UK Liberty

The impact of the House of Lords

Posted in politicians on liberty by ukliberty on October 15, 2008

Lord Norton:

I see that in response to Lord Taylor’s recent post, Alex has commented:

“there is no point to the house of lords – they are unelected and just use up our taxes. their only power is to delay bills by one year”.

That completely misunderstands the House of Lords.  The cost to the public purse of a member of the House in the 2006-07 session was less than one-sixth the cost of an MP.  The House is extremely efficient and delivers significant outputs at relatively little cost.

The impact of the House is seen in different ways. …

And he illustrates a number of them.

I have an addition – the Commons, it seems to me in recent years, is like the whim of the people, and the Lords are our conscience (or the former is our id, and the latter our ego and super-ego).  Our conscience cannot completely override our whim, but it can make us think again.  And without a conscience we would be a sociopathic nation, bound by what the Government understands to be our whim: detention without charge, intense surveillance on the grounds that one day it might be used to save the life of just one child, and so on.

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