Monday, January 26, 2009

The Monday morning blog - time to reform the Lords

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.
Sent via BlackBerry


Anonymous said...

Charity which contributed £7,500 twice to the Labour Party

Tessa Jowell

Anonymous said...

"Spanish police arrested six people tied to a $600 million fraud committed at Langbar International Ltd., (AKA Crown Corp)"

"Barry of course was/is a good friend of the Karaoke King (AKA Lord Levy and pal of the Qratet's envoy in the Middle East Tony Blair) "...

Anonymous said...

"Prepared:14:54 on 29 January 2009"

"House of Lords: Conduct of Members

"The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): My Lords"...

If you look down the page in the above link you will find this...

"Climate Change

"Back to top
11.39 am
Moved By Lord Browne of Madingley"

"To call attention to the political aspects of addressing climate change; and to move for Papers."

"Lord Browne of Madingley: My Lords, I declare my interests. I am managing partner and managing director of Riverstone Holdings"

Hmmm...Thats the trouble,too many in the Lords and Commons with..."interests".

Anonymous said...

“Cash for questions: new row over Scottish lord’s £30k deal”

“The Sunday Herald has established that around half the parliamentary questions tabled by Lord Moonie, a close friend of prime minister Gordon Brown, relate to areas of commercial interest to US-based Northrop Grumman Corporation."

"The Sunday Herald can also reveal the closeness of Moonie's links to Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling. The peer, who entered the Lords after making way for Brown to be the Labour candidate in Kirkcaldy during boundary changes, bought Brown's flat in Kennington, south London. He allowed Darling to move into the property as his co-tenant between 2003 and 2006, according to the electoral roll."

“Lord Foulkes faces probe over legal consultancy”

About time.

Anonymous said...


"Any news of the return of the donation to the Lib Dems of £2.4 Mn. from Michael Brown, 42, of Templewood Avenue, Hampstead, to help fund their 2005 election campaign , who was alleged to have stolen a total of $11,348,003 (£7,092,501) from Charles Martin Edwards and three of transferring criminal property in the same overall amount."...

Anonymous said...

“The police will not investigate allegations against four members of the House of Lords accused of being willing to change laws in exchange for cash”…
We are the government and we can do anything we want…We are above the law.