Thoughts on reforming the House of Lords into the People’s House, elected by Proportional Representation (PR), are laid out in this essay.
The current, appointed HoL is not much liked or trusted, and serves no purpose except to reward cronies for their previous service. This is not to say that there are not many good people in the HoL who have served the country in certain ways. But they do not provide a counterpoint to a Commons that is occupied by Parties that for years have pursued the same policies almost indistinguishably, and rarely holds the Parties, their manifestos or promises, to account.
The English Constitution requires that a second body be able to check government. In the days of Cromwell the Lords held executive power and did the King’s bidding. It was necessary to reform the Commons and give it power to create essential checks and balances.
Now the same problem is repeating itself because there are no checks to the effective oligarchy that is the Government and which more and more merely enacts new rules cascaded down from supra-national bodies.
In 1911 the Lords – under the Parliament Act – relinquished true executive power. They retained their hereditary rights but could no longer force or direct the course of governance other than as a scrutinising and cautionary body, in effect advising and counselling Parliament but no longer deciding whether a law should be passed or not.
Since 1949, with further laws to prevent the Lords using delaying tactics, and in 1999 (HoL Act), 2012 (Reform Bill, started by Clegg) and 2014 (Reform Act), the government of the day could determine to elect its own new peers and rebalance the voting balance in the Lords to better reflect its majority in the Commons.
The Commons became superior to the Lords not just by convention but by statute.
However, this has led to supranational bodies such as the EU, UN and others being able to influence government at the level of Head of States. The Commons bends its ear to all sorts of pressure from abroad, and the lack of effective blocking powers from the Lords means that statutes can be passed without due review by the Commons or the Lords. This means that the original intention of the Bill of Rights 1689, viz. to ensure a correct balance of powers and the prevention of abuse of any one entity, Commons, Lords or the Monarch, so that the People were sovereign and free and the People’s interests (not those of land-owners, or of well-connected politicians) were carried out, is no longer upheld correctly. This is reflected in the total disinterest and distrust in the political system that we see today.
The EU referendum has shown that there is a division between those who support the unelected supranational collective (revolutionary “progressives”, “self-appointed “expert technocrats” and neo-feudalists), and those who favour a return to people power (traditional patriots, free-thinking internationalists and populist pioneers). A PR House of Lords will return power to the People where the Commons are seen to be acting outside their parties’ manifesto pledge.
Indeed, we see endless cases of actions taken by successive governments that were not mandated by the People.
In illustration, all three of the main parties promised to take actionon a HoL reform in the 2010 general election, and following it the Coalition Agreement included a promise (made by Clegg, then Deputy PM) to “establish a committee to bring forward proposals for a wholly or mainly elected upper chamber on the basis of proportional representation”.
This “promise” has never been acted on. What use was this sudden cause célèbre if now its proponents (seeing that their only hope of public office will be through “elevation” to the Lords) have all changed their minds because it doesn’t advance their careers any longer?
Having a PR HoL could mean that the huge support for UKIP – and other parties, present and future, whose voice is rarely heard (unless toeing the PR media line) seen over Brexit, would be heard – as it was in the EU Parliament – in ways that influence Law and government.
There is no House now that represents the people in a way that can redirect Parliament if governments are not keeping to their promises. No-one was able to stop Blair taking the country to war with Iraq. The monarch was powerless. A HoL as a People’s House would have this power, to act where necessary to ensure that the People’s will is upheld.
The purpose of a strong Constitution is that it can balance the forces of change. Diluting sovereignty in ways that either transfer it to supranational committees that serve globalist interests, or else devolve it to ideologised pressure groups that favour the same, but under a different name, means that sovereignty according to established social contracts cannot be established, since there is no voice to counteract the “common purpose” that all liberal progressives serve on a global scale.
Without a powerful 2nd chamber there would be nothing between the Commons and total rule, even if they break every single one of their manifesto pledges, since there is no constitutional mechanism to stop them.
A People’s 2nd chamber would have this power. A PR House of Lords could assemble coalitions of the People’s representatives and ensure that the perceived oligarchy of centrist progressives (that others might term liberal fascists or 3rd way modern feudalists) can be opposed and stopped, if the People do not agree with their actions. The tyranny of PC brainwashing – which would have us believe that world prosperity has been based on globalism when more and more are killed, displaced and develop extremist views because of it – could end.
Many people are now asking, what future for UKIP after Brexit. I venture to suggest that if the new leadership champions a PR Second Chamber and makes it a new cause célèbre, the Renaissance in Britain will speed ahead and with it, maybe also, the fortunes of UKIP.