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Lord Brookman, who never spoke in Lords last year claims £50,000 expenses

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by stockhausen, 30 May 2019.

  1. stockhausen

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Jul 2006

    Posts: 12,144

    You do realise that these people's "Earnings" come out of your pocket and mine, don't you?
    I guess that you are not in the habit of "shopping around" in order to obtain "value for money"?
     
  2. semi-pro waster

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 27 Sep 2004

    Posts: 25,822

    Location: Glasgow

    If we don't have the Lords to provide some form of checks and balances on the elected chamber then what would you propose? Regardless of what you think of any given parliament (i.e. whether you agree with them or not) the second chamber has an important role in providing oversight, to do away with it entirely would mean that the system was more open to abuse. You may not be advocating the removal of a second chamber but if you are not then there's issues with any, and every, other type of second chamber approach - some might be better than others but essentially the system that developed in the UK may not be the ideal one if you were starting from scratch but I'd argue that historically it's done a decent job of preventing the worst excesses of the Commons. Like a lot of things about the UK's political system you wouldn't necessarily start from here if you were trying to design a perfect system but it's evolved this way and lasted because it basically works.

    Having an elected second chamber would, in all likelihood, just lead to an even bigger sway to populism because they then become reliant on the people for their continued existence in the role. Your views about how big an issue that is may vary from mine and unquestionably a non-elected body with very limited scope to recall those who vote in a (subjectively) awful way regularly isn't democratic and may lead to some poor propositions in its own right but equally a lot of the Lords are in there because they're experts in their field and one of the notable features of the Lords is that they often work across party lines in order to scrutinise legislation and try to knock it into shape. They can do this not least because they aren't beholden to the whims of voters nor of their parties in quite the same way as the Commons. The lack of elections means that, somewhat like the judiciary, they have a certain degree of independence - they aren't completely immune to public opinion (and nor should they be) but they are insulated from it to a degree and that can help temper some of the more reactionary positions that get taken. I won't argue that terrible decisions don't sometimes come out of the Lords (nor that they actually fulfil their remit at all times) or the judiciary but I'd suggest that the failings are more often in spite of their non-elected nature than because of it.
     
  3. h4rm0ny

    Soldato

    Joined: 25 Jun 2011

    Posts: 5,468

    Location: Yorkshire and proud of it!

    Personality profiling. We design deep questionnaires and assessments that select for intelligence, awkwardness and a tendency to self-sabotage themselves by prioritising correctness over ingratiating behaviour. Basically select for those people who are indispensable in a company because their technical skills are really strong but are prevented from going any higher by their compulsion to correct their boss. I'd also suggest a polygraph test measuring for stress spikes whenever someone uses the phrase "could care less".

    Heh - see, even Stockhausen can resort to capitalist reasoning for the occasional riposte. ;) :D
     
    Last edited: 31 May 2019
  4. krooton

    Caporegime

    Joined: 9 May 2004

    Posts: 27,376

    Location: Leafy outskirts of London

    I don't have a problem with the HoL, but then I grew up in a country where there is no second-line of defence from populist politics, and have a look at how well the South African government is looking after the country...
     
  5. The_Abyss

    Capodecina

    Joined: 15 May 2007

    Posts: 12,805

    Location: Ipswich / Bodham

    If the test is the same for all then there’s no problem.
     
  6. touch

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Oct 2006

    Posts: 11,971

    Location: Sufferlandria

    So he attended and voted but didn't speak or ask written questions...doesn't that mean he's probably one of the ones who's not taking back-handers to promote changes in the interest of those giving the money?
     
  7. Roar87

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 10 May 2012

    Posts: 7,577

    Location: Leeds

    If I'm worried about the UK tax payers money, £50k to a Lord is probably at the bottom of my list. The fact the article mentions how much he earned is playing envy politics, clearly most people don't earn £50k a year, where as he does simply from turning up. The energy spent being angry about him is more wisely invested into bettering yourself and improving your own earnings prospects. This isn't a personal attack on you either, just a general statement.
     
  8. Energize

    Caporegime

    Joined: 12 Mar 2004

    Posts: 29,333

    Location: England

    What 2nd line of defence against polulist policies? There are loads of such policies in the UK. If anything the HOL affirms them.
     
  9. d_brennen

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Jan 2009

    Posts: 16,731

    Location: Aquilonem Londinensi

    Hear, hear.

    Or as the lords would put it "EEEERRRAGHEERR"
     
  10. krooton

    Caporegime

    Joined: 9 May 2004

    Posts: 27,376

    Location: Leafy outskirts of London

    In South Africa, anything the government wants goes ahead unopposed, there is no House of Lords/Senate/other things that also need to agree before things are done.
     
  11. h4rm0ny

    Soldato

    Joined: 25 Jun 2011

    Posts: 5,468

    Location: Yorkshire and proud of it!

    A written constitution delineating inalienable rights would go some way (I don't argue at all it would go all the way) towards filling the role that supposedly our second house provides. In the USA the Supreme Court can strike down legislation that is in conflict with the Constitution and I think that might be worth considering for the UK.

    Not sure what the practicalities in achieving such a thing would be, though.
     
  12. dowie

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: 29 Jan 2008

    Posts: 53,770

    I was mostly just proposing it as a crude means of culling the numbers initially but yeah perhaps some mandatory annual testing beyond say the age of 75 might work too.

    Just to clarify, I'm not actually proposing an age restriction per say but just a means of culling the current numbers initially. I think that a fixed term that lasts longer than 5 years and that overlaps general election periods would be good to see. I don't have an issue with people being reappointed necessarily but am more interested in there being a massive reduction in overall numbers.

    Perhaps they get appointed in proportion to the current make up of the house of commons which perhaps introduces a sort of lag effect - get a swing in another direction at the next general election and you've still got an upper house acting as a sort of check etc..
     
  13. dowie

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: 29 Jan 2008

    Posts: 53,770

    ONOURABLE MEMBA, ONOURABLE MEMBA....

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Orionaut

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 2 Aug 2012

    Posts: 7,813


    Actually, I quite like the idea of a (Part) of the system of government that is not bound by the requirement to meet whatever populist agenda happens to be the rage at the time every 4-5 years or so.

    Now, what role it should play and who should qualify for the position is a matter of further debate. But I am not in principle against the idea and I do think that we are currently better off with the Lords than we would be without it, even as it is!
     
  15. Pudney

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Sep 2005

    Posts: 5,635

    Location: Essex

    No we wouldn't because the House of Lords isn't the highest court in the land.
     
  16. StriderX

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Mar 2008

    Posts: 28,357

    Lordships should be by field, years of experience and rarely of political appointment. It would run far better than hereditary/religious/political grounds it currently stands on.

    It should be neutral to regions and constituencies, and an independent commission that should select them for service much like Jury duty, but with more checks/limits. The best scientists, engineers, doctors, physicians, analysts, educators and so forth should be selected and it should be an honour to do so.
     
  17. Moley

    Mobster

    Joined: 29 Aug 2006

    Posts: 3,668

    Location: In a world of my own

    Lord Brookman didn't speak last year but has a long record of speaking in the house going back 19 years. This story is an agenda led nonsense.

    https://www.theyworkforyou.com/search/?pid=13606&pop=1&p=1

    Also he voted in over 82% of votes in the house last year - above average among his collegues.
     
  18. stockhausen

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Jul 2006

    Posts: 12,144

    I am quite sure that the story is "agenda led" but that doesn't make it "nonsense" any more than the Telegraph story about MP's expenses abuse was nonsense.
    To my mind he issue here is one of the independence, impartiality and integrity of the "2nd House".
     
  19. englishpremier

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 15 Feb 2003

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    Location: Europe

    Ah it was when I was studying law. I see we've had the Supreme Court now since 2009.
     
  20. Randomface74

    Perma Banned

    Joined: 9 Aug 2009

    Posts: 12,238

    Location: UK

    this