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January 25, 2009


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There appear to be some right bounders in the HoL - indeed, I can think of one gentleman enobled only last year......


It certainly needs some reform. Let's take just one of the names involved this time (and by singling one out I am not implying guilt or innocence)

George Mudie:

Why did he get a peerage?

Because he gave up his seat when there was a rejigging of his constituency, next to Brown's, which could have been awkard.

I don't think that is a good enough reason, any more than granting one to Clive Soley for sycophancy towards Blair

Paul Flynn

Thank you M. I am aware of the APPC rules which, of course, does not apply to the other two 'self-regulating associations or those lobbyists who are not members of any of the associations.

That is why PASC called for a mandatory scheme that will cover all lobbyists.

Of course no legislator should ever be bought. But what is the difference between a consultancy paying £100,000 and cash for amendments /questions?


The Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) already bans its members from employing MPs or peers. So at least part of the lobbying industry already has its house in order on this one.

The question is, why doesn't Parliament? There can surely be no justification for any legislator accepting money to provide advice on influencing the legislative process. Ever. Yet both Houses of Parliament still permit this. It should be banned.

Paul Flynn

The HOL should be elected and they need strict rules on conduct. What is quicker and easier to do is to make lobbying transparent. PASC is on to that

Graham Marlowe

Fo reasons I don't understand, the following which I wrote flor this column posted into the "Spin strangled" piece:

I certainly think that no MP who has been forced to resign from the cabinet, for example, through impropriety of any sort, especially with regard to financial matters, should ever be given a peerage. That is asking for trouble. As the rules appear to be more relaxed in the HoL than the HocC that is asking for trouble in the future, and is almost an invitation for the errant former MP to continue to get up to their tricks.


Fair enough KayTie, not a terrible idea.
But rolling elections to the relatively powerless Lords would suffer from incredibly poor turnout.
Hard enough to get people to vote for their next government, try selling them the idea that voting for the 2nd house with the power to delay but not stop bills is important enough for them to stop watching daytime tv and voting on the xfactor, big brother et al.

Kay Tie

Why can't we have an elected Lords? Not from Party lists, but more along the lines of a senator in the US. Perhaps for a fixed 7 year term, with different Lords up for election at different times in the country.

The Lords would then run to a different electoral cycle, with no particular timetable. It would be impossible to drive a campaign on a faddish issue that would affect the whole Lords at the same time, and the Lords would always have continuity. This means that wisdom could be applied to amending and blocking legislation so that ill-thought through rubbish (e.g. every "send a message" law - as if laws are press releases) would be bounced back.

Paul Flynn

Graham, PASC is pushing for a long list of nominees for peerages so that the lickspittles and talentless party hacks can be weeded out. The present system feeds on patronage and mediocrity

Paul Flynn

Thanks Huw.

the Harry Potter connection is spooky. But I believe that the 'Snape' in the books is now a goody

Graham Marlowe

I think part of the problem is that some former MPs are made Lords, not for ability or gtalent but because they have been obsequiously loyal to their party (and though I am not for one moment suggesting that he is in any way guilty of any offence) Cluive Soley is one name who comes to mind - more or less sacked from the position of Chairman of the PLP because the MPs felt he was too subservient to Blair's whims. What did Mr Soley ever do to justify a title apart from this?

There appear to be some right bounders in the HoL - indeed, I can think of one gentleman enobled only last year......


A full investigation is need, the allegations alone are a further blow to the lords and the labour party.

However, for Harry Potter fans, there is the sheer joy of one of these possibly slippery and devious lords being blessed with the name of Snape.

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