Mullin on the Lords

In his latest diaries, Decline & Fall, Chris Mullin variously refers to the attempts by Jack Straw to achieve a largely elected second chamber.   He was one of the Labour MPs opposed to what was being proposed.  He writes about the 2007 votes on proposals for reform:

Wednesday, 7 March:

“Much excitement this evening when, after two days’ debate, we voted by a substantial majority to ‘democratise’ the Lords.  Fogies such as myself were against, on the grounds that an elected upper house will only undermine the authority of the Commons… 

I can’t say that I am overjoyed at the prospect of an upper house filled with C-list candidates who have failed to get into our end of the building – or rejects from the Scottish, Welsh or European parliaments.  The idea that a wholly elected house will be any more democratic than the present arrangements is likely to prove fanciful since the odds are that it will involve some sort of list system and inclusion on that is likely to require the imprimatur of the very same person who currently nominates people to the upper house – our beloved leader, no less.”


About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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2 Responses to Mullin on the Lords

  1. Chris K says:

    He’s expressed my views better than I could ever wish to.

    I did note the names of Labour MPs who voted against ‘reform’ in 2007 but I must say Chris Mullin didn’t really stand out at me. Now I’m tempted to buy his book.

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