The labour party’s landslide victory in 1997 under Tony Blair brought a lot of potential and ambitious reforms to the forefront of political debate. A lot of these reforms have been implemented by successive governments since then but these reforms have not gone far enough to drag the UK constitution into the 21st century where the rest of us have to spend our existence.
The House of Lords is a prominent example of where our constitution has disillusioned us. The House of Lords Act of 1999 meant the removal of all but 92 hereditary peers, at the time this was considered to be only the first of many positive steps towards complete reform of the legislature. Since then the major issues with the House have been left up in the air with no solutions having been put forward in years. The current selective process is under the power of the Prime Minister and benefits no one but the governing body of the time. If this was reformed into an elective and democratic system, at least partially, its legitimacy would increase. This has the potential to also stop the unprofessional nature of some Lords, who enter their offices in the mornings, receive their daily allowance and promptly leave without having affected the taxpayer in any way but by taking their money. This is theft! A risk could be stated that the experts who sit in the chamber would be shoved out of their seats by professional politicians, however as long as we stuck to a partially elected chamber this would be prevented, especially if the unelected Lords were chosen via a body that is completely independent of legislature and executive.
An elected second chamber also creates more checks and balances on the executive as the Salisbury Convention would be unnecessary as Lords would be representative of the people and have a valid say on policies to defend the citizens against the unruly wielding of sovereign power by Westminster. The removal of hereditary peers within this reform is conspicuous as this anachronistic, foolish and unjust way in which certain people get a major step up in life due to no hard work of their own but only their ancestors is backwards and downright absurd.
The abolishment of the monarchy is key to the modernisation of our great nation. Succession to the Crown Act of 2013 which allowed succession to be gender neutral finally occurred in 2013 proves the medieval views of the monarchy. Not only should this act have been passed years ago but there is no place for the monarch in the 21st century anyway! All important powers of the institution have been confiscated by Parliament, with the Queen no longer having any meaningful power. The monarchy has become nothing but a lead weight dragging Britain down with it into the fiery pits of old-aged and immoral ways of thinking. People may say that the Queen is representative of our country and needed for the global stage and to that I would argue would we not rather have a true representative of what modern Britain looks like who is democratic and able to show off our successes rather than an elderly bygone women, who’s former glory has long passed by who happens to come in a package along with a British telenovela where characters are made up of the the rest of her dramatic spectacle of a family?
Our constitution should be something we are proud to uphold, it should unite the nation and represent our beliefs. Instead it currently seems worn about the edges and falling apart. We need significant reform to pull us to safety and far away from attempting to keep respect only through the history of our past achievements.