The question over the position of the House of Lords has long been discussed by many in the Westminster circle, since the middle of the 90s it has long been discussed over how it isn’t democratically elected. A huge amount of parliamentary time has been given to this issue, with many in the Westminster bubble seeing it as a vital change to our country.
These people have clearly never met any of the general public. The only people I have met who are not only interested in House of Lords reform are the political geeks similar to myself and several students. This isn’t what should be taking up the House of Commons time.
Many of us realise that this is going to go through eventually to push for the democratically elected aspect of the House of Lords, using comparisons of other countries which have an elected second chamber. What many people forget is that we don’t have to tick the boxes on the world stage, there are different aspects to each country and we should stick to that. The unique aspect of each country is important for its own National identity on the world stage and also to its own citizens.
The roles of the House of Lords is for scrutiny, nothing more, and this is how it should remain.
If I wanted to find out about IT, I would do my research with various written resources and I would also ask someone in the industry. This is common sense, the person who knows the most about the subject is the person who does the actual job. So why exactly are we having more politicians to scrutinise politicians? Many of whom will walk out of one door of the House of Commons into the next door of the House of Lords. Are we trying to create a buddy club? Why could we not have a chamber of people from the community, those who do the job, those who are a from a professional body. If I wanted to discuss aspects of engineering I would go to the Institute of Engineering & Technology. As not only will their representative have knowledge of the subject being discussed, they will also have a network of contacts from that industry to be able to find anything specific out. An elected member of the Lords has to do their own digging and research, and then they are still collating data to pass on and nothing more.
The most commonly banded phrase is that the Lords can be ‘held accountable for their actions’, no they can’t. Having a single fixed term of 15 years does not make them accountable in the slightest, beacause they don’t need to worry about getting re-elected and as such does not need to worry about pleasing those who elected them. It makes it a pointless waste of time for another election the public do not care about.
What I would like to see is a second chamber with representatives of engineers, nurses, soldiers, advertisers, lawyers and educators. This is what we need to make the full use of professional scrutiny rather than political posturing to give someone a cushy number for 15 years.