As I caught the train into London last week from Tunbridge Wells (despite no longer living in the Royal Borough), I couldn’t help but notice that the front page of almost every paper commented on the farce that is the House of Lords. I am disgusted. Joining the circa 830 unelected, many of them unelectable, members of an upper voting house are a host of new members. Some deserve a place; William Hague is a distinguished politician whose wily understanding of UK government will be hugely beneficial. Douglas Hogg, or Lord Moat as he has become to be known, is an embarrassing example of just how out of touch Westminster can be with the people. The spectacle of a bunch largely of past their sell by date politicians still with their fingers in the trough is hugely damaging for the democratic process; somebody like Hogg embodies the pigswill that should have been cleared away years ago, either through total reform or complete abolishment.
The UK is a small country, both physically and in terms of population, with a middling economy. We need an efficiency drive and the Government should be leading it, rather than reinforcing old and outmoded ways of working. A smaller government that interferes less would let the market make its own decisions. Removing the House of Lords would help facilitate this. The elected politicians simply wouldn’t have time to meddle.
Read any discussion on the UK economy and the problem of minimal increases in productivity will be highlighted. The Government can take the lead to mend this by moving on from the cronyism of the Lords to a new government aided by a market (elected) body. Industry and the economy as a whole have become used to the process of disintermediation; the music industry and book publishing are extreme examples. Witness what the nascent crowdfunding industry is doing to banking. All are to the advantage of the vast majority of people in the short term and to all in the longer term. It is all a process of democratisation. Formerly of Tunbridge Wells, I am disgusted that our government doesn’t appear to agree and embrace this principle.