Thursday, 29 October 2015

William Hague is right to argue that nowhere else accepts an unelected second chamber preventing an elected Commons from deciding finance matters

Brilliant article here
by William Hague setting out why Monday's vote by the House of Lords was profoundly wrong.
An elected House, the Commons, must hold sway over the unelected Lords, on tax, spend and all matters finance.

Hague singled out the Lid Dems in particular because it seemed to him that on Monday night, when they joined in defeating George Osborne’s tax credit plans and even voted for a “fatal motion” to stop them altogether, "these ghosts forgot a key principle of the liberal civilisation they once led. My old Liberal friends in the last Cabinet were fond the idea that matters of taxation are solely for the elected house of our Parliament to decide is a constitutional principle of the United Kingdom if ever there was one. 
It was David Lloyd George, one of the greatest of all Liberal leaders, who enunciated this principle with clarity and passion. “The right of the Commons to grant supplies,” he declared in 1909, “is a franchise won through generations of sacrifice and of suffering. The Commons of England stormed the heights after many repulses, many a failure, with heavy losses, but they captured them.” On another occasion he thundered that “measures… put forward by men elected by a majority of the people” should not be “rejected or mutilated by a House with no responsibility to anyone, not elected by anyone”."
The final comment and ultimate irony should come from the leader of the Lid Dem rump, Tim Farron MP
“Very proud of LibDem Lords,” crowed Tim Farron after Osborne was defeated in the Lords last night, adding: “We have sent a clear signal… Tonight’s vote gives people hope”. Yet what did Farron say about the second chamber just a few months ago?
“a system which is rotten to the core and allows unelected, unaccountable people to think they are above the law”