Janice Atkinson for The Daily Mail
27th June 2012
Want a guaranteed job for 15 years, £300 for every day you attend, offices, researchers and secretaries at your disposal, cut price food and booze, your own private club (no membership fee), deference from the staff, possibly a lovely coat with some ermine round the collar (for those of you who don’t do fur, you can have nasty fake fur), your own coat room to hang your sword, nice crisp and thick, embossed letter headed paper, a quick snooze in the afternoon whilst collecting your three hundred quid, a chance to run your own business on the side or take up very lucrative paid non-exec positions on boards and air your views on most subjects?
No problem. Just apply to become one of the newly elected Lords. I believe in Lords reform, but not this sixth-form debating society proposal from Cleggy and co.
Given some of the dross that was elected by both parties at the last General Election because of the lack of democracy and party apparatchik favouritism and patronage, I am now against this Lords reform as the second chamber will just be full of old councillors, party officials, policy wonks and for services to Dave, Ed and Nick because it will be the party banners with the money that will attract candidates.
So, I thought about the alternative. My alternative Lords would be based on common-sense and made up of those who do not suffer fools gladly.
Lord Nigel Farage of Kent for services to Great Britain, who valiantly defends our nation against the undemocratic and bankrupt EU. He would certainly add some spice and life.
Lord John Humphrys of the BBC for services to all listeners of the ‘Today’ programme who offers informed debate, awkwardness with likeability and is a real national treasure.
Lord Jeremy Clarkson of Chipping Norton for services to the long-suffering motorist, speaking out against political correctness and being very clever to boot.
Lord Simon Cowell of X Factor, in spite of his awful TV programme and clothes sense.
Lord Richard Littlejohn of Rightminds (because we are always right on here).
Lord Nick Ferrari of Blackheath for services to LBC radio, SKY telly and, despite his refusing to diet and dying his hair is still fanciable and right on most issues.
Lady Ruth Lee of North London for her common-sense approach to politics and economics and she’s a good egg.
Lady Claire Fox of the Institute of Ideas for just being really clever and likeable.
Cleggy and co, if you are really serious about democracy, have an elected upper chamber with no one allowed to stand under a party political banner and rescind the 15 year-job-for-life and attendance allowance. When drawing up the constituencies do it on county lines, not artificial EU boundaries which mean nothing to the people that live there and by all means use the single transferable voting system.
I’m a Lords reformer but at this cost, no. Dave, get on with welfare reform, schools reform, cut the cost of Whitehall, get back to the real Conservative agenda and stop pandering to the Guardianista left and the useless LibDems. But of course this is really about jobs for the boys – Cleggy and co are manoeuvring themselves into an elected Lords, just when the electorate are kicking them out of their existing House of Commons constituencies in 2015 (or those that haven’t jumped ship for the EU gravy train by then) and that’s why they want larger geographical constituencies and not first-past-the-post. Just a thought.