For collectors of historical political speaking occasions, here's David Cameron's first effort on the receiving end at Prime Minister's Questions for you to inspect.
The worrying adverb
Regular readers will know from previous posts (see selection below) that I've long been critical of the way the Labour government spent thirteen years tinkering with the House of Lords - but systematically avoided doing anything at all to democratise the way its members are selected.
I was therefore very concerned by what Mr Cameron had to say in response to the first question about 'the other place' - for which scroll in 1.26 minutes - where you'll hear the PM referring twice to his support for a "predominantly elected" House of Lords.
Where did 'predominantly' come from and what on earth is it supposed to mean?
Or is he just giving us advance notice that, for all its talk of a major constitutional reform package, the new government is going to be as pussy-footed as the last one was when it comes to removing the undemocratically selected miscellany of former MPs and party cronies from their cosy retirement home in the other place?
P.S. 'Wholly or mainly elected'
Since posting this, I'm grateful to @DuncanStott for informing me via Twitter as follows:
Tories favour "predominantly" elected Lords (80% I think), LDs favour fully elected. Agreement says "wholly or mainly elected".
This may explain Cameron's choice of adverb, but I can't for the life of me see how anyone with a democratic bone in his/her body can justify 'mainly elected', let alone the arbitrary invention of figures like 80%.
Previous posts on the House of Lords:
- The good news from the House of Lords
- Mirror mirror on the wall, whose is the fairest democracy of all?
- House of Lords expenses
- What news of the House of Lords scandal?
- House of Lords expenses: Lord Rees-Mogg and gravy trains
- Bishops' attendance rates and allowances in the House of Lords
- Why it suited Brown and Blair to take House of Lords reform no further
- Will The Times be investigating Lord Rees-Mogg's House of Lords expenses?
- Noble noses in the trough
- Just who does Lord Adonis think he is?