In July 2012 Mr Clegg tried to go ahead with a wide ranging proposed reform of the Lords without sufficient support in either the Commons or the Lords. His proposal for a mixed House of elected and unelected peers did not proceed.
At the time I argued for a range of lesser reforms to the current Lords which others were also interested in. I explained why I thought his proposals were both flawed and unable to gain the consent of both houses of Parliament. I favoured a time limit on a Lords appointment or a high upper age limit on membership of the Lords. I proposed a use it or lose it rule, so non attenders would lose the right to debate and vote, as Councillors do who fail to turn up. David Steel also worked up a reform agenda which sought to tackle some of the anomalies in tenure.
Since then the Lords has made some progress. It has introduced a voluntary retirement scheme so those who no longer have the energy and appetite to contribute can retire. It has introduced a procedure to allow the expulsion of a peer for bad conduct.
Today Lords reform is back on the agenda, both because of the recent misbehaviour of a former Labour peer, and because the Conservatives want to create more peers to deal modestly with the large voting imbalance for the government in the current Lords.
Any suggestion of more peers produces criticisms as there are already so many. It looks as if it is time to introduce some limit on the length of tenure of a newly selected peer, and to engage with current peers to see if more can be persuaded to retire.
What changes would you like to see? Those who favour radical change need to remember that this Conservative government made no proposals in its manifesto, has a small majority in the Commons, and a large deficit of votes in the Lords. Lords reform requires the consent of the Lords, unless perhaps some future government has made a big issue of a scheme of Lords reform in the country in a manifesto, won an election and has public opinion behind it in wanting to legislate for a new Lords or no Lords against the wishes of existing peers. Using the Parliament Act to do so would still be a large constitutional argument.