House of Lords reform – let’s get it right

Posted on: 23rd April 2012

Commenting on proposed reforms to the House of Lords the MP for West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Constituency of St Ives, Andrew George, said:

“Creating an elected second chamber is an understandable but, nevertheless, reactionary response to Lords having for centuries derived their authority from birth and dodgy patronage. But it’s not a solution.

“Yes. Let’s finally end hereditary Lords, stop Party Leader patronage and cut the place down to size. But we should remind ourselves what we want a second chamber for before we start deciding how it should be composed and how it’s members derive their authority.

“Most agree that the Commons can benefit from having a revising chamber which offers sober second thought, to reflect on matters of practical implementation and upon expert and professional advice. (A politically neutral independent Appointments Commission would provide the obvious mechanism to achieve that.) Creating another chamber of party political tribalists seems to me the last thing we need.

“God knows the Lords needs massive reform. But it should all be in proportion to the primacy of the preeminent democratic chamber of the House of Commons.”

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