Monday, 11 February 2013

Conservative Peer: "Don't put your faith in politicians."

A Conservative Peer has recently stated, "Don't put your faith in politicians," remarkably demonstrating the large amount of distrust that has built up within parliament. The House of Lords, seen by some as a backwards limitation upon democracy, has developed a taste for making itself heard, and taking politicians to account.

Peers are not paid, nor are they elected, but are appointed by the crown on the advice of the Prime Minister, usually because they are considered to have something worthy to contribute. It would be expected, therefore, that the House would generally follow what the government wanted, simply adding amendments here and there as necessary. However, this is not the case. The Lords are making themselves heard, criticizing the Commons over what they see as incompetence and poor management.

The statement made by the above Peer was in relation to the vote of gay marriage. Many in the Lords, those who have experience and knowledge when it comes to the implications of laws, feel as betrayed by the government. They have described the policy as being decided upon on a, "whim," when the government should really be focusing on the things that matter.

So, while the politicians of the House of Commons voted overwhelming for gay marriage, something many felt they had to do to ever be re-elected, the House of Lords actually might be able to delay the Bill, or at least create amendments that soften its blow. After all, this is the Lords role as a checking house, making sure that the democratically elected leaders are actually acting in the interests of the country, rather than for their own political gain.

Yet, the peers have not limited themselves to objecting to gay marriage, as they have also made a stand regarding some austerity cuts that they believe have not been fully thought through  The government have had to fight to get their laws through parliament, laws have not been of the level of competence that we were expecting. The peers are, essentially, acting to protect the integrity of the government from its own poorly made decisions.

The Lords is the place where all the parties, as well as the huge number of independents, have come together to collectively look at their democratic counterparts with an incredulous look. Maybe there is some hope in British politics after all.

For more information on the House of Lords, click here for the official website or here for the Wikipedia page. Click here for the comments above gay marriage.

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