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In the News

Great article on Lords reform for class discussion

Mike McCartney

17th November 2021

John Harris in The Guardian article under the heading: "The Lords is a scandal in plain sight. If we won’t abolish it now, then when?"

This is a bit of a follow up to yesterday's post that I made:

Harris presents a bit of a polemic. That is, there is no case for the defence. It is brilliantly written, and very convincing. This is a taster:

"Viewed from any reasonable perspective, the Lords resembles one of those Hogarthian pictures conjured up by the online satirist Cold War Steve. There are 92 “hereditaries” still sitting in the chamber, and all of them are men. Since Johnson became prime minister, about 100 new life peers have been appointed, taking the total membership of the upper house to about 800 – which makes it bigger than the European parliament. If the prime minister really wants to give someone a peerage, his or her patronage powers seem to be basically unfettered: in late 2020, the House of Lords appointments commission objected to the nomination of the Tory donor and former party treasurer Peter Cruddas, who had offered access to Cameron and other ministers in exchange for party donations; but with echoes of his waving away of advice about his involvement in Arcuri’s business affairs when he was London mayor, Johnson ignored the usual protocol and did it anyway (three days after he took his seat, Cruddas gave the Conservative party another £500,000, taking his total donations to well over £3m)."

It is, if it was not already obvious, well worth a read.

The full article is here:

Mike McCartney

Mike is an experienced A-Level Politics teacher, author and examiner.

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