Friday, February 26, 2016
Cameron’s Plan To Slash Democracy – MPs Down, Lords Up
A question to ask Mr Cameron today:
“How is your plan to cut 50 MPs but add 40 Lords a/ democratic or b/ money-saving?”Four years ago, Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conservatives all promised to make the House of Lords elected – but Labour and Tories teamed up to stop the changes. That’s why voters still can’t hold peers to account or throw them out. Today, the news breaks that the Prime Minister wants to stuff the Lords with forty new cronies at the same time as slashing the number of MPs (for whom we get to vote) by fifty.
The House of Lords already has hundreds more members than the House of Commons – and all Lords have seats for as long as they want them, usually for life. Personally, I’d give more power to the regions and only then cut MPs’ numbers once there’s less work for them to do, but anyone who thinks democracy matters at all can see Mr Cameron’s plan is the wrong way round.
There should be no cuts to the Commons until the Lords is cut to the same size, and no more unelected peers appointed at all if the Parliamentarians we can at least theoretically vote to get rid of are being removed.
The Tories claim they want to “cut the cost of politics,” but this isn’t about reducing the numbers of politicians – just swapping out fifty MPs for nearly as many new Lords instead. The difference is, even after the Tories do their best to choose which voters are put into which constituency boundaries to try and get as many Tories elected as they possibly can, they’re still scared to death that voters can still choose not to vote Tory after all. So now they plot to just stop us pesky voters from getting in their way. That’s why Mr Cameron plans to swap MPs who voters have power over for Tory crony nodding dogs in the Lords – who no voter has ever had a say on.
One to file under ‘You couldn’t make it up’ (but now the Tories have absolute power on a third of the vote they think they can get away with anything).
Sourced from today’s The Times Red Box bulletin:
“In for a peerage
“Yesterday we had news of David Cameron's plan to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600 to help to ‘cut the cost of politics’.
“Today comes an extraordinary story in The Times [paywall] about how Downing Street is preparing to create up to 40 new peers after the EU referendum.
“Sam Coates reports that it means the PM will be able to reward supporters of the Remain campaign, while trying to prevent embarrassing defeats in the upper chamber.
“Legally all such stories must include this fact: The Lords is already the second biggest legislature in the world, after the Chinese politburo.
“And there was me thinking Cameron wanted to take back powers from an unelected, unaccountable elite who threaten the supremacy of British democracy.”