Friday, May 20, 2011

Missed the point of the House of Lords

Even since I held a view on the subject, I have though that the Lords should be a bunch of old duffers drawn from a wide diversity of life paths. I thought the whole purpose of the House of Lords was to scrutinize legislation, suggest improvements and when elected representatives have got it very wrong to stop them from self harming. Having seen a lot of stuff go wrong during your life is probably the best training for scrutinizing legislation there can be. As a public, we are very bad at judging this skill and there is a big risk we will end up applying the same principles to electing Lords as electing MP's, councilers, AM's, etc. The role is different and so I assert the selection process needs to be different. Being accountable is not really the point here.

An elected 2nd house is the last thing you want and really young Clegg should see it.
There may be be reason to change the selection process, for example I see no good reason why being a Bishop in itself is qualification for the 2nd chamber, but that said in some ethical debates they may add value.

What must be avoided is career politicians who have had a career to date as a MP's researcher or case worker being part of the machine that is responsible for picking holes in laws as they are made.

Clegg, suggest you are better off leaving it alone.

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