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Sunday, 15 July 2012

Liberal attacks "ludicrous proposals" for Lords reform

Let us place on the record, at the outset, the Liberal Party’s support for a predominantly elected replacement for the House of Lords. We can see merit in a percentage of members being appointed in order to preserve and promote expertise within a revising chamber.

We are in favour of the chamber having specific provision for representatives from all British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.

What we do not support, and never will, is the ludicrous proposals put forward by the Coalition Government. Given that an elected second chamber has been postulated and debated for over a century we could have expected better than this back of an envelope reform.

The proposal is that members will serve a 15 year term, and will be eligable to stand for one term of office only. If one was trying to devise a formula for unaccountable and self serving members of the legislature then here it is.

Once elected, the member is there (on a salary of £45,000 per annum), immovable and unaccountable for a generation, and the only power the electorate have over politicians - to turn them out through the ballot box - is rendered impotent by the ‘one term only’ proposal.

It appears that the proposals serve only the polictial parties looking for a method of rewarding their placemen with a well paid 15 year sojourn in a legislative holiday camp, without power, responsiblity or accountability.

Yours faithfully
Daniel Wood
Chair of the Policy Committee
The Liberal Party