Britain’s Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for the abolition of the unelected House of Lords. From what I can discern this has attracted wide-spread support, not that Starmer needs it as his Party will bolt home in the next election.
The House of Lords is a disgraceful anachronism, its existence grossly inconsistent with democratic principles. The sole argument in its favour I’ve seen proffered, essentially amounts to criticism of the Lower Chamber. That in fact is not an argument.
There are very few real democracies in the world today. New Zealand certainly doesn’t qualify with its race-based system actively promoted by the current government. This will be the major factor in the electoral debacle they will experience next year.
If you doubt that then try a meaningful poll across the nation instead of the stacked questions with current polls, i.e., “Which worries you most?
- The cost of living
- Crime,” (and so on).
Such polls invariably see a media response, “New Zealanders greatest concern is the cost of living” etc. Try a sizeable nation-wide poll and add in “race relations,” or more specifically, “maori favouritism” in the list of concerns and you will find the reality of what is really upsetting New Zealanders across the country.
But back to Britain. There’s no need for an Upper Chamber as New Zealand has proven for the last 8 decades. Likewise with Australia and its over politicised society, thanks to the unnecessary existance of an Upper upper chamber, its so-called Senate.
So too America with its outrageously undemocratic but powerful Senate providing 2 seats for each state. Thus Wyoming with its 600,000 population, Hawaii with 1.5 million people and Alaska with 750,000 have the same representation as California with its 40 million population, New York with 20 million and Texas with 30 million. Hardly democratic and yet further testimony to the undesirability of an outmoded written Constitution.
Once Britain has dumped this outrage, hopefully its next reform will be ending the ludicrous monarchy.
Arguments proffered in the monarchy’s defence is that it’s a harmless, powerless entertainment with economic value for tourism reasons. I find it hard to believe that any tourists visit Britain because of the absurd monarchy’s existence.
The issue arises here when there’s talk of New Zealand abandoning the monarch as our Head of State. Specifically, it’s claimed that the Governor General is a mere powerless figure-head.
Tell that to Australians who have never forgiven the sacking of Whitlam by Governor General Kerr, a pariah figure to this day.
Furthermore, it may be Hamish Keith and I are the only people alive who know of a similar incident here. That was back in 1973 when the Governor General point-blank refused to carry out an order from Prime Minister Norman Kirk. There was a major showdown and only when threatened with the sack did the Governor General eventually succumb.
I will not outline why this occurred as the Governor General’s stand was understandable, aside from which no-one would believe it. In hindsight, apart from causing terrible hurt, it was bloody funny, I emphasise in hindsight. The key parties are now all dead but not so their offspring.
There’s no question democracy is terribly flawed, not because of its structure but its periodic abusers. But there’s equally no question it’s massively better than its alternatives, as evidenced world-wide.