westminster

Head to Head: Moving Parliament North

Head to Head: Moving Parliament North

“In February 2018, MP’s voted to leave the Palace of Westminster while it undergoes renovation- begging the question, where should MPs go? As it stands, the Commons would move to Richmond House on Whitehall and the Lords would move to the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. However, this vote triggered calls for a move not simply out of Parliament, but rather- out of London.” Lyell Tweed and Samuel Rhydderch debate.


TalkPolitics is proud to be supported by Audible. For 50% off your new membership, click here.

The Boundary Commission Report 2018, Put Simply

The Boundary Commission Report 2018, Put Simply

Following the MP expenses scandal David Cameron pledged to reduce the cost of politics by decreasing the number of seats in parliament. That was in 2010. On the 10th September 2018, the Boundary Commission Report was released. George explores its recommendations and their implications.


TalkPolitics is proud to be supported by Audible. For 50% off your new membership, click here.

Votes of no confidence, Put Simply

Votes of no confidence, Put Simply

“Votes of no confidence are rare. When they fail, it weakens the rebels’ position, and even when they are successful, the consequences are not always clear.” Sam Jacobsen explores the complexities of votes of no confidence in the current political climate.


TalkPolitics is proud to be supported by Audible. For 50% off your new membership, click here.

The Government Digital Transformation Strategy, Put Simply

The Government Digital Transformation Strategy, Put Simply

Since 2011 the UK government has pledged to become more “digital”. Under the administration of David Cameron, the Government Digital Service (GDS) was set up in hopes that government could realise the potential of digital technology and bring better, more responsive services to the British public. However, seven years is a long, long time in politics and developments have somewhat stifled and frustrated this digitisation process…


TalkPolitics is proud to be supported by Audible. For 50% off your new membership, click here.

Priti Patel; where did it all go wrong?

Priti Patel; where did it all go wrong?

DfID Secretary of State Priti Patel resigns amid mounting controversy around unsanctioned meetings in Israel.


TalkPolitics is proud to be supported by Audible. For 50% off your new membership, click here.

The Westminster Sexual Harassment Scandal, Put Simply

The Westminster Sexual Harassment Scandal, Put Simply

How damaging have the recent allegations of sexual harassment against a range of MPs been to the government and the opposition? Find out here


TalkPolitics is proud to be supported by Audible. For 50% off your new membership, click here.

Head to Head: HS2. White Elephant or Smart Investment?

Head to Head: HS2. White Elephant or Smart Investment?

In our latest head-to-head, Ben Ramanauskas and Robbie Travers lock horns over HS2.


TalkPolitics is proud to be supported by Audible. For 50% off your new membership, click here.

Interviewing Nick Clegg MP

Interviewing Nick Clegg MP

Politics through the eyes of Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP. 


TalkPolitics is proud to be supported by Audible. For 50% off your new membership, click here.

House of Lords, Put Simply

The House of Lords is the upper chamber of Parliament, currently composed of 805 individuals, none of whom have been elected. All these people have either been appointed by the monarch, are the current holders of a hereditary peerage or are one of 26 senior Church of England bishops. Although it was established in the 1300s, there have long been calls for the abolition of the House of Lords, which have intensified in recent decades. But what are the arguments in favour of retaining the House of Lords and what are the arguments against?

ADVANTAGES:

  • Peers don’t have to worry about their own popularity

As the House of Lords is not elected, some argue that this means its members are free to vote for what they think is right, without having to worry about being defeated at the next election. This leads to better decisions being made as peers are able to focus on the long term impact of a policy rather than its impact on their own electoral fortunes.

  • Legislation would be of a poorer quality without it

It is often argued that the primary benefit of the House of Lords is how it allows experts in certain fields to use their expertise to critique legislation. However, if they were required to stand for election, they may choose not to, as many of them already have other jobs that mean they don’t have the time to campaign. This would lessen the quality of the legislation, as the experts would be replaced by professional politicians who wouldn’t bring as much knowledge to the debates on bills.

DISADVANTAGES:

  • The House of Lords is undemocratic

The main argument against the existence of the House of Lords is that it is undemocratic. It is an unelected body which, on occasion, forces the elected House of Commons to back down, which critics view as profoundly undemocratic. They say that anyone with a say in the legislative process should be an elected representative, which peers are not.

  • It is too old fashioned

Many say that the upper chamber, which is admittedly around 700 years old, has no role in modern society. They argue that the existence of a 92 strong contingent of hereditary peers is at odds with meritocracy, as it guarantees a large group of people the ability to vote on the passage of legislation because of their lineage. It is also argued that the house is an unneeded remnant of the days when people were appointed to it as a form of patronage, which is out of touch with modern society.

Reforming the House of Lords?

In the vast debate about the House of Lords, there are also those who believe that it shouldn’t be abolished, but reformed instead. The main suggestion of reform is that the House of Lords should switch from being appointed to being elected, which would effectively ‘democratise’ the chamber. Abolishing hereditary peers is another idea commonly put forward, as well as taking away the right of peers to vote on legislation, and reducing their role to simply scrutinising bills. However, although there have been many alterations to the House of Lords since 1997, the proposals to overhaul it in 2012 were eventually scrapped, as they were too unpopular to get through the House of Commons, showing how difficult it is to actually reform the chamber.

Poll


TalkPolitics is proud to be supported by Audible. For 50% off your new membership, click here.