“Shallow” Cameron an “utter joke” on Lords reform

David Cameron is "shallow" and "an utter joke", say campaigners after the Tories last night said there was "no justification" for abolishing hereditary peers.

David Cameron has been described as “shallow” and “an utter joke” by democracy campaigners after the Conservatives last night said there was “no justification” for the abolition of the remaining hereditary peers.

Guy Aitchison, contributing editor of Open Democracy, told Left Foot Forward:

“It’s an utter joke that after 100 years of trying to reform the Lords he now says he wants to keep the hereditaries. Privately Cameron has said it’s a third term issue, yet only last May, during the expenses crisis, he wrote of the importance of reforming Parliament and redistributing power.

“He talked about redistributing power from the powerful to the powerless. That pledge was shallow as we can now see. Labour aren’t without blame though, they’ve had 12 years to reform the Lords and have failed – we still have 92 hereditary peers.”

Shadow Justice Secretary Dominic Grieve, speaking during the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill yesterday, said of the Government’s proposals to abolish hereditary peers:

“In truth, there is no justification for such action … From our point of view, the continuing election of the hereditaries remains a key way of ensuring that working peers can get in and be maintained”

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This is the full list of Shadow Cabinet Ministers who voted to protect hereditary peers:

Ken Clarke
George Osborne
William Hague
Dominic Grieve
Philip Hammond
Nick Herbert
Theresa May
Oliver Letwin
Andrew Lansley
Owen Paterson
Greg Clark
Mark Francois
Cheryl Gillan
Michael Gove
Jeremny Hunt
Andrew Mitchell
David Mundell
Eric Pickles
Grant Shapps
David Willetts
Theresa Villiers
Sir George Young

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19 Responses to ““Shallow” Cameron an “utter joke” on Lords reform”

  1. Martin Johnston

    RT @leftfootfwd: “Shallow” Cameron an “utter joke” on Lords reform: http://is.gd/79jZ9 #reasonsnottovotetory

  2. Thomas Byrne

    Redistribute power to the ‘powerless’ by allowing Brown and the Labour party to have their parliamentry dictatorship without scrutiny? Perfectly sensible statements by both Cameron and Grieve.

  3. Labour List

    RT @LeftFootFwd “Shallow” Cameron an “utter joke” on Lords reform: http://is.gd/79jZ9

  4. GuyAitchison

    I've been quoted on the @leftfootforward blog calling Cameron's plans on Lords reform "shallow" and an "utter joke" http://tiny.cc/SAbXr

  5. GuyAitchison

    I've been quoted on the @leftfootfwd blog calling Cameron's plans on Lords reform "shallow" and an "utter joke" http://tiny.cc/SAbXr

  6. Lee Griffin

    Thomas, how does removing hereditary peers cause a “parliamentary dictatorship”?

  7. Thomas Byrne

    For me, it’s just a step towards an elected lords, in the same fashion that AV is s stepping stone for those who wanted PR. I don’t want any more messing around with it, and it shouldn’t have been done in the first place

    There is cause for concern however that removing them removes even more the indepedence of the Lords. I’m not averse to talking some sort of elected Lords, however only if the Parliament act was given the boot, which no-one I’ve talked to about it wishes to concede. (hence what would cause the PD)

  8. Mr. Sensible


    I don’t agree with all the reform proposals; change to the voting system and an elected upper house I do not agree with, but I believe abolishing the hareditary principle is important.

    Yet again, all airbrushed talk and no substance.

  9. Anon E Mouse

    Remind me again where we are on “Reform of the lords” from the Labour Party conference 1995/6/7….

  10. Guy Aitchison

    Thomas, if the second chamber became elected then it would inevitably gain greater powers because of the greater legitimacy it enjoys, so I’m sure the Parliament Act would need to be re-considered.

    By supporting the hereditaries in there you’re supporting an illigitemate, and therefore weaker, unelected chamber which, if anything, is more likely to mean a “parliamentary dictatorship” (or “executive dictatorship” which I think is more accurate).

  11. Jonathan Taylor

    RT @leftfootfwd: “Shallow” Cameron an “utter joke” on Lords reform: http://is.gd/79jZ9

  12. James Weston

    RT @Jon2aylor: RT @leftfootfwd: “Shallow” Cameron an “utter joke” on Lords reform: http://is.gd/79jZ9

  13. Paul Evans

    Left Foot Forward – “Shallow” Cameron an “utter joke” on Lords reform http://bit.ly/9dErdA

  14. Dawn Purvis MLA

    RT @Paul0Evans1: Left Foot Forward – “Shallow” Cameron an “utter joke” on Lords reform http://bit.ly/9dErdA << surprised?!

  15. Thomas Byrne

    I think the hereditary peers in the Lords have a great deal of social responsibility towards people. There’s no much point in wandering along to the nation’s Parliament to listen to rather dry debate on certain issues unless you really want to make a difference.

    They do a damn good job, the pre blair parliament was arguably more accountable before they butchered the Lords amongst other things.

  16. Henry

    I can’t believe there are still people defending hereditary peers. Of course, the appointed peers (often semi-retired party hacks or large donors) are arguably as bad, but is there any serious argument against having an elected second chamber?

    A shame that the Labour government hasn’t got round to sorting this out once & for all.

  17. Look Left – The Week in Fast Forward | Left Foot Forward

    […] for the abolition of the 92 remaining hereditary peers, prompting democracy campaigners to describe his leader David Cameron as “shallow” and “an utter joke” on the issue of […]

  18. Mr. Sensible

    Henry, the big problem that I would have with an elected or parcially elected second chamber is that this could introduce party-politics in to its work, meaning it gets like the commons, and legislation may not be scrutinized properly.

    I personally don’t have a problem with the current system (except for the hereditaries); it is made up of people with a wide range of expertees, who can lend something to scrutiny of legislation.

    So, apart from removing the hereditaries I don’t think it needs changing.

  19. Stephen James

    There is probably no such thing as democacy and certainly not in our society, and any elected government is a commisariat for the secular comeercialised state. Abolishing the hereditaries will most definitely hand power form the powerless to the powerful, as we have no say over the political agenda, no say over the issues to which we are dictated to give our assent, politicians who are obliged to grovel to the media (mark thompson in a meeting with davd cameron last year said the bbc wants the tories back in power and with the power of the bbc at his disposal will probably get it)all aprt of a political monolith made of capitalists, libertarians sorry liberals and the Guardian. the strength of the unelected house is precislely that, it cannot be influenced. Further, hereditary peers being born into it are of necessity a reassuringly different breed from the elected who are required to be self-seekers. No wonder Guardianistas and their poodles in the house of commons want them out. I say bring back the hereditaries, and involve Her Majesty more as well.

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