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jovan66102

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Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 2,284
Reply with quote  #1 
I happened to pick up The Times of 6 June 2011 at the library. In it was a letter from Lord Cavendish of Furness (Life Peer, but the grandson and eventual heir to the Duke of Devonshire) opposing an elected House of Lords. Good, you say? Not so fast! He opposes it because it would increase the power of the Lords vis a vis the Commons. He assures the Editor that no one in the House of Lords would support any moves to increase the powers of the Upper Chamber!

Unfortunately, The Times is a pay site so I can't link to the letter.

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God save Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, etc.!

Vive le Très haut, très puissant et très excellent Prince, Louis XX, Par la grâce de Dieu, Roi de France et de Navarre, Roi Très-chrétien!
Peter

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Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 5,653
Reply with quote  #2 
The grandson and eventual heir to the Duke of Devonshire is James Cavendish, Lord Cavendish*, and is not yet one year old so unlikely to be giving us his views on anything. Richard Cavendish, who is the Baron Furness you mention, is next in line after the infant James but a distant relative, being descended from a brother of the 9th Duke, whereas James's grandfather is the 12th. I knew there was no way the grandson of the present Duke could be old enough to be a life as opposed to actual peer, so had to check it out.

I do agree with the more senior Cavendish, in age at least since he is 59, that an elected House would be ridiculous. We have one, why have a second to inevitably compete with it? Though sullied by life peers, the previous arrangement was ideal; a large body of men (mostly) and women, selected by accident of birth, with an enormous variety of backgrounds, age and experience, acting as a revising chamber and a brake on the lower house. Still, once you replace the random element with people selected generally speaking for their outstanding political toadyism, obviously this won't do and minds turn to more reform. Where to go except an elected House? Which will never work. Just going back to the hereditaries being too easy and obvious, I expect the Lords will stew in the mess Blair made of it for a long time yet.

*He should be Earl of Burlington, but his father having used the name Burlington professionally retained that title rather than becoming Marquess of Hartington when his own father became the 12th Duke.
Ponocrates

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Registered: 01/30/09
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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Still, once you replace the random element with people selected generally speaking for their outstanding political toadyism, obviously this won't do and minds turn to more reform.


In the US, toadyism is mostly reserved for ambassadorships or some semi-public institutions like Fannie Mae. 

I imagine judges in Britain were chosen because they demonstrated some judicial competence in their field.   That keeps the selection somewhat honest.   Maybe they could determine some restrictive criteria for the Lords on a similar level as judges (since they already undermined the hereditary aspect of it). 

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BaronVonServers

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Registered: 07/22/06
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Reply with quote  #4 
Requirements:
Hereditary Peer
Currently able to maintain oneself in the proper style (not broke!)



(Something like the election of Scots Peers for the Joint Parliament, where the Peers selected are acceptable to the Peerage in general).


There, reformed, elected, and hereditary.
It'll never fly, but might have a better chance than the real solution.  Repeal the Lords act of 1911, and whatever it was that started this 'lifer' bit, and of course get rid of the latest emasculating legislation...

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jovan66102

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Registered: 11/14/08
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Reply with quote  #5 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
The grandson and eventual heir to the Duke of Devonshire is James Cavendish, Lord Cavendish*, and is not yet one year old so unlikely to be giving us his views on anything. Richard Cavendish, who is the Baron Furness you mention, is next in line after the infant James but a distant relative, being descended from a brother of the 9th Duke, whereas James's grandfather is the 12th.


That will teach me to rely on Wikipedia without checking with you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia

He was created a life peer as Baron Cavendish of Furness, of Cartmel in the County of Cumbria by Margaret Thatcher in 1990 and is third in line to the dukedom of Devonshire.


Obviously his article has not been updated since the birth of the new grandson and heir and I simply assumed that 'third in line' was a grandson. My Bad!

__________________
'Monarchy can easily be ‘debunked;' but watch the faces, mark the accents of the debunkers. These are the men whose tap-root in Eden has been cut: whom no rumour of the polyphony, the dance, can reach - men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. Yet even if they desire equality, they cannot reach it. Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.' C.S. Lewis

God save Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, etc.!

Vive le Très haut, très puissant et très excellent Prince, Louis XX, Par la grâce de Dieu, Roi de France et de Navarre, Roi Très-chrétien!
Peter

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Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 5,653
Reply with quote  #6 
What Wikipedia says is correct, he is third in line. The present Duke has only one son, and he in turn only one, though there is power to add, and Richard Cavendish is next heir. So the Earl of Burlington is first in line, Lord Cavendish second, and Richard Cavendish, Lord Cavendish of Furness, is third until someone else is born ahead of him, which cannot happen to the first two of course. You may have got confused by counting the Duke as first in line and Lord Burlington second, but it doesn't work like that. The 12th Duke is not in line, he is the Duke already. Similarly, the Prince of Wales is not second in line to the throne, he is first.
Npinkpanther

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Registered: 06/21/11
Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #7 
I'd agree that going back to the pre-1997 arrangements for the House of Lords would be ideal, but to be honest, being realistic, that's never going to happen. The fact that the Conservatives are the ones championing Lords reform and an elected upper house is not very encouraging.

So with that in mind, I think the best alternative would be for the current arrangements to be retained with one significant change: the House of Lords itself is responsible for the appointment of all life peers, not the Prime Minister. That'd give back the Lords some of its lost independence, and would prevent the Prime Minister of the day swamping the Lords by the hundreds with loyal placeholders and party hacks in an attempt to gain a majority. A self-regulating, self-appointed House of Lords.

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BaronVonServers

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Registered: 07/22/06
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Reply with quote  #8 
Aim for the moon, accept geosynchronous orbit:
Give us back our Proper Lords!


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KYMonarchist

Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 4,853
Reply with quote  #9 
Never say never! -Ms. Frizzle


We will only get the proper hereditary house of Lords back if we fight for it!

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Npinkpanther

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Registered: 06/21/11
Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #10 

Well the conservative party membership are more enthusiastic about restoring the hereditary peers than its leadership - just read through the comments in one of Daniel Hannan's blog posts. Conservative party members would first need to take Norman Tebbit's advice and 'mutiny' against CCHQ to reject the central-appointed local candidates. Then we'd be seeing some proper Conservative MPs that reflect the party membership, not the Chloë-bots that make up most of the current crop.


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maldencapell

Registered: 05/04/11
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #11 
I have no doubts that this latest plan to elect the Lords will be chewed up and spat out with gusto.  There's so much wrong with it even those normally pro-election will team up with die-hards opposing election.

The irony is that our elected masters consistently claim the Lords is broken because people keep appointing 'unworthies' into the Upper House, without realising that the very people responsible are themselves!

Lord Steel of Aikwood has consistently proposed a more robust appointments system to keep party politics out of appointments, but it hasn't had much success.  The party leaders would breathe a sigh of relief over an elected House which no longer thwarts them, rather than the present, effective, appointed chamber.
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