18 replies

  1. Note the large crowd of MP’s attending. One day we will deal with this lot and the sooner the better.

  2. Sickening to see so many Scottish Labour MPs desperate to get their mitts on an imaginary title and a seat in the house of lords. Working-class heroes of Scotland?! Keir Hardie looks down and greets.

  3. I am a very big admirer of Mr. Wishart and it is a real joy to see him at work. “Bloated, ermine-coated, never been voted …”, says it all.
    Wonderful.

  4. If Mr. Wishart really wanted to get rid of HoL, all he and the anticipated 30+ SNP MP’s (i.e. a Scots majority) need do after May’s GE is to declare Scotland’s independence.

    • Declaring Scotland’s independence (just ignore the referendum result: SNPs Rule OK!) would not get rid of the HofL, it would get rid of the UK.
      Re the ecclesiastical element of the House of Lords, let us not forget that before the Scottish Parliament voted itself a new building (original visualised cost, £10-40 million; actual final cost – 3 years late – £440million), it was housed in the General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland. At least the bishops in the House of Lords are WITHIN the political system; in Scotland, the political system was within the Church until recently. ‘The Minister’ has a double burden as a word in Scotland; both to do with authority over the general population. I have no particular wish for the House of Lords: it is over-stuffed, over-privileged, dubiously constituted; but represents continuity in a way the new Scottish Parliament doesn’t (and shouldn’t?). It is noticeable that Peter Wishart’s (envy-based?) counter to this continuity (with which, again, I have no particular truck) is our being a worldwide economy – so trade, filthy lucre, and all the economic crashes, depressions, recessions, etc., that go with the positive aspects of this ‘democratic’ kind of politics. I cannot help noticing that, despite the historical pre-eminence of Conservatism in the HofL, Peter Wishart’s criticisms emphasise the Labour Party weaknesses there. Could this have anything to do with the SNP’s need for hegemony in the Scottish Parliament? The Conservative Party is virtually a dead duck in Scotland; ‘let’s get rid of Labour, and the SNP can rule Scotland, then the UK, and in time – the world!’ I wonder how he would have reacted if Jim Murphy had been there and started to count the number of SNP MPs in the room? (One, I think).

      • Frederick -I am not sure what you mean when you say

        “At least the bishops in the House of Lords are WITHIN the political system; in Scotland, the political system was within the Church until recently.”

        …but the Church of Scotland was disestablished in 1929 and so has been outwith the political system for 86 years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disestablishmentarianism

      • Frederick- would you describe your position as that of pro- or antidisetablishmentarianism ?

      • Your knowledge of Scotland’s political history appears limited. You say that: “Declaring Scotland’s independence would not get rid of the HofL,..”. Indeed it would, as far as an independent Scotland is concerned. What England etc do thereafter is up to them.

        As for your comment: “(just ignore the referendum result: SNPs Rule OK!)”. You must be aware that Westminster has always ignored the wishes of the Scottish electorate, the latter seldom voting for the UK government of the day. If a Scots majority is delivered at GE2015 then that is democracy Westminster-style. FPTP has been used against Scotland often enough, so we should have no qualms over using it. The union began through a majority of Scots MP’s, and can end the same way.

        You say that “the Scottish Parliament voted itself a new building (original visualised cost, £10-40 million; actual final cost – 3 years late – £440million)”. It was actually London Labour who did the deal on the new parliament, decisions led by one Donald Dewar MP/MSP and his small group of hand picked advisors including one Kirsty Wark. The SNP actually wanted to use the old Royal High School on Calton Hill (prepared in 1979 for the referendum Scots were diddled out of)), but that building was viewed as iconic as well as a nationalist preference. The unionists prevailed, hence the horrendous waste of money on the Holyrood carbuncle.

        I would rather, assuming 30+ SNP MP’s are elected, that Mr. Wishart therefore declares Scotland’s independence this May, rather than pointlessly pontificate like this, in the wind, as it were on HoL reform. The HoL is not Scotland’s main problem, it is Westminster as a whole. Just as well to get rid of the lot in one go.

  5. There are around 70 Scottish (sic) Lords and Ladies granted a meal ticket for life either through inheritance or blind adherence to the great traditions of Labour, Tory or LibDem party compliance. Few if any are there for any meritorious reason. Ironically there are more supposed Left Wing (Scottish Labour) members within that number who apparently see no contradiction between the noble cause of Kier Hardie and their ermine bordered lifestyle.
    It is a matter of great credit to it that the Scottish National Party can claim no support from this relic of the past and affront to democracy.
    Well done Pete Wishart !

  6. Independence is the clear and obvious solution to the House of Lords for Scotland.

    In the meantime, Pete Wishart is doing a great job representing the Electorate of the UK and Democracy itself in these islands.

    However, Mr Wishart made no specific reference to the role the HoL plays as a vital part of the career path for Unionist politicians who have always toed the party line and did whatever else it took to win the big career promotion of a seat in the first class carriage of the Westminster gravy train.

    An elected second chamber would offer the possibility of extended careers for some, but only for those fit enough and willing enough to keep on working. The House of Lords, let’s face it, is a very well paid retirement home.

    Not that the lack of career extension is a reason for keeping the HoL, but it may help explain why the three Establishment parties are so reluctant to do away with it.

    £100 million a year upkeep. As Pete Wishart says, it is quite absurd.

  7. Well said, Pete. Here’s hoping that abolition of the HofL happens soon – not soon enough for me!

  8. Great delivery. I had thought that such wonderful debating skills were long gone in favour of snappy sound bites. Well done Mr Wishart.

  9. I remember the statue to sad dam being pulled down in Iraq I would hope the same thing will happen to the statue of Donald dewar when we get independence

    • Leave Dewar where he is. Whatever else he was, a mad palace-building tyrant he was not. But if you do pull down the statue, leave intact the inscription on the plinth: “There shall be a Scottish Parliament.”

  10. ““There shall be a Scottish Parliament.”

    Aye, a wee pretendy one. Scots should realise that only colonies or provinces are ‘granted’ devolved parliaments. Dewar and cohorts made damn sure Scotland was treated thus.

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