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Cheers - AE

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Women, children and Labour MPs first.

Good news and bad news again. The good news is that even a significant proportion of the Parliamentary Labour Party think they're fucked. The bad news, well, not so much bad as fucking outrageous, is that they're starting to form a queue to get the last peerages of the Gordon Clown era (audio here).
In the clearest indication to date that increasing numbers of Labour figures believe the party is heading for a heavy defeat at the hands of David Cameron, the Guardian has learned that at least 52 MPs have formally approached Downing Street to be given places in the upper house.

Hey, we know we've fucked up. We know we've been useless toughing cunts trying to find ways of feathering our own nests by maximizing our expenses claims instead of holding the government to account, which is what we're fucking supposed to do, and that this took place without a peep of protest. We know that either by action or inaction depending on who you're talking about we allowed the most feckless of fuckwits to become Prime Minister without a contest, and that this too took place without objection on our part. And then we allowed the spineless cunt to bottle out of having an election when the Tories were still weak. We have been below standard as representatives of the British people, we have been below standard as Parliamentarians, we have been very fucking far below standard as honest men and women. In fact we've even been bad examples of socialists and bad news for our party both in Westminster and the country as a whole. We realize that a lot of us are going to be out of a job within a year or so, that the incoming Tory government is going to have to slash public sector expenditure because of the economic damage done by the unelected and retarded Prime Minister that we inflicted on the country and failed to hold to account, which fucks up our chances of a cushy public sector sinecure, and also that our employment prospects in the private sector are thinner than a supermodel on a heroin binge. So despite a willingness among some of us to fight the next election it's more in desperation than expectation, and in order to have the taxpayer keep us in the style to which we've become accustomed and so that we can still lurk around the corridors of power, hopefully whoring ourselves and our votes to industry and business, we'd each like the safety net of peerage please.

And since the English language lacks an ideal word I'm going to have to shout.
Cunts cunts cunts CUNTS!!!

What the cunting fuck do these cunts think gives them the right to use the House of Lords as a fucking lifeboat? The feckless, dishonest, thieving, fucking parasitic minge worms should thank their lucky stars if they're still free to sit in a cardboard box under Waterloo Bridge, though if there's any fucking justice left at all on that septic fucking rock some of them will indeed continue to feed off the taxpayers' back for however long a judge thinks is appropriate for being a lying, thieving cunt.

This, if nothing else, should drive home to everyone in Britain how fucked up it is to keep the House of Lords in its present form. It may have been the best brake on some of the worst of the legislation that's come out of the Commons these past twelve years, but I can't help but feel that that's largely because the Lords has usually been the only fucking brake. A large majority of supine, lobby fodder MPs too busy filling their fucking boots hardly makes for effective scrutiny of legislation in the Commons, which leaves only the Lords and the Queen. The Queen won't refuse Royal Assent, which to republicans like myself (small r) just shows that keeping the institution of monarchy even peripherally involved in the affairs of a nation does no fucking favours at all to the poor sods who have to fucking live there. And the Lords... well, I'll concede that until the end of the twentieth century the House of Lords worked fairly well despite its undemocratic, part religious, part hereditary and part appointed form. But NuLabia's so-called fucking reform of the upper house really did little more than give that grinning fucking mutation with the awful wife the ability to fill it with placemen and cronies - personal pals, failed and/or disgraced former MPs, business and meeedjah folk with leftist sympathies, etc etc.*

Nope. It's got to change and change in a big way, and since there's so much talk going on among all three parties and the press it seems that now is an excellent time to do it. Right now before those 52 scheming cunts get a foot in the door. I reckon the choice is either a return to the pre-1997 form or ditch the whole thing in favour of an elected chamber. The problem with a return to the status quo ante is that it doesn't in itself do anything about the cronies appointed over the last decade or so. Lord Mandelsnake, for example, will still be slithering around, as will any new ones created between now and the obliteration of NuLabia general election for that matter. But would it be possible to somehow keep a certain number of appointees and tell the rest to fuck off when you call the old bishops and hereditary mob back in? How would you decide who to kick out and who to allow to stay? And who should make that decision? Is there anyone who could be impartial enough for all parties? I doubt it, so it seems like a good time to replace it with an elected and representative chamber, ideally with considerably fewer people in it than at present - there are 738 of the fuckers after all.

Naturally I'm going to suggest the Australian Senate as a possible model, partly because it's the only other upper chamber with which I'm at all familiar and partly because I happen to think it works reasonably well. The Senate is a revising chamber only and is constitutionally unable to propose legislation, and that makes enough sense that it could be copied as is. That would preserve the principle function of the upper house as a check on the power of the lower house. Since the Senate proposes no legislation at all there's no need for it to have the same kind of makeup party wise as the lower house, so it can be elected using a more representative system such as Proportional Representation or Single Transferrable Vote (ours is STV with a group voting option). There are only 76 Senators, barely a tenth of the number of Lords in the UK. Australia has a much smaller population of course, but not that much smaller. It's about 20 million, so roughly a third of the UK. But the population is misleading since the Senators come from the states and territories rather than electoral districts within them. So for example, while I have a federal MP who sits in the House of Representatives I do not have a Senator as such because there are twelve Senators for the whole of Victoria, just as there are for the other five states. The Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory have two each. One possible criticism there is that a small state like Tasmania (population half a million or so) has the same weight in the Senate as Victoria or New South Wales with more than ten times the people (quite a bit more in NSW). In practice this isn't a huge issue because of the voting system and in the UK it would be even less so if there were, say, two or maybe three Senators per county. In The Plan (which I'm still working my way through) Douglas Carswell and Daniel Hannan suggest a Senate made up from representatives of local government from all over the  country meeting for a few days a month. Yeah, not a bad idea but there's what, 350 or so councils of one form or another. Is it really necessary to send that many, even for maybe one week a month? Besides, if Carswell and Hannan got their way and this localism idea takes off local government representatives might actually have enough on their plate. A couple of Senators for each of the top tier of councils - metropolitan and non-metro counties plus the unitary authorities and Greater London - would make 180 Senators fairly evenly spread throughout the country. Three Senators each would make 270, which might sound a little excessive, but if they were elected by proportional representation or something similar then only two per area seems a bit restrictive and likely to keep the small parties and independents shut out. Or, shock horror, the otherwise pointless regions could actually serve a useful purpose - ten Senators per region would allow for a sprinkling of popular independents and minor parties while keeping the size of the Senate down to a manageable 90. Twenty each would practically guarantee small parties*** and independents a few of the 180 Senate seats that would result. Again, if the Hannan/Carswell localism thing took off there'd be less to do in Westminster anyway and the Senate would have less legislation to revise, so it'd probably be a part time job for all or most of them - a week or two each month depending on whether you let 'em sit on committees (and I can't see any reason why not). The rest of the time they can bugger off and do something else - paid, unpaid, charitable, business, public sector, whatever. I'd like to think it'd be possible to structure it in such a way that non-professional politicians could become Senators and spare the time to attend most if not all sessions, but I haven't thought that far ahead. Similarly there's an obvious objection to the inevitable effect of party lists, but there are ways round that (see the links for the Aussie system). The main thing though is to make it more representative, to perform a proper job as a revising chamber, and above all to stop it from being treated as an ermine lined fucking lifeboat for greedy MPs that anticipate being buried alive at the ballot box for their transgressions.

* And if it's not reformed the Tories will no doubt pack it to the fucking rafters with their personal pals, failed and/or disgraced former MPs and business and meeedjah luvvies** with rightist sympathies.

** If there is such a thing as a meeedjah person with right leaning sympathies.

*** I expect that people would worry that some seats would end up in the hands of the BNP but for fuck's sake, the country is supposed to be a fucking democracy. You don't have to like the fuckers or agree with them but should they be denied a voice completely? So far that's only helped make headlines and generate sympathy for the pricks and besides, they'd be outnumbered by all the wankers supplied by the big three party lists.
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