The Liberal Democrats are to debate the issue of House of Lords reform at their party conference. The BBC reports that ‘Activists will be asked next month to vote on a motion describing the Lords as a democratic “outrage” and a “stain” on Britain’s ability to “preach the values of open government” elsewhere.’
Give me strength. One only has to look at the statements to see what is wrong with them. Having a unelected second chamber in a system of asymmetrical bicameralism is not self-evidently undemocratic, a point well made to the Joint Committee on the Draft House of Lords Bill by a colleague who specialises in democratic theory. When I mentioned the conference motion to him, he expressed the view that it reflected a lack of grasp of democratic theory. He may not have put it quite as politely as that.
Given that, to claim that it is stain on Britain’s ability to preach the values of open government is nonsense. This just confuses concepts to a degree that beggars belief.