Monday, June 25, 2012

Reforming the House of Lords.

Not a single constituent has ever raised with me the need to reform the House of Lords. Not a single one. Two have called on me to oppose continued presence of the bishops if reform does go ahead. I rather approve of bishops. But not a single person has suggested to me that we MPs should turn our attention to pushing through this massive change in how the people of Britain are governed.

Now I personally support reform. But what sort of reform. I suspect there are 100 versions of the type of reform individual Parliamentarians would support. I can see a case for capping the numbers at around 500. I can see the case for 'kicking out' miscreants. I can see the case for stronger 'independent' vetting and approval of new ermine-wearers. Most of all, I can see a case for reviewing the role of the Lords in scrutinising and amending new legislation emanating from the devolved Gov'ts.  But this is not what we are about to consider. Even though I've not seen the Bill yet, I understand that we are talking about a 'root and branch' change in how Britain is governed.

In today's Telegraph, Boris Johnson wrote "Clegg's scheme needs to be liquidated, vaporised and generally terminated". Lots of MPs have told me today that they agree with this. It seems that there will be a crunch vote in a few days time.  The public will not fully grasp what it means. It will be a vote on a 'programme motion'.  Essentially this guillotines debate on the Bill. Many clauses are likely not to be debated at all. And we are told that asking the people to express their views in a referendum will not be allowed either. We are told that the 'promoters'of this legislation want to ensure a timetable that effectively removes the current House of Lords from the decision making process by using the Parliament Act. That why there's such a hurry. Its accepted that their Lordships will defeat this Bill when it goes there, before returning it to the Commons - where the Government will be able to re-introduce the Bill in the next Parliamentary session, and after the period of one year, ram it through the Lords using the Parliament Act. And nothing, dear friends could be done by anyone to stop it.

I have to admit that when I was elected a Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire in 2010, I did not envisage facing such a situation. I've always been inherently loyal to 'my team'. I have been ferociously loyal to the Gov't - not ever having voted against the whip. Friends and colleagues, I am deeply troubled.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure not many people were asking for regional pay - yet you are still going ahead with this. Saying nobody wants something is a silly thing to say as 80% of the Governments work is on niche secondary legislation or Regulations that nobody wants- yet they are necessary.

All three parties said they would reform the House of Lords. The Conservative manifesto said they wanted to work "for a mainly-elected second chamber to replace the current house of Lords". You were elected on this. Therefore this should happen. This is the social contract you gave the good people of this constituency.

So it is clear, every Tory MP should be fighting for a "mainly elected second chamber" if this is what is proposed you just HAVE to vote for it.

Although now irrelevant here are my views:
The House of Lords 30 yrs ago was great, good thinkers doing things pretty much independently. This is now no longer the case. Political cronies are appointed and are highly political in the chamber. Because of this, the HoL is now ineffective. And ultimately in a democratic state it is paramount that those making laws should be able to be kicked out by the people- this isn't present in the current HoL. So I could live with the place a few decades ago, but not now.

So please do vote for it, I see you have no other choice, and don't be scared to reduce the number of Lords even further!.

Owen said...

Glyn are you saying you are considering rebelling over Lords reform partly because not a single constituent has ever raised it with you. At the same time you have been unwilling to rebel over things like pensions cuts which I am sure you will have had constituents contact you over. Indeed I know some that have.

Forgive me but the rational of opposing your own government on an issue where you have not had representation from constituents but being unwilling to do so when constituents have requested you do so is baffling to me?

Mike said...

Support the reform. Its the only intelligent thing to do based on your own parties election platform and the deal put on the table.

Otherwise you better oppose all those other Government plans the good people of Mont don't contact you about or don't agree with:

Tax cut for millionaires, regional pay, cuts for new pensioners etc