It is very difficult to look at the dissolution honours list for the Lords without retching. Lord Prescott, Lord Reid, Lord Blair of Stockwell Tube Station? Then there are the Tory donors. Floella Benjamin is the only redeeming feature. Indeed, I hope someone can find Brian Cant and put him in there too.
But seriously, surely this lot, with so many of Gordon Brown’s backroom chums as well, stretch to breaking point the credibility of the Lords? It beggars belief that we still have this ancient stench-pit of corruption and patronage as an integral part of our legislature.
Nick Clegg has promised Lords Reform from this coalition, but Clegg deferred to the Tories by mentioning “grandfather rights”. The Tories are insisting that existing peers – or at least a large number of them – should remain members of the Lords until they die. So no democratic upper chamber until Ian Blair, John Prescott and John Reid peg it? Not to mention the new Tory peer 33 year old Oxford graduate Nat Wei? It is ludicrous.
Grandfather rights are unacceptable. The Lords must be swept away, and replaced by a democratic upper chamber with no unelected grandparents invited. Preferably elections should be by PR, but a fully elected upper chamber by 2015 will be over a hundred years overdue.