The lesser spotted arguments

I’ve had to give up watching Newsnight as I was threatening to disturb my neighbours with all my shouting at the TV. There’s some absolute rubbish being spouted by various people, and ironically a lot of it is coming from people with ‘Lord’ before their name, who think that magically gives them the power to have opinions that are better than you or I.

Amazing, really, how many people seem to think we don’t have an upper house of Parliament already, seeing as they’re complaining about the cost of an elected chamber and the fact that it will be full of politicians. Unless I’ve missed something recently, I don’t think the current Lords are doing it for free (admittedly some are paying for the privilege, just not into the Parliamentary coffers) and I haven’t heard of the OED changing the definition of ‘politician’ to no longer include people who aren’t elected.

Then of course there’s the ‘tactical voting’ and ‘all sorts of motives behind this majority’ argument which might make sense if we were allowed to have every vote in Parliament reviewed in that way. Maybe we could have the last few elections annulled on the grounds that the people clearly didn’t mean to get the Parliament they got elected as they were voting tactically. If you want to reform the Commons to include a ‘yes, but…’ option in the lobbies, then go ahead, but until then have the courage to vote for what you want and mean, rather than hoping some political soothsayer will determine whether or not your vote had some ironic intent to it.

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2 Comments to "The lesser spotted arguments"

  1. greg's Gravatar greg
    March 10, 2007 - 11:15 am | Permalink

    I don’t think the arguments about why people voted are any more than a statement of fact. It’s not a case of getting the decision “reviewed”. There hasn’t yet been even been a decision!

    The House of Commons passed a PR bill under Lloyd George. This latest House of Lords situation hasn’t even come close to reaching that stage! Even if there is currently a majority for full elections, i suspect there are dozens of different fundamental views of how those ‘elections’ should be carried out (support for the status quo being the preferred option over most of the other alternatives), and that’s not mentioning how they are introduced or any reviews of the powers of the Lords.

  2. March 10, 2007 - 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Hear, hear.

    The thing is, there are plenty of people in the Commons who would rather have a fully elected second chamber than a hybrid one, even if they would ideally like no reform at all. That’s why they voted on Wednesday the way they did.

    This is now a test for all those people who mouthed platitudes about the need for reform but thought there was some nice, safe, “halfway house” (predominantly they are in the Conservative Party, but there are many in all parties). Do you support full reform now, or would you prefer the status quo? I suspect that so long as the government holds firm, in the final analysis it will emerge that enough of them would prefer the former. But that’s only if the cynics are not allowed to have their way.

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