Thursday, July 12, 2012

House of Lords "Reform"

Many contemporary British conservatives, including some I know and respect, seem to regard the advocacy--even in theory--of restoring the hereditary peers shamefully expelled from the House of Lords by New Labour in 1999 as unrealistic and irrelevant.  Instead they focus on opposing Nick Clegg's plans for a mainly elected House, as seen in the recent superficially successful Tory "rebellion."  But I agree with Peter Hitchens: a mainly appointed upper house is indefensible and the real damage was done in 1999.  Traditionalists understand that "a mainly hereditary House was superior in every way" and that "tradition, inheritance and nobility are things which are good in themselves, coupled with a sensible scepticism about that upstart idea called ‘democracy’ – which in Parliament means that the members are chosen, controlled, rewarded and punished by a centrally-directed party machine subject to the executive."  Is there anyone else in print in a major newspaper who dares to defend, not some vague compromise that in the end satisfies no one, but the role of hereditary peers who served Parliament well for six hundred years?


Fr Theodore said...

It is a ridiculous idea and while it would certainly re-form the House of Lords, it would in no way reform it. Bring back the hereditary peers, be more selective about the life peers, and let there be a real balance on the doings of the Commons. And while at it, restore a genuine process of Royal assent or dissent from legislation, with at least the power to delay ill-considered or opportunist legislation.

Flambeaux said...

If we're going to dream and ask for the impossible, can't we just attempt to rollback the last 400-odd years of whiggery and centralization?