John Redwood’s contribution to the debate on House of Lords Reform (Draft Bill), 17 May

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): What sort of people does the Deputy Prime Minister wish to select to this hybrid Chamber, and why does he think that those skills would be lacking under a fully elected system?

The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr Nick Clegg): It would not be up to me, or to any members of future Governments, to make such selections. Core to the proposals in the Bill in regard to the model with 80% elected and 20% appointed is the making of appointments by an entirely independent and statutory appointments commission, the process being conducted in an entirely open and meritocratic manner.

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  1. Publius
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    “an entirely independent and statutory appointments commission, the process being conducted in an entirely open and meritocratic manner.”

    And presumably this entirely independent and statutory appointments commission would also appoint its members in an entirely open and meritocratic manner. Perhaps there could be another commission to appoint the members of this commission… and so on.

    Mr Clegg just has not thought all this through.

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Like how good his serve is at tennis?

  3. BobE
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    But the house of lords is a benifits system for the ruling class. What will they do?

  4. REPay
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    I am glad Clegg is leading this. It highligts the fact that the LibDem main interest is constitution (getting more representation for themselves- AV, elected Upper House and giving away power to the EU.) Unfortunately this focus has no resonance with the voters. It is a shame that we have so many low quality appointees to the Lords in recent years. I assume New Labour was trying to subvert it from within, with members such as Prescott and Sugar making the place less defensible. Like most constitutional innovations it has unforeseen consequences…The establishment of Scottish Parliments and the Welsh Assembly was supposed to make the UK Tory proof…(with the idea that Labour and Nationalists would share the benefits of the AV voting system.) Blair and co misjudged badly.

    I wonder what the unforseable consequences of an elected Upper House are?

  5. frank salmon
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Surely you realise that the House of Lords is there to remind us of how bad things would be if we let the incumbents run the country! Don’t be misled. The cleaners would do a better job, but we do need to be reminded, once in a while, that we are run by halfwits in the Commons, and fullwits in the House of Lords.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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