Spilling the beans

Supporters of the House of Lords Reform Bill keep calling in aid the Coalition Agreement.  The only problem is that it doesn’t say what they think it says.  (The commitment is to set up a committee to bring forward proposals for reform.)   Not only that, David Laws – one of the negotiators responsible for drawing up the agreement – has now conceded in an interview in The House Magazine that, in his recollection, the section on Lords reform was ‘agreed in a few minutes of discussion’.  So a major change to the constitution was rushed through and a form of words agreed that the negotiators now claim mean something different.  If they had taken it more seriously, they may have been able to put into words what they now claim they meant.  If they failed to do so, they have only themselves to blame.

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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12 Responses to Spilling the beans

  1. Dean B says:

    It is inconceivable that the form of words used in the coalition agreement would have been chosen had the intention been to commit the government to enacting the legislation.
    Of course this is David Laws, forced to resign after a few days and subsequently suspended from the House of Commons for dishonesty.

  2. franksummers3ba says:

    Lord Norton,
    I know you meant to invite all of us commenters to tea soon. That knowledge comforts me anyway.

  3. ladytizzy says:

    A confession or an explanation?

  4. maudie33 says:

    Perhaps you really meant dinner at the Roux brothers Mayfair place. Cosy, quiet, convenient, wonderful food and wine. great for political discussions.

  5. maudie33 says:

    I bet it’s soggy and limp with a brown salad helping lopped on the plate beside it. For that money it can’t be fresh, can it? You must be taking your life in your hands with every bite. Did they wash their face and hands before they came? I wonder.

    • Lord Norton says:

      maudie33: Although they do now offer pre-packed sandwiches for people in the hurry, the normal practice is to prepare the sandwiches to order. They don’t appear to have done me any harm, although my treat in terms of a caramel shortcake does rather undermine my embrace otherwise of healthy eating.

    • ladytizzy says:

      £5 for a sandwich, with or without a salad side? I’m in the wrong business.

      • Croft says:

        LT: You can spend more than that in most central London restaurants – which as the lords is subsidised is hardly suprising

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