I have just done a post on Lords of the Blog about the State Opening of Parliament. It was the usual grand occasion. One of the themes was constitutional reform, though the reference to reform of the House of Lords was somewhat opaque. On Thursday, we began debating the Queen’s Speech, with two days – Thursday and next Monday – given over to constitutional issues.
I spoke on Thursday (col. 97, following Lord Owen’s speech) and addressed the subject from the perspective of process and substance. Government still has problems getting to grips with the qualitatively distinct nature of constitutional change. On the subject of Lords reform, it has proceeded by way of assertion rather than justification. It still has not properly engaged in debate. In opening the debate, the Leader of the House, Lord Strathclyde, did not exactly add substantially to the sum of human knowledge. He did, though, adopt the interesting approach of saying that in order to make progress there needed to be a consensus among the parties, one of which he promptly attacked.