By SimplyLogical
6 years ago

Lording It Over Us

Not content with getting paid just to sign in, sleeping during debates and generally freeloading their way through life, the House of Lords has now fallen prey to its ego.

Yesterday they debated the amendment to the Government's Article 50 bill. Now, for those who don't know, the "Government" meets in the House of Commons and is made up of various elected members of different political parties. The party with the most votes makes a Government and the head of the Government is the Prime Minister. The important bit here is the word elected.

Elected members are paid a salary to attend meetings, sub committees, run constituency clinics or surgeries and to vote for or against legislative changes to the UK constitution. The Lords, on the other hand, are non elected, usually having served the country in various capacities over the years and are granted the title as a privilege. Andrew Lloyd-Webber is a Lord, a title granted to him for his services to the theatre and music. The job of a Lord is to have oversight of the bills being passed by the House of Commons. If they turn up at the House, they get paid a days wage, even if they are only there for five minutes. They are also often caught sleeping during debates, which are generally not well supported, the chamber itself being half empty.

It is because of the above that the "Upper House" as it is sometimes known, is on thin ice. It is seen as an unnecessary step in the red tape of Government and mostly just passes bills brought before them after much rambling debate. Many have therefore called for it to be abolished in favour of an elected body. It is also heavily biased in favour of the political views of the person who nominated them for the honour. The Lords is currently quite left wing in its views because successive left wing Governments made many appointments during the late 90's and early 2000's. Such appointments invariably go to like minded individuals, hence the left wing bias.

Yesterday however, they excelled themselves. After many, many, many hours of debate, they succumbed to the call of their egos and voted in favour of an amendment to the Article 50 bill forcing the Government to allow Parliament to vote on whatever deal is done with the EU regarding Brexit. There was always going to be a vote, but it was a take it or leave it vote, which gave no power for Parliament to force the Government to return to the EU and re-negotiate. This is a ludicrous decision because it is impractical and the Lords know this only too well. Why then did they vote for this? The answer is simple, most members of the House of Lords do not want the UK to leave the EU. It is quite simply a last ditch desperate attempt to stop Brexit.

Consider this. The negotiations to leave the EU will be carried out between the UK and EU negotiators. Assuming they do reach an agreement (which in itself is a tall order), this will then be agreed by the EU and UK, then ratified in each of the EU State's Parliaments. This means a vote by every government in Europe. If then, when it comes to the UK's turn to vote, the deal is rejected, the whole process will have to start again. On what planet would you have to live to think that the UK could go back to the EU and ask for a better deal and get one?

The Lords think that using this device, they can force the Government to keep returning to Brussels asking for modifications to the deal ad-infinitum. They also think that this will keep us in the EU whilst all these new negotiations are made. This simply isn't the case. Article 50 points out the finite nature of the negotiating period. Essentially we have two years to complete the deal or we are considered to be gone anyway. This will, of course, lead to what is known as a "hard Brexit", where no deal is reached and both parties have to resort to World Trade Organisation rules which, in all probability, will include tariffs on goods and services crossing the EU border. That is in nobody's interests, least of all those of the EU.

All is not lost, because the bill will need to go back before the Commons and the Lord's amendment can be removed when it does. Let's just hope that the Loony Left don't get emboldened by the Lord's decision. That, at the moment, seems unlikely because they have to answer to their voters. They alone have the power to keep the MPs honest, or to push them off of the gravy train if they are not. That would in all likelihood result in a drop in salary and them having to work for a living. None of them are quite that Loony.

6 years
Borderline In my opinion Lords shouldn't even exist. Nowadays every citizen should be equal!
6 years
6 years
SimplyLogical In a regularly organised society there need to be distinctions, or that society will break down. I think there is a general lack of respect nowadays which undermines authority. Without that, you have anarchy. That said, if you are in a position of responsibility, you need to take those responsibilities seriously or you will automatically lose respect. This is of course what is happening with the Lords. All credibility is being lost, along with respect.
6 years
6 years
Borderline you're right
6 years