Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Should the SNP support Cameron's plans to weaken the powers of the Lords?

Here's an interesting discussion point, given that I know how most of you feel about the House of Lords.  At some point next year, the Commons will probably be invited to vote on whether to abolish the power of the Lords to block secondary legislation.  If so, we'll enter into Alice Through the Looking Glass territory, because we'll have the Tories posing as modern-day Asquiths and Lloyd-Georges and trying to transfer power from unelected peers to the elected chamber, while the constitutional 'reformers' in the Corbyn-led Labour party and the Liberal Democrats will be standing up for the ancient rights of the Barons and the Bishops.  To be fair, there's a pragmatic case to be made that almost any check on the power of a government "elected" on just 37% of the vote has to be better than nothing.

But for the SNP, there isn't such a straightforward conflict between principle and pragmatism.  Unlike Labour and the Liberal Democrats, they have no stake at all in the Lords (through their own choice), so it's arguably in their interests to see the Lords stripped of more powers, and for the focal point of opposition to the government to be in a chamber where the SNP are the third-largest party and hold almost a tenth of the seats.

The decision they make could be crucial, because there is a smattering of right-wing libertarians on the Tory backbenches who will be instinctively mistrustful of an executive that is trying to make itself too powerful.  If the SNP and the DUP join with Labour and the Lib Dems to vote the plans down, it would only take a handful of Tory rebels for the government to be defeated.  Even without the DUP, the Tory rebellion wouldn't have to be huge.

So what do you think the SNP should do?  Should the priority be to chip away at the powers of the Lords, even if in the short term that further empowers the Tory government?

103 comments:

  1. Without the Lords, those tax credit cuts would have been bulldozed through. I'm as against unelected legislators as anyone, but no-one should be fooled into thinking that Cameron has a blueprint for an elected second chamber ready to go just as soon as a few anomalies with the current setup are tidied up.

    The ideal scenario would probably be a full package of constitutional reform which would include an elected second chamber, electoral reform for the commons and further devolution to cities, nations and regions. Failing that, I would hope all opposition parties would oppose this move by the government and push for reforms to the composition of the HoL instead. I don't think rushed legislation hurried through a single chamber elected by an unfair system is a good thing.

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  2. I am tempted to go down road of the SNP abstaining on this. They have no Lords, they have no intention of seeking to install any Lords and as a result ultimately this amounts, in a perverse constitutional way, to an EWNI only issue that they have tended to avoid voting on for years. They would be attacked for meddling in the governance of a State that they wished to leave. Abstain.

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    1. It's not an EWNI only issue, though. Secondary legislation at Westminster can very easily apply to Scotland.

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    2. The SNP vote on the legislation or not if it affects Scotland. They have no Lords, they will have no Lords therefore they have no power to influence the passage or form of legislation in the Lords. The structure of the revising chamber for the Westminster parliament can easily be spun as a EWNI issue as Scotland has its own parliament and the SNP would deeply resent any attempt by Westminster to mess about with its internal business arrangements. There is no political win for the SNP in this matter.

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    3. No, that's an argument for voting in favour of abolishing the Lords' powers, so that elected Scottish MPs are not disenfranchised at any stage of the legislative process. Quite clearly Scottish MPs have a perfectly legitimate stake in whether the Lords are allowed to decide on secondary legislaton affecting Scotland, and I don't think anyone in the London establishment would seriously expect the SNP to abstain on this one.

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    4. The London Establishment are only interested in attacking the SNP at every opportunity. If they vote against reducing the powers of an institution they describe as arcane, undemocratic and want to abolish then they are Tartan hypocrites. If they vote to reduce its powers, they are cast asTartan Tories. They have no dog in this fight that brings them anything but grief. The only position they could defend and retain credibility with is to abstain.

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    5. Doesn't stack up as an argument, that. It is in keeping with the preferred endgame for the SNP that the HoL is abolished that they should vote to kneecap it. The SNP here should not be seen as "some party that refuses to take seats in the HoL, and so therefore they should not vote". Instead, they should vote with an eye to the future....'is this what my constituents would want the HoL to become if it remains in existence?'.

      The other part of the equation, of course, is avoiding doing anything that lets that snake Cameron get rid of inconvenient opposition coming from an institution that the Tories are traditionally very much for.

      That's the balancing act for the SNP.

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    6. You and Mr Kelly are looking at this through the prism of pragmatic politics and as if the SNP's participation as the third largest party at Westminster is viewed by the Establishment as 'normal' and not as an ongoing threat to the constitutional future of the UK never mind the powers of one part of the legislature that could be rescinded or altered by a different Unionist party in government. I take the view that the SNP has to try and avoid unnecessary excoriation from a Press and the rest that are waging a constant campaign of hate and black propoganda against them. I can only offer an opinion, and my opinion is that any positive action they take will draw unnecessary fire and force them on the defensive. Abstaining on this issue loses little and allows them to retain political integrity for future and far more important battles. It is a head scratcher for them but that's the game I suppose.

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    7. I'm actually not responding to your point through the prism of pragmatism, but of basic constitutional principles. The London establishment expect or demand the SNP to abstain when Scotland is (in reality or allegedly) unaffected by the vote in question. Scotland is directly affected by this vote, so the issue simply doesn't arise. Abstaining is at best pointless, and at worst counter-productive.

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    8. I've answered you in part down below. You have made up your mind that this a Scottish matter and therefore the SNP must vote one way or the other. I disagree, only on the part of the SNP, for the reasons stated above, because they pla no part in the Lords in any way. They have by their continuing refusal to put anyone inside the chamber, de facto abstained from decisions in or about it, apart from voting for its abolition if that was ever put forward as a proposition by a London government. I want it abolished but more than that I want Scotland to be independent so frankly I don't care about any trims or cuts or bodge jobs that go on about it now. The Scottish Parliament is unicarmeral and it wouldn't bother me one way or the other if Westminster was too.

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    9. "I disagree, only on the part of the SNP, for the reasons stated above, because they pla no part in the Lords in any way."

      You're missing the whole point. Scotland is directly affected because secondary legislation passed by Westminster often extends to Scotland. Self-evidently, the legislative process for laws that will apply in Scotland is a Scottish matter.

      "de facto abstained from decisions in or about it"

      They haven't de facto abstained from decisions about the Lords! Where are you getting that from?

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    10. I posted a reply down the page in the responses to Luigi that seems to have disappeared for some reason. Any way my last word on this matter. You have cut the full quote from my post above. They abstain because they do not participate. Deliberate non-participation = abstention except on the one action they are determined on and that is abolition. Yes, against all the odds they are the third biggest party in the HoC but this creates threats as well as opportunities, I won't go through all of them as this is a blog thread and not a dissertation, however one of the threat/opportunity conundrums is presented here in HoL reform. Every General knows that just because a battle can be joined doesn't mean it must. You can bypass one engagement in order to fight on ground that is more important and of greater value to your strategic aim. Whatever form reform of the Lords takes, short of the opportunity to abolish it, is a battle that can be passed by. The most important body for the drafting and passing of legislation is the HoC and that is where the fight for Scotland's interest must be joined. I am certain that if Robertson or Salmond thought there was any tactical value in having SNP Lords they would seek to have them ennobled. Vote for abolition if the chance arises or ignore a potential snare in bring accused of hypocrisy or collusion, neither is an attractive political option. The Tax Credit episode exposed Osborne's lack of procedural expertise as much it exposed the very rare occasions when the HoL makes a significant contribution to the future of legislation. And no matter what happens there never will be a SNP Lord in there voting, raising points of order or seeking amendments or delays, that is practiced abstention in anybody's book. I see no reason to change course now. The big issue is Europe. The SNP can accuse the Unionists of navel gazing over HoL reform when the big issue is our future in Europe, how refreshing would that line of attack be for the SNP having been so long subjected to that shelling themselves.

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    11. Oh and Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year. I admire and respect what you do here Mr Kelly, even though the first time I choose to contribute we find ourselves at odds. No matter. Keep up the excellent work.

      Independence is coming.

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    12. "They abstain because they do not participate."

      I'm baffled by this line of argument. They "abstain" in votes that take place in the Lords, because they're not in the Lords. They abstain in Commons votes when Scotland is not affected. Neither of those conditions apply here. This is a Commons vote, not a Lords vote, and Scotland is directly affected. There is no "change of course" in voting on a Commons vote that directly affects Scotland. There is no "hypocrisy". You're trying to turn a non-problem into a problem, and I don't understand why.

      Merry Christmas to you too.

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    13. My problem is with the reaction of the opposition, the press and MSM taking the opportunity to attack the SNP over a constitutional matter in Westminster. The SNP have the right to vote on anything they like, I don't dispute that and they can abstain whenever they like. I don't think HoL reform matters that much, I just don't attribute the level of importance to this issue that you do and I don't think given everything I've said before, that the SNP gain anything by fighting a corner either way. It just isn't important enough at this time to worry about. Frankly I am baffled as to why you think this is so important because given precedent and parliamentary procedure it is very rare indeed that HoL counts for anything bar revision and suggestion of amendments. So, essentially two reasons why I take my line, one HoL reform short of radical reconstruction or abolition does not amount to anything significant, two, the heat that the SNP would draw to themselves by picking a side on this matter is, I believe and I stress that, only my belief, is disproportionate to any gain.

      Right that's me done. I have to work tonight so I'll leave that there. Enjoy your Christmas, try not to let bafflement interfere with bonhomie and bevvy. Cheerio.

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    14. "My problem is with the reaction of the opposition, the press and MSM taking the opportunity to attack the SNP over a constitutional matter in Westminster."

      There isn't going to be a reaction from the press and MSM (or if there is, it'll just be an isolated column in the Telegraph from some right-wing nutter who hasn't thought it through properly). The SNP aren't expected to abstain on Commons votes that directly affect Scotland, and it would be deeply, deeply peculiar if they started doing so as a matter of routine. Indeed, it would be a betrayal of their constituents, who didn't think they were electing Sinn Fein.

      "It just isn't important enough at this time to worry about."

      Why are you taking such a militant line, then?

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    15. Militant in comparison to what? That I disagree with your assessment and conclusion? Is that how you define militant? Sorry, but we have very different views about what constitutes militancy. If you don't understand my points or agree with them, then there's nothing else to be said.

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    16. You're at it again - implying that if I don't agree with your points it can only be that I don't understand them. Your points don't make any logical sense - you obviously don't like me pointing that out, but there it is.

      I'm using the dictionary definition of 'militant', not anyone else's.

      If there's nothing more to be said, why do you keep responding?

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    17. "If you don't understand my points or agree with them, then there's nothing else to be said."

      I'll rephrase that, "we've exhausted this discussion", I don't wish to give the impression that a lack of understanding or disagreement with my case means that any alternative view is in anyway inferior to mine.

      "There isn't going to be a reaction from the press and MSM (or if there is, it'll just be an isolated column in the Telegraph from some right-wing nutter who hasn't thought it through properly)." Disagree, if they can feast like Jackals on nonsense stories like the Forth Bridge they'll go full bore for anything they perceive as interference in the Great British Constitution by a bunch of interlopers, they already consider to be Cuckoos in the Westminster nest.

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    18. If you truly believe that, the SNP should just pack up, go home, and do the full Sinn Fein abstentionist routine.

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    19. Comment deleted. I've made clear before that comments that have no other purpose than to wind me up and waste my time will generally go.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. It is simple and straightforward - reducing the power of the house of lords is not an option - abolishing it is. Therefore the SNP should vote against reducing but for abolishing. Simples!!

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    1. Quite clearly reducing the powers of the Lords is an option!

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    2. OK I accept my wording is poor. For me abolishing it is the only option I see no point in having it even with reduced powers.

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  5. James I hope you have noticed I have avoided the echo chamber on this site without your help. Even though you ignored my e.mail.

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    1. You'll appreciate that I've no idea what email you're referring to, because presumably you didn't send it under the name 'Nodrog'.

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    2. Icehouse 250 27/11/15 and I did include the name Nodrog within the e.mail

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    3. That was almost a month ago, and I don't have a photographic memory. I've found it now, and as far as I can see you were just asking me how to post under the name 'Nodrog' rather than anonymously.

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    4. That is correct and I have solved it now as you can see. You may have been born the near side of the 20th Century but I am from the Far Side. No rude comments please!!!

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    5. For your information the "echo" or duplicate publish happens when I publish then stay on the website and move to another article. To avoid this I log out of the website immediately after I publish. It works for me and I have noticed others have an "echo" problem. Maybe this will help them.

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  6. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 23, 2015 at 10:04 PM

    The Lords is a gravy train and a drain on the taxpayer like the devolved institutions and the EU. The SNP who are inept and are wasting public money can only vote to get rid of the Lords not amend it.


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    1. Go away you idiot troll clearly your party of choice which ever Tory one that is want's to keep the Lords after all the Red Tories created just as many of them as the Blue Tories did.

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  7. There are two words which highlight the nonsense of an appointed upper chamber such as the HoL....Michelle Mone

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    1. Four words do the job even better : 'Lady Mone of Mayfair'

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 23, 2015 at 10:24 PM

      At least she is a looker unlike the rest of the old fuds. There is no point in tampering with the Lords it should be abolished and a small second elected chamber set up to scrutinise legislation.

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    3. Why Didn't your precious Labour Party abolish them? Did Blair not promise to do that? Fool!

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  8. I think the SNP should require the Devo Max we were promised in return for supporting the government a minority elected to reduce the powers of the body nobody elected. And if its not forthcoming we should filibuster,obfuscate and generally frustrate the debate and then vote no if the bill will fall as a result, or abstain if its clear the bill will pass whether we vote no or not.

    It is a disgrace to call yourself a democracy when half your legislature has no mandate while the government gets elected by a third of those who vote and a quarter of those eligible to so do.

    What a farce Westminster is.

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 23, 2015 at 11:01 PM

      The SNP joined the farce. 74k a year plus expences makes them eat their concience. What concience! Jokers taking the piss.

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    2. Who are you again?

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  9. I think you need to ask why Cameron wants to reduce the power of the Lords.

    If you come to the same conclusion as myself that he wants to be able to push through legislation which punishes people for being poor and reduces our human rights, then, as much as it sticks in my throat, at this point in time we need to protect the Lords.

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  10. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 23, 2015 at 10:42 PM

    I thought it a digrace that all UK voters did not get a vote in the referendum. After all Scotland joined the Union and prospered. Also wanting to keep the GBP. Any future referendum should include all the UK. It is likely the RuK would vote yes and get rid of the Jock hard done tae constantly winging moaners.

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    1. Who said anything about a referendum? Fool.

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  11. @Anonymous

    The SNP MPs were elected partly on a platform of Devo max/FFA. It was in the party's manifesto. Do you think it has a chance of ever being enacted by Westminster, given the behaviour and attitude from Cameron and co towards the SNP since May?

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    1. Nope. Not a snowballs chance. But Mr Parnell dicked Westminster around for years. It is effective.

      Perhaps we should settle for Excise Duties being devolved - then we could tax the spirits producers who gain zip from frustrating the health initiatives of our elected representatives - since their product would largely be immune to minimum pricing - but who take our representatives to court for what? Political points?

      I see the troll has not heard there is a bridge he could be hiding under again now that it has been reopened. I will of course decline to respond to any of the urine emanating from him. He really should go elsewhere to fulfil his masturbatory desires.

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 24, 2015 at 12:33 AM

      Anon. You must have worked hard! on that comment especially the masturbation fantasy. Do yo have the old chugger mags from your college days or was it university education. Cheap subsidised drink and talking the drawers aff the burds innat. Marx and Engels definately loosens the knicker elastic.


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    3. Fun with revolting non-sequiturs. Fool.

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  12. Only if the benefit to Scotland is clear and significant. If Cameron is desperate and needs SNP support on this, then it could be considered, but at a cost. Devo max is probably too much to expect, but something far closer to the vow than what is currently on offer would be the price IMO. Otherwise, the SNP MPs should just abstain and stay the hell out of it.

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    1. Abstaining is completely useless - that has exactly the same effect as voting in favour. There's only a chance of the government being defeated if the SNP vote against (or threaten to vote against, if they think they can extract concessions).

      I must say I'm surprised at how often abstaining has been mentioned on this thread - they're highly unlikely to do that, because Scotland is directly affected. They'll jump one way or the other.

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    2. If the SNP thinks the Lords are so important why haven't they tried to get any of their supporters ennobled?

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    3. They don't think it's unimportant, they think it's objectionable. Not the same thing at all.

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    4. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 24, 2015 at 12:41 AM

      Joseph, the Nats will slowly get round to supporting the Lords. All that money and privalege will turn them. The dry rinse and perm plus 300 quid a day will get them. Scotland will be a part of the North tae them. It is only time before a Jock like Anon is caught flashing on Hampstead Heath.


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    5. That doesn't wash. If ithey thought it was important and could help their cause they'd put people in there. They and we find it objectionable to be governed by the HoC but we are damn well happy they are in their because it is important for the cause.

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    6. "That doesn't wash. If ithey thought it was important and could help their cause they'd put people in there."

      This is absurd. How do you justify conflating "important" and "could help their cause"?

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  13. It's a quandary. In general, the House of Lords needs to be reformed. In this specific instance, though, the Government are trying to remove any power that it might have to send proposed legislation back for another look as a part of a greater scheme which seems to involve gerrymandering and all sorts of chicanery. As such, I'd be inclined to vote against the Government and deal with the Lords later. Derek.

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  14. For me James, the SNP must vote for abolition. If the Tories motion for Restriction of Powers, then the SNP should put forward an amendment for disillusion of the Red Chamber. Lets call the Blue Tories & the Red Tories bluff !! ..... the SNP have never accepted the HoL (although I believe Lord Belhaven did "represent" himself as a 'Nationalist' unofficially) and must hold faith with principal. I can understand the concept of 'sober second thought' but that privileged, self-perpetuating & corrupt edifice ain't it. Put simply the 1% good to come out o' that place ain't goin' to offset the 99% o' evil.

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    1. OK, they put forward an amendment for abolition. That amendment is defeated by 550 votes to 65 (or whatever). They then have to decide what to do when the unamended motion is put to the vote a few minutes later.

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    2. Agreed, then the SNP can vote for reduction of HoL powers with a clear conscience that their preferred option was rejected by Conservative, Labour & LibDem's (but is recorded in Hansard) and they will be perceived by the electorate in Scotland to be proponents of Reform. If the charge of "voting with the Tories" is leveled (and it will), then the defence of 'our proposal for Abolition was defeated but voting for some change is preferable to no change' ..... your thoughts ?

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  15. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 24, 2015 at 2:44 AM

    The Commons can abolish the Lords. They put a bill forward and get a majority. The Lords defend themselves for a while as they will not give up their meal ticket easily. The Commons continue to vote to abolish and it can happen and within a year.

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    1. Absolutely. So all you have to do is persuade your Tory chums to actually do it.

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 24, 2015 at 5:50 PM

      You are the one with the Tartan Tory chums. I have none.

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    3. No, only red and blue Tory overlords. They don't count dupes like you among their friends - there's no money in it.

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  16. I hope that the SNP MPs will remain principled and vote to reduce HOL powers.

    The strength of the Tories in the HOC and everywhere else relies on their ability to push Labour into supporting gung-ho foreign policy and their anti-immigrant, anti-benefits, pro-austerity etc agenda. SNP oppostion to all those things is much more effective and may help Labour in its efforts to turn away from the doomed 'keep the Daily Mail happy and we'll scrape up enough support to win back power' line.

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  17. I think their only option is to vote for any dissarming of the Lords going.
    To do otherwise would completely undermine them and give ammunition to all. That's not to say voting against them comes at no cost as it'll be spun as supporting/enabling the Tories but that's a far more defensible postion than the alternative.
    In addition to this, fundamentally it's the right thing to do and we've all criticised the Labour party for abandoning 'their principles' for politicking and/or power. I'd like to see the SNP do better than that...even if it does play into a self-serving Tory venture.

    Mandela

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  18. It is a tough one James, mainly because of the motivation behind the proposed change, but I believe the SNP should vote for any measure which reduces the power of the HoL.
    Without doubt, pigboy will simply flood the place with more Tory ermine if he loses.

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  19. Abstaining is an absolute no-no. That's a Labour "stance" and does them no credit.

    I would prefer if they vote agin Tory proposition, or do we really want it to be easier to hurt the sick and the poor as Tories wish to do?

    This plan to reduce Lord's powers is not going to take us closer to abolishing the chamber, therefore that fight is for another day.

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  20. They should abstain as neither Con or LabLib 'proposals' are about democracy. Abolition is the only worthwhile answer.

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    1. Forgot to add the alternative: I think a 100 monkeys with typewriters would work.

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  21. This is a fascinating thread, whic I'd like to see continued, because I am genuinely torn between all three options. Can I just make a wee point of order? Could everyone please refrain from referring to or indeed answering the posts from our resident eejit? His motives are obvious, and very little can be gained from engagement with eejits...

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  22. It is a tricky one indeed. If it was to abolish the HoL and replace with an elected second chamber, then yes. Need to look into it further, but my gut feeling is not to allow the contories one more iota of power than we have to, they are too dangerous as it is.

    Even one day with them having more power is frightening.

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  23. It is possibly also a tory trap for the SNP. The SNP are viewed with suspicion and contempt South of the border, in my experience. If they are seen to collude with the tories, as far as the SNP haters are concerned, that would confirm their self righteous, misguided notion that the SNP are cloaked tories!

    Ultimately, no doubt the SNP will do what is best for Scotland, within the constraints of the yookay.

    Neither tory, labour or libdums are good for Scotland, that is abundantly clear.

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  24. The decision the SNP makes should be based on WHY Cameron is proposing this 'reform' at this time. He has recently been defeated on a number of the Tory prime policies and wants that stopped asap without recourse to the Parliament Act.

    I have read that a Tory SPAD was clear that they propose to have as much legislation progressed "through the back door" (i.e. secondary legislation) as possible. This reduces proper scrutiny of the legislation - it is restricted to 90 minutes 'debate' in the HoC - and would prevent the HoL from delaying the bills.

    Despite the fact that the SNP are opposed to the HoL, and do not send representatives to that place, they DO have a legitimate role to play in what reforms are passed. Should this amendment pass, the HoL would be LESS able to scrutinise the Government proposals.

    So I think on balance they should vote against the Tory proposals (should they come to the floor of the House).

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    1. Does this vote actually change anything? Cameron uses secondary legislation to prevent delay and scrutiny, but, ultimately he can could put anything through as primary legislation. Voting against the government here will make life slightly harder for the current government, at the expense of not reducing the lords' powers over future governments.

      I can't think of a reason why the SNP wouldn't vote to reduce the power of the lords. This doesn't look like a good reason to me.

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  25. SNP should abstain.
    They have 'no skin' in this game and should have nothing to do with any tinkering with the HoL.

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  26. They should support weakening the house of Lords. Because its the right thing to do.
    Otherwise they are just playing political games to keep power. Exactly what they criticized their predecessors of doing.

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    1. Should add.. If this was the other way around and the HOL was blocking reforms the SNP wanted to put through. And Labour/Tories refused to vote through weakening the HOL.
      Then the SNP voters would be up in arms.

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  27. Greetings from Raleigh, North Carolina. This is all about checks and balances. The SP has a strong (but could be stronger) committee system, as well as a system that is supposed (ha ha) to avoid majority governments. Westminster has none of that. The HOL is imperfect. However, surely it is better than nothing? Either it applies the brakes to a minimally popular government (which would be a good thing) or it does nothing, in which case what have we lost (other than 300 quid a day per member)?

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    1. Well, the Lords can also block desirable things for very bad reasons - equalising the age of consent for gay men in the 1990s, for example.

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 24, 2015 at 8:25 PM

      There is a huge waste of public money. Scotland, Wales and NI are over represented with far too many politicians. There are more Lords than MP's, Then we have more scrounging MEP's in the EU.

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  28. Off-topic, I see Tommy Sheridan is saying "to give SNP the List vote is not just a waste it will actually help the unionist and pro-austerity parties". I'm still undecided about the whole list vote thing, but I'd be interested to hear how he could possibly justify that claim.

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  29. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 24, 2015 at 9:57 PM

    To give any vote to the SNP is a vote for austerity. The Tartan Tories have signed up with their London Branch. Big Tam of course speaks with great authority in such matters.

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  30. If the government bring forth a bill curbing the HoL,then I think the SNP should put forward an amendment calling for abolition of the stinking cesspit of sleaze and corruption that is the House of Lords.Would Labour support such an amendment? Would Corbyn whip?

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 25, 2015 at 12:16 AM

      You may find a cesspit is nearer to home. At the bottom of the Royal Mile. Merry Xmas.

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  31. A very Merry Christmas to all on here - including our resident Unionist trolls.

    Hope everyone has a great time with family friends.......and handlers.

    Eat, Drink, Fall Down.

    Happy Days!!!

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 25, 2015 at 12:37 AM

      Same tae yerself David enjoy the fall doon watter. And remember tae bung yer carer.

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  32. Break a leg, McGibbon.

    And don't bother the NHS afterwards.

    All the best, English.

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  33. Aw man, SNP on 58% in the polls, UKIP averaging less than 2% and just got a white Christmas at the house. Quality.

    Merry Xmas all.

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 25, 2015 at 10:47 PM

      Sounds like premature ejaculation Skier. Let go and enjoy Xmas. Wonder what dress Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh Scot Nat si MP was wearing when in Iran. Probably not traditional Scottish I suspect but covered up to entertain the Aye a tollie Hugma nae religious nutters.

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    2. Aww. Someone never got what he wanted from Santa...

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  34. I am not anti Iranian, in fact I have lived and travelled extensively in Iran and found the people very helpful and friendly. That does not blind me to the facts that women make up only 3% of their parliament whereas they make up 29% of our Westminster parliament.
    I therefore cannot understand why Tasmina Ahmed Sheik feels that Westminster can learn about gender equality from the Iranians

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    1. I think she said that both Parliaments still have a way to go, in respect of gender equality.

      She was correct in what she said.

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 26, 2015 at 11:58 AM

      MP's get equal pay and dress as they wish. No special head dress code in the UK for women. No thought police patrolling British streets.Strange kind of lefty you are David. You must be Old Labour, women over the sink and that.

      Delete
    3. Well, there are semi authoritarian folk employed in the likes of the Buchanan Galleries that tell you to stand up if you have sat on the floor. Dunno about the force of law in that situation, but it is 'comfortable' privatised space. They only want 'acceptable' folk through the door,and that does not include people that sit. So they tell you that you can't, and probably, they are right. Sitting in a privatised space, even a corridor linking all sorts of businesses, is probably against some sort of bye-law or summat.

      The amount of the city centre of Glasgow that employs jobsworths to tell us to stand when we would rather prefer, if it's all the same to you, to sit, is a worthy job creation project for the cretins in our society. Perhaps, via job creation like this, we will become a better and more Socialist society?

      Leave the dregs out of the retail spaces, for they might make the customers uncomfortable.

      There is a special dress code for the idiots that enforce that kind of intolerance, it is Security Force Threatening, Code Black. :ovely people are always attracted to jobs like that.

      "I always wanted to be a flower seller, but the uniform, and the power, it won me over."

      Have a nice new Year.

      Delete
  35. If SNP puts forward an "Abolish the House of Lords" Amendment to Cameron's Bill isn't that going to cause huge Ruckus in all the other parties?

    It seems to me that the big question is what would Labour do. The Careerist Blairites would most certainly be against it, but would the Corbynites?

    Anybody got any suggestions on where to find out about how Parnell "dicked" Westminster around? Other than Hansard I mean. Might make entertaining reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vosAeo3eyE

      And curiously produced by the Ministry Of Truth.

      Delete
    2. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 26, 2015 at 7:36 PM

      World Leaders . Past & Present. Charles Stewart Parnell by John Haney..
      There is no one in the SNP who could lace this mans boots.
      Unfortunately he was hounded until his death by the devoit Irish clergy because of his adultery.

      Delete
    3. Charles Stewart Parnell possessed the remarkable attribute of charisma, was an enigmatic personality, politically gifted and is regarded as one of the most extraordinary figures in Irish and British politics. He played a part in the process that undermined his own Anglo-Irish caste; within two decades absentee landlords were almost unknown in Ireland. He created single-handedly in the Irish Party the first modern disciplined political party machine with its whip, holding together all strands of Irish nationalism and harnessing Irish-America into the Irish cause. He had the power to make and unmake governments in the United Kingdom and converted the British Prime Minister Gladstone to Irish Home Rule.

      Over a century after his death he is still surrounded by public interest. His death, and the divorce upheaval which preceded it, gave him a public appeal and interest that other contemporaries, such as Timothy Healy or John Dillon, could not match. Historians speculate as to whether, had Parnell lived, the enactment of All-Ireland Home Rule with the consent of all of Ulster and its inclusion in an All-Ireland parliament, could have taken place. That this would have pre-empted the need for Edward Carson, the Ulster leader, backed by the Ulster Covenant and his armed Ulster Volunteers, to force through his amending "exclusion of Ulster Bill" to the 1914 Third Home Rule Act. Which subsequently resulted in the establishment of a Northern Ireland Home Rule Government in Belfast under the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Had All-Ireland home rule evolved earlier, there would most likely have been no Easter Rising, no Anglo-Irish War, no independent twenty-six county Free State and no ensuing civil war. However, Unionist opposition since 1885 to any form "All-Ireland Home Rule" has proved itself to be extremely resilient and steadfast.

      The scale of Parnell's impact can be seen in the fact that parties from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have tried to claim him as "one of their own". The uniqueness of his appeal was shown when, in the early 1890s two visiting members of the Royal Family, the Duke of Clarence and the Duke of York (later King George V), paid a private visit to the grave of the "uncrowned king of Ireland" in Glasnevin.

      Ultimately the O'Shea divorce issue and Parnell's premature death changed the shape of late 19th century politics, to an extent that can be but speculated. He had been prepared to sacrifice everything for his love to Mrs O'Shea, including the cause to which he had devoted his political life. For generations of Irish people, his life as the "lost leader" was highly dramatic and deeply tragic, against whose mythical reputation no later leader who lived a normal lifespan and who faced the practicalities of governance that Parnell never faced, could hope to prevail.


      I have no doubt Nichola Sturgeon will surpass him.

      Delete
    4. For goodness sake James:

      I posted this:

      Charles Stewart Parnell possessed the remarkable attribute of charisma, was an enigmatic personality, politically gifted and is regarded as one of the most extraordinary figures in Irish and British politics. He played a part in the process that undermined his own Anglo-Irish caste; within two decades absentee landlords were almost unknown in Ireland. He created single-handedly in the Irish Party the first modern disciplined political party machine with its whip, holding together all strands of Irish nationalism and harnessing Irish-America into the Irish cause. He had the power to make and unmake governments in the United Kingdom and converted the British Prime Minister Gladstone to Irish Home Rule.

      Over a century after his death he is still surrounded by public interest. His death, and the divorce upheaval which preceded it, gave him a public appeal and interest that other contemporaries, such as Timothy Healy or John Dillon, could not match. Historians speculate as to whether, had Parnell lived, the enactment of All-Ireland Home Rule with the consent of all of Ulster and its inclusion in an All-Ireland parliament, could have taken place. That this would have pre-empted the need for Edward Carson, the Ulster leader, backed by the Ulster Covenant and his armed Ulster Volunteers, to force through his amending "exclusion of Ulster Bill" to the 1914 Third Home Rule Act. Which subsequently resulted in the establishment of a Northern Ireland Home Rule Government in Belfast under the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Had All-Ireland home rule evolved earlier, there would most likely have been no Easter Rising, no Anglo-Irish War, no independent twenty-six county Free State and no ensuing civil war. However, Unionist opposition since 1885 to any form "All-Ireland Home Rule" has proved itself to be extremely resilient and steadfast.

      The scale of Parnell's impact can be seen in the fact that parties from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have tried to claim him as "one of their own". The uniqueness of his appeal was shown when, in the early 1890s two visiting members of the Royal Family, the Duke of Clarence and the Duke of York (later King George V), paid a private visit to the grave of the "uncrowned king of Ireland" in Glasnevin.

      Ultimately the O'Shea divorce issue and Parnell's premature death changed the shape of late 19th century politics, to an extent that can be but speculated. He had been prepared to sacrifice everything for his love to Mrs O'Shea, including the cause to which he had devoted his political life. For generations of Irish people, his life as the "lost leader" was highly dramatic and deeply tragic, against whose mythical reputation no later leader who lived a normal lifespan and who faced the practicalities of governance that Parnell never faced, could hope to prevail.


      And then I said:

      I expect Nichola Sturgeon will surpass him.

      And that post doesn't appear?




      Delete
  36. OK? Now they both appear. Love and respect to you James.

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    Replies
    1. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 26, 2015 at 8:58 PM

      Nicola Sturgeon does not have the intellect to shave Parnell's beard. That is like comparing Tommy Sheridan to Leon Trotsy.

      Delete
    2. Douglas, with all due respect, you're having an imaginary conversation with a malevolent moderator.  I haven't deleted or reinstated any of your comments on this thread. I don't have any control over the idiosyncracies of the spam trap.

      Delete
  37. As much as there should be a review of, and changes to, the House of Lords, this is not it. As Obi Wan might say, these are not the changes you are looking for.

    Any changes put forward by Cameron et al are to do with revenge and limiting the HoL ability to slap down the current Tory government, and nothing whatsoever to do with a genuine wish to revise the way the HoL works.

    Real change in the HoL is to be encouraged, but this is not that, and should not be given the veneer of respectability a vote for would afford it. Therefore, the SNP should either vote against it, or abstain - with the proviso that every SNP MP makes it clear why this is the case, in easy to understand and difficult to twist language. Not that that would stop the press - or the Tories or Labour - from trying to make it look like some kind of betrayal of principle, but they'd do that regardless.

    ReplyDelete