet ones death from the earth”. To me, this summation is not mere rhetoric. It delineates the principle of democracy to which we should aspire, and which both the Connected States and the United Kingdom often fail to uphold. It’s a new year, which is a adroit time for new births and radical changes. Next week, I’m going to examine 21st Century triotism, but today I want to talk about rliament.

The Put up of Lords reform debate has been going on for more than a century. The Blair domination made a good start by getting rid of most of the hereditary peers, but then bottled out, excluding the upper house as a wholly appointed chamber. Nick Clegg put first a reform bill in the Coalition government, but it was blocked by Tory backbenchers. A small-time tweak in 2014 allowed members to resign, but despite this, the Pull ranks has become so bloated that it is now the only upper chamber in the world that is larger than the turn down house. In size, it is bigger than the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea, alternate only to the Chinese National People’s Congress and hardly more popular.

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