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Favours for cash

by Nush on 10th November, 2005 at 11:59 am    

Gather round all, here is something to consider - a short cut route to getting a peerage and it doesn’t matter which political party you support! Even the Green Party is getting in on the act.

It seems that the new list of peers have much in common with fellow nominees from different political parties. The Times on Tuesday pointed out the massive ‘favours-for-cash’ row that is gaining momentum.

The list confirms the recent trend under which the financial supporters of major parties are being awarded seats in the Lords intended for working parliamentarians, with Labour implicated as much as the Conservatives.

It will confirm a belief increasingly taking hold in the Lords that an unofficial threshold of donations of about £250,000 is operated by the major parties when considering nominations for peerages.

Does anyone else think this is unacceptable? It is ridiculous if this is indeed an entry point into the House of Lords. It seems pretty corrupt to me as you can even become a minister if you give enough dosh. Who said becoming a career politician is an option when now it seems, you can buy your seat of influence.

The Labour nominations follow Mr Blair’s decision last year to give a peerage to Paul Drayson, a businessman who had already given £100,000 to Labour and who subsequently made a donation of £500,000. He has since been made a defence minister.

And we think the political situation in other countries is whack, what about the system right under our own noses?

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  1. Rohin — on 10th November, 2005 at 12:58 pm  

    If a scandal of yore was called ‘Cash for questions’, shouldn’t this be called ‘Cash for favours’? Sorry, I haven’t been pedantic for a while and I was missing the warm feeling I get.

    This government has, in my opinion (or maybe it’s just because I didn’t have an interest in politics before the age of 20), awarded the most disgraceful set of people with peerages and knighthoods. Has it always been this transparent? I get the feeling it has, as no one really seems to make a fuss.

  2. jungli_billi — on 10th November, 2005 at 1:01 pm  

    Surely becoming a minister should involve showing how you have the country’s best interests at heart and winning people over with your wisdom and intellect? If someone got into a position of power by using their money, isn’t there a risk that they will use their position to benefit themselves?
    But the problem with the House of Lords, I guess is that the old inheritance system meant that people got seats because of which family they were born into, rather than if they were worthy. (And yet the HoL has an outdated sort of role in government anyway: they can be passed by the Commons etc, etc)
    To me the HoL is somewhere that respected pillars of society should be given seats, but the fact that money is exchanging hands clearly has taken away the ‘respectability’

  3. coruja — on 10th November, 2005 at 1:36 pm  

    The worrying is not the bestowing of life peerages to anyone who has a big enough chequebook - that has been going on forever, but the fact these peers can then be taken in to government and hold ministerial positions without ever needing to go to the electorate - basically by-passing the democratic system.

    Paul Drayson is mentioned but a few months ago wasn’t it Andrew Adonis who was swiftly anointed and then taken is as a junior education minister?

  4. Kulvinder — on 10th November, 2005 at 2:04 pm  

    It isn’t acceptable but its always been that way.

  5. Soultrain — on 10th November, 2005 at 2:23 pm  

    This shows what a waste the House of Lords can be. I actually think that for so many years the House of Lords has never proved to be the bastion of examination and inspection of the government policies. More like an excuse by various parties to abuse an institution to enforce their own agenda, when the same parties are unable to do so in the Commons, very often enforcing old fashioned attitudes.

    It desperately needs reform, personally I favour abolition, as inspection or examination of policies is what is meant to happen in the Commons and commons committees anyway, and the number of times the Lords has actually made a worthwhile difference to government policy is minor compared to how much time the Lords waste. They ain’t even representative of the nation anyway – they’re in a sheltered class of their own.

    If that’s too over the top, then drastically reform the House of Lords so that the political party aspect of the House of Lords is turned on its head. Appointment of peers by an independent commission sounded like a good idea, appointing people who have developed substantial experience in public life in some capacity, whether its charity, industry, medicine…to a privileged position where they can draw from their experience in examining government policy. But in reality, the nominations would never work out as noble or corrupt-free.

    The alternative is electing people to the House of Lords, but no one would get excited by yet another election!

  6. Don — on 10th November, 2005 at 3:04 pm  

    Election by lot.

    Scratch the card - you’re Duke of Westminster.

  7. Nush — on 13th November, 2005 at 3:23 pm  

    So it seems so far we are all agreed

    I guess corruption has been going on for a long long time anyway

    Do you see the House of Lords being abolished though? Prob not mind you Blair does want his presidency

    Rohin - being pedantic suits you sir! ;)

  8. Sajn — on 13th November, 2005 at 6:11 pm  

    Isn’t democracy a wonderfull thing?

  9. Peter — on 2nd December, 2005 at 2:06 pm  


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