It took 10 years

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by finknottle, Mar 1, 2010.

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  1. Lord Ashcroft, one of the Tory party's biggest donors has finally admitted that he does not pay full British tax on all of his earnings.

    Here is a fine example of why the anachronism that is the House of Lords should be cleared of political cronies of all parties and replaced by representatives who have elected by the people. There's Ashcroft involved in the passing of laws that affect us all, yet he is a non-dom. He has also poured huge amounts of cash into the Tory party which raises the question was it legal, as foreign donations to British political parties are illegal.

    Cameron is pleased with the news that Ashcroft has come clean about his status, so why did it take 10 years Dave?

    Labour had a huge majority in 97 and could have done whatever they wanted regarding the second chamber but of course they didn't, as they wanted to shovel their own cronies through the door.

    As long as that other place exists in its present form we can never say that we live in a true democracy.
  2. For once I agree with you Fink,...both places need a good sort out... and brought kicking and screaming into to 19th century !
  3. Ashcroft coming clean after all this time does lift a stone under which all the major political parties may not wish to look.Labour was happily selling peerages until one disgruntled non recipient blew the whistle on them.As finky says the House of Lords is an anachronism and a corrupt one at that.
  4. Fink those in glass houses :

    Figures show that since 2001, Labour have taken over £10 million from eight reportedly ‘non-dom’ donors:

    Lord Paul – £69,250 in donations to Labour, including £45,000 to Gordon Brown’s leadership campaign. A close friend of Gordon Brown and appointed to the Privy Council last summer, he has admitted to being ‘non-dom’.

    Lakshmi Mittal - £4.125 million in donations to Labour.

    Sir Ronald Cohen - £2.55 million in donations to Labour. Cohen was appointed chair of the Social Investment Taskforce, which was announced by the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown.

    Sir Christopher Ondaatje - £1.7 million in donations to Labour.

    Sir Gulam Noon - £532,826 in donations to Labour.

    William Bollinger - £510,725 in donations to Labour.

    Mahmoud Khayami - £985,000 in donations to Labour including £5,000 to Hazel Blears’ deputy leadership campaign. He has helped bankroll two flagship schools, one of which Gordon Brown opened, and was personally thanked for a donation by Tony Blair.

    Dr David Potter - £90,000 in a donation to Labour. He has previously delivered a lecture at Downing Street.

    Have a nice day in your socialist world.

  5. The house of lords needs a complete revamp. Nobody who has purchased a peerage should be allowed to sit in this house.
    The upper house should be fully elected.
    Now if the political parties wish to reward those who support them I cannot see a problem, give them the title but no power.
  6. IDOITDEEPER, as it happens I have been in the glasshouse but if you read my post carefully you will see that New Labour did not escape my bile. :)
  7. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    This, in my view, should exclude him from participation in any of the chambers of Parliament. However it does not necessarily support your subsequent argument for replacement of the Lords with elected representatives.

    My concern with replacing the appointed chamber with another elected chamber is that party policies would hold more sway than even today and that the UK would swing towards a totalitarian system. At the last election, I supported policy elements of all three mainstream English parties, and speaking to others know I'm not the only one with this view. Therefore, I don't believe that the manifesto published by any party is true reflection of the views of many of those who vote for that party, in fact there are areas where it may actually contradict the beliefs of many of that party's voters. If the upper house is elected on the same basis as the lower house then there is no chance of any checks or balances being applied. While the current situation is not ideal, I don't like the idea of a political system manipulated by the party grandees of any of the parties - while having elections may seem democratic, I believe that it would actually remove power from the electorate and hand it firmly to the back-room advisers of the Cameron, Brown and their ilk. Democracy? I don't think so!

    I would prefer a wholly independent upper house with its members appointed from the electorate - no political patronage and limited hereditary peerages. The key thing is that the two chambers of Parliament should be complementary and independent.
  8. What we really need is a hung parliament. :wink:

    Preferably from a gibbet. :D :D :D :D :D :D

  9. FlagWagger, electing both houses seems to work well enough in the United States, so why not here?

    I would also be interested in what your thoughts are regarding the Parliament Act?
  10. ...or a well hung parliament - one with the balls to actually say no to the legions of scrotes and scroungers and Balkanised minority interest groups who want to yoke those who get off their ar5e to haul a colossal flabby micomanaging cryptofascist paperwork spewing supersize socialist state.

    Surely the cupboards are bare by now?!

    It's not just the rotton borough miluds fancy dress thing; or the fact that half of all MPs are lawyers; it's the whole Tory-Labour cycle that's got to end... it's just a 20th century thing... it doesn't have to carry on for another century.

    Personally, I'd scrap both parliaments, and have a Swiss Canton Parliament system... with every county and big city having a min-parliament.

    At least that way they're close enough to throw sh1t at; and they can't get their worthless patronising grasping mitts on that much stuff at once; and you could get a net reduction in the size of government (and thus taxes) by replacing local government with Canton government; and turning the palace of Westminster into a mental hospital for megalomaniacs; kleptomaniacs; sexual deviants; and lawyers.

    All those in favour say "Aye!".
  11. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Really? I think the effectiveness of the US system can be summed up in two words, "Health Care" - there is no willingness to compromise from either party. The US two party system has resulted in a very polarised political landscape where independent thinkers need not apply!

    At at the end of the day, the electorate suffers while lobbyists, interest groups and those with money benefit. I find it interesting that you criticise the Lords as being open to manipulation through financial dealings yet hold up the US system as something that works when it is widely acknowledged that the US system is littered with examples where the interests of the people are a long way behind the interests of special interest groups/lobbyists/industry/parties etc.

    I assume you are referring to the 1911 Act which restricts the power of the Lords to stop legislation - I'm actually quite happy with this way of working. The upper chamber (notice I didn't say "Lords") has a role in sanity checking legislation produced by the lower chamber - this system of checks and balances can be overruled with sufficient persistence from the lower house, but in raising objections in this way, the public are being kept informed and can contribute to the subsequent political discussion. Losing the independence between the two chambers will result in the public losing visibility and hence the chance to participate.
  12. Hi Finky, long time no ... and all that.

    Selling peerages is hardly a bailiwick of Nu Labour, Harold and Marcia ring any bells?

    As for the Parliament Act of 1911, it was used only three time prior to its amendment in 1949, under the 1949 revision it was used only once prior to the election of Labour where it has been used (abused?) a further three times.

    As for the house of Lords, I believe that an elected 2nd house would be no better than the current system, in fact it would be worse imho, for the majority of the life of a Parliament it would have a very similar % of Party makeup as the the house of commons, and being elected the members would be under the same party whip as the commons, where as many members of the lords vote with their conscience rather than following the party line, something that is sadly lacking in the commons.

    apologies if the above is a bit rambling and the grammar and spelling is abit off, had a bevy or 6
  13. Perhaps something along the lines of here in the US. Congressmen represent an area and Senators a State, 2 from each. Congressmen have the vote every 2 yrs and Senators 6. it aint perfect but if the feckers screw up, theyre out.
  14. Maybe it would of been better if Guy Fawlkes did blow up parliament all those years ago.
  15. Surely one of the better things about the Lords is that there are some people there with experience outside of the Westminster village? All the ex-Chiefs of the Defence Staff, First Sea Lords, CGSs and CASs and other notables or ex-professionals who provide a degree of sanity and balance against the increasingly hegemonic political promotions to that House - Gorbals Mick, etc...
    I imagine that if they, Labour or whoever else is in power, can mess about with the constituencies to ensure majorities in the Commons that they could also do the same with an elected HoL without too much difficulty.
  16. There's nothing "better" about the Lords... it's an unelected House of Cronies.

    "experience outside the Westminster village"?

    Are you having a laugh? How many of them were "promoted" from the House of Scummers?
    What on earth has a bunch of senile old bigots got to offer?
    If you want external expertise we've got external and pretty independant academic institutions and industry bodies to draw from: analysts and experienced professionals actually in the wild.

    If the purpose of the Lords is just to mitigate the rubbishness of the Commons, then it's pretty clear that they've both got to go.

    Canton network of parliaments and Cantonal Senate would be better: you elect your ward reps to your local cantonal assembly; and then Canton Senator candidates who have to have some organisational sponsorship or qualification could be presented to the Assembly for election.

    That would mitigate against a purely party political senator, and compel the Canton Assembly members to effectively select a "crossbencher".

    I mean the US system is not really any good. You have to actively look for a way to toxify any connexion with big business... you need to find ways of incentivising the human natures involved to actively seek to be independent somehow: you could insist that all candidates have real PhDs and established expertise in a field for instance.

    E.g.: an academic's reputation can be damaged by appearing to be in the pocket of industry. However the selection of Professors does leave a lot to be desired, so it's not a solution to replace the House of Lords with a House of Professors... but it's probably a significant improvement.
    Not a million miles away from Cornishgolfer's thoughts perhaps?

    We don't want to continue the "country club" atmosphere where people are selected by personal recommendations... we need transparent peer review of peers - and most of all, we need a way of ousting them quickly should they get too comfortable.

    Info on the Swiss system:

    It's the way forward for us.
  17. Regardless of what I have read in some of the reasoned views posted I remain adamant that an elected chamber should replace the H of L, at least then we would be able to boot them out if they do not come up to scratch. In its present form the buggers are nigh on bulletproof.
  18. Strangely I almost agree with you on this one Finky. I have a few reservations though firstly we must change the voting system for the commons to make the resulkt more representative of the electorates wishes. We must end dictatorial prime ministers who have failed to get the support of at least 50% of the voters. Second we must devize a method of electing the Lords that is different, based on different constituencies and held at different times so that the lords should not end up as a rubber stamping organisation. Also there does need to be a way for suitable candidates to be co-opted into the lords to bring in needed expertise.
  19. I believe that the best reason for a complete overhaul of the upper house can be stated in two words,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Peter Mandelson.
    This man who was disgraced as am MP was then elevated to the peerage by that clown Brown, then given the most powerful ministers job in parliament (which I still believe should only be carried out by an elected MP) and is now the most powerful politician in either house. :twisted:
  20. At times of these tediously repetitive debates, I sometimes wonder how many have real concern for democracy and how many are just congenitally incensed by any intimation of class and privilege. What I choose to have for tea may depend upon the predictable randomness of any responses to my curiosity.

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