Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Did you really think they knew what they were doing?

In the House of Lords there was a preliminary debate about potential reform of it. I shall read Hansard tomorrow and blog about it then. In the meantime, here is evidence (as if you needed it) that the government has not thought its ideas on the subject through.

There was a written question from Lord Stoddart of Swindon on June 24:
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will ensure that any proposals from the committee on House of Lords reform for a wholly or partly elected second chamber will be accompanied by a re-allocation of powers to each chamber and the repeal of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949.
This is a perfectly rational question and an important point that HMG will have to think about when it presents its, no doubt, badly worded, Bill for the reform of the Upper House. Apparently, so far they have not done so. Lord McNally's reply was short of logical thinking:
The Government believe that the basic relationship between the two Houses, as set out in the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, should continue when the House of Lords is reformed.
Ahem, the basic relationship between the two Houses was brought into law in 1911 and 1949 (and, as a matter of fact, there is some doubt about the full legality of the latter Act) because the Upper House was unelected and could, therefore, be regarded as somewhat inferior. But if both Houses are elected then what is the justification for regarding one of them of greater importance than the other?


  1. Helen
    The parliament Acts 1911/49 are both illegal under our constitution, because they remove a protection from the subject put there by our forfathers to protect us from despotic government. I would welcome a chat with Richard and yourself, I am @ Albert