June 28th, 2011

One Good Reason For Lords Reform

Not normally one for Hansard trawling, Guido had to chuckle at Conor Burns’ argument for reforming the House of Lords. Closely allied to Maggie, he is almost her unofficial PPS, Conor saw a good opportunity to shaft an old foe:

Thomas Docherty (Dunfermline and West Fife, Labour)
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman is not aware that his noble Friend Lord Heseltine has not even made his maiden speech in the House of Lords. “Part-time” would not be a good adjective to describe him. Can the hon. Gentleman think of one?

Conor Burns (Bournemouth West, Conservative)
I can think of many, and it is not often that I am accused of being on the same side as Lord Heseltine. I remember telling Lady Thatcher a couple of years ago that he had not made his maiden speech, having been in the Lords for nine years at the time. Her reply was, “Well, look on the bright side, at least we haven’t had to listen to it.” Lord Heseltine is a very good example of my point—he says that he took his membership of the other place because he wanted the honour, but he did not want to participate. He has participated in fewer than 20 Divisions in the 10 years that he has been a Member of the other place. That was why I found it absolutely disgraceful that he came in the other night to vote against the referendum lock in the European Union Bill, which is going through the other place. Such examples show that the other place needs some reform.

A compelling case…


  1. 1
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Keep the Lords as it is, we do not need another house of commons.

  2. 2
    MrAngry61 says:

    The Lords has been flooded with Labour placemen – and fellow travellers like Hezza.

    It certainly needs some reform – maybe being elected would make some peers work harder. It’d be nice to kick out some of the more worthless shit promoted there in recent years too.

  3. 3
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    If we have a elected 2nd chamber then all hell breaks lose, Who has the more legite mandate? The extra cost for elections? It will end up as a mirror of the commons.

    As it is now the Lords is a revising chamber that knows its place, Make it elected then what happens?

    Maybe if the Commons read every line of every bill and held the executive to account properly then you could aboilsh the Lords, this under last goverment and this one gives no-time for proper scrunity of bills leaving it for the Lords to do it, They do a fine and better job than the commons.

    Judging by the standard of work they do you would think the Commons was the un-elected house.

  4. 4
    Eileen Critchley says:

    Its the hereditary lot and the religious crowd I have a problem with.

    You’re either in the democracy business or you’re not.

  5. 5
    Ratsniffer says:

    The Lords groans with the corpulent arses of EU shills, all desperate to protect those platinum plated pensions. Chuck ‘em out, they are a discrace.

  6. 6
    Take the politics out of Politics. says:

    Fully agree with your second point Billy. But can’t agree with the first, there are far too many of them and far too many who are politically motivated.

  7. 7
    Guy Martin to win TT2012 says:

    Let’s think properly radical – no elections, no placemen either – choose the buggers by lottery with some simple selection criteria:

    1) no pooftahs
    2) must be on the electoral roll
    3) no pooftahs
    4) must have clean criminal records check
    5) no pooftahs
    6) must be able to use the word antidisestablishmentarianism in a sentence

  8. 8
    Anonymous says:

    David Cameron today accused critics of Turkey’s membership of the EU of playing on fears of Islam – as he pledged to ‘pave the road from Ankara to Brussels’.
    In a speech in the Turkish capital the Prime Minister promised to ‘fight’ to help the mainly Islamic country achieve its 50-year goal of EU membership.
    He said that, by embracing the moderate Muslim nation, the EU can improve relations with the rest of the Islamic world.
    And he hit out at those who ‘wilfully misunderstand Islam’ in order to oppose Turkey’s membership.


  9. 9

    Kick Hezza out.
    And I’ll take his place. I’ve been dying to get in there.

    No need to say anything. No work. No expectations. no bother from the PM or the voters. And all the receipts paid that you can stuff into your pockets.

    Lord Quango of Newgate.. Has a nice ring to it doncha’ think?

  10. 10
    Ah! Monika says:

    Can anyone think of a reason why we should have a single bishop in the Lords.

    And if yes why not an Imam?

  11. 11
    Stan Butler says:

    The Lords needs reform. I would suggest the following.
    1. Membership of a political party excludes membership of the Lords.
    2. You must be at least 45 years old.
    3. You must have worked at middle and senior levels in the private sector or owned you own company for at least 5 years.
    4. Religious belief should not influence rational decision making.
    5. Former public sector employees should not be excluded from the Lords but must have proven proficiency in the sector where they have worked in. No more ex councillors or trade unions barons .
    6. Any member of the judiciary wishing to enter the Lords should be tested for mental ability.

    Thats a start.

  12. 12
    Anonymous says:

    Just look at US and most other countries, it works fine.

  13. 13
    Ah! Monika says:

    Doesn’t look like Billy will be going to the Lords if you have your way.

  14. 14
    Mine d'Boggles says:

    The Lords? Most of them are no more Lords than Battersea Bridge. Grasping venal ex-politicians would describe many of them.

    I am sure the other place would be vastly more efficient if the place was populated solely by the ten premier Dukes. They, at least have experience of running a big country – their own.

  15. 15
    Tax Payer says:

    If you think Greece caused problems, wait ’til Turkey are our proper mates.

    A friend in need…..etc

  16. 16
    Tax Payer says:

    Billy, an excellent post – at last!

    I knew you had it in you.

  17. 17
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    The USA if often brought up in this debate, but the President of USA has a veto on any bills passed by congress, We do not.

  18. 18
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    false dichotomy

  19. 19
    Mine d'Boggles says:

    Dear me, …. the sun has got to me …

    ** were** not was (populated)

  20. 20
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    1) A single reason:
    If people decided to vote a bishop in.

    2) That would be democracy for you.

  21. 21
    Tax Payer says:

    There is no perfect or logical answer to the Lords conundrum. ‘Least worst’ is the best we’ll get.

    Unfortunately, politicians have p*ssed about with it so much, and claimed the moral high ground every time, that the inevitable compromise will be very messy and un-workable.

  22. 22
    annette curton says:

    Tyburn sounds better.

  23. 23
    Fred Wests evil brother says:

    I have a basement big enough for most of them , let them adjourn to my chamber ! That’ll learn them !

  24. 24
    Penfold says:

    Hows about reform of the Commons.

    In the other place, if you don’t turn up there’s no money, BUT, as we’ve all seen recently, in the Commons Gordo doesn’t turn up, but still cops loads of loot and still claims his wretched expenses.

    If Tarzan doesn’t want to speak all well and good. But, his voting record is a disgrace, for someone who allegedly didn’t want to partake and using his position to block anti-EU legislation is a disgrace and a damning indictment on “those bastards” within the Westminster Village who still think that the EU/Euro and the statist sclerotic EU Parliament is a good thing, alonmg with bailing out Greece and rolling over to unacceptable EU legislation.

  25. 25
    Penfold says:

    Modded !!! Why?

    Come on Guido this is going too far.

  26. 26
    Hot today says:

    Was, not **were**.

  27. 27
    Steve T says:

    Is there nothing David Cameron will not do for his EU masters?

    Neo Liberals like Cameron refuse to see facts – they insteaqd “choose” to believe in the fake reality they create by surrounding themselves with sycophants and traitors.

    Cameron is the best recruiter for UKIP I can think of – after a lifetime of tribal loyalty to the Tories I joined UKIP yesterday.

    Well done Dave – another ldespicable bar fly and closet racist gone from the party, right?

  28. 28
    A. Wanker says:

    To bash him!

  29. 29
    Lord Skint of Little Funding on-the-Hole says:

    Come on up Bill, it’s really rather spiffing and lots of junkets abroad. My butler is packing several suitcases as I write, for my trip to the Maldives Summit on Deck-Chair and Beach Recliner shortages in the third world.

  30. 30
    HandsomeDavid says:

    Guido is just demonstrating to you the difficulties that Chinese bloggers face.

  31. 31
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    So you don’t think its a subjunctive?

  32. 32
    Elsie Chavgasser says:

    A military junta would be better than the shower of shit we have in Parliament.

    Note to military: act now, before Dave’s made you all redundant.

  33. 33
    Mine d'Boggles says:


  34. 34
    Eamonn U Ensis says:

    This sort of thing is easily dealt with…all you have to do is make it a requirement that for a member of the Lords (or Commons for that matter) to be eligible to speak in a debate or vote is that they have been in attendance in the chamber at least 75%(and have made an intervention or tried to at least 50% of that period) of the time the Lords or Commons has been sitting. If they start to remonstrate that this deprives them/constituents etc of the right to have their view enunciated in Parliament then ask why they haven’t bothered to turn up to debates hitherto or contribute? QED.

  35. 35
    Dilligaff says:

    We do; it’s just that it hasn’t been used in centuries.
    (William IV was close) but Anne on the Scottish Militia Bill in 1708 was the last sovereign so to do..

  36. 36
    Campaign to ask Guido (nicely) to help us avoid being modded says:

    I share your frustration. Perhaps a short post by Guido explaining what’s OK and what isn’t would help?

  37. 37

    I’ll come if I can. But the sustainable, renewable, green energy conference in Nairobi and the Urban planning transportation symposium in that sprawling metropolis of Antigua need fitting in too.

  38. 38
    Educated in a Labour borough comprehensive school says:

    What the f*** is a subjunctive?

    A derailed train?

  39. 39
    loungelizard says:

    Penfold my friend…for you ze blog is over.

  40. 40
    Handycock No1 Trougher in Parliament says:

    Don’t reform the Lords until after I get my Peerage please. Got to keep troughing, troughing…

  41. 41
    The Welsh Windbag says:

    I’ll have you know my pension is solid platinum. And so are those of my wife and family – thanks suckers!

  42. 42
    obangobang says:

    Does Docherty voice the same disdain for his neighbour and former leader’s shocking attendance record at the Commons?

    Thought not.

  43. 43
    the only way is anal says:

    once a cun*t, always a cun*t

  44. 44
    David Laws Lib Dem fiddler says:

    Cameron presumably wants the 2 million immigrants that comes with Turkey’s membership. I am surprised that he does not have Heseltine in the cabinet along with liberal back stabber soft on crime Clark. Out of Europe now, we want a referendum on anything to do with Europe. Another let down by CaMoron.

    The US wants Turkey in the EU, perhaps they could advocate for their membership of the American alliance instead? The US ought to mind their own business, Obama is no friend of the UK- Cameron was going to stick up to the yanks- another cast iron let down. He disappoints on a daily basis.

    The Lords need to go and be reformed ASAP, no more jobs for the boys and girls out of patronage to corrupt politicians.

  45. 45
    David Laws Lib Dem fiddler says:

    Many of us will at the next election. CaMoron is out of touch with what we want and expect from a Tory government.

  46. 46
    misterned says:

    Indeed. I was utterly aghast and in shock some moments ago when labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, Gisela Stuart, was on Radio 2 just after 1:00 talking about Greece and everything she said was spot on 100% correct. She was saying that Greece needs to be allowed to dump the Euro, get their own currency, devalue and compete their way out of economic trouble, as without doing that it is mathematically impossible for the Greek government to pay off it’s massive levels of debt. A labour MP with some grasp on reality? I never thought it possible.

    The lefty prick Jeremy Vine just could not comprehend how that could happen and that it would not be fair on Greeks who have savings designated in Euros. Even when told that it happened when they went from the drachma to the Euro, he still did not ‘get it’.

  47. 47
    Tachybaptus says:

    Didn’t Queen Victoria veto the proposed section in the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 that would have outlawed lesbian acts? I have certainly been told this, but it may be a myth. Section 62 of this act deals with male homosexuality, but before this buggery had carried the death penalty.

  48. 48
    Vimeiro says:

    A friend in need is a menace.

  49. 49
    the only way is anal says:

    the current house of lords is full of useless old troughing cun*ts, put there by all political parties.

    other than acting as god’s waiting room, it serves no useful purpose.

  50. 50
    old timer says:

    60 odd years ago, my gran always used to use the expression “Newgate’s knocker”. I still don’t know what she meant by it but I think Newgate was the site of a prison or workhouse somewhere in London. Anyone know if such a place would be suitable for Senor Quango?

  51. 51
    old timer says:

    Subjunctivitis is a disease of the eye under which sufferers are/were incapable of seeing what was written on the blackboard during French lessons.

  52. 52
    old timer says:

    “partake” does NOT mean “participate”.


  53. 53
    Mouser self abuser ! says:

    “Well, look on the bright side, at least we haven’t had to listen to it.”
    Pmsl pure genius worthy of Churchill and Lawrence!

  54. 54
    Dilligaff says:


    That’s a canard, I’m afraid. She DID ask whether women could do such things and refused to believe it but the Bill is the bill as presented in its entirety and the sovereign cannot cherry-pick.

    As per the buggery charge being a capital offence, I believe I’m right that that was only during the first 40 days of a voyage with the Royal Navy and that a mere lashing was accorded if an offence took place after that time period had expired.

  55. 55
    Grammar School Boy says:

    Well aaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwrrrrrrriigggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhtttttttttt !!!

    Well aaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwrrrrrrriigggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhtttttttttt !!!

    Well aaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwrrrrrrriigggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhtttttttttt !!!

  56. 56
    Tacitus says:

    I really do not understand why Guido brought up Hezza to lambast the House of Lords. After all he has excellent credentials as a business man AND for getting things done.
    Far better to quote Two Jags Prescott and that unspeakable cretin Gorbals Mick that was the Speaker for untold years under Labor.
    I am now reliably informed that other incompetent nincompoops have got into the house by the back door such as the brother of a black tailor in London who made a total arse of himself as our representative in South Africa.
    Can it really get any worse in the HoL?
    We need 100 wise men and women in the HoL elected by an independent non-political committee of not more than 7 people who will judge and approve these people in the Lords – and they will ALL be subject to a structured and constant monitoring and evaluation – including the press.
    Leadership? What leadership!

  57. 57
    Tacitus says:

    What Josie Lawrence or ??

  58. 58
    Tacitus says:

    Can you imagine what power the Speaker will then acrue?
    He could stop anyone’s career.
    TIme for Eamonn to stop and engage brain before speech.

  59. 59

    As in “black as Newgates knocker”

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