Sir Keith Starmer’s call for an elected House of Lords brings to mind the conundrum caused when you replace an essentially toothless institution with an elected one. This applies equally to an elected President replacing our monarch.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no objection to either but it seems nobody looks at the consequences.
The House of Lords can suggest modifications to proposed laws and delay a bill for up to one year. Other than that the Lords have no real powers other than blagging the better seats in a restaurant and 300 odd quid a day for turning up.
Our monarch theoretically has lots of power. Opening and closing Parliament is only done by them, signing Bills into law is only done by them as is appointing Ministers. HM Queen Elizabeth II allegedly forced a few changes to a couple of Bills but purely in self interest, saving herself a bit of tax and keeping a few less savoury stories under wraps. Essentially the monarch only acts on the advice of his government but it’s his government in name only.
In summary, the House of Lords is pretty toothless and the monarch doesn’t have much say in anything unless it affects them personally. The end result of this is that the Prime Minister and his Cabinet have the kind of powers that dictators dream of. They only have to keep the people sweet, or at least try to and the hyenas in the MSM are compliant in this.
The woodpile part of this is when elected Lords, will they be called Senators ?, and perhaps an elected President replace respectively the appointed Lords and hereditary monarch. The Lords at present may well be happy with the restaurant table part of their benefits and the monarch has little choice but to beaver on with his civic duties.
Elected people have a much higher sense of their importance. They will not be happy with the status quo. Around the world there are various shades of presidents ranging from the figurehead German President to the very powerful French President.
Let us imagine a few years ago when Tony Blair would probably have been elected President had we already been a Republic. Can you imagine him being content to be a figurehead ? No, neither can I. It will be even worse with whatever replaces the House of Lords. Hundreds of them and many will want a real taste of power, we all know the type of people who are attracted to the shady world of politics.
Even today, unelected Lords can be Ministers, theoretically even Prime Minister. With hundreds of elected Lords/Senators they will be screaming for jobs in government. Their justification will be that their voters elected them.
It strikes me that Keith has chanced upon a policy that will appeal to the shower of lefties who really really support him but as is usual with our politicians, he hasn’t thought it through. There is a great case to be made for an elected upper chamber but, not the least of which will be the disappearance of honours lists. It looks to me like they have just decided on a whim that it would be a good idea without figuring out the consequences. How often have we heard that over many years.
You may also have noticed that I haven’t even touched on the type of election that would be used, I reckon it would almost certainly be some kind of PR and probably with the Party List nonsense; one of the most corrupt forms of democracy ever invented is that List system, all sorts of dodgy people get in that way.
© well_chuffed 2022