Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Scrap The House of Lords: It Would Make An Ideal English Parliament

One of the purposes of the House of Lords is to review and amend legislation passed by the House of Commons. Excuse me, but is a system whereby a total of 745 Lords and Ladies check and improve the work of 646 men and women in the House of Commons an efficient way to legislate in the twenty-first century. Aren't MPs capable of reading and understanding bills to a level that should enable workable sensible laws to be passed without seeking the wise counsel of a few judges, some hereditary landowners, many party hacks, a few famous names and men with imaginary friends?
I suggest that the House of Lords is scrapped and the United Kingdom becomes a unicameral legislature with devolved parliaments for the constituent countries. There will be no need to create Lords and Ladies as Knight and Dame is sufficient public recognition of acihevement or service to the nation. The argument that the House of Lords contains people with valuable knowledge and experience that might not be available if they had to be elected to the Commons is a specious one. House of Commons Select Committees could summon the experts for examination. MPs would concentrate on legislation and holding government to account instead of being mainly social workers (much of their constituency work is done better by CAB and local councillors- the only advantage is that letters to ministers and agencies from MPs and Lords are dealt with more expeditiously than those from members of the public).
The redundant part of the Palace of Westminster would be suitable for an English Parliament with the same powers and responsibilities of the Scottish Parliament. The size of the English Parliament would be limited to 200 members, elected on the basis of one per county with the remainder from same-sized two-member constituencies using proportional representation.
Salaries and allowances would be pegged to Civil Service grade 7.

2 comments:

tally said...

it's logical, but logic is not their strong point i'm afraid

Gallimaufry said...

And the vested interests of the political establishment will throttle reform as it did in the 1880s. But little by little things will change until a tipping point is reached.