Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Reform of the House of Lords

This government is brilliant! It just keeps giving me things to write about - they are like a breath of stale air. I will cover Coastguards, The Thatcher legacy, EMA and NHS reform as well as the general direction that they are pursuing in future but today it is the turn of the House of Lords.
The original idea behind the Lords was 'We know the house of commons is corrupt - so we need to put someone there to keep them in check and make sure that the upper classes are not affected by their decisions'. This has worked well for the second part - they have protected the upper class and high earners for quite some time but corrupt MP's was too big for them (or maybe the second part overtook the first - who knows?).
I will save beating around the bush and simply state the HOL does not work.
So, here is my suggestion.
The House of Lords should be made up from the heads or leaders of local councils. When we elect local councils we would also elect a 'Figurehead' with whatever title it is given. This person would sit as a connection between local and national government and ensure that local people views are taken into account. This person would have an input into local government and act as a 'direction setter' as they will be elected (almost presidential style) directly by the people they serve (not parish by parish). They would also have the same input as MP's into video questions and conferences and then they will have two days of voting and direct questions. There would be no un-elected members of the HOL - every person in the UK would have access to two people who can impact upon government policy and make their voices heard.
This would maximise the role and actually make it a worthwhile position. The current system makes the role of 'Lord' a pointless title that simply looks good on paper. When you make these people elected - you put them on an even footing with MP's and you start to ensure that the policies that are passed are good for the whole country and that the people running the country are acting in the interest of the whole country.

As always your views are welcome and you are very welcome to share my blog through Facebook and Twitter etc - maybe one day somebody from 'on high' might act upon these ideas - stranger things have happened!

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