The Honours system needs to be scrapped and the House of Lords abolished. No legal barrier effectively stops the Remainer Lords in their course It is a constitutional cliché that the House of Lords exercises only a revising power, and that the legislating power resides in the House of Commons alone. Peers voted time and again to block and complicate the passage of Brexit, much to the glee of the Remain-leaning middle classes. It didn’t do these things because it was inhabited by ‘bad’ people. Over half the time in the Lords is devoted to examining in detail legislation sent to it by the Commons. Of course, those sections of the Remain elite that are now bristling at the Lords because some Brexiteers have been ennobled to sit on its benches are not driven by democratic principle. Abolish the House of Lords! It is important, therefore, to distinguish between those calling for the House of Lords to be abolished, with Westminster operating unicamerally, – and our fellow reformers, calling for it to be ‘abolished and replaced with’ a reformed second chamber. In March 2007, I voted to abolish the Lords and – when that was defeated – for a fully-elected chamber. No The primary role of the House of Lords is checking and challenging the government regarding the decisions and proposed laws they make. They think of themselves as liberal and progressive. The same could be said of the House Of Lords. I very much hope that May will continue to follow her excellent policy of moderation. That’s it, the Remainer elites cry: get rid of the Lords! Covid, lockdown, censorship, woke cultural revolution… 2020 will go down in history for all the wrong reasons. So what is the purpose of the House of Lords? In killing off the House of Lords, the Commons was making good on one of the demands of the revolutionary Leveller movement, which in 1648 demanded that the Commons should be ‘the supreme authoritie of the people’ and should be defended against ‘all pretences of Negative Voices, either in King or Lords’. Labour leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey tells Sky News that she wants to scrap the House Of Lords. Sign up for email alerts or use our RSS feeds. As we await the result of the Conservative leadership election and the new prime minister we want to see the policy of Theresa May, exercising restraint in appointing new members to the Lords, continued by her successors. The House of Lords can be viewed as a ‘revising chamber’. The House of Lords must be reformed and ultimately abolished. Some people are calling for reform of the House of Lords, but not Nigel Farage - he wants it abolished altogether. People get there through political favours and patronage. To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan. Thank you! Whether its members are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ people, principled or self-serving, on the side of Brexit or on the side of stopping Brexit, makes no difference. In 1917 the Bryce Commission was set up to consider House of Lords reform proposals. The House of Lords should remain untouched. Unelected Lords should not have the power to hold the British Government to ransom. After 1911, the House of Lords survived because it slowly and pragmatically reinvented itself as an innocent, wise revising chamber. The House of Lords is a chamber of experts. Picking fights with everyone will come back to haunt Boris Johnson. It has its origins in feudal England, specifically in councils of ‘wise ones’ – religious leaders and powerful landowners – who would gather to advise kings in the 12th and 13th centuries. It proves Boris takes Brexit seriously, apparently. Rather, this is what the Lords exists to do: to temper, tame and in some instances block the will of the Commons and the will of the people, especially when that will poses a threat to establishment interests, as it did during the revolution and following the vote for Brexit. T he House of Lords will be abolished if Labour leadership contender Rebecca Long-Bailey ever becomes prime minister.. The vote to leave the EU was not a cry for help or for recognition. In most things, yes - although not in everything. Now read. That is the first time a prime minister has made such a commitment. This body we are commonly told must be … 187 talking about this. Plans to abolish the House of Lords and replace it with a 300-strong, wholly elected second chamber are to be unveiled by ministers in a key political move ahead of the general election. T he House of Lords will be abolished if Labour leadership contender Rebecca Long-Bailey ever becomes prime minister.. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy. Not reformed, not trimmed (even if 800+ peers is ridiculous), and not ‘made more democratic’ – you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. The role of the British Parliament’s second unelected chamber has been debated for a century to no avail. But of course, they have arrived at this position for entirely cynical, tangential and no doubt temporary reasons: because the Lords now contains people they despise. The House of Lords should not exist. The House of Lords is a fundamental part of the British parliament by which we are ruled in Scotland. Both Conservative and Labour governments have confirmed that members should be allowed to take up part-time jobs, it would be extraordinary in a non-salaried House for it to be otherwise. Let’s be clear what this means. House of Lords: "Congratulations to the Mirror" (Image: PA) #I applaud your petition to abolish the Lords. The House of Lords, formally known as The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, also known as the House of Peers and domestically usually referred to simply as the Lords, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.Membership is granted by appointment or by heredity or official … The Upper Chamber or House of Lords has long been past its sell-by-date, and since it is filled chiefly by those opposed to Brexit there is every likelihood that the government will fail to achieve their goal and the people will be denied their democratic decision to leave the EU. Lord Steel will tell a lecture to the Scottish Liberal Club on Tuesday evening that peerages should be scrapped to make way for federalism in the UK. The 'Rich' should not be allowed to dictate laws and legislation based on their financial worth or 'lineage' Sadly the Greens also nominated Peers to the Lords as did the yellow Tory Lib Dems. Since the Burns report was published there have been almost 70 departures from the House but there is clearly more to do. As we go into next year, we’re going to have to fight for freedom, democracy and sanity all over again. In our view, nobody should be given a seat in the House of Lords. Responding to the Burns report, she said: “I intend to continue with the restraint which I have exercised to date and, when making appointments, to allocate them fairly, bearing in mind the results of the last general election and the leadership shown by each party in terms of retirements.”. The House of Lords was abolished in 1649 but not for long "The House of Lords is useless and dangerous to the people of England." Jeremy Corbyn has signalled his intention to push for the abolition of the House of Lords with all new appointments from his party required to pledge they will vote for it in the future. The House of Lords is undemocratic . My belief is that a policy of reducing numbers and checking new candidates are prepared to make the contribution that most peers already make would go a very long way to eliminating the passengers. If there is any question, the independent commissioner for standards can investigate. This is an archaic institution which is accountable to no one and yet wields huge influence over how our laws are made. Three of the new peers in particular have rattled the one-time cheerleaders of the second chamber’s plots against democracy – former Labour MPs and Brexit stalwarts Kate Hoey and Gisela Stuart, and former Brexit Party MEP, and friend of spiked, Claire Fox. This is an archaic institution which is accountable to no one and yet wields huge influence over how our laws are made. The Labour leadership contender Rebecca Long-Bailey has said she wants to abolish the House of Lords and would not stand in the way of another Scottish independence referendum. Jeremy Corbyn's spokesman unveils the plan, calling parliament's upper house … That Britain should be a unicameral system, in which no unelected power or person – however ‘good’ the person might be – has any right whatsoever to pore over and potentially alter the will of the Commons. Brexit isn’t therapy. For four years it whooped and salivated as the House of Lords used its unelected, unearned clout to try to stymie and even stop Brexit. BORIS JOHNSON has been told to abolish the House of Lords, according to an Express.co.uk poll, after unelected peers voted down key elements within his crucial Internal Market Bill. Keep up to date with the progress of Bills going through Parliament. The outdated House of Lords is unelected so should have no rights to stop what an elected government has been mandated to do. Labour plans to abolish House of Lords by only appointing peers who will vote to sack themselves. In 1649, during the English Revolution, and following numerous frustrations of the revolutionary will by the inhabitants of the Lords, the Commons decreed that the Lords was ‘useless and dangerous to the people of England’ and got rid of it. abolish the house of lords This week in the House of Commons I presented a Parliamentary Petition calling for the abolition of the House of Lords. Time to Abolish the House of Lords - Now! Abolish the House of Lords N A started this petition to UK Parliament The House of Lords is made up of unelected Peers, many of whom are determined - and have the power to - derail the Government's time table for Brexit. Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. To date, May has appointed 42 new life peers but the resignation honours list beckons. Ironically, the present crisis is a consequence of a reform intended to modernise the House: the life peers, provided for by an Act of 1958. But all this has now changed, for clichés are weak. That means a clear majority of members of the Westminster parliament are not elected, or accountable, to anyone. More than 150 years ago, the constitutional writer Walter Bagehot suggested that “the cure for admiring the House of Lords was to go and look at it”. Jeremy Corbyn has signalled his intention to push for the abolition of the House of Lords with all new appointments from his party required to pledge they will vote for it in the future. The House of Lords is a relic from a bygone era. The House of Lords should be abolished and "replaced with an elected senate", according to former Liberal leader David Steel. 187 talking about this. The guy played cricket for a … Those who argue for the abolition of the second chamber, as Owen Jones did last week, need to say how this work would be done. Their blocking of the Internal Market Bill recently exemplified this, where 800 peers thwarted the democratic will of the people. The institution of the House of Lords is an affront to democracy and accountability. MPs who were defeated or resigned in 2019, as well as big party donors and allies, look set to be handed … Today's Parliament of the United Kingdom largely descends, in practice, from the Parliament of England, through the Treaty of Union of 1706 and the Acts of Union that ratified the Treaty in 1707 and created a new Parliament of Great Britain to replace the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. The House of Lords should be replaced with a Senate of … As the House of Commons became the prime chamber the powers of the Lords were eroded and life peerages broke the historical link with land ownership. In the name of democracy, abolish the House of Lords The unelected House of Lords has continually faced controversy for their unaccountability and excessive power. There are over 800 members of the upper house. Former Liberal leader David Steel calls for House of Lords to be abolished The House of Lords must be replaced to enable federalism across the … And yet there is a problem on the other side of this latest discussion, too. In those circumstances, having a second chamber to ensure legislation does not slip through without proper debate and analysis is absolutely essential. If the government truly wanted to signal its recognition for the spirit of Brexit it wouldn’t have stuffed the Lords with more people – it would have given the people a referendum on the future of the Lords. This is a debate that is overdue by about 100 years. by: Shane Beaver; recipient: Theresa May, Prime Minister ; Following the Supreme Court's decision to insist that Parliament must decide when and how Article 50 is triggered, the Remain Campaign are calling this a "victory for democracy". Show on a map. The Brexit revolt cannot be protected by a body designed to temper the revolting desires of the people. The shadow business secretary, who is … Summary of the House of Lords (Hereditary Peers) (Abolition of By-Elections) Bill [HL] 2019-21 A Bill to amend the House of Lords Act 1999 so as to abolish the system of by-elections for hereditary peers Stay up to date. The Government has given these people the power to decide on our laws for life – even though they've lost the confidence of their electorate. We want to see the total size of the House capped at 600 and fixed terms for new members. Democracy cannot be defended in an institution built on anti-democracy. It is populated entirely with busts of past luminaries of the House of Lords, each of whom has served as British prime minister. It is not! The House of Lords is a relic that belongs to the museum. The liberal elite in this country has no shame. But turkeys don’t vote for Christmas, and the Lords then rejected this proposal. Here's what we should do with the toppled statues. 10,000 Date closed 10 September 2020 Get petition data (json format) About petition data. The Lords, in the words of the 18th-century revolutionary Thomas Paine, is ‘the remains of aristocratical tyranny’. Because the newly ennobled include Tory pals of Boris Johnson, including his brother, former minister Jo Johnson, and, even worse, some Brexiteers. Please give to our Christmas appeal today, to ensure we can keep bringing you our articles, essays and podcasts every day. Changes in personnel do not alter that one iota. Abolish the unelected House of Lords which costs hard working tax payers too much money. And of course it adds new Brexit-defending voices to a notoriously Remoaner chamber. They mean well. The commission's recommendations were rejected by a vote in the House of Lords. It is unusual for a country as large and diverse as the United Kingdom to have a unicameral legislature. But to do so we need your help. Not Remainers, not Brexiteers, not sinners, not saints, not anybody. The people’s desire to break free of the EU and take back democratic control cannot be fought for in an institution that poses a greater threat to British democracy than the EU did. It’s nice that they have come around to the argument spiked has been making for the 20 years of our existence: that the House of Lords is an insult to democracy and should be abolished. It is at this point that prime ministers are tempted to reward rather than ask what contribution a person under consideration can make. We could set up a system, as is already the case for those who apply to be a crossbench peer, where the House of Lords appointments commission questions each new candidate on the contribution that he or she would make if their appointment was confirmed. In this way it serves as a useful check on the government by making them think again Powers of the upper chamber are … ABOLISH THE HOUSE OF LORDS September 4, 2020 This week in the House of Commons I presented a Parliamentary Petition calling for the abolition of the House of Lords. Abolish the House of Lords Reform isn’t enough: Why the House of Lords should be abolished. This England liberated from the Lords lasted only for a brief time, sadly. In this case, democratic principle. The House of Lords needs reforming, but abolishing it is not the answer. The House of Lords costs approximately £93m to run each year. They have to understand why many are sceptical about that commitment. ... Time to Abolish the House of Lords - Now! The House of Lords could be something great if governments weren't too afraid or selfish to change it for the better. Have they lost all contact with reality? Corbyn’s Labour says they will abolish the House of Lords. They are a minority, but they undo much of the good work done by the vast majority. The House of Lords could be something great if governments weren't too afraid or selfish to change it for the better. Not words … The people of Stoke-on-Trent and Merthyr Tydfil and Essex did not vote for Brexit, and stick with it during the deranged meltdown of the Remainer establishment, in order to witness the ennoblement of people who share their views on the European Union. Baron Home of the Hirsel occupies pride of place, the very last of Britain's hereditary peers to hold the post, even if he had to renounce his title, becoming plain Sir Alec Douglas-Home, to do so. Since the passing of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, the House of Lords has lost its absolute veto on primary legislation. I should also add it is already the case that every member must make a declaration that they have undertaken parliamentary work when they claim the daily allowance. The house of Lords is an archaic establishment that hinders the elected governments ability to execute the wishes of the people and as such should be abolished. Photo by comedy_nose (Creative Commons (Click to enlarge) Clive Walder . However, progress to make the Lords smaller with all members making a sensible contribution is within our grasp. This article is more than 1 year old. The institution of the House of Lords is an affront to democracy and accountability. It has to go. There has been concern over the work of sitting Lords. There is now a very serious risk that Brexit will become a museum piece, institutionalised (and possibly neutered) in the Lords rather than enacted in the concrete world of people’s lives and people’s power. Seventy nine percent of the British public agree that the House of Lords requires reforming, but cannot decide on the proportion of Lords elected and appointed. | Simon Jenkins, ‘The resignation honours list beckons – it is at this point prime ministers are tempted to reward rather than ask what contribution a person can make.’. Some of them are very nice people. Apparently only decent, Remain-backing folk like them should ever get to don the ermine robes of this bloated, privileged, populace-defying institution. The truth is anyone who accepts a British Empire Honour or Peerage demeans their life and achievements. The House of Lords is a cosy club, the executive committee of the British establishment. It’s nice that they have come around to the argument spiked has been making for the 20 years of our existence: that the House of Lords is an insult to democracy and should be abolished. The shadow business secretary, who … The House of Lords is the world’s second largest legislative chamber – behind only the Chinese National People’s Congress. I do not. Those who say it’s too far-fetched or impossible to abolish the Lords should bear in mind that it’s been done before. Even with good people in it, the second chamber plays a singularly destructive role in British politics. Rather, they wanted more democratic clout. The data shows the number of people who have signed the petition by country as well as in the constituency of each … A PETITION to abolish the House of Lords has seen a staggering 100,000 signatures in two weeks following a “rolling cronyism scandal”. It stipulates that if a vacancy arises among the Lords Spiritual during the decade after the passing of the act, this vacancy is to be filled by a female bishop (if there are any eligible). The House of Lords must be reformed and ultimately abolished. Because as an institution the Lords plays one role and one role only: it polices and frustrates elective democracy. Yet now, following the publication of the government’s list of new peers, these same Lords-lovers have decided that the second chamber is a foul, rotten institution, after all. Willie Sullivan started this petition to Boris Johnson (Prime Minister) The unelected House of Lords – with around 800 members – is about to get even bigger. Rather, they’re essentially saying: ‘Who let this riff-raff in?’ They were fine when a majority of the Lords looked and sounded like them; when a majority of peers used their unearned power to try to silence the masses. We have now set up a new conduct committee under the chairmanship of Lord Mance, a former deputy president of the supreme court. Sure, we’ve left the EU, and the trade talks continue, but what about the spirit of Brexit? The only one larger than the 792-strong House of Lords is the 2,980-member Chinese National People’s Congress. Now this role, widely accepted, has been thrown into doubt. Proponents of abolition or complete reform also need to explain how the legislation necessary to radically change the Lords will get through parliament at a time when Brexit dominates the legislative agenda. Norman Fowler. Following the creation of the first, far from democratic parliament in 1295, these monarchical consulters went on to form what would become the second chamber: the House of Lords to the House of Commons. Policy slowly shifted from abolition to the expulsion of the hereditary peerage, which was finally achieved in 1999, when the House of Lords Act removed all but 92 hereditary legislators. Despite minor reform in the late 1990s, the future of the House of Lords remains ambiguous at best. I remember one peer who had just been sworn in coming to me to say they had made a mistake and had not realised the work that was involved. Last week’s colourful dissolution peerage list demonstrates again the necessity of that commitment. As this paper reported at the beginning of the year, I am opposed to what I called “passengers” in the Lords who make no or very little contribution. This is naive, and possibly dangerous. The House of Lords is currently the second largest legislative chamber in the world, behind China. “The petitioners, therefore, request that the House of Commons urges the Government to abolish the House of Lords in the interests of democracy, accountability and transparency.” Liberal Democrat life peer Baroness Angela Harris of Richmond also said the Lords should be more inclusive and representative of the UK population. Critics of the second chamber argue that it is time to abolish the House of Lords, calling it "broken, morally corrupt, and anti-democratic". The House of Lords should be reformed. Just like the monarchy and private schools, it is symptomatic of a society which pays lip service to democracy and meritocracy but so often falls short of achieving it in reality. The Lords itself – not the government – has agreed to take action to reduce numbers following the report of the committee I set up under the chairmanship of Terry Burns. It is time to get rid of them. spiked takes a wholly different position, one that is driven by that terribly old-fashioned thing, principle. It is politically naive to believe that any government, in present circumstances, would embark on such a course. Having been degraded by successive party leaders who have stuffed it full of cronies, it is not fit for purpose in the 21st century and must be replaced with an elected chamber.’ – Nigel Farage, November 21, 2019 This is spiked’s position, too. It has over 800 peers - 484 of whom attended the Lords each day in … No, abolished. In the past 12 months the House of Lords has made almost 2,300 changes to improve legislation; apart from daily oral questions, peers have tabled more than 8,000 written questions and taken part in more than 160 debates; while well over 300 peers have been active members of select committees which have published more than 150 reports on subjects ranging from tuition fees to intergenerational fairness. Be brave, Boris: promise us a referendum on the Lords. The Lords remains, in the words of the Commons in 1649, ‘useless and dangerous’ to the people of Britain. In the second piece in our five-part programme for democratic reform, Tim Black makes the case for abolishing the House of Lords. Inherited power has no place in a democracy. They keep the code of conduct under review and can propose any changes which are necessary. Just like the monarchy and private schools, it is symptomatic of a society which pays lip service to democracy and meritocracy but so often falls short of achieving it in reality. The House of Lords should be abolished and "replaced with an elected senate", according to former Liberal leader David Steel. That vote, won by 337 votes to 224, is the only time the Commons has voted for a wholly-elected second chamber. It is in stark contrast to the policy of Tony Blair who appointed 374 new peers and David Cameron who appointed a further 245. The biggest controversy over Malevolent May’s decision to dole out 41 awards and peerages has been the Knighthood conferred on former English cricketer Geoffrey Boycott. The Lords must be abolished as a matter of democratic urgency. “In the coming days the House of Lords will grow even bigger as the Prime Minister announces another batch of peerages. They are unelected and yet have the power to obstruct approved legislations. The Lords Spiritual (Women) Act 2015 regulates the procedure for women bishops to enter the House of Lords as Lords Spiritual. The Parliament Act 1911 removed the ability of the House of Lords to veto money bills; with any other bills, the House of Commons was given powers to overrule the Lords' veto after three parliamentary sessions. Many life peers come to the Lords without much idea of the contribution they are expected to make. They are paid for life by the taxpayer for just turning up. The Guardian survey of participation underlines one further step that we should now consider. The Brexit spirit can no more be embodied in the Lords than a camel can go through the eye of a needle. The unelected House of Lords – with around 800 members – is about to get even bigger. This new parliament was, in effect, the continuation of the Parliament of England with the addition of 45 MPs and 16 Peers to represent Scotland. The whole system is fundamentally flawed. 4,810 signatures. They are anti-democratic hypocrites. It is not enough just to propose more powers for the Commons in a unicameral system – this would do little to improve levels of scrutiny when a government is returned with a big majority. In recent manifestos, we have committed to the creation of an elected Senate of the Nations and Regions. If you do, you will continue to win the support of the teeming millions out there who want Britain to be a greater democracy than it currently is. 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