In their 1997 manifesto, Labour pledged to reform the House of Lords. Although they abolished hereditary peers, continuing reform has been botched in typical Blairite fashion, basically because both Labour and the Tories want an all-appointed chamber to stuff with their cronies. The House of Lords as it currently stands does some good work in terms of revising the badly-drafted and hurried legislation presented to it by the Commons, but we don’t believe that it is beyond corruption or independent. It is secretive: we know little of who the Lords work for and what interests they represent. We cannot question them, they are not accountable to us in any meaningful sense, and they are unlikely to be friendly towards any genuinely Green political programme. In short, the House of Lords as currently constituted is a highly conservative influence on the politics of this country, hard-wired into the established sources of power instead of the populus (you and me). In the interests of democracy and transparency, we need to know who really makes decisions on our behalf, we need to be able to question them and, if need be, remove them. The corrupt behaviour of Parliament needs to be addressed, and an important step is to reform the Lords, establishing it anew with all the checks and balances that befit a modern democracy in the 21st century.
For the full Green Party policy on the House of Lords visit http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/mfss/mfsspa.html