I find it supremely ironic that after 100 years of complaining, the Liberals and irritating
leader Nick Clegg look to be dangerously close to getting their misguided way with the only bit of our Parliament that does anything useful. Without question the level of debate in the House of Lords is far superior to that provided by the shambles down the corridor in the Commons, and yet it's the Upper House that is going to be comprehensively reformed. If confirmation was needed as to what the people feel about our elected representatives, just have a glance at some of the comments from the public that resulted from a recent consultation exercise on the level of MP's remuneration.
Fortunately for us all, the Upper House has a considerable number of eminently sensible and experienced members within it, all as a result of patronage rather than election of course. Amongst them is the former HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, the ennobled Baron Ramsbotham. He has long been a staunch supporter of probation and has once more come to our aid in what might well turn out to be our darkest hour. Now that the consultation process has closed in relation to government plans for yet more widespread changes within the Service, including massive amounts of privatisation, the Noble Lord has delivered a scathing attack on the whole half-baked scheme, with significant support from other Peers across the political spectrum.
The concept may not be fully understood by people beyond these shores, but in what passes for our type of democracy, yet again those of us who are of reasonable mind will have to rely on the unelected portion of our constitutional arrangements to deliver reasonable debate and effective opposition to this barmy government plan.