Conservative peer wishes for return to rule by hereditary peers

It appears Baroness D’Souza has a rival in the competition for the most implausibly anti-democratic statement by a member of the House of Lords seeking to argue against them having to win any votes in order to rule over us.

Her rival is Conservative peer Baroness Hooper not only said that the 1999 reforms, which including removing several hundred hereditary peers from the Lords, had not improved the Lords but also that she wished we could return to the having hundreds of hereditaries:

As far as I am concerned, the post-1999 House of Lords is no better, no more democratic … If I had a magic wand I would use it to return to the pre-1999 position.

Ah yes, hereditary rule.


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  • If only we could democratically elect our parents! Hereditary parental rule is really rather old fashioned.

  • In what way did the HoL rule? The pre-99 settlement was not democratic, indeed anachronistic. But it worked. A system of checks and balances on executive power evolved through tradition, custom and convention. In 1945 the Salisbury convention came about without the need for government legislation and diktat. It worked! We had a remarkably stable political system, that provided strong government, but also made it easy to chuck that government out. It may look nice on your fairtrade paper to mess around with the conventions of the British constitution, but reality never conforms to intention, and the progressive left has yet again messed up a system of government that was envied around the world for its stability.

  • Keith Browning 24th Jun '11 - 2:18pm

    Would you prefer the present system of patronage by Blair, Brown, Cameron et al or the previous system of patronage by Kings, Queens and PMs from the last 1000 years. Personally I’d far prefer the latter as they are unable to sway the decision by payrolling the process and at least we know what we are getting. The current system stinks to high heaven as backs are slapped and friends rewarded.

    However, if we had a proper democratic system of real elections then that would be something completely different.

  • I’ve no problem with hereditary peers. Many lefties are quick to point out it’s an accident of birth that we’re born English and that it’s ridiculous to feel pride in a randomly assigned nationality, which means these peers are just randomly chosen members of the population. They are however often brought up and educated to a higher standard than the average person in this country. It’s a rather neat system really.

  • Paul McKeown 25th Jun '11 - 12:22am

    “Conservative peer wishes for return to rule by hereditary peers”

    And bears crap in woods; surprise me for a change.

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