Lords reform

This is a bit of a pity.

David Cameron is to abandon plans to reform the House of Lords after failing to win over Conservative rebels.

I refer the unreformed Lords….even amove back to more hereditaries (I know, what a reactionary!).

On the other hand, those presumed regional voting lists would have led to a large increase in UKIP representation at Westminster. So it\’s a bit what would have been strategically bad for the country would have been tactically good for my party.

Which is a prety good explanation of why politics is such a shit way of running things really.

6 thoughts on “Lords reform”

  1. What system would be a less shit way of running things? Unelected, unaccountable bureaucracies have their problems, and monolithic one-party states have their weak points as well.

  2. There’s an old science fiction story rattling around in my brain by DeCamp (I think, maybe) about how the Brits ruled the future by passing out honours to achievers.

    Jeez, what a concept – having a major part of your government be people who have actually done something significant, aside from working the long con on the populace. My observation is that many very clever and skilful people, especially scientists, engineers and the like, could not get elected to anything. The only way we’ll get their brains into government, other than as employees, is by appointment. The only real skill most politicians have is the manipulation of other people, and we have plenty of those honkers around already.

    Hereditary Lords doesn’t bother me either. Good genes somewhere in the family tree, even if they are genes for piracy, conquest or even (per Larry Niven) good luck.

  3. I’m not sure that I want to dance the tune of luck of Teela Mandelson?

    Actually, I’m fairly certain I don’t. Even if he can do a good Protector impersonation. Nothing seems to deflect him from his goals …

  4. Grumpy Old Man –

    Recognising the flaws in democratic politics doesn’t mean advocating an unaccountable bureaucracy or a one-party state. Democracy is of course the least worst form of government so we must have it, but the lesson to take from its defects is that government must be limited. When things are provided collectively, we must all have what is decided on democratically (i.e. whatever gains a majority or rather a plurality in whatever flawed system we use). With those things that are provided by the free market, pretty much everyone can have what they want – our aim should be to maximise those.

  5. The Lords cannot be reformed without reforming the Commons. The Lords cannot be perceived to be more democratic than the Commons which will happen if the composition of the Lords is a better reflection of how people voted than that of the Commons.

  6. Dear Mr Worstall

    The real problem of contemporary government is its size. If it were a proper size – say 10-15% of GDP cf Lord Keynes’ suggested maximum of 25% cf the current 50%+ – there would be little room for corruption and little incentive to be corrupt because the rewards would be minor and the consequences of public disapprobation dire, especially in a traditional British society.

    There seems to be no natural limit to the size of government save Dr Laffer’s curve, which is effective when government is vastly too big. When a majority feed off the rest the incentive is to maintain the status quo – the majority being a mix of a large pool of the idle poor, a larger pool of government and corporate mid to low paid workers and a smaller pool of the seriously rich politicians, public servants and B2G corporate managers, who between them draft the laws that keep them where they are.

    The constant tinkering and destruction of our cherished institutions is also part of the agenda.

    So: how to starve the beast? How to bring it to heel?


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