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House of Lords.....past its sell by date?

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House of Lords.....past its sell by date?

Post by astradt1 on Mon Dec 08, 2014 12:51 pm

On a day when a report is published about Hunger in Britain we have reports that Members of the House of Lords have rejected plans to share catering arrangements with the House of Commons which, it is reported would save the tax payer money, because the Lords fear the quality of its champagne would suffer.......

House Of Lords Feared Cheap Champagne And Vetoed Merging Services With Commons

The House of Lords rejected a change to catering arrangements to save taxpayer money because they feared the quality of the champagne would suffer.

Sir Malcolm Jack, clerk of the Commons between 2006 and 2011, disclosed the revelation to a stunned government committee tasked with examining how Westminster is run.

The Chair, Jack Straw, said: "“Did you make that up? Is that true?" Jack replied: "Yes it is true."

Despite the two Houses already sharing IT and cleaning contracts, Peers objected merging catering facilities with the House of Commons in case they were forced to drink cheap sparkling wine.

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Why should the tax payer subsidise HofL bars and restaurants when those attending claim £300 a day, even if they don't really do anything?
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Re: House of Lords.....past its sell by date?

Post by Redflag on Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:23 pm

I read that report in todays papers astradt it just makes it easier for Ed Miliband to cut down the size of the HOL, and get a reasonable number of the rest of them to get out there and get the people of the UK to vote them into the HOL which will give them something to think about instead of them quaffing champers.
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Re: House of Lords.....past its sell by date?

Post by Ivan on Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:09 pm

It is Labour policy to replace the House of Lords with an elected Senate, made up of representatives from all of Britain’s nations and regions, following a proposed constitutional convention soon after the next election. Whether an elected assembly would behave any better than the members of the House of Lords who, as things stand, have a job for life, remains to be seen. The members of our elected House of Commons haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory, what with their expenses, second jobs, lobbying scandals and various other conflicts of interest. But then again, almost 400 of them have safe seats and don’t need to give a tinker’s cuss about what the rest of us think.
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Re: House of Lords.....past its sell by date?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:49 pm

Americans are usually happy to explain how their political structure of "Checks and Balances" serves to limit bias or anti-democratic activity. Many other parliaments in the world have a two-chamber system designed to put the brakes on an over-enthusiastically radical movement. Numerous examples are recorded in Hansard of The House of Lords halting some hare-brained departure from common sense in the lower house.

So we need a functioning HofL to scrutinise new laws or amendments to existing law on behalf of the electorate, but its actual composition seems to be in need of review. Our society has few other examples of a job-for-life.



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Re: House of Lords.....past its sell by date?

Post by Ivan on Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:18 pm

Here's the House of Lords menu. Try not to feel too sorry for their lordships if the prices seem steep, they get an allowance of £84 a week towards their meals. (Jobseeker's Allowance is currently £71 a week.)  Mad

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Re: House of Lords.....past its sell by date?

Post by boatlady on Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:37 pm

And £300 for turning up - where do I join the queue to get ennobled?
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Re: House of Lords.....past its sell by date?

Post by Redflag on Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:51 pm

Boatlady I wonder why the Tories will not give a job in the HOL to those claiming JSA, I would think they would have there hand bitten off working short hours and all the benefits that the Lords £300.00 per day and good lunching vouchers lol! lol! lol!
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Let's Make the Lords a Lottery!!

Post by Chas Peeps on Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:34 pm

Ivan wrote:It is Labour policy to replace the House of Lords with an elected Senate, made up of representatives from all of Britain’s nations and regions, following a proposed constitutional convention soon after the next election. Whether an elected assembly would behave any better than the members of the House of Lords who, as things stand, have a job for life, remains to be seen. The members of our elected House of Commons haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory, what with their expenses, second jobs, lobbying scandals and various other conflicts of interest. But then again, almost 400 of them have safe seats and don’t need to give a tinker’s cuss about what the rest of us think.

I believe that we need a second chamber for moderation and delaying purposes where appropriate very much in line with its current function. However, the idea of either elected or appointed Lords sounds equally disastrous, elected members could claim equal legitimacy with the Commons and appointed members - well they just suck like we have now. Gravy train isn't the word.

Consideration should be given to replacing all existing peers with members of the public chosen entirely at random (as with Jury Service now). Certain agreed exceptions for inclusion in the lottery could be made e.g. prisoners, ex pats etc. Any person selected could choose to opt out. Each randomly chosen person would be offered a seat in the Second Chamber for a fixed term on a fixed salary set at a level to include all expenses and would include taxpayer funded accommodation in London tied to the role and a travel allowance proportionate to the distance their original home is from the capital. Selected persons employers would have a legal obligation to hold their jobs open for the duration of their term, as with maternity leave. The selected members of the chamber would be given training and could be given dispensation to leave the chamber on compassionate grounds and be replaced within the term. Serving in the chamber should qualify for a modest public sector pension.

The financial package must be pitched at a level that deters anyone from undertaking the function for any reason other than a public service. It should be high enough to ensure that people with very low incomes can afford to become involved and low enough to deter professional politicians who only want to go to make themselves richer at public expense.

This approach would guarantee a genuine cross section of British society, all races, classes, occupations, non-occupations, differently abled etc and most importantly would blow away the ability of the political establishment to gerrymander the make up of the chamber. Yes, you may get substance abusers, racists, misogynists, etc but hey, we have them all already in the political ruling elite.

What we need is a hell of a lot more imagination and more risk taking in politics to shatter the stranglehold of the established order and reinvigorate our democracy.
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Re: House of Lords.....past its sell by date?

Post by boatlady on Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:05 pm

I think maybe we need to move away from the idea that an important job needs an important salary to the idea that all jobs are important and everyone needs enough to live on
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Re: House of Lords.....past its sell by date?

Post by Ivan on Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:44 pm

The House of Lords is full of sycophants, failed MPs, and political donors. Sack them all

From an article by Leo McKinstry:-

The House of Lords' vetting committee has blocked a record number of nominations to the peerage, among them the former Lib Dem minister David Laws, who had to resign from the cabinet in 2010 over revelations about his abuse of expenses. Nevertheless, a large tranche of underwhelming, unimpressive figures have been appointed to the second chamber, further swelling its already bloated ranks. Now, with over 800 members, it is the second largest legislative assembly in the world – after the National People’s Congress of China.

The continuing survival of the Lords is an indictment of the cowardice and inertia in British politics. Such an obese, obsolescent body should have no place in a modern democracy. Costing around £87 million a year to run, it is also a chronic waste of public money. The Electoral Reform Society has revealed that £360,000 was claimed in the last parliament by peers who did not even vote.

Defenders of the House of Lords admit to its absurdities, but pretend that it still performs a valuable role in our constitution. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is one of their favourite mantras. But the Lords is broken, and should be abolished. Its supporters pretend that it is packed with wise elder statesman, brilliant experts and distinguished public servants. This could not be further from the truth: most if its members are souped-up councillors, political apparatchiks, failed MPs and party donors. The continued existence of this extravagant, sleazy, parasitical, outmoded body is an insult to our intelligence.


For the whole article:-
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One of the new Tory peers is Old Etonian Douglas Hogg, who once put in a claim for £2,200 for cleaning the moat around his country estate. In typical Tory fashion, he insisted that he hadn’t claimed the money but agreed it had not been "positively excluded" from paperwork submitted to the Commons fees office. He didn’t seek re-election in 2010, and when Cameron asked for a peerage for him in 2011, the request was turned down. Yet now it’s been approved, while another expenses fiddler, David Laws, has been blocked. With his dirty moat, I suggest Hogg is more suited to vermin than ermine.

Meanwhile, Roy Hattersley has resigned from the House of Lords. After 18 years as a member, it's dawned on him that the institution “goes against the idea of equality”. I wonder what took him so long?

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Re: House of Lords.....past its sell by date?

Post by Redflag on Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:25 am

There is still too many fiddling Lords in the HOL Ivan, this was done for a reason so that Davy boy can get his nasty bills through & into law the Union bill and the boundaries changes are just two of those bills that the Tories want to get through.
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