When he stood for leader arch opponent of the House of Lords Jeremy Corbyn vowed that he wouldn’t nominate any more Labour peers. Post-Shami, Michael Crick reports that Jezza has formally sold out on his principled stance and is now in the process of choosing which comrades he wants to ennoble. What about Lord Mason of Lambeth, since he never did run for parliament? Surely Lord Loach for services to filmmaking. Lord Lansman of Shad Thames could be a good shout. There has been talk of a senior Stop the War figure being nominated – not Lord Murray? Unfortunately Lord Livingstone of Caracas wouldn’t be able to take the Labour whip. Though Lord Galloway may be able to soon. Alas Lord Jones of Islington may be overlooked for disloyalty…
Even most Remainers can surely see that the Lords voting down the government last night was about frustrating the process rather than helping either EU migrants or the Brexit deal. Goes without saying that tacking this amendment onto the Brexit bill oversteps the constitutional role of the second chamber. Below are the Lords that voted to delay the process. How many have you heard of?
Adams of Craigielea, B.
Allan of Hallam, L.
Allen of Kensington, L.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Anderson of Swansea, L.
Armstrong of Hill Top, B.
Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, L.
Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville, B.
A “government source” in this morning’s papers threatened the Lords with abolition if they obstruct Brexit, now Oliver Letwin has asked for a debate if they do hold up the process. Instead of implausibly threatening to abolish the Lords they should promise to cut daily their expenses from £300 to £0. Focus the peers’ minds…
Douglas Carswell was busy baiting the Labour Party over Short Money, which the chancellor has cut by 19%. Short Money is the taxpayer subsidy doled out to opposition parties – it is fundamentally undemocratic and really ought to be abolished entirely. As it stands by the end of this parliament Short Money is expected to rise by a whopping 68% since 2010!
The government has asked parliamentary parties for their views on how to proceed with the Short Money review. No taxpayers have been asked for their views. Sinn Fein gets a representative grant and doesn’t even sit in parliament!
Realistically Short Money could be phased out over the next 4 years. Political parties should be funded by their supporters, not out of general taxation….
Sadly Osborne was probably joking about the suggestion of saving the taxpayer millions by abolishing the Lords. This does deviate from Tory party policy though:
“That is a very decent proposal for the Autumn Statement which we will give proper consideration to… My view is clear, we should have an elected House of Lords.”
“Very proud of LibDem Lords,” crowed Tim Farron after Osborne was defeated in the Lords last night, adding: “We have sent a clear signal… Tonight’s vote gives people hope”. Yet what did Farron say about the second chamber just a few months ago?
“a system which is rotten to the core and allows unelected, unaccountable people to think they are above the law… Nothing will be achieved until Parliamentarians vote in favour of abolition”
What was it about the LibDem wipeout in democratic elections that caused Farron to change his mind about the “rotten, unelected, unaccountable” second chamber?
What about John McDonnell? Last night he praised the “huge blow in the House of Lords“, claiming the vote showed “people are waking up to what Labour has been warning“. That is the same John McDonnell who voted to abolish the Lords entirely in 2003.
“Only the Labour Lords motion could deliver the results needed,” said Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign team last night. That’s despite Corbyn vowing just two months ago to block new peers in a bid to increase pressure in favour of abolition.
Sadiq Khan said “I welcome” the vote, despite previously insisting that the current make up of the Lords had “no role in a modern democracy”. Turns out these principled parliamentary reformers are big fans of the Lords when it helps them score a win…