Canvassing the Lords - now's the time to get writing
To interest peers in supporting HE at second reading, aim to canvass us before 9th February – we rise on the 10th.
Hints on canvassing us:
- keep it short. We have no staff, and too much to do. Make your main points on the first side, even if you say more thereafter;
- understand our limitations. We are most of us more or less ancient, more or less establishment, and conscious that political power rests with the Commons. Liberty plays well – but there are few absolute libertarians here;
- your aim is to find friends, not conquer enemies. You will find plenty;
- do offer to meet in the Lords, if that’s easy for you, or if you are part of one of the HE organisations ask if the peer would like to meet a HE family who lives near their home (peers have no published home addresses by and large, so only organisations are likely to be able to find a good local candidate.
After Second Reading comes Committee, when the whole house (meaning those who take an interest) go through the Bill line by line. What we will need for this stage are suggestions for amendments – different ways of having oversight of HE, different ways of supporting it. I know that the whole concept of oversight is anathema to some of you, but that’s the way we work and our strengths are more in grinding the government down gradually with practical arguments than cutting them down with politics. So do send in your ideas for amendments, as we can put them down straight after Second Reading.