18 May 2011

Where's the nearest lamppost?

'Sir' Michael White is less than lukewarm about Lords reform. But you'd expect that from such a toadie to parliamentary tradition and the establishment:

Since the collapse of socialism as a transformative project, middle class progressives have looked to constitutional reform for their agenda. But the public isn't obliged to share that enthusiasm, as it demonstrated in the AV vote. Do we really need another tier of elected politicians? It's not as if the talent pool of volunteers is bursting.
What we do need is more effective accountability of the non 15-year variety, but it is the unelected who need to be held more to account, the quangocrats and officials, the corporate remuneration committees which rob shareholders and pension funds, not least the media barons. MPs try on select committees, albeit with limited success.
If someone can devise a model whereby an elected senate, full of worldly and experienced types with nothing to lose, not mere well-meaning novices, can put the fear of God or the law into that crowd, they'd get my attention.
Until then, I think it's a matter of: "Not now, Nick, we're busy."

He is therefore prepared to tolerate the continued presence in the Lords of 92 hereditary peers and the continued ability of party leaders to appoint their cronies. And The Guardian is supposed to be a progressive newspaper ...

1 comment:

Wat Tyler said...

I've never understood the argument against hereditary peers - it is as good a method of random, and hence fair, selection as any.