The need for Lords Reform

imagesSTZD08DEThe embarrassment of our Government over Mondays vote on tax credits is fully deserved. As many commentators have pointed out, there were several routes open to George Osborne to successfully achieve their miserable and un-mandated objective of removing the credits from 1000’s of our citizens, yet sloppy thinking and a failure to understand the mood of their colleagues down the corridor caught them out. In many ways this may be a worrying portent of things to come, a Government so full of its own importance that they have ignored the sights and sounds of those around them, particularly that they seem so willing to carry out actions that senior Ministers were denying immediately prior to the election. However as they now seem resolved to bring about change in the Lords, even if it is just to get their own back on the people who they have appointed, perhaps we can look forward to another U turn. When questioned about Lords Reform earlier in the year David Cameron ruled it out, but that is now looking like a statement he may choose to forget. His decision to appoint Lord Strathclyde to carry out a review which Lord Bassam describes as a “one sided, single person sole party review to stop Lords defeating it” is not something that fosters much confidence from many of us who have been waiting for reform for many decades. The last attempt at reforming the Lords by the coalition in July 2012 was ultimately defeated by the Labour Party refusing to allow for certain processes to be observed. This time around assuming that we are to get the reform that we all deserve it is vital that all Political Parties ultimately work together to ensure we end up with a second House that is not simply a reflection of the House of Commons. Assuming it is to be an elected House, it must be one that excludes a dominance of any Political Party but instead draws in candidates from people who have never been part of a Political Party, I would personally wish to see it free from all Party Politicians but that may be a step too far for the Parties. However it must be elected using an entirely different approach to the House of Commons so that it is capable of looking objectively at all legislation and where needed to do as this unelected House did on Monday, proving that they are willing to stand up to the House of Commons when it pushes through policies that the Government promised not to do less than 6 months earlier.


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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