This man is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy.
You've probably heard that in its dying days, this government wants to finally get around to reforming the the House of Lords (as it promised to do 10, count 'em, years ago). Jacky-boy Straw here made a statement to Parliament about it today.
In what must surely be one of the biggest affronts to democracy yet, he's trying to withdraw the House's right to refuse an option. MPs (that's the people we put there to make decisions) are to be told that they cannot make a decision unless it's one approved by the government!
The idea is that rather than vote on whether to accept a motion detailing a reform to the upper chamber, they can only give a preference for which reform package they like the best.
I don't like the institution of the the House of Lords as it stands; I firmly believe it should be reformed. In my opinion (as if anyone actually wants it) the second chamber should be wholly elected, with any party political membership disbarring a candidate from standing (independents only). Elected members should be in post for a longer period than MPs, say 10 years, with a third being replaced at any one election. Elections should be by proportional representation.
However, this is not about whether or not to reform the House of Lords, it's about the right of Parliament to not make a decision if it doesn't want to. All political meetings (union, Parish Council, Party Political etc) are run by attempting to establish a majority vote on an exact proposition. That means a yes or no vote, with a no vote resulting in the motion being rejected. That's the only safe way for a democracy to operate - don't let Mr Straw and his slimy friends pretend otherwise. I recommend writing to your MP on this issue as MPs will have a vote on whether to accept the voting method proposed. We need to pressurise them into rejecting it; it's a very dangerous precedent.
Colin Breed's email at the House is firstname.lastname@example.org
Colin Breed's email at his constituency office is email@example.com