Prescott, Blunket, Darling, Straw and Hain ...

Mick Hall heaps scorn on the British House of Lords. Mick Hall is a Marxist blogger @ Organized Rage.
Prescott, Blunket, Darling, Straw and Hain,these people are so predictable when it comes to keeping their snouts in the ruling classes trough

On 3 November 2014, not even twelve months ago, Peter Hain told his constituents he believed the House of Lords should be abolished in its current form and replaced with an elected second parliamentary chamber:

The Lords are an archaic anomaly which fuels disillusionment with British politics. It exists purely on a democratic deficit which has been allowed to evolve unchecked for centuries … the fact is that people are fed up with an out-of-touch political class and the growing sense that Westminster is failing us all.

After he became Lord Hain of Neath last week, he wrote in the Guardian:

“it wasn’t an easy decision“, it had required “considerable thought“, but he concluded that “more peers in favour of reform are crucially important“. Is it any wonder more and more of us are concluding politicians like Hain are part of the problem, and can never be part of the solution as they are so firmly entrenched maintaining the status quo. Prescott, Blunket, Straw, Darling, Hain, Jowell, these people are so predictable they cannot wait to embarrass themselves when it comes to keeping their snouts in the ruling classes trough.

If the Labour Party were truly against the House of Lords they would follow the lead of the SNP and cease nominating members to sit in it. By pushing Parliamentary has-beens into this wretched abomination they're helping to perpetrate its continued existence.

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Cameron recently appointed 45 new members of the House of Lord's bringing the overall number of peers to 826. One would have thought that was more than enough as it fills the ermine clad benches four times over but no, Cameron felt there was a need for even more party insiders, convicted criminals like Jeffrey Archer, cronies, arse lickers, flunkies and political has-beens, and those who have given large donations to the Tory party.

Amongst them in the new intake are creatures like bankster James Lupton, who to gain his seat has allegedly given £2.8m of his ill gotten gains to the Tories, and Ruby McGregor Smith, the acquisition and asset stripper who during the general election campaign signed a letter to the Times masquerading as an independent minded businessman who was backing George Osborne’s economic policies and austerity cuts.

According to the latest House of Lords Annual Report, net operating costs for the chamber totalled £94.4m for 2014/15; of this £20.7m was spent on members pampering, allowances and expenses. Imagine how many social workers, nurses and teachers could be hired for that sum. Which in itself should be enough of a reason to abolish this unelected and un representative parliamentary chamber.

The House of Lords acts as a status symbol and a pension top up for those whom the ruling class of the day regard as having served their class interests well. The British people are electorally neutered, left without any say in whom sits in the nations second law making chamber. That is left to the PM and the so called good and great. A sham of a democratic institution, any one of its members can hold senior governmental office on the whim of the prime minister without ever having to face the electorate.

Its an aberration of democracy, regarded throughout the world as a Rauritanian absurdity which would only normally be tolerated in a dictatorship. So it's hardly surprising it is the largest law making chamber in the world after the National People's Congress of China. Which says it all really, although in China's defence it does have 1.4 billion citizens whereas the UK has a population of just under 70 million.

Its members and the media have often claimed the Lords is something of value, a chamber of experts, an assembly of all the professions, with members coming from all walks of life, unlike the elected commons which is made up of only the political elite. Of course this is nonsense, as the Electoral Reform Society recently pointed out:

Professional experience amongst members of the House of Lords is concentrated in the field of electoral politics - it is the single most common background for Peers, with over a third of Lords (34%) having previously worked in politics. Twenty-seven percent (27%) of Peers have politics as their primary or secondary profession – a further 7 percent are former political staff, activists or held official positions in political parties. This means that over a third (34%) of Lords worked in politics. The next highest is business and commerce (9%) then legal professions (7%) then banking and finance (6%). Manual and skilled trades, policing, and transport are represented by 1% or less of the chamber each. Two Peers worked primarily as part of the royal household, compared to one Peer from a manual background. There are only 193 female Members of the House of Lords out of a total of 826. (As at 06 July 2015- which is approximately 23%, which is another reason why it should go.--MH).

Still there is one good thing to come out of Cameron's latest dishonours list, the newly ennobled Dame Tessa Jowell, by accepting one of Betsy more disreputable baubles has scotched all hope of becoming Labour's candidate for Mayor of London.

As Jim Royal would have said:

"An assembly of all the professions, members from all walks of life, a chamber of experts my arse."

* Patronage is within Cameron DNA he has appointed 102 Tory peerages since he took office.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

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