The following is a letter I have sent to Ed Miliband through the “Unlock Democracy” Campaign that seeks to see an elected Upper Chamber in the United Kingdom’s parliament.
I am writing to you today regarding your promise on Lords Reform. I am saddened that this government has not been able to reform the House of Lords, but I have faith in the Labour Party to be the ones who strike a blow for democracy. The General Election is nearing and it is my firm belief that Labour, if it truly holds its traditional values dear, should include a reform of our country’s upper house in its election manifesto.
Labour have traditionally been the party that have fought for the representation of the working classes, the ordinary folks of this country, and they have done a spectacular job in many regards, but one has been left out. More than half of our legislature is wholly unelected and out of touch with the common people of this country. The House of Lords is made up of appointed members, many of whom have vested interests, be they party political, financial, or otherwise. What’s more, they have absolutely no popular accountability.
In our day and age, to have an entire house of our legislature made up of unelected peers is quite unacceptable. Our country considers itself a beacon of democracy to the world, yet how can this be when those who propose, amend, and vote on our laws are either appointed to suit the interests of those in power or simply assume their seats by birth-right or having chosen the “correct” religion?
Mr. Miliband, I am sure you know and feel, as I and many others up and down this nation do, that there is something inherently wrong with our upper house. As the leader of the party of the working classes it should surely be within your best interests to make sure that we have an upper house that can be truly representative of and accountable to the electorate. It is, after all, the very basis of a democratic society that the people as a whole, not the privileged few, who decide who is and is not fit to write our laws.
It is my sincere belief that the people of this country have had their fill of Tory policies that benefit only those in established wealth and power; I believe that the public will give Labour its mandate to take Britain forward in 2015. Public support for an elected upper house is at an all-time high and still growing. By pledging to reform this country’s upper house, Labour would be striking a very real blow in the name of those it seeks to represent.
That is why I am asking you, as an ordinary person with a real desire to see change for the better, to make a referendum on a reformed upper house a manifesto pledge for the upcoming election. Please, help us make our country a real democracy – one that we can be proud of.
James Howard Whittle
If you want to get involved, you can go to http://unlockdemocracy.org.uk/pages/1517 and write to the leaders of the three main parties. But don’t stop there, publish your letters, send them to a paper, send them to your local MP.
Sorry for the absolute silence from me recently, I promise, more posts on their way in the next week!