The duck effect

Westminster is fairly quiet this week.  Last week, we had the high drama of the vote in the Commons on the Second Reading of the House of Lords Reform Bill.  This week, the Commons has risen for the summer.  The House of Lords sits until next Wednesday and is presently the only show in town, which could explain the healthy attendance in the public gallery this morning when the House was debating the Silk Commission on Devolution in Wales. 

There is, though, something of a duck effect.  On the surface, everything is calm.  Beneath the surface, there is a fair degree of activity, with the Government having to hold discussions and to decide what to do about Lords reform.  The Times this morning reported that the Prime Minister will “advise Nick Clegg in three weeks whether they should drop the Government’s efforts to reform the House of Lords”.   The next week or so look like being crucial.

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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6 Responses to The duck effect

  1. Chris K says:

    Oh, I see you’ve been interviewed by Imperial College’s student newspaper, ‘Felix’!

  2. maudie33 says:

    It has become quite clear that reform of the Lords is a dead duck. They are not going to throw out their public funded gravy train. you need principles to sacrifice for the good of society. And the Lords has little of that to recommend it.

    How those in that place who deserve to be there and are an asset to our country, want to go on carrying the dead weight of complacent smugness around their necks, is an enigma that never ceases to astonish. What can be in it for them except utter frustration?.

    I am getting closer to Blagger by the day, the only way is to be rid of the lot.

    • Lord Norton says:

      maudie33: If it is a dead duck, it is because of the principled stance of MPs who don’t have anything to gain from a perceived ‘gravy train’ (leaving aside the rather more extensive gravy train that would be created if the Government’s proposals went through). The work of the Lords in respect of improving legislation is quite remarkable as well as cost-effective and would be difficult to emulate. I am still waiting for a good argument to the contrary. Lord Blagger doesn’t make one. He makes assertions and when inaccuracies are pointed out he tends to switch the subject.

      • ladytizzy says:

        Lord Norton, over time we have disagreed on a couple of topics but this must be the most outrageous comment emanating from you, or any peer for that matter: Lord Blagger never switches subject.

  3. maudie33 says:

    Here is something for your summer vacation.

    Which, in part, I shall spend going over this Lords bill.

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