Monday, 26 January 2009

The Biter Bit (2)

Further to the original post, some questions to which I admit not necessarily having answers.

The story regarding the Labour Peers continues to be subject to further articles in both the Times and Telegraph without adding much more detail.

Among questions puzzling me is if, according to the Telegraph, "The code of conduct says that peers "must never accept any financial inducement as an incentive or reward for exercising parliamentary influence; and must not…promote any matter, in return for payment or any other material benefit." is correct, then do not those former EU employees, since ennobled, (Commissioners and the like) accept payment in the form of pensions -which are subject to constraints that the person receiving the pension must not speak against, nor denigrate, the European Union - and do not those pensions constitute "payment or any other material benefit.", when those former EU officials then speak in the House of Lords on any matter affected by the EU? Are not those former officials  not accepting "financial inducement as an incentive or reward for exercising parliamentary influence" when speaking in favour of  a matter to be brought into law as a result of an EU Directive or Regulation during a debate and subsequently voting?

Is not Lord Taylor 'playing with words' when he states "'Bent' to me means you will try to persuade the bureaucracy of the House to change them....."? It can be argued, extremely strongly, that the accepted meaning of 'bent' is 'dishonest/dishonesty'.

The argument that the House of Lords should consist of fully elected members does not seem to stand up to scrutiny in that being 'elected' has not stopped members of the House of Commons behaving improperly. It is also a fact that this Government, by filling the House of  Lords with 'placemen' (which all governments do) has done nothing to maintain standards which the hereditary peers appeared to posses, namely 'honour' and a sense of 'decency'.

On a separate, though related, matter - does not the presence in the House of Lords of so many Labour Peers who are members of the present government not constitute a 'draining away' of power from the House of Commons?

Just thinking and asking, thats all.

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