Unicameralism is catching…

Just to show that Fine Gael aren’t completely isolated, here is Lord Bingham the almost impossibly illustrious former Lord Chief Justice and senior Law Lord calling for the abolition, not the further reform, of the House of Lords.

Since it is widely believed by those outside the House of Lords itself that it should not, in its present form, continue to exist, and since the only models of reform suggested – appointment, election, or a combination of the two – are open to compelling objections, the case for total abolition is strong.

Part of the analysis is similar to Fine Gael’s of the Seanad – the need to strengthen Parliament. A stronger upper chamber could rival the senior house and create deadlock. No one has so far been able to surmount that objection. And if it isn’t strengthened, what’s the point of it? Bingham’s temporary substitute of a powerless “council of the realm” is bonkers though – with all respect, m’lud. I’m with the Guardian on this. Bingham’s is a counsel of despair. The deadlock problem isn’t insuperable and a democratic amending chamber adds greatly to accountability. Yiou have different electoral cycles, election by PR, a limit of two terms only, a bar on cross over membership with the Commons and keep the exisiting amending powers. I’m still looking forward to Sinn Fein’s election to the Upper House ( both Upper Houses?)

  • thereyouarenow

    There will be a lot of talk and nothing will happen.

    Our politicians do nothing but talk and claim gargantuan amounts of expenses.

    Is’nt that enough to keep the poor little useless ****S busy

  • Edward Spalton

    The funny thing is that the House of Lords worked very well before Tony pushed all his cronies into it and got rid of most of the hereditaries.

    Mrs. Thatcher found to her considerable displeasure that an apparently inbuilt Conservative majority did not give her an easy ride. I believe that the Lords thwarted her on over 300 occasions.

    That was in the days before Blair’s Babes brought family friendly hours to the Commons and the opposition plus an independently minded upper house could keep ministers up all night.
    That compelled proper revision of legislation which has been conspicuously missing since the “reforms” of Blair.
    I was in a committee room when the bell rang promptly for the end of the Commons session. A crusty Old Labour peer remarked. “That’s it. They’re all going home now in time to put the babies to bed. There’s no one minding the shop and this is the only place (i.e. Parliament as a whole) that we have”

    Being able to vote for representatives (upper or lower house) doesn’t actually give you democracy. Why not bring in an EU governor and let him nominate a legislative council to replace both houses? It would mostly be the same people who are prominent now and we could dispense with the pretence of democracy at any level and deal with them appropriately.

  • Guest

    Political systems in recession shock.
    Why do we never have these discussions when a nation is in good economic health.This is at best trauma ,at worst bandwagon vote fetching nonsense.

  • “The most powerful and perhaps most respected upper house in the world, the US Senate”

    Now we know he’s talking b*llocks.