25 May 2009

Bishops' attendance rates and allowances in the House of Lords

If you haven't already noticed, I take a pretty dim view of the way members of the House of Lords are selected (click on labels for 'House of Lords' postings below for more detail), not to mention the way undemocratically selected bishops and arch-bishops have the cheek to lecture the public on democracy.

A quick survey of published details about the the 23 bishops who attended the House of Lords in the year ending March 2008 shows that they put in an average of 22.4 days each.

The keenest five were the bishops of Southwark (83), Chester (46), Manchester (45) Southwell (44) and Liverpool (38).

The lowest attendances were clocked up by the bishops of Chichester (3), Truro (5), Canterbury, Arch-bishop (7) Carlisle (9) and Durham (9).

Top of the claims for daily expenses was the Bishop of Truro, with £1,124 for each of his five days in the Lords, while joint equal lowest spenders were the Arch-bishops of Canterbury (£0) and York (£0) .

As for what any of this means, I have no more idea than I have about what democratic principle entitles any of them to sit in the so-called 'upper' house of our parliament.

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