Goodbye to the bishops
You have to admire the Brits, white flight, massive immigration fraud, an ever growing violent crime wave, demands for sharia, child brides, terrorist cells and yet they are determined to send 26 Christians to the unemployment line. I guess priorities in the UK are a little different from ours. They should be working on global warming and health care. (sarc)
Polly Toynbee, 14 March 2010, the Guardian
Over the last few days the 26 bishops who sit in the House of Lords must have been astounded to receive over 50,000 letters telling them their time as legislators is up. Today an ICM poll for Power2010, who organised the write-in, shows that 74% of voters think unelected bishops should have no place in the legislature, and only 21% believe that they should. Even more persuasive is that 70% of Christians want the bishops gone, and only 26% are in favour of keeping them. We are the only western country with theocracy in its law-making. Join the letter-writers at http://www.power2010.org.uk/reformtthelords.
-Face it a letter writing campaign by a special interest group with an agenda will not scare anyone but at least in the UK its gets press coverage as an important event. The numbers given are probably meaningless; polls usually reflect the opinion of whichever special interest group that ordered them.
Failure to reform the Lords, despite the Commons voting for a 100% elected upper house, is just one of Labour’s long list of missed opportunities. But a revised plan will emerge shortly to join Labour’s manifesto of regrets. Why didn’t Labour do Lords reform? It would have taken a year of guerrilla warfare with the ermine, obliterating all other business. What a mistake: all that fidgety “other business” is long forgotten but this would have stood as a monument, fulfilling at last what the Commons has tried to do since 1911.
Maybe 2011 will be the year to do it. This is a trap for the Tories, by no means united on Lords reform. If Cameron votes down the constitutional reform bill in the “wash-up” of unfinished bills when the election is called, he will be voting to prevent a referendum to let people choose electoral reform for the Commons. He will also be voting to keep the present preposterous 92 hereditary peers, with their bizarre blue-blood byelections to replace their dead.
-I am all for getting rid of carrier politicians elected or not but I am against agenda driven groups and this is clearly a witch hunt.
Labour regarded Lords reform as abstruse, nerdy stuff, alienating voters. But Power2010 is proving them wrong, campaigning for wide public involvement in how democracy works. With more than 100,000 votes cast in the campaign’s open poll on ideas to change the system, it is pursuing the people’s top constitutional reforms. The voters’ first priority was proportional representation; then came scrapping ID cards and “the database state”; third was an all-elected second chamber. All candidates will be challenged to support the chosen reforms at the election.
Jack Straw is currently consulting on whether a guaranteed number of women and faith representatives should be included in the new senate. While a women’s quota could be fixed in a proportional system, or with women-only seats, the idea of elections among only Christians or Muslims is absurd. If some non-elected places are reserved for the holy men and women of the faiths, their position becomes even more anomalous than at present. This is one of the world’s most secular societies, where only 7% ever go to church in a year, only 1.9% on any Sunday. By what logic does religion deserve a reserved space, where votes are tied to outside instructions?
-More numbers, the goal here was meant to convince you that religion is meaningless and reinforce it by showing almost everyone agrees with their opinion. I am betting that you are capable of making up your own minds and do not need a one sided opinion piece to help you out.
Bishops in the Lords hold great sway over matters of life and death, most recently in organising to prevent right-to-die reform – against the will of 82% of voters. They helped engineer an exemption in the equalities bill to allow religious employers to discriminate against gays and others, though they run a third of all schools and increasing numbers of state-financed services, from hospices to care homes and day centres. Ed Balls, inexplicably, allowed religious schools to opt out of most sex education: children in religious environments probably need open discussion most.
-Gee imagine that, believers wanting to skip out on all the pro gay propaganda and to decide for themselves what values to teach their children. Well at least we finally know why this group targeted the Christians in the House of lords.
The idea that faith offers some missing moral dimension to politics is offensive. All politics is about moral choices. As individuals there are good, wise and clever people of all faiths and none. Let the religious stand for office alongside everyone else, with no reserved benches that honour their office and their dogma instead of their individual qualities.
-That was rich “All politics is about moral choices” anyone think the average politician has an expectable moral compass?