Are Labour preparing to sabotage Lords reform?

Hilary Benn has written an ominous piece on Labourlist. He ostensibly supports the principle of reforming the House of Lords to make it more democratic… but his carefully constructed wording suggests that Labour are preparing the ground to sabotage the whole process to score cheap political points.

Benn writes:

“The Labour Party is firmly committed to a 100% elected House of Lords, and therefore what we will look for in the government’s Bill is whether it provides for a wholly elected second chamber. … how could anyone contemplate reforming our system on any other basis than full democracy?”

The hypocrisy is obviously staggering. How could anyone contemplate reforming our system on any other basis than full democracy? I don’t know, Benn, you were the one in power for thirteen years who, rather than reforming our system on the basis of full democracy, oversaw the greatest expansion of political patronage in modern British history.

Given that there isn’t a majority in the House for a fully elected Upper Chamber, we are likely to be presented with a compromise bill with an 80% elected chamber and the appointment of cross-bench peers. It’s not ideal or perfect, but as the Conservatives are the largest party in Parliament, this should be considered a massive victory for Clegg and a thoroughly worthwhile reform.

But now we can expect Labour to vote this down on the basis of their suddenly-discovered love of “full democracy”. Combined with the votes of the reactionary Tory right, this will sink Lords reform.

If and when this happens, I hope liberals will realise that, as with the AV referendum, Labour are trying to wreck even the good things the Coalition is doing for their own narrow political ends. I hope we remember that in their thirteen years in power Labour amply demonstrated that they have no love for democracy.

And, most importantly, I hope that all liberals remember that, however they may prattle on about their “principles”, the Labour party, from the very top to the very bottom, are a bunch of bastards who have no higher goal than to screw us over.

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Published in: on May 16, 2011 at 10:11 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. “the Labour party, from the very top to the very bottom, are a bunch of bastards who have no higher goal than to screw us over.”

    I agree with this sentence. Whole-heartedly.


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