Bishops to remain in ‘all-elected’ Lords
But most of the media has got the reform wrong. The second chamber is not to be 100% elected, but a 'hybrid' of elected and appointed peers. Anglican bishops and archbishops are to keep seats, not least because Cranmer doesn’t think they’d win many votes, and their eradication would end the privileged status of the Established Church. Other reforms include:
Reduce size of House from 746 to 540 members
End hereditary and life peerages over time
Elected peers to be voted in at same time as Euro elections
Maximum time in office of 15 years for elected and appointed peers
Appointees a mixture of party politicians and non-party figures
Lords may be renamed - possibly 'The Reformed Chamber'
According to the BBC, some form of Proportional Representation is to be used to elect their Lordships, or the Senators, or the Reformists (Cranmer rather likes the sound of this one…), or whatever they are to be called. There would be ‘partially open lists’ which will ‘represent the "diversity" of UK society’. So 26 bishops will be sitting with Abu Hamza and a few of his ilk. Presumably, the new house is to be made up of a proportion of women, Asian, gay, and disabled candidates, so one-legged lesbian Muslims will be fast-tracked.
But Cranmer exhorts all of those who are appalled by these proposals not to panic. The vote may have been won in the Commons, but their Lordships have to agree to their own demise, and this is highly unlikely. And if the Parliament Act is deployed, the reform will forever have a questionable legal foundation.
If, however, by some turn of fate, this appalling government succeeds in wiping away centuries of tradition and heritage, His Grace will announce is candidature for membership of the ‘Reformed Chamber’, and a counter-reformation shall begin…