Time for reform of Lords.
AS an A-level student of politics many years ago, my teacher convinced me of the worth of the House of Lords as a second chamber, revising the badly written laws sent down from the House of Commons. He defended the hereditary principle because of its tendency to be conservative in its defence of the country and thought it was the best way to make sure any change was gradual.
He did warn that the introduction of life peers, particularly political appointees, would change the nature of the chamber. Since the major reform of the House, undertaken by the Blair government, we can see that the chamber is fundamentally undemocratic, has become the refuge of political stooges and no longer bows its head to preserving what is best of Britain.
Unfortunately there is now a clear case for having an elected second chamber. It is too late to go back to what it was as people would no longer accept being governed on the hereditary principle. To be governed by unelected political cronies is also, I would argue, totally unacceptable. If we must have a second chamber as a revising check on the MPs, then it has to be elected.
The authority of the House of Lords is totally undermined if there is no method of removing people who have been found guilty, in a court of law, like Lord Archer, or caught on camera sniffing cocaine like Lord Sewel. Because the very nature of the House of Lords has been corrupted, by the flooding of it with the main political parties' appointees, there needs to be change, to regain public confidence, so that the people of the UK have control of their government.
Bernard McGuin Huddersfield Conservative