Should the House of Lords be reformed?

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With yet another embarrassing social blunder by one of the UK’s Parliamentarians, Lord Sewel has now resigned from the House of Lords after he was covertly filmed allegedly sniffing cocaine using a £5 note with prostitutes.

Lord Sewel was also filmed wearing the woman’s bra and her leather jacket and making disparaging remarks about other members of parliament. He had been the Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords and ironically the Chairman of the Lords Privileges and Conduct Committee, which only a few weeks ago passed a resolution for peers to be fired from the House of Lords if they broke the codes of conduct. Although Lord Sewel resigned today, he resisted calls for his departure for 24 hours.

The House of Lords now has 783 members including Lord Jeffrey Archer having served time in prison and Baroness Uddin having been temporarily suspended for abusing the parliamentary expenses system.  Is this number of members necessary? Has the House of Lords become “a repository for the cronies and donors of the UK parties,” as the Scottish  MP, Pete Wishart said?

What are your views? Should the House of Lords at 783 members be larger than the House of Commons with 650 members? Should peers be elected by the people of the UK and not hereditary or awarded the positions by the UK political parties? Are the current methods outdated and in need of major reformation?

Should the House of Lords be reformed?

476 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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SovereignInventory
24th Aug 2015
1
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The WHOLE political system needs to be reformed and move on to a modern system which represents a modern-looking country. Our outdated and 'olde worlde' country needs updating in general. The old traditions need to be updated (not necessarily forgotten) but we live too much in the past in this country. What is the average age of the elected MP's and non-elected Lords? How can basically upper-class, middle-aged (and older) men have any idea how to run the country and have a say on the country's direction for the benefit of all the people.
JohnHerb
16th Aug 2015
3
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In the words of Michael Caine a lot of these blokes are "taking a diabolical liberty" Wish I could get £200 for my lunch-sounds like a great job. Come into work when I feel like it and get everyone to call me Lord Herb!
Hawke008
14th Aug 2015
3
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Why do we have an upper house comprising nearly a 1000 'lords' for this tiny island - population 64 million, when America - population 320 million - has an upper house of 100 Senators?
BirdofParadise
5th Aug 2015
1
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I think it should be done away with altogether.what earthly use are they?
lizfid3
3rd Aug 2015
1
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Why should this bunch of unelected, barely qualified individuals be allowed to decide on the laws of our country? The scandals are coming thick and fast and they seem to think they have the right to behave in such despicable manner. It's time the whole system was overhauled and the unelected ne'er do wells stripped of their titles and sent packing to the boot camps used for youngsters who misbehave.
SHOEFLY
2nd Aug 2015
3
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govt and house of lords are not held accountable, if he ends up in court he will be ill, I despair at the moral decline.
Kit Wingate
2nd Aug 2015
1
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A day or two ago I did expres my views to this subject of The House of Lords, all on this page of comments..when I completed all that I thought was fairly reasonable comment, I entered it . The comment in full appeared as expressed and headed these listings with the comments of others....Now somewhat strangly, when logging in to SilverSurfers.com and calling up this page to read of other comments that would have been entered there-after, low and behold my comment in full was NO LONGER listed...So Madam
Editor whats the point of expressing a comment on a given subject, see it listed with other comments on the appropiate, and then become aware of it having been deleted...????BY WHOM???and for what reason. Not I feel a happy start to joining Silversurfers.com ??
0
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Hello Kit ... this is a bit of a mystery ... I am unaware of any previous comment you have made, and have searched your username and this is the only comment we have a record of you making to date .. we did have a discussion of this topic on our Facebook page as well ... is there a possibility you were expressing your view there?
Kit Wingate
3rd Aug 2015
1
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Hello Silversurfers Editor of 15 hours ago, thank you for your reply to my comment regarding the sudden missing viewpoint I gave of The House of Lords and of my desires to it's future. As to your claim to its disappearance from your comments listings, all I want to say further to the subject is..I typed that comment , I entered that comment, and minutes later saw and re-read my comment in full as entered in your listings, the very same that this reply to your goodself is now being typed.You declare you are unaware of any previous comment I have made, so be it,!!
In short I can only think that your Editorial Department must have a Gremlin or Ghostie floating around with technical capabilities of deletions. You suggest that perhaps I expressed my view on you Facebook page, to be sure of whether I did or did not, I have most recently trolled right through your Facebook page and the answer to you suggestion is a very big NADA....I do have on my own bat so to say, a Facebook page, to which I sometimes log onto...but for quite some time now, a good year at least, all i do is just peruse, I do NOT contribute, in that my opinion of some of the comments expressed on there with its 'choice' language is far from the pleasure I seek in such outlets. How-ever there you go I still confirm of my original given view as stated, if you have no record of it, thats as far anything refering can go, turn over the page. In conclusion perhaps I might get in a thought that even though all the comments given by all and sundry get displayed in your listings, that HOUSE of ROGUES, DESPOTS, CROOKS, EX-CONS, DRUGGIES and DREGS OF HUMANITY, none of whom were ever elected in a democratic
way by the citizens of this United Kingdom, but were parachuted into those ermine robes by equally crook politcal
despots and dregs of all parties, after trousering the ill gotten gains to party funds. Nor was democratic for males and females of 'priveleged' families to have the 'inherited' right to become ensconed there either.....What was that thing we keep
having stuffed in our faces called..History??...Magna Carts,!!!!.
I do sometimes sit and wonder in the quiet moments of my twilght yearsof 89, quite a number of them wearing a Khaki suit
as a regular soldier, a couple during that awful time of 1939 to
1945, was it all worth it, I came back home, very many of my mates, male and female did'nt, wonder what they all are thinking there on cloud nine ???.
Have a nice day Madam Editor, I really do not think you are responsible for the many things that go wrong.
KW.
Kelpie
1st Aug 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
Lord Sewel was poked into place by Tony Blair.Totally without standards,unqualified and no thought for parliament,no pride in himself or his country.Some seventy others moved, to be around Dolphin Square,to take advantage of the cheaper rents.Personally think that the numbers of both houses should be reduced.
Our situation is far from ideal,I do,on the whole feel safer in England than a lot of other countries.
HJR58
1st Aug 2015
4
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Yes, well past its sell by date in its present form. Too many of them.
little owl
31st Jul 2015
3
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I believe we need an upper house but I don't think attending the Lords should go one over 75 or indeed if they have any permanent debilitating illness. It should've a lifetime only position not a pensionable one as it is not a full time position. Payment should also only ever be for attendance. If the rules were much stricter we would only get people who are really interested and bothered about this country. Something stricter rules should also be started in the commons.
cheshiredolphin
31st Jul 2015
5
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We need a Upper House, although the make up should be considerably different. Out should go the Hereditary Peers and grace and favour Union Masters and Old School pals of various Prime Ministers.
They should be replaced by regionally elected 'Senators' (for a better word) using a form of proportional representation to minimise Party political preference and should (hopefully) include technocrats, social workers, from business men to housewives. Restructured clearly defined pay and expenses and a limited tenure, perhaps 10 years for those who wish to put themselves forward for scrutiny and election.
Mozzy-Boy
30th Jul 2015
6
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Of course it should see reform. It is simply chaps who really have little idea of what life is like as an average human being.

Make them non paying positions, throw out anyone of them if their past is blemished. Tradition is all well and good, but we all know it is just a title and money that is thrown into their already large pockets. Actually, I think I've just convinced myself to actually do away with them 🙂
mamie
30th Jul 2015
6
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Money to pay their salaries could be put to better use ! They are a total disgrace
girlbabar
30th Jul 2015
6
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The house of lords needs reform. An elected second house none of whom can have been a politician previously. 100 senators would be enough at a reasonable rate- much less than the £400/day at present. Upper age of 80. We do not need these titles for doing favours for politicians. Hereditary peers are fine-at least they are usually decent people.
rudgy
29th Jul 2015
7
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Get rid of the lot of them .Its run on greed .Its full of crooks some have been in prison and they help to decide what's going on in the government.They are untouchable . I would like to be able to sign in and leave after 15minutes and collect £300 pound .
Erimus Exile
29th Jul 2015
5
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Life peerages should not be handed out by political parties to the 'party faithful' like 'gold watches' at the end of their 'use by' period. Indeed life peerages should be phased out completely. The 'members' should be elected for a limited (maximum) period of time, for example two five-year terms, during which they should be paid expenses only (without an additional pension; long term ex-MP's are sufficiently remunerated already).

Rules should also be in place to prevent a majority in both Houses of Parliament simultaneously, thus providing a reasonable balance when proposed Laws are scrutinised in the upper chamber.

Anyone proven to have behaved in a manner likely to bring the House into disrepute through criminal, immoral or anti-social activities or behaviour should be dismissed summarily (that should also be a rule for MP's).
Westminster
29th Jul 2015
8
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I think that those in the Lords should be elected, and only serve five year terms mirroring the Commons.

There should also be an upper age limit of seventy.

Such a system would enable us to choose those in the Lords, and every five years there would be a fresh batch.
Michlyntyres
29th Jul 2015
7
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The House of Lords was put in place to scrutinise legislation coming from the House of Commons, to stop a Government sneaking laws through which would harm the democracy of the country.

When it was just hereditory Lords, most of whom had no political axe to grind laws really were scrutinised and their expenses were low.

Since it has been packed with failed politicians hangers on, some of whom have paid dearly for their titles, who claim maximum expenses, just for showing up then pushing off again giving the impression it has become as corrupt as some of those members in the Commons. As the Lords are unelected they cannot overule the elected Parliament but if they also become elected they would have a mandate to obstruct legislation and push through laws for their own agenda. You only have to look at the political system in the US, legislation can take years to pass, especially is one party holds the Senate and the other the House of Representatives. Stalemate.

Prune them by all means, to people who have worked honestly thoughout their life and contributed to their communities in a way which would make the House of Lords a chamber to be proud of.
terryc
29th Jul 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Kick out all the present "Lords' and replace them with a quarter of the number by PR. This way, laws will be passed by representation. Pay them average wage and no expenses. Build a block of flats and allow them to live there (a contribution to the rent from them would be expected) and give them a rail pass for one return fare each week. Seems fair to me.
Philmo
29th Jul 2015
3
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YES! (preferably before the BlueCons irrevocably snaffle it!)
And the population should be proportionally represented within it.
Munsterlander
28th Jul 2015
7
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This story about Lord Sewel is unbelievable-you just could not make it up! yet another one of our Parliamentarians who has behaved in a disgraceful manner. What on earth is the matter with these people they are supposed to be setting an example and looking after the state of the UK instead in his lunchtime this fellow is busy snorting cocaine with prostitutes and having the gall to tell the girls that he is paying for them and the drugs with his lunch allowance from the Lords??? He is being paid over £84,000 to do this? We should defiantly reduce the membership. We only need a few hundred "Lords" in my opinion and they should be elected by us the people they are supposed to be representing. What I find unbelievable about all these cases of MPs and Lords behaving disgracefully is NONE of them resign immediately they try and get away with it. If I had done this in my lunch time when I worked and been found out I would have lost my job immediately and been in jail for having illegal drugs. For goodness sake lets clean up parliament for once and for all.

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