Monday, June 30, 2008

Hereditary peers voted overwhelmingly against ratification of Lisbon Treaty

The Daily Telegraph speculated last week that, were it not for Tony Blair cramming the House of Lords with his cronies and apparently palming off peerages for profit, that their Lordships would not have voted to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon, and so Her Majesty would not have been required to grant her Assent, and so the United Kingdom would have come to the aid of Ireland. A sequel article proves this to be the case.

In short, New Labour not only rigged the make-up of the upper chamber to ensure the safe passage of its legislation; it has elevated it financial backers who are overwhelmingly Europhile, and in so doing neutered the revising chamber by eradicating most of those who owed their peerages to hereditary independence.

Parliament is increasingly subjugated by those whose agenda is subjugation. This is the only conclusion one can draw from a House which voted to hasten to terminate its legislative raison d’être. It is significant that the overwhelming majority of the surviving hereditary peers voted to defend the sovereignty of the people and the preservation of Parliament. Of the 90 who were eligible to vote, 64 participated, and they voted 50 to 14 against ratification. Of the 50 against ratification, 40 were Conservatives.

If there was ever a justifiable democratic case for removing all the hereditary peers, then a fortiori is there now now a case for expelling all the life peers. They are no better defenders of democracy than the hereditaries allegedly were not, and at least the latter had a profound understanding of and respect for the ancient rights and liberties of the British people. There needs to be an urgent reconsideration of the constitution of the House of Lords and the titles bestowed, if only because it is incomprehensible to Cranmer that someone with the gravitas and experience of Baroness Thatcher is now ranked equally with Baroness Warsi, and that Lord Owen is ranked equally with Lord Levy.


OpenID Sim-O said...

New Labour not only rigged the make-up of the upper chamber to ensure the safe passage of its legislation; it has elevated it financial backers who are overwhelmingly Europhile, and in so doing neutered the revising chamber

Isn't that what Tonys' shake up of the H-o-L meant to prevent?
How ironic.

30 June 2008 at 08:39  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Your Grace

Ironic indeed. As this Government was abolishing the hereditary principle, they had as Leader of the HoL the dreadful Magaret Jay who received her peerage because of her being the daughter of James Callaghan and was once wife of Peter Jay, son of Douglas Jay, a Labour Eminence.

However the whole business did bring into sharp focus the absurdity of hereditary peers, however experienced, having a say in the affairs of the nation. We are all hereditary from some line or other.

Douglas Home, answered Harold Wilson's jibe about he (D-H) being the 14th Earl by replying that he was the 14th Mr Wilson.

Fixed term peers are the logical answer but elected in tranches (like council members), say one third every 2 years so as to try to reflect the changing mood of the country more accurately. There could be a small but fixed number of Life Peers appointed to add gravitas, and experience.

30 June 2008 at 09:31  
Blogger Eric Rasmusen said...

Good post. My thoughts are are at:

How many in the Lords who voted each way were appointed by Blair and Brown, or since the Blair changes?

30 June 2008 at 10:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did 26 hereditary peers not turn up? I must own to disappointment at that figure.

30 June 2008 at 11:15  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

perhaps lord strhclyde was right all along, you really cant trust anyone with family crest registered less than 400 yrs ago .

bling , celebrity power base was always going to be wonk .

my oppologies to those life peers who i rubbished for not attending the chamber . it seems as though on some matters an understanding of history is an essential element of the job

30 June 2008 at 13:05  
Anonymous Stonemason said...

anonymous ......

We understand the 26 H peers who didn't turn up were on the way to Glastonbury, the last bastion of "good taste" and Brown Somerset soup.

It is rumoured the H peers will also be visiting "Glastonbury Symposium - Investigating Signs of our Times" and "Goddess Conference - With Ceremonies, Adorations etc.", both in Somerset at the end of July.

Without the referendum it remains ...... to be happy.

30 June 2008 at 13:57  
Blogger Unsworth said...

Your Grace

If those appointed to The Lords are to be appointed on the basis of real merit or ability then it seems to me that their numbers can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Far better in my view to have an entirely hereditary House. I speak as one with an interest, I should declare. But how many peers appointed over, say, the last decade, have brought very much - if anything at all - to the House?

Those who have inherited their seats are mostly those who have little to prove and who owe little to Party. Thus they are more inclined to consider matters on their merits, rather than be influenced by Whips. Personally I'm all in favour of an honourable scepticism.

1 July 2008 at 21:08  
Blogger Unsworth said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 July 2008 at 21:09  

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