Friday, 19 November 2010

The Road To Wigan Peers

Michael Grade is a Tory? You can be given a peerage just for being Deputy Leader of the Lib Dems on Luton Borough Council? And will the consolation prizes for Oona King never end? She was notable for nothing except having been beaten by George Galloway, until she also became notable for having been beaten by Ken Livingstone.

If parties are to be allocated a certain number of working peerages each year, for people who would then be expected to attend with sufficient frequency that their attendance allowances would amount to salaries, then the parties should seek nominations from their branches (including those of affiliated organisations in Labour's case) and put out to a ballot of the entire electorate those with the most nominations, up to one and a half times their respective allocations.

Thus, if a party were entitled to 10 peerages, then it would put out the names of those with the 15 highest numbers of nominations. Each of us could then vote for up to five, and the highest scoring 10 would get in.

Every four or five years, the 12 units already used for European Elections would each elect three Crossbenchers, with each of us voting for one candidate and with the three highest scorers being ennobled.

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