It's refreshing to finally find something to agree with Daniel Hannan about, namely that our esteemed former Presiding Officer David Steel has lost the plot (and his radicalism) by supporting a fully appointed House of Lords. Just a pity that Hannan ruins his whole argument by framing it in the following terms :
"Why remove the only elected element from the House of Lords?"
Now, you may well be baffled by the suggestion that there is an elected element at present, but believe it or not he's talking (sigh) about the 90 remaining hereditary peers. Ah, the Tories - bless them. Only they could seriously believe that the grotesque process by which a few dozen highly-privileged individuals select another highly-privileged individual in some way confers upon the latter person the status of an "elected politician". If we were to follow that logic to its natural conclusion, Steel and Hannan wouldn't have a cigarette-paper between them, because a House of Lords appointed by committee would indeed be entirely "elected" - albeit by an electorate consisting of approximately fifteen people. Come to think of it, aren't life peers currently "elected" by David Cameron? An electorate of one is enough, surely, Daniel?