Now available….

I have now received copies of my Reform of the House of Lords, published by Manchester University Press.  As explained in earlier posts, it is a short guide – the first in MUP’s series of Pocket Guides – to the different approaches to reform of the Lords.  Those familiar with my Constitution in Flux may recall the four R’s – retain, reform, replace, and remove altogether – and these provide the framework for the volume.

I have just realised that at 86 pages it is the same length as my Voice of the Backbenchers – illustrated in my previous post – providing an analysis of the 1922 Committee.  As a short, pocket guide, it is priced at £9.99.

Having just checked, it is doing well in the Amazon bestselling ranking – even better than when I last wrote about it – though perhaps I should not mention that.  When I last wrote about it, it then plummeted in the rankings.  All being well, its appearance will put it on a roll…

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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3 Responses to Now available….

  1. Andrew Turvey says:

    Could you post a link to a site where I can buy it?

  2. I’ve just had my copy through and read it today. It’s excellently written – succinct, digestible, well explained and well argued – and provides a good basis for any discussion of this subject.

    Personally I think it suffers from the same problem as the doomed Coalition attempt in 2012: it analyses various blueprints for a “perfect” solution, without adequate focus on the steps needed to take us from here to there; in this way, “perfection” has become the enemy of “progress”. Past progress is criticised as “piecemeal” and lacking an overall narrative, without appreciating that it is precisely this narrow focus that has made the progress possible.

    There are steps that can be taken in the near term to move us in a positive direction, building on the work of the Speaker’s Committee on the size of the house. Limiting the number of peers a prime minister may appoint, allowing them to appoint term peers in addition to life peers, and allowing a mechanism for the House to retire off members according to set criteria are all worth pursuing.

    It may well make sense for the Lords to become mostly or even wholly elected in due course. However, how would we get from here to there? It would face considerable resistance from existing Lords who, of course, would have considerable influence along the way. Better, surely, to just start with the first cohort of elected peers and to make them – as with the European Parliament – indirectly elected at first. Why don’t we just agree the number and the process and see how we get on from there?

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