When I was a much younger man, the House of Lords’ membership was that of hereditary peers. Their birth denoted their ability to walk into and work in that august Chamber, but at the same time, there were many remarkable minds voting and advising within the Lords. Then came the legislation which allowed the ennoblement of people who had served their country well, and they emerged as Life Peers. The theory was that Britain had the best deal because the new Peers would be scientists, engineers, academics, but nothing is ever clear or perfect, especially within the murky world of politics.
After the gerrymandering of the Labour Government years, when the hereditary element was virtually cut to a tenth of its previous number, the Life Peers were almost exclusively appointed for political means. Otherwise, how can the ennoblement of complete non-entities such as Floella Benjamin, a t.v presenter; John Prescott, universally acknowledged as the worst disaster to hit Westminster; as well as Baroness Uddin, who was forced to repay £125,000 she had fraudulently claimed as expenses: along with many, many others of equally bland or sordid pasts be explained? The Lords has become the second home of failed or useless politicians, from all three parties. And it is a truth that they, these hacks, these useless appendages who think so highly of themselves, believe that they deserve to be ennobled, and to sit in that once great Chamber and deliberate upon what Law is left to oppress us as a Nation.
As a typical example of this brand of complete failure, I present Anne Widdecombe, formerly of the House of Commons and ‘Strictly Dancing’, naturally. She was quoted as stating ‘she was a natural candidate, but Cameron vetoed me because of my support for hunting’. She ‘expected to become a member of the House of Lords because ‘thats the way it works’. I used to have some time for Anne, mainly because she spoke her mind in the House of Commons, but I see she has joined on to the pile of lepers waiting for preferment, in the belief she deserves it. Just a little bit sad.
Its a long way from ‘excellence in thought and deed’ to ‘its my turn now’! I would remind all readers that these people determine our Law, ands we should be proud of our representattves. Can anyone, these days, claim to be proud of the House of Lords?