As readers will know, The Independent has not exactly shone in its coverage of the debate about the future of the House of Lords. It goes from bad to worse. In today’s edition, it has a section on asking the big questions with Clive Stafford Smith providing less than big answers. Here’s how he responds to the question ‘Do we need the House of Lords?’:
“This needs a full essay! In short, no, we should not have the “House of Lords” (an anachronism) but we certainly need a second elected house (called a Senate) that checks the populist nonsense that comes out of Parliament. The fear of democracy reflected by the political opponents of change is rather pathetic, given that Westminster is labelled the mother of parliaments.”
Readers are invited to see how many errors they can detect in the two substantive sentences.
As for The Independent’s grasp of the House of Lords, it illustrates the paragraph with a picture of senior judges (not even the justices of the Supreme Court) attending the State Opening of Parliament. Note to The Independent: peers do not wear wigs. If people in robes are wearing wigs, they are judges.