Posted by: westlancashirerecord | June 20, 2018

We Are Not Amused

In Parliament yesterday the future of the House of Lords was considered in Committee that debated the motion “Give the electorate a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords. The House of Lords is a place of patronage where unelected and unaccountable individuals hold a disproportionate amount of influence and power which can be used to frustrate the elected representatives of the people”.

It was a farce, as we read that “The hon. Member for Glasgow East (David Linden) talked about hereditary peers. The daft thing is that, with the 92 who are left, it is a halfway house. I understand why people are concerned about the House of Lords and either want to change it or question its legitimacy. In 2016, we had a ridiculous situation when there was a by-election for one of the Members of the House of Lords. A Lib Dem peer, Lord Avebury, died, and seven hereditary peers from around the country were put up for election, but the electorate was only three. How daft is it to have an electorate that is half the size of the field of candidates? It makes a mockery of the process, so we clearly need to look at the situation”.

It is worth noting that the electorate of 3 mentioned above all voted, [stand up Viscount Thurso , expenses claimed £32,235], a 100% turnout! The elected Lord thereafter enjoys, like the whole sorry bunch of them, the perk that they pay no tax on their House of Lords earnings or allowances? “We have Lords such as, I hesitate to use the word “noble” Lord Hanningfield, who was caught in his routine of clocking in and clocking out, wandering into the Palace of Westminster for a couple of minutes, signing on and getting his £300 a day tax free”.

We are definitely not amused. To paraphrase James Otis circa 1761, “No representatives without taxation”. As one committee member said “The Minister will recall the point in my speech about Members of the House of Lords who perhaps do not still have all their faculties. The Government have spoken about provisions that have been put in place to allow people to retire; what provisions are in place to ensure that people in the House of Lords are actually still able to do their job?”. What a very good question!

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