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Bloated House of Lords demonstrates how politicians live in their own bubble

August 4, 2014

This week will see the already bloated, unelected House of Lords enlarged still further, ensuring that it retains its unenviable position as the largest parliamentary chamber in the world.

 
With a total of 828 members (although 54 are listed as being on ‘leave of absence’) it is larger than the unicameral European Parliament that represents an entire continent. Add to that huge number the 650 members of the House of Commons and by time 20 more Peers are nominated this week our national parliament will have almost 1500 members, leaving only the Chinese National People’s Congress – which is not a directly elected body – with its 3000 delegates as larger.

 
Hardly surprising people feel an intense distaste for the world of politics, especially when you start to look at the costs of maintaining such an unwieldy Parliament.

Ermine Arms Race
UK ParliamentThere will be alot said about the need for more ‘working Peers’ and the need to balance the representation of the parties to better reflect the House of Commons. This is a lot of tosh and has been the justification for this bizarre ermine arms race since Tony Blair’s Premiership. Has it never occurred to the leaders of our political parties that this could equally be achieved by taking people out of the House of Lords? After all, they are unelected and only owe their appointments to patronage.

 
Of course it hasn’t occurred to them, sealed into their political bubble in Westminster.

 
None of the main party leaders has ever lived or worked in what the rest of us would describe as the ‘real world’ so they are incapable of seeing things as the rest of us do. They occasionally profess to worry about how people are getting disconnected from politics, especially when they see the steadily falling turnouts at elections, but are utterly incapable of responding to the important challenge that throws down. They can justify to themselves having more Peers because they believe that is what the rules of the political club they have belonged to all their lives requires. They can’t see that most of the country is already severely embarrassed by having an unelected second chamber, let alone begin to understand why we can’t accept a need to enlarge it further.

 
Perhaps someone will retort that the House of Lords at least contains people who have a wider experience of life. Really?

 

Europe laughs at us
Let’s have a look at David Cameron’s nomination as the next British European Union Commissioner,  former Leader of the House of Lords Lord Hill. What does his CV say he has done? Oh, lobbyist, public relations consultant and special adviser. And we wonder why the rest of Europe is laughing when we argue that he should be given a major economic portfolio. He is a just another product of the Westminster bubble with no knowledge, experience or achievements beyond the narrow, unrepresentative world of politics.

 

There have been plenty of studies done recently that show how the House of Commons has become less representative over the decades and is now monopolised by the political class. It is this that lies at the heart of the disconnection between our political leaders and the rest of us and one of he key reasons why the phoney Nigel Farage appeals to so many people. We should all be worried but those best positioned to do something about it clearly demonstrate by their actions that they don’t have an an iota of understanding that they are the problem. They have sealed themselves into their bubble and stare contemptuously out on the rest of us.

From → Politics

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