Saturday, 30 June 2012

House of Lords Reform

I think we can all agree that the Government's number one priority is getting the country's finances back on track. I am the first to admit House of Lords reform isn't the number one topic in the pubs of Hexham, but it is still an important constitutional issue none the less. I had some concenrs with the original proposal but have now been impressed by the compromises that have been reached between elected and peers appointed by an independent commission.

I thought you might be appreciate to know just where I stand on this issue, which seems to divide the House. The idea that in 2012 you can have people making our laws because their ancestors did a cushy land deal with the King, or because they were a mate of Tony Blair’s is just wrong.
I want to see voters, in places like Stocksfield and Haltwhistle, deciding who should makes their laws.

I was elected on a manifesto of reform of the House of Lords. I am in a coalition with my Liberal colleagues, many of who's views I share on this issue. I will vote for a majority of the House of Lords to be elected because in the 21st century the only way that the Houses of Parliament can be legitimate is for them fundamentally to be made up of people elected directly by voters.

People are right to praise the hard work of local peers like Lord Bates and Lord Shipley, but with progressive reform the House of Lords can only improve. The 826 peers will replaced by 360 elected and 90 appointed members, plus12 Bishops, making the Lords a lot more democratic.
I can never understand why some politicians are so afraid of the people; in my view, the people are pretty wise. We have got to break down the status quo and put the people in the driving seat.