A bunch of Tory MPs are in a tailspin at the prospect of the House of Lords becoming a second (mainly) elected chamber claiming, among much else, that it will, at a stroke, harm the retirement plans of outgoing Prime Ministers … Oh, sorry – that’s just me.
They do make some quite reckless claims in this letter, though, which is in the public domain:-
I see nothing in that letter than isn’t disinformation or flat-out lies.
Nor do I think it will need a referendum to avoid a constitutional crisis as some people are claiming – changes have been made to the Lords in the past with no thought for a referendum, so why now? Frankly, with an electorate that widely failed to understand the advantages over AV over FPTP, I sincerely doubt that most will be able to comprehend what changing the Lords will mean, and vote the way the Mail, Sun, or Torygraph tells them to – as always.
However, assuming we do get a mainly elected second chamber (I’d much prefer wholly elected, but it’s a start), I believe the Parliament Acts will have to go, removing the rights of the Commons to overrule the Lords. Overruling a bunch of unelected, frequently absent (a bit like MPs then), inbred country bumpkins, the reason for the Acts, will no longer be an issue with a mainly-elected second chamber.
And it seems clear that these rebellious Tory MPs are worried that, as a result, the Commons will no longer be able ride rough-shod over Lords’ decisions as they did with the Welfare, NHS, and Legal Aid bills. Tough shit guys – it’s long overdue.
That it will bring about “legislative deadlock,” as claimed, is also a red herring, especially if the system is properly set up. If it is, it will mean that both houses will have to work together to come to a compromise decision, and that can only be good for the country, especially when, as now, we have a megalomaniac PM like Cameron, who believes he, his party, and his financial backers, are above the laws of both Parliament and the land.
This change is badly needed – the time for a second chamber mainly stuffed with party placemen, rather than the hereditary peers they replaced (who were probably more honest, at least), has been extended well beyond its Use By date. It’s time they were gone.