Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Being Jordan

  • Just fifteen countries worldwide use appointment as the predominant means of selection to the upper house, including Jordan, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, and Burkino Faso. 
  • The only other country in the world where the hereditary element still exists is Lesotho.

Official LibDem statement on the Queen's Speech

It is hardly revolutionary in the modern age to decide the House of Lords should have an element of democracy in it, and that is what I think the government will bring forward ... If you look at Europe, you see very clearly one of the problems is that governments do not have the democratic support of their people to take the decisions which are necessary. That is why this is really important.

Lord Ashdown

There's not a syllable there I'd disagree with - especially the reference to Europe's democratic deficit. Take a look at some of the House of Lords Appointment Commission's criteria:

The Commission will be seeking to recommend nominees: 
  • with the ability to make an effective and significant contribution to the work of the House of Lords, not only in their areas of particular interest and special expertise, but the wide range of other issues coming before the House; 
  • with a record of significant achievement within their chosen way of life that demonstrates a range of experience, skills and competencies 
 In other words, unelected technocrats by another name. At least the Eurozone's political elite can cite a currency crisis as some kind of excuse for allowing unelected apparatchiks to challenge the actions of elected governments. Here in Blighty, having unelected technocrats and establishment cronies scrutinising and amending the work of the people we elect is just what we do as a matter of course, crisis or no crisis.

 The Lib Dems say they'd like to reform the Lords, But guess what ... apparently we can't have democracy yet, because there's an economic crisis on.



Apologies to the good people of Trinidad and Tobago, which the text cut n' pasted from the Lib Dem's site showed as "Trinidad and Tabago" - only just noticed and corrected. The Lib Dems apparently haven't noticed yet, as their web page remains uncorrected as I write...