Lords reform may break up Coalition: bring it on!

April 22nd, 2012

It’s almost incredible that after public spending and benefit cuts of £109bn went through with scarcely a murmur of rebellion, the reform of the Lords now look set to be the issue that splits the Coalition in two.   It’s incredible because no-one in their right mind can make the argument that with 92 hereditary peers still there and the prime minister of the day using patronage to appoint huge numbers at will (Cameron has already appointed 117 in less than a year), reform isn’t necessary.   It’s incredible because all three parties committed in their manifestos before the last election that they would do just this and finish reform of the Lords left unfinished by Blair.   And it’s incredible because the only argument being voiced against it is that it is not a priority and would be time-consuming and complex – it would be, but so are most important bills, and if it’s not a priority but still has to be done, the mid-term period of a Parliament is the best time to take it.   So why has it suddenly become a Coalition-breaker? (more…)