House of Lords Overhaul

I’m all for sticking with history and tradition, especially for things that are a good idea in principal (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, etc).

The basic idea for the House of Lords is a good one, an upper house to evaluate the efforts of MPs in Parliament before laws get the final thumbs-up to be put into effect.

Unfortunately like a lot of things these days it has started to become a bit of a mess, not helped by the tinkering done to it by Blair’s “New Labour” government between 1997 to 2007 (before Gormless Gordon took over until his 2010 defeat).

The old place is considered to be too full, and made a bit of an arse of itself with Brexit blocking efforts during the past few years.

This page is intended to lay out what ideas I’ve come up with to try fix it.

So far the best I’ve come up with is to slim it down with a mix of traditional, appointed advisory panels and “elected senate” positions. Probably with the total number sitting and voting capped at between 350 to 500, instead of the current 700+ there is now, and considered excessive enough to make it necessary to come up with ideas to slim it down a bit.

Traditional Positions
These will guarantee places for people of note wishing to attend and make a contribution, such as:

  • The Reigning Monarch
  • The Next 4 in line to the inheriting the monarchy upon reaching adult age
  • The Head of the Royal Navy
  • The Head of the Army
  • The Head of the Royal Air Force
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury
  • The Archbishop of York
  • The Bishop of Durham
  • The Bishop of Winchester
  • The Bishop of London
  • Others to be discussed

Mostly intended to try keep traditionalists happy.

Appointed Advisory Panels
These will not sit in the Lords/Senate or have voting powers (apart from maybe the panel chairman), but will provide advice to those in “Traditional” & “Elected Senate” position prior to voting on things, in a similar way to how the “Office of Budget Responsibility” advises the chancellor prior to doing the budget, and include something along the lines of:

  • Business, Industrial, Finance & Budgeting Panel (35 Members maximum)
  • Defence & Intelligence Panel (21 Members maximum)
  • Crime & Justice Panel (21 Members maximum)
  • Information Technology & Cyber-Security Panel (15 Members maximum)
  • Heritage, Conservation & Environment Panel (10 Members maximum)
  • Housing, Consumer Affairs & Utilities Panel (25 Members maximum)
  • Agriculture, Commercial Fishing & Food Standards Panel (30 Members maximum)
  • Transportation & Infrastructure Panel (30 Members maximum)
  • Foreign Affairs & International Trade Panel (30 Members maximum)
  • Scottish, Welsh & Northern Irish Affairs Panel (12 Members maximum)
  • Education, Universities & Skills Panel (15 Members maximum)
  • Health, Social Care & Disability Benefits Panel (21 Members maximum)
  • Veterans Affairs Panel (7 Members Maximum)
  • Employment & Working Benefits Panel (17 Members maximum)
  • Arts, Culture, Media & Sports Panel (21 Members maximum)

Members will remain eligible for either a Knighthood or a Peerage, or similar honour as a “carrot on a stick” for taking part. People can be selected to sit on more than one panel to help keep the actual numbers under control.

Elected Senate
These will be elected positions similar to the United States Senate, from an electoral map based on the outgoing Euro MP constituency boundaries, such as:

  • Yorkshire and the Humber (5 Seats)
  • East Midlands (3 Seats)
  • West Midlands (5 Seats)
  • East of England (4 Seats)
  • London (3 Seats)
  • South West England (5 Seats)
  • South East England (4 Seats)
  • North East England (4 Seats)
  • North West England (5 Seats)
  • Wales (6 Seats)
  • Scotland (6 Seats)
  • Northern Ireland (6 Seats)
  • Channel Islands (2 Seats)
  • Gibraltar (1 Seat)
  • Isle of Man (1 Seat)
  • Falkland Islands (1 Seat)

Total Seats Available for election: 61

Elections to be held every 5 years, with a system of 1st & 2nd choice votes from a party list.

Candidates must pass the following criteria:

  • Over 35 years old
  • Have held a position of elected office such as Parliament, County Council, Scottish Parliament, etc for at least 1 term.
  • Must not owe HMRC debts exceeding £3500
  • Must not owe debts (excluding mortgages or student loans) exceeding 40% of their annual senate salary
  • Must not have criminal convictions of 6-months jail or less in the previous 10 years
  • Must not have criminal convictions exceeding 6-months jail time ever.

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