House of Lords reform – my IPPR paper, Straight To The Senate (1997)

I dug this it out of a cupboard today and dusted it down – so many of the arguments about the legitimacy of the second chamber still hold true today. When I worked as a researcher for the Labour leader and front-bench in the House of Lords in the mid-nineties, we spent a lot of time amending hastily drafted and often draconian bills sent up from the Commons – and sometimes our amendments even survived going back to the Commons. But, of course, the fact that the Lords was not elected always meant it was hobbled – until this week. My argument, in 1997, that we needed an elected second chamber (and, in hindsight, it was a grave error of the Blair government not to push straight for this), is still true today, I believe.

Here’s the paper – one of two that the Institute for Public Policy Research published – the other from John Osmond, then Director of the Institute for Welsh Affairs. I haven’t included his for copyright reasons.