Lecture on the Lords

Anyone who is interested in reading a copy of the Stevenson Lecture I gave at the University of Glasgow last week, on ‘Reform of the House of Lords?’, can access a copy here.  The text is as delivered on the evening.

As previously, mentioned the film version of the talk is being placed on the Stevenson Trust website.

Advertisements

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Lecture on the Lords

  1. Frank W. Summers III says:

    Lord Norton,
    I hope to watch the delivery soon. The text was clear, compelling, parsimonious and free of jargon. The argument was as simple as the facts would allow and well stated. You are doubtless a fine peer but you might be a terrifying diplomat — to your rivals I mean. Very nice…

  2. djb13 says:

    As usual, a coherently put constitutionally-conservative defence of the House of Lords. Of course, I’d like to have heard the growing constitutionally-liberal advocacy of an appointed chamber be put too. I would also like to see coherent programmes for internal reform being put forward (which I think is the point at which constitutional-conservatives and constitutional-liberals necessarily part ways on Lords reform), especially in response to recent goings-on.

    I’d like to challenge on one point though: you argue that there is a spectrum from positive to negative constitutionalism, and then argue that an elected chamber would be a negatively constitutional chamber (with the aim of restricting government), with the implication that the converse leads to the opposite. Later on you argue that an unelected chamber is best placed to challenge the government: surely a constitutionally negative thing to do!

    • Lord Norton says:

      It is the power of the body that is relevant to the concept rather than the stance it takes. Challenging the Government is not the same as constituting a veto player.

  3. Carl.H says:

    “spectrum from positive to negative constitutionalism, and then argue that an elected chamber would be a negatively constitutional chamber (with the aim of restricting government), with the implication that the converse leads to the opposite”.

    Oh my, how I miss not having a good education at times like this. Is the answer 42 ?
    😉

    • djb13 says:

      It was a slightly strained construction. I redrafted it several times, but I felt that this was the simplest way of expressing what I meant.

      I often feel that the words we use to discuss politics drive the political agenda. Constitutions are abstruse and academic because the words are long, so we can’t discuss them. Electoral systems are full of acronyms, so they’re difficult and complicated. The EU (which is really a constitutional issue) on the other hand has nice simple words, so it’s a pretty populist issue.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s