House of Lords reform
Not that we are going to vote for anything but an appointed house ourselves -- we sound like a 1920s trades union meeting when our privileges are assaulted -- but if the Commons expresses a settled view then I do not see that in the end we have any option but to go along with it. We will though, I hope, be able to insist on proper supervision of appointments (presuming that there are to be any), proper guarantees as to the political make-up of the house, and an electoral system which does not amount to appointment under another name. Personally, I think we should aim for a fully open list system, with the contents of each list being subject to the appointments commission's scrutiny as to quality and balance.
The fate of the hereditary peers has been left in the balance. Jack Straw weighs the arguments for our expulsion and for our conversion into life peers at some length, and then reaches no conclusion. This seems to me to have been arranged as a dilemma for Cameron -- either he can side with tradition, and let us hang on in there for a few years yet, or he can let us go with a crocodile tear and have the pleasure of appointing 30 or so of his own supporters to the Lords, to balance up the numbers. Interesting - I feel like a defeated gladiator looking up at Caesar.
Interesting weekend too -- interviewing Iain Dale among others for the Conservative candidacy in East Hampshire.