That political discussion with occasional humour thread

I agree that creating peerages to get non-politicians into government should be limited (though obviously there is a massive difference between Cameron, an ex-politician with a poor record, and Thompson, Vallance and Hermer), but I look at the quality of those three appointments and the amount of experience and expertise those three have - which they could not have achieved as politicians (because of the way government works nowadays) - and I’m really pleased.

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That is one argument against changing the way appointees to the Lords are chosen.
There are too many political appointees and not enough use of life experience in many differing worlds.
For instance, can you see Floella Benjamin standing for Parliament?
Turning the Lords into another politically elected House will lose more than it gains.
It was the Lords who recently stood up against the disastrous Rwanda policy and they have used their delaying powers on many occasions to make the Commons look again at the practicalities and morality of their policies.

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Fair enough, as long as you don’t want the country to be a democracy.
How do you know that a properly elected 2nd chamber wouldn’t do exactly as you think a crony appointed one does?
And how do you know that Floella Benjamin wouldn’t stand for election. We will never know as she hasn’t needed to, she was put where she is by someone who thinks they know best,.

Reform of the House of Lords is on Labour’s agenda.

Ministers have power to take action, advisers don’t - that’s why Vallance etc. are going to the Lords.

And ministers have to be able to report directly to Parliament and be questioned by it, another reason for putting them in the Lords.

Also the Lords was stuffed with Tories under the last Government, so adding some Labour or Independent peers is a way of redressing the balance in the short term.

I think Starmer’s appointments of experts to key roles is to be applauded, even if the mechanism used is a bit clunky and awkward.

Certainly better than giving peerages to the likes of Zac Goldsmith and Lebedev,


Having an unelected body brings balance and consistency against a chamber of politicians who must pander to the public and seek popularity.


If you look to the turnout at the recent election, just how motivated do you think people would be to vote for candidates in a second chamber?

Perhaps it looks clunky (I agree it does, and I understand @David_Spardo 's comments) because it’s unusual?

The way UK politics has gone recently (even before the ministerial merry-go-round of the last 14 years), it’s been impossible for any minister to gain substantial experience at his ministry before being reshuffled elsewhere.

At least people like Vallance, Timpson and Hermer are people who can bring a lot of experience and understanding to their posts.


Yes ministers are normally drawn from the House of Commons, but of course Starmer has relatively few MPs with prior government experience, so bringing in non-politicians for these roles is a good idea.

Making them Lords is clunky because usually that happens as a reward for public service - all three are probably more deserving of that than many who have been elevated, but using it just as a way to get them into Government (ditto David Cameron), still seems a bit odd.

But there we go - I think all three will be very effective in their roles, fortunately.



I don’t know but it could be said that the already undemocratic voting system encourages people to not bother. We’ve heard nothing since Sunak announced the election but talk of a landslide victory for Labour.
But still not a reason to cancel elections altogether.

A bit different to France.

Yes it probably does. The difficulty with getting it changed is that it’s not in the interests of the big parties to do so.

That said, the Labour Party Conference did vote in favour of PR.

I think one of the most questionable, aspects of the current UK voting system’s new ID requirements is how pensioners’ bus passes are acceptable ID but young people’s over 18 ID cards aren’t . Can’t believe that was an accidental omission!

Be nice to have a bus pass. :thinking:
Be nice to find a bus as well. :joy:

Not bothered, as long as they don’t ban my old cars because they don’t stop when I don’t want them to. :slightly_frowning_face:

The whole setup is a disgrace. You can practically go through the whole list and tick a box marked “likely to vote Tory”


Good luck with that!

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Sorry Susannah, looks photoshopped and I don’t think that the implication is acceptable.


Especially given the way women politicians are being targeted for humiliation at the moment: MSN

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As fake as a £3 note and utterly misogynistic.

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I’m extremely disappointed that image has 4 “likes” :rage:

PS: thank you @Susannah - I think that was the right decision.