We’ve waited a long time for a ‘big idea’ from Labour and then out of the blue comes the announcement that it’s going to abolish the House of Lords…no fanfare for this momentous news, it dribbled out over the airwaves on Saturday morning almost apologetically. Why be so coy Ed? This is something that needs to be shouted from the hilltops. Be bold, for heaven’s sake!
We need radical new thinking about the way the Union is governed and we need bold new ideas. Abolishing the House of Lords is long overdue. It is anachronistic, unelected and well past its sell by date. It should be replaced by a House of Representatives – Senate if you like, but it’s not the best description. The new House needs to be filled with representatives from Regional Assemblies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Yes, we do need regional assemblies in England. The regionalisation of England is long overdue. The current system of local government is cumbersome complicated and inefficient. England must have a means to devolve power to the regions effectively, and regionalisation is the best way to do this.
A House of Representatives means that there would be regional representation at the heart of government. Having it outside London is a nonsense. Look at the Bundesrat example and copy it! It works well, it should do because we helped to set it up after the last war. Let’s not have some appalling British compromise where we try and take everybody’s opinion into account and produce a dogs dinner. Let’s not shovel money to cities. Cities belong in a region, they are a regional focus point, they don’t need to be some separate entity.
Abolishing the House of Lords and establishing a House of Representatives will really resonate with the electorate. They really hate the House of Lords. It stands for everything that is wrong with Britain today. Regionalisation is so badly needed, not some mealy-mouthed compromise, the real thing. It needs courage and determination to drive through this reform. Does Labour have the bottle?