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  • Time for a change.
    • Bob Harvey (no login)
      Posted Jun 15, 2012 9:44 AM

      I reckon that we need to stop prime ministers putting their chums in the Lords. Ever.

      I think that we should choose three Lords per historic county, by election or acclimation or some sort of lottery, who get 12 years each. So one every 4 years? Past heads of the armed forces, past prime ministers should get 6 years there regardless. And the Royal Society, the college of surgeons, vets, doctors, nurses, midwives, teachers, university lecturers should each get 4 seats for people who would do 3 years each. Each university chancellor should have a defacto seat (but not the stipend) and be allowed to send a delegate instead of themselves. Ditto heads of recongised religions.

      All olympic medalists, national team sports captains, and anyone who breaks world records (other than eating stupid things, of course), wins an artistic prize, or a prize for mathematics, should get two 3 year terms - one immediately and one 15 years later. The final arbiter on that lot should be the Queen. I want to see the National Trust, RSPB, EFDSS, PDSA, CLA, CPRE, RA represented. Basically any organisation that has existed for more than 50 years and whose membership is open to anyone in the country. So fishing clubs but not religions. We can safely let her Majesty organise who is eligable for those places, and let them choose for themselves how long their delegates serve.

      And then all people who sit on a Jury for more than 1 week, anyone nominated from the community for some sort of honour, organisers of local charities, all serving servicemen, ambulance men, policemen, firemen, paramedics, and anyone with 321 supporting local petitioners, should go into a sort of pool, with 51 at a time chosen at random and given 1 year in the Lords. With a legal right to have their job at home kept open for them in that year, just like happens with Juries. That bunch would be entitled to a second year entirely at the occasional behest of the rest of the House, in case they accidentally do a really good job.

      Finally we should have representatives of travelling folk, ex-prisoners, the disabled, the chronically ill, and the indigent unemployed, and anyone who employs more than 25 people in there. I will let other people decide how all that is done. And I would let the Queen have 11 seats entirely in her gift for whatever reason she chose.

      You would only basically get one go in a lifetime. If someone does 1 year because they are a serving foot-soldier, then if they become chief of the defence staff they would forfeit the normal seat. Anyone elected (parish, county, westminster) would have had their go there, and be barred from the Lords for life. Perhaps ex-attenders in the lords would be banned from other elections too?

      I would provide some sort of Luxury barrack block in London for them and thier families, and make attendance compulsory. We could have posh busses to ferry them about, or London taxis painted in white and gold. They should have a silly uniform, much like Chelsea Pensioners or the people in Brownes Hospital do, although it could be a modern design and changed every so often: designing it could be a prize for people leaving art school, perhaps. Because living expenses and clothing will be provided, they should be paid a sensible wage (say 4 or 6 times the minimum wage) to ensure they can keep up the mortgage payments at home, but they should not get rich. I would send all ex-members a small honorarium every christmas once they are over the age of 82, perhaps a lump of beef and a smart coat?

      Oh, and if picked it should not be possible to refuse. This is Britain, and the House of Lords. We do need some silly rules!
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