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Save UK by replacing Lords with members from devolved nations and English regions argues Financial Times editor

22 Sep 2021 2 minutes Read
The House of Lords. Picture by the House of Lords (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

The Financial Times’ Whitehall Editor has argued that the House of Lords should be abolished and replaced by a new chamber including representatives from the Senedd, Scottish parliament, Northern Irish Assembly and England’s Mayoral regions.

Sebastian Payne said that the way to fix the political deficit within the UK was “to bring them into the heart of national politics” and create a new 200 member chamber alongside the House of Commons.

“The solution is to bin the House of Lords,” he said. “The bloated unelected chamber with 820 members is well past its sell-by date. The only strong argument for its survival is that the process of replacing it is too messy.

“A new chamber of say 200 — including legislative experts serving five-year terms — is what England needs. Adding representatives from the devolved parliaments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could help secure the future of the United Kingdom too.”

He added that for England “increasing the number of mayors will not go far enough”.

“If Johnson is serious about tackling the political deficit in England, prompted by the creation of the Scottish and Welsh parliaments, he needs to bring them into the heart of national politics,” he said. “Mayors need representation in Westminster to show those feeling left behind they are being listened to.

“Tackling regional inequality can only be done by tackling England’s democratic deficit.”

The plan mirrors that of former Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones, who argued that the House of Lords should be replaced by members elected on the basis of equal representation between the UK nations.

Asked in 2012 how Wales would fare if Scotland voted for independence, he said: “I think we need to start thinking about this now.

“It appears at the moment from the opinion polls that Scotland wouldn’t leave the UK, but how do we make the UK fit for purpose in the 21st Century?

“We have a political structure that’s from the 18th and 19th Centuries.”


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Tabor
Tabor
9 months ago

Cytuno’n llwybr hefor syniad cael geared ar ty’r arglwyddi
Mae y ty yma yn parham y drefn or hen “feudal state “ers canrhifoedd.
Democrataidd or diwedd ?

CJPh
CJPh
9 months ago

Nope. Keep it, it’s a very important part of the heritage… over there. Here in Wales we are moving towards founding our own nation. I’d hate to see England’s institutions fall because members of the fourth estate want to maintain a union that doesn’t work anymore. Keep the Lords, can the Union.

hdavies15
hdavies15
9 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

Stick ’em both where the sun don’t shine !

Quornby
Quornby
9 months ago

The union is not a union at all….. it’s the last holdout of a defunct English empire. Time for Wales to leave and stand tall amongst the world’s free nations..

Grayham Jones
9 months ago

Let England have England we in Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 and Ireland 🇮🇪 are separated countries the UK 🇬🇧 is finished

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
9 months ago

It’s too late. The ship has sailed port. The Horse had bolted the stable. Fanciful idea. But in today’s far-right fascist Conservative idiocracy, will not work. All they’ll do, as done with Brexit negotiation with the EU, is to ignore Wales. And having a effectively a House of Representatives adjacent to the Commons that also had a majority English regional block would not stop any Conservative imposition on Wales, NI or Scotland. Numbers matter. Remember, all MPs from Wales bar one (who cynically abstained) voted to stop the flooding of Tryweryn and it did absolutely nothing to stop the English… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Y Cymro
Dim problem
Dim problem
9 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

This obsession with Tryweryn is borderline madness, and also historically illiterate. Villages in England were drowned to create reservoirs too (e.g. the Ladybower reservoir). It was done in England, as in Wales, by a class of wealth-owners, who don’t care about normal people. Welsh Nats see “we don’t care about the Welsh”, where in reality it’s “we don’t care about the little people”.

Last edited 9 months ago by Dim problem
Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
9 months ago
Reply to  Dim problem

True, but in the case of Wales they did it in somebody else’s country against the wishes of the citizens of that country. Hence the protests and the residual anger which seems to be absent in the affected places in England.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
9 months ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

If I am accused of highlighting how the English state forcefully removed a Welsh community from the history books in an act of state sponsored resource-rape, who are contemplating doing similar again. Plead guilty as charged. To dismiss is to condone.

Last edited 9 months ago by Y Cymro
Gavin Lure
Gavin Lure
9 months ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

It was in the UK. Same country.

The anger is probably absent in England, to quote you, because they are more used to actual atrocities like terrorist bombings and people burning to death in blocks of flats.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
9 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Lure

Same state, different countries, one having all the power, the other used as a colony.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
9 months ago
Reply to  Dim problem

It’s not an obsession. It happened. And will happen again if the likes of you do nothing.

Would you say the same to ones commemorating historical or sensitive events in history?. No you would not! So don’t bloody lambast me for continually highlighting a disgusting undemocratic act of resource-rape done by the English state on another, Wales. Wars have been fought over less.

So take some advice. Reframe from burying your head in the sand. Don’t stare, be aware.

Note: “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.” Make this your mantra.

Last edited 9 months ago by Y Cymro
Crwtyn Cemais
Crwtyn Cemais
9 months ago
Reply to  Dim problem

Ah, but you see, ‘Dim Problem’, we the Welsh – all of us – are simply a westerly extension of those ‘little people’ that the current Westminster regime do not care about. And you don’t have to be one of the ‘Welsh Nats’ – to use your sadly reductive term – to realise that.

Gloyw
Gloyw
9 months ago
Reply to  Dim problem

For some reason I always get called a racist when I say the same thing about the exploitation of India and Africa. Can’t think why. In any event if English people are content to be exploited by their God-appointed superiors then who are we to intervene?

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
9 months ago

Mr. Payne’s claim that the creation of the Scottish and Welsh parliaments resulted in a “political deficit in England” is mistaken. Devolution in Scotland and Wales merely went a little way to removing the democratic deficit previously suffered by those two countries. The makeup of the Lords and Commons is still weighted almost completely in favour of English interests because of the relative numbers of members. Both would have to be split equally three ways in order to have a genuine “union of equals”. Never going to happen in either House.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
9 months ago
Reply to  Rhosddu

Very true, devolution in Scotland and Wales does not disadvantage England in anyway.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
9 months ago

The English did this to themselves as they allowed this affront to democracy to continue for hundreds of years. Nothing will change unless the rest of the UK breaks away from their pathetic version of democracy Their arrogance has destroyed their vile empire and it will destroy the lopsided UK.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
9 months ago

It’ll never happen. For one, the Tories dish out honours to gain votes in parliament. The system is corrupt and while people are gaining from it, it’ll never change. We need to ditch Westminster all together, it is beyond saving.

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