Should I be worried?

55720At  a recent meeting of the Constitution Committee in the House of Lords, when the Deputy Prime Minister appeared before the Committee, the following exchange took place:

‘Lord Lang of Monckton: Deputy Prime Minister, there is a substantially supported all-party committee in this House on constitutional matters led by Professor Lord Norton of Louth and Lord Cormack.  They have been very keen to meet you.  I know dates have been put in the diary and have then had to be cancelled because you are a very busy man.  I think it would be helpful if you would give a commitment that you still want to meet them, and you will find a date very soon.

Mr Clegg: Of course, I would be delighted to.  I have met Lord Norton in the past and his experience in these matters is second to none.  I will find out what has happened.  I was not aware that meetings had been arranged and cancelled.’

Is the Deputy PM on a charm offensive?  When we have met in the past, it has always consisted of me drawing out why his plans for election of the second chamber were fundamentally flawed both in principle and in practice!

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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8 Responses to Should I be worried?

  1. Yes, sir, you should be worried! Clegg doesn’t appreciate the true purpose of second chambers as houses of review, nor does he appreciate how an elective upper chamber affects Responsible Government. For instance, one only has to look at the significant differences between Canadian and Australian Ministries. One-quarter of Australian Ministers of the Crown are Senators, but Canadian Ministries include only one one of two Senators.

  2. Jana says:

    Yes! Be very worried!

    This is just the sort of flannel one expects from elected representatives. Things will be immeasurably worse if these fools succeed in forcing an elected second chamber.

  3. Neil M says:

    On the basis that the DPM can’t find the time to chair many Privy Council meetings either – you can consider yourself in the same august company as HM, the Queen.
    And he has at least expressed the desire to meet with you………..

  4. i think he is just trying to be charming, a bit like your good self 😉

  5. Princeps Senatus says:

    In “A Conflict of Interest” (Yes, Prime Minister), Sir Humphrey points out, “It is necessary to get behind someone before you can stab them in the back.”
    I would be wary of praise from such a source.

  6. ladytizzy says:

    You are mistakenly crediting Mr Clegg with a subtlety akin to Ed Miliband’s fabled intellect.

  7. Lord Norton says:

    Thank you for your comments. I am worried.

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