The Labour Party’s long-standing lethargy over House of Lords reform

The Labour Party’s long-standing lethargy over House of Lords reform

Labour recently announced that any new peers it nominates must commit to abolishing the House of Lords. In this post, Pete Dorey discusses Labour’s track record on Lords reform and why the party has failed to enact serious reforms when in government, arguing that the subject has suffered from a lack of intra-party consensus and a lack of serious interest in reform at ministerial level.

Continue reading

Interpreting Parliament, but how?

Interpreting Parliament, but how?

By Marc Geddes

What interests me in the study of Parliament is the way in which everyday life is so unpredictable, chaotic, reactive and consistently beset by challenges. Yet simultaneously, to the outside world at least, Parliament looks stable and ordered, static and unchanging. Continue reading

The Demise of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee: A cautionary tale of the indulgence of executive power?

The Demise of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee: A cautionary tale of the indulgence of executive power?

By Graham Allen MP, Dave Richards and Martin Smith

Brian Barry suggested that: ‘…there has been a massive rise in the incidence of sanctimony and smugness among the successful that has nothing to do with any change in the underlying reality… It has been stimulated by politicians who have realised that it is possible to win power by recruiting the most … successful forty per cent or so of the population in a crusade to roll back the gains made by their fellow citizens in the previous forty years’. Written fifty years ago, the spirit, if not the empirical accuracy of this sentiment, still holds true. The Conservative Party have returned to power with an outright, yet slim majority. The turnout, though slightly up on previous elections at 66%, saw the Conservatives secure a 36.9% share. Read another way this means that only 24.7% of those eligible to vote did so for the new governing party. The Westminster model was, of course, always designed to deliver out right winners thanks to the machinations of the first-past-the post electoral system. In 2015, it can certainly be said to have done its job. But in an increasingly anti-political age, with a growing sense of cynicism with the ways and means of the Westminster system, it might be argued that a new government with such a precarious majority would be well served by operating with a public show of humility, not hubris. Continue reading