Re: House Of Lords Reform Vote Dropped
Brian, the Parliament Act (used by the Commons to ram things through the Lords that they didn't approve of) is actually from quite a few decades before Blair. However, his government used it more than any other, and maybe more than all previous governments combined.
The Lords question is one of theory against practicality. In theory, hereditary peers are indefensible, but in practice it works rather well. Unfortunately the place has been gutted of most of them and the lion's share is now made up of appointed placemen (happily crossbenchers are still fairly abundant, I think). I'm not sure the Lords is sustainable as is, but I am firmly against having them elected upon the particularly bonkers lines Clegg wants.
Ursa, the Lords does not originate legislation, it merely revises it. It's clearly inferior to the Commons and can be overridden by the elected chamber.
However, if reform were to occur then we'd need to address not only the electoral method (15 year terms are just insane), but also the function/standing and the salary. I think £60k is too low for the Commons. £100k with no expenses at all would be better. £45k for the Lords would not exactly attract top calibre people.
Also, if the Lords is mostly/entirely elected then the case for it being inferior is dramatically weakened which would significantly alter the balance of power in Parliament, but the reforms do not even raise that matter, let alone answer it.