Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Saturday, 1 March 2008

"Immunity to the Fads of Society"

10 Downing Street, 28 February 2008.
Office of the Prime Minister: "We received a petition asking...

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to reinstate a House of Lords composed of hereditary peers."

"We believe that the purpose of the House of Lords is not only to keep a check on the elected House of Commons, but also to keep a check on the passing fads of the electorate. The only way this can be accomplished is for the House of Lords to be largely, if not entirely, made up of hereditary peers. The system of hereditary peerage allied with an elected House of Commons maintains a legitimate balance between representation of the electorate and immunity to the fads of society. A House of Lords made up of hereditary peers maintains the hope that a depraved society will not always be reflected in depraved government."

Read the Government's response here

"The Government's view is that in a modern democracy it is unacceptable that individuals should qualify for a seat in Parliament on the basis of their ancestry. The Government is committed to removing the remaining hereditary places in the House of Lords.

In July 2007, after the free votes in Parliament on the composition of the House of Lords, the Prime Minister confirmed the Government's commitment to bringing forward a comprehensive package to complete House of Lords reform. The Government will develop proposals for a substantially or wholly elected House of Lords. As part of this package, the Government is committed to removing the anomaly of the remaining hereditary peers."


Yadda, yadda, yadda. Well, Mr. Brown, it is the people's view that in a modern democracy it is unacceptable that individuals should qualify for a seat in the House of Lords on the basis of how much they donate to the Labour Party. The people are committed to removing the Government's corrupt system of cash for peerages, and one way of doing that is to completely remove any influence your cronies have over appointments to the Lords.


Scott said...

The trouble is they don't actually advance a reason. They deploy no logic or argument at all. The only thing behind their decision is the fact that we are in a democracy, and it is modern - as if those two facts inevitably and infallibly mean the old House of Lords is impossible. Why? They don't say. Is the reason just too obvious to state? I think if the Government actually had to, they would gain by the exercise, for it would force them to engage their brains and actually think things through. Instead it is all premise - and Marxist historical-inevitability premise at that.

I despise most particularly this twaddle about modernity. For crying out loud - anything is modern, so long as it exists in a present age. If I went outside and stapled a squirrel to a milkshake carton it would be modern. But that wouldn't make it anything else. It means almost nothing.

Lord Best said...

Well said Scott.
Too many people seem to think 'democracy' is some kind of mystical panacea that makes anything it is applied to better. Has anyone here read what happened during the French Revolution when they 'democratised' the army and let soldiers vote for officers? Not at all pretty.

David Byers said...

In Australia our Upper House, the equivalent of Britain’s House of Lords, has every state, regardless of population, send the same number of members. The idea is that the larger populated states do not dominate and forget the smaller states. I have often wondered if Britain should try having the same number of Lords from Northern Island, Scotland, Wales and England? However it is up to them and is not my realm and does not affect my realm anyway. Beaverbrook, how does it affect Canada?

J.K. Baltzersen said...

"Lord Best," indeed well said!

I would add that modern democracy has served us the most pervasive government known to our civilization – with the possible exception of certain hard totalitarian regimes that saw the light of day in the 20th century.

On a related note, OECD Secretary-General, Mr. Angel Gurria, has told us:

Excessive bank secrecy rules and a failure to exchange information on foreign tax evaders are relics of a different time and have no role to play in the relations between democratic societies.

First, Mr. Gurria reveals that he fails to recognize the difference between state and society.

Other than that, his argument seems to be that what his organization stands for is "democratic," and so that is the only argument he needs.

What does it actually mean? Well, perhaps that democratic states have the right to do whatever they please with their citizens and residents? And that other states are to show solidarity?

An important lesson of history is that democracy needs to be checked, and severely so!

The argument that "it is democratic" with no further explanation is almost like the argument that "monarchy does not belong in the 21st century" without further argument.

I challenge anyone who believes that the popular majority – or its representatives – should rule with no check to speak of to a live debate face to face! And I assure you that the argument that "democracy is democratic" will not do.

Marquis Black said...

Ah, the joys of democracy!

"Everyone is free to say what they think and vote how they wish, but that doesn't mean we're going to listen."

Democracy, as Churchill has attested to, is a deeply flawed system that, while necessary, does need to be checked from running wild.

Unfortunately, idiots like Brown and other Republicans hide themselves behind the "it's modern!" façade so much that I truly don't believe that they even known why they believe that.

After all, Republics have existed since Ancient Greece; why the hell aren't Monarchic government capable of being modern as well, then?

Krys said...

My response to the government... "Why?"

By making the Lords just a carbon copy of the Commons we are creating an inherently unbalanced system, subject to the short term knee jerk reactions of the electorate. The strength of the British system of government has always been in our balances of forces between Monarch, Lords and Commons, and this will undermine it.

This makes me deeply sad, for my heart no longer trusts that this destruction can be stopped. And worse, I believe that the people will cheer as the destruction unfolds.

The cry of modernity and democracy will drown out all those who speak of what is good for our nation and what is right.

As Marquis Black says... Democracy has been around since hte time of Ancient Greece... They found absolute democracy to be problematic too.

David Byers said...

If they feel they must elect the House of Lords, why not have only half the house go to the polls every election with the other half going the next time. In effect the Lords would sit two times longer than the Commons. Plus if there were equal numbers of Lords for each part of the UK regardless of population (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Island).

Really this is for the people of the UK and not people like me from Australia. I only suggest it as this is how our upper House is elected.

J.K. Baltzersen said...

If you ask me, the British system had come out of balance long before Tony Blair came to power.

Democracy definitely needs to be checked, but if I have to choose between absolute monarchy and absolute democracy, I will choose the former.

As the late Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn told us:

There are totalitarian and monolithic tendencies inherent in democracy that are not present even in a so-called absolute monarchy, much less so in a mixed government which, without exaggeration, can be called the great Western tradition.

Will Cubbedge said...

"The Government's view is that in a modern democracy . . . "

Does the Government not insult the U.K. by implying that it has not, heretofore, already been a "modern democracy"?


Beaverbrook said...

Apart from the Throne, there is no redeeming feature of the Canadian Senate. It is a laughably lopsided chamber in its geographic representation, reflecting the reality of 1867 before the West was settled. Now the West is home to a third of the population and 50% of the country's landmass, yet it has only about 18% of the senators. And the senators are largely absent, superannuated party hacks appointed by the prime minister. The Canadian Senate is in dire need of reform.

Pablo the Scot said...

As noted above, there is nothing modern about democracy, it is one of the oldest forms of government around. Claiming that it is in some way 'modern' merely because the PM says so is sloppy thinking in the extreme and is not, quite frankly, worthy of a scion of my Alma Mater.

It is worth noting too that the ancient democracies suffered from demagogues, people able to motivate teh common people to implement their policies by the power of their oratory and judicial bribery. Per chance that is the route we will now travel, our nation trampeled under a tidal wave of short term populist measures.

Matt said...

Forgive my ignorance, but how does the lower house have the power to define the upper house? Can't the Lords simply refuse to go along with the Commons' desires?

J.K. Baltzersen said...

Forgive my ignorance, but how does the lower house have the power to define the upper house? Can't the Lords simply refuse to go along with the Commons' desires?


The absolute veto of their Lordships was abolished in 1911, with the exception of bills to extend the "life of Parliament."

These days, the powers of their Lordships in the legislative process are only suspensive -- with a possible exception.

Some say that the Blair-Brown regime is destroying the balance. However, I'd say it was destroyed in 1911.

See Wikipedia.

Sophia said...

Although its actual context is different I cannot help but hear echoing in my head the Einstein quote The ghostlike character of this development lies in its apparently compulsory trend. Every step appears as the unavoidable consequence of the preceding one. In the end, there beckons more and more clearly general annihilation."

Splendor Sine Occasu said...

From what I gather, PM Blair wanted to model the House of Lords on the Senate of Canada, where party hacks are appointed by HM (on recommendation of the PM, of course) with no accountability.

Not a very good model to emulate.