The Sunday Times entrapment of 4 Labour peers has again highlighted the need for Lords reform. Whether or not the 4 people in question are guilty (and if there is a case, we should let the legal system deal with them, rather than have trial by media) the fact is that a chamber that consists of unelected and unpaid life members (okay so they got a comfortable allowance) breeds a situation in which cash changing hands to change legislation is more likely to happen.
Attempts to reform the Lords have gone on for a century. The Parliament Act of 1911, which curtailed the powers of the Lords to reject legislation agreed by the Commons (and took away financial powers) was the started of botched attempts to change the real nature of the upper house. A century later and though the Commons has voted for substantial reform, nothing has been done. To borrow a phrase from Labour, they are a do-nothing government on this issue. Let's hope that changes.
Anyway, I am on the train to London now, just crossing the Tyne as we leave Newcastle. It's a slightly later train than normal. Should be in London in 3 and a half hours.
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