IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Non-USA & General Politics
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags UK issues , uk politics

Reply
Old 8th February 2021, 02:24 PM   #1
Airfix
Graduate Poster
 
Airfix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 1,030
The Lords

Should we keep the Lords or replace them with an elected senate ?
Airfix is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th February 2021, 04:25 PM   #2
EHocking
Philosopher
 
EHocking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 8,592
Originally Posted by Airfix View Post
Should we keep the Lords or replace them with an elected senate ?
We should keep 10, so that carols can still be sung at Xmas
__________________
"A closed mouth gathers no feet"
"Ignorance is a renewable resource" P.J.O'Rourke
"It's all god's handiwork, there's little quality control applied", Fox26 reporter on Texas granite
You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it. Art Buchwald
EHocking is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th February 2021, 04:39 PM   #3
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 50,616
Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
We should keep 10, so that carols can still be sung at Xmas
Only if they are required to pass a physical fitness exam, in order to stand for office.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th February 2021, 04:41 PM   #4
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 50,616
Originally Posted by Airfix View Post
Should we keep the Lords or replace them with an elected senate ?
Keep the Lords. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And even if it is broke, it's probably less broke than the fix would be.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th February 2021, 05:11 PM   #5
The Atheist
The Grammar Tyrant
 
The Atheist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 28,587
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Keep the Lords. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And even if it is broke, it's probably less broke than the fix would be.
I think that's probably right.

The thought of hereditary peers (and Ian Botham) having a say in running the country is as abhorrent to me as any dictatorial regime, but they're a huge improvement on your Senate.

Could be that the mere fact of heredity and old boys' clubs ensure less partisanship and more pragmatism? Bizarre but real - bit like the head of state being the head of the church, resulting in far less religious interference in laws than in USA.
__________________
The point of equilibrium has passed; satire and current events are now indistinguishable.
The Atheist is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th February 2021, 05:18 PM   #6
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 50,616
The way I see it, most democratic systems of government are about the same. You're the UKians, the House of Lords is gonna work just about as well as anything can work. Replacing it with some other variation on the theme won't really improve things, won't fix anything about the UKian system of government that's truly broken, and would probably just break something else anyway. Or break the same thing all over again.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th February 2021, 05:19 PM   #7
junkshop
Student
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: blighted lorry park
Posts: 38
Get rid.
It's ******** with special mention going to the ******* 'lords spiritual'.

ETA Being owed a favour by the government of the day (or a previous one), or gaining high rank in a minority cult should not, in any sane or reasonable society, lead to being gifted a position of political or legislative power (IMNSHO). That this is even up for question in the ******* 21st century beggars belief.

Then again we still have a monarchy, so it may just be that we are, as a nation, terminally bloody subservient.

Last edited by junkshop; 8th February 2021 at 05:41 PM. Reason: Extra crunchy ranting
junkshop is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th February 2021, 09:49 PM   #8
Norman Alexander
Philosopher
 
Norman Alexander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Gundungurra
Posts: 9,151
Time Lords? Edge Lords? Lords Cricket Ground?

Please try to be a bit specific.
__________________
...our governments are just trying to protect us from terror. In the same way that someone banging a hornets’ nest with a stick is trying to protect us from hornets. Frankie Boyle, Guardian, July 2015
Norman Alexander is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th February 2021, 10:41 PM   #9
gypsyjackson
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Posts: 1,127
I used to think until about 2005 that we should ditch the Lords and have an elected second chamber - perhaps by PR, so the Commons could represent constituencies and the, say, Senate the national popular vote. (There are all sorts of reasons why MPs would fight that)

But then I worked on a Bill which obviously had to pass the Lords, and I got to work with individual Lords and Ladies, and the relevant committee. Not all of them were good, but some were very very good, with decent legal and scientific minds to get into the problems and suggest changes. I realised then that some of the Lords would be worth keeping for that legislative revision role.

So if wand waving was involved, I would get rid of the hereditary peers and the Lords Spiritual, and then have new appointments to the Lords approved by a panel similar to a very big jury. Parties would still recommend people, but they’d have to have a reason for being there other than ‘donated a lot of money to the party’, or ‘supported the government in a tricky vote’ - some sort of expertise which would help improve the laws the government made. There would also be popular nominations put forward for consideration. Part of the point of it would be not to have any ‘elected’ expectations, but there’s no reason why if enough people thought we needed an expert on broadcasting pretend reality shows that a panel shouldn’t consider if that had merit or not.

I wouldn’t rule out former MPs or even bishops or people whose 18x great grandfather lent Henry VIII some money to play cards per se, but they would have be put forward by a group and then make it past the panel. The panel would be charged with the revising chamber having a good balance of technical knowledge across fields legislated in, and filtering out unsuitable candidates like, say, Lordy McLordface.

New Lords would have a 10 year term, at the end of which they could either retire or ask to go before a panel again.

Realistically such a scheme wouldn’t result in drastic changes, but would address some of the more egregious aspects of the Lords, while keeping some of the things I saw were actually rather useful.

What have I got wrong?! Help me develop this...
gypsyjackson is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th February 2021, 11:17 PM   #10
The Great Zaganza
Maledictorian
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 14,864
the members of the Institut français are called Immortals.

we clearly need to upgrade the Lords to Gods, just to show those Frenchies who's boss.
__________________
The things that you're liable
To read in the Bible
It ain't necessarily so
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th February 2021, 01:13 AM   #11
Planigale
Illuminator
 
Planigale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: 49 North
Posts: 4,701
One thing I hold against Tony Blair is he did half a job at amending the UK 'constitution' but never finished it and left things unfixed. He dismissed most of the hereditary Lords but failed to deal with the political packing of the Lords. I think that there is a virtue to the ability of the Lords to bring non-political but 'wise' people into the legislature. It is a way to bring minorities in.

Devolution has led to an unsatisfactory issue where there is no formal four nation forum. I think that there should be an extension of devolution to English regions and the Lords be used in a way that the senate is to represent the devolved nations, leaving the commons much more to be the UK government and not also functioning as the English government.

This would produce a formal and open way that the devolved nations can have a check on the UK government and have a voice on UK policy (ie those things that are reserved to the UK government as opposed to devolved governments). It would also be a formal way to have relationships between the devolved nations to agree policies on issues that are devolved but which one does not wish to cause internal barriers within the UK.
Planigale is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th February 2021, 01:32 AM   #12
Vixen
Penultimate Amazing
 
Vixen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 21,568
Originally Posted by Airfix View Post
Should we keep the Lords or replace them with an elected senate ?
Keep.
__________________
Blott en dag, ett ögonblick i sänder,

vilken tröst, vad än som kommer på!
Vixen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th February 2021, 04:07 AM   #13
smartcooky
Penultimate Amazing
 
smartcooky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Posts: 17,185
Originally Posted by Airfix View Post
Should we keep the Lords or replace them with an elected senate ?
Why? Its such a beautiful place to play cricket, old chap!
__________________
I want to thank the 126 Republican Congress members for providing a convenient and well organized list for the mid-terms.
- Fred Wellman (Senior VA Advisor to The Lincoln Project)
If you don't like my posts, my opinions, or my directness then put me on your ignore list. This will be of benefit to both of us; you won't have to take umbrage at my posts, and I won't have to waste my time talking to you... simples! !
smartcooky is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th February 2021, 07:58 AM   #14
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 50,616
Originally Posted by gypsyjackson View Post
... they’d have to have a reason for being there other than ‘donated a lot of money to the party’, or ‘supported the government in a tricky vote’ - some sort of expertise which would help improve the laws the government made. There would also be popular nominations put forward for consideration. Part of the point of it would be not to have any ‘elected’ expectations, but there’s no reason why if enough people thought we needed an expert on broadcasting pretend reality shows that a panel shouldn’t consider if that had merit or not.

I wouldn’t rule out former MPs or even bishops or people whose 18x great grandfather lent Henry VIII some money to play cards per se, but they would have be put forward by a group and then make it past the panel. The panel would be charged with the revising chamber having a good balance of technical knowledge across fields legislated in, and filtering out unsuitable candidates like, say, Lordy McLordface.
I have some problems with merit-based qualifications for candidacy, in a democracy.

You're basically proposing the creation of another branch or agency of government, that gets to decide by fiat who's qualified for office. Who's on the panel? How are they qualified? Who picked them? It ends up being watchmen all the way down. It's a democracy. Let the people decide who's qualified, and who isn't, by a free and fair vote.

Or that's the ideal, anyway. My realistic answer remains: leave it as-is. Besides, when you think about it, there already is a panel vetting potential Lords: the Prime Minister and the Monarch.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th February 2021, 12:08 AM   #15
gypsyjackson
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Posts: 1,127
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I have some problems with merit-based qualifications for candidacy, in a democracy.

You're basically proposing the creation of another branch or agency of government, that gets to decide by fiat who's qualified for office. Who's on the panel? How are they qualified? Who picked them? It ends up being watchmen all the way down. It's a democracy. Let the people decide who's qualified, and who isn't, by a free and fair vote.

Or that's the ideal, anyway. My realistic answer remains: leave it as-is. Besides, when you think about it, there already is a panel vetting potential Lords: the Prime Minister and the Monarch.
...and the argument appears to be that they aren’t very good at it, appointing cronies rather than people who can make the UK better.

Anyway, I think I covered your points by saying the panel would be like a very big jury. No qualifications, no picking.

Last edited by gypsyjackson; 10th February 2021 at 12:09 AM. Reason: Added word from original point.
gypsyjackson is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th February 2021, 05:02 AM   #16
Airfix
Graduate Poster
 
Airfix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 1,030
Scrap the Lords, change constituency boundaries hand the job to MPs, and have more MPs, but elected by PR rather than FPTP ?
Airfix is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th February 2021, 11:13 PM   #17
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 17,162
The Lords is just a ceremonial house. It has no effective power. It can't even reject Commons' legislation.

I say keep it until such time as the UK ditches the Monarchy and decides to become a republic or reform it but only if you want it to have some legislative power.
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th February 2021, 02:51 AM   #18
Airfix
Graduate Poster
 
Airfix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 1,030
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The Lords is just a ceremonial house. It has no effective power. It can't even reject Commons' legislation.

I say keep it until such time as the UK ditches the Monarchy and decides to become a republic or reform it but only if you want it to have some legislative power.
To a point the Lords can reject legislation, they have the most power when it's near to an election and there's no time to invoke the Parliaments act.

But they can also amend legislation.
Airfix is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th February 2021, 01:29 PM   #19
Thor 2
Philosopher
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 6,688
Originally Posted by Airfix View Post
Should we keep the Lords or replace them with an elected senate ?
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Keep the Lords. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And even if it is broke, it's probably less broke than the fix would be.

"If it ain't broke don't fix it."

This is an expression that gets my hackles up. It indicates a way of thinking that keeps us back from improvement. It's an attitude I have fought with for most of my working life. Dim wits that want to maintain things as they are, because they haven't the imagination to see a better way.
__________________
Thinking is a faith hazard.
Thor 2 is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th February 2021, 01:36 PM   #20
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 50,616
Originally Posted by gypsyjackson View Post
...and the argument appears to be that they aren’t very good at it, appointing cronies rather than people who can make the UK better.

Anyway, I think I covered your points by saying the panel would be like a very big jury. No qualifications, no picking.
Ah, gotcha. So like a grand jury, or an electoral college. But then who vets the electors?

What prevents back-door lobbyists from building a cabal of electors who will rubber-stamp their candidates?
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th February 2021, 05:53 PM   #21
gypsyjackson
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Posts: 1,127
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Ah, gotcha. So like a grand jury, or an electoral college. But then who vets the electors?

What prevents back-door lobbyists from building a cabal of electors who will rubber-stamp their candidates?
In the UK, we don’t have jury vetting like I understand happens in (some states of?) the US. Though I confess my knowledge of that is probably from half-remembered Grisham and Turow novels!

You’re randomly selected from the electoral roll and provided you aren’t disqualified for a short list of reasons, then you have to serve on the jury. You can postpone your jury service for up to 12 months if you have a valid reason.

As far as I am aware, the only person who can disqualify a juror for subjective reasons (ie that aren’t related to undischarged criminal convictions or physical ill-health) is a judge, based on a mental health assessment. Judges aren’t political appointees in the UK. In addition, if you were selected for a jury and then dismissed by a judge on mental heath grounds, you might be a bit pissed off and want to challenge it!*

So the way the UK’s jury system is set up makes it less susceptible to manipulation of the type you describe. I’d be hesitant to say clear entirely, so a larger group of people to serve for 10 days, with a new panel put together to consider nominations, say, every 6 months would help to address that.

*Or not, as jury duty is apparently a badly paid hassle and people want to get out of it.
gypsyjackson is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th February 2021, 06:16 PM   #22
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 50,616
Originally Posted by gypsyjackson View Post
In the UK, we don’t have jury vetting like I understand happens in (some states of?) the US. Though I confess my knowledge of that is probably from half-remembered Grisham and Turow novels!

You’re randomly selected from the electoral roll and provided you aren’t disqualified for a short list of reasons, then you have to serve on the jury. You can postpone your jury service for up to 12 months if you have a valid reason.

As far as I am aware, the only person who can disqualify a juror for subjective reasons (ie that aren’t related to undischarged criminal convictions or physical ill-health) is a judge, based on a mental health assessment. Judges aren’t political appointees in the UK. In addition, if you were selected for a jury and then dismissed by a judge on mental heath grounds, you might be a bit pissed off and want to challenge it!*

So the way the UK’s jury system is set up makes it less susceptible to manipulation of the type you describe. I’d be hesitant to say clear entirely, so a larger group of people to serve for 10 days, with a new panel put together to consider nominations, say, every 6 months would help to address that.

*Or not, as jury duty is apparently a badly paid hassle and people want to get out of it.
Gotcha, thanks again. I wasn't thinking in terms of literal jury selection, but no matter.

If you're choosing electors randomly from the electoral rolls, why not just put the candidate directly to a vote of the people?
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th February 2021, 06:22 PM   #23
gypsyjackson
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Posts: 1,127
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Gotcha, thanks again. I wasn't thinking in terms of literal jury selection, but no matter.

If you're choosing electors randomly from the electoral rolls, why not just put the candidate directly to a vote of the people?
Expense. There are more than 800 members of the house of lords, with about 20-30 added each year. To have a national vote on each would cost a lot.

However, if you mean at the time of a general election that an additional ballot could be put forward with 80-100 names on it for a mass vote, yeah, that would probably work for me.
gypsyjackson is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th February 2021, 10:58 PM   #24
Delvo
Дэлво Δελϝο דֶלְבֹֿ देल्वो
 
Delvo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North Tonawanda, NY
Posts: 9,366
Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Time Lords? Edge Lords? Lords Cricket Ground?
House Of Lords; one of the two chambers of the UK's Parliament (the other being House Of Commons, which I always thought should be House Of Commoners, but they didn't ask me...)

The HOL would be loosely the equivalent of the American Senate, at least in concept if not in specific assigned powers, while the HOC would be equivalent to the American House Of Representatives. The idea is to have one house/chamber of sophisticated upper-class snoots who would have originally, a few centuries ago, been ideally expected to see governing as a serious profession & responsibility to apply their superior intellects & education to, and one rabble of elected farmers & non-singing chimney-sweeps to represent the inferior class(es). I suppose some people even in modern times might come up with some argument for how that split is supposed to work better than a single elected body, but it's mainly just tradition now, based on the (more intense) classism of a few centuries ago plus a common interpretation of Roman government with its Senate and Tribune Of Plebs (with some simplification there about the idea of Tribunes).

I'm against the inherent built-in classism of the concept, and the idea of inherited government seats, and the idea of government seats assigned to any religion. And without those, there's no basis for having the legislature be bicameral. But I imagine that wiping out one chamber/house is much more legally difficult in every country that has a system like this, so, if keeping it around in name but somehow tweaking it to be less Lordly is more within reach, I'd be in favor of that too.
Delvo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th February 2021, 11:48 PM   #25
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 17,162
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
"If it ain't broke don't fix it."

This is an expression that gets my hackles up. It indicates a way of thinking that keeps us back from improvement. It's an attitude I have fought with for most of my working life. Dim wits that want to maintain things as they are, because they haven't the imagination to see a better way.
The meaning is to not make changes just for the sake of making changes. There should be some problem that the proposed change solves or some other tangible benefit from the proposed change.

Too often politicians and bureaucrats make changes just because they have the power to. The result is usually an unholy mess where the public service gets re-organized every few years for no other reason than that there is a new minister in charge.

The worst example (in Australia) of change for change's sake was in education. At the end of the 1990s, politicians and bureacrats all over the country became so enamoured with the concept of "Outcomes Based Education" that they decided to force this system on schools against the overwhelming opposition of parents, teachers and employers.
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2021, 06:26 AM   #26
jimbob
Uncritical "thinker"
 
jimbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 22,898
Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
I think that's probably right.

The thought of hereditary peers (and Ian Botham) having a say in running the country is as abhorrent to me as any dictatorial regime, but they're a huge improvement on your Senate.

Could be that the mere fact of heredity and old boys' clubs ensure less partisanship and more pragmatism? Bizarre but real - bit like the head of state being the head of the church, resulting in far less religious interference in laws than in USA.
I would like it chosen by lot, as in Jury Service - but with attractive remuneration and no penalty for refusing, so normal people could afford to take a 5-year career break to sit there.
__________________
OECD healthcare spending
Expenditure on healthcare
http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/health-data.htm
link is 2015 data (2013 Data below):
UK 8.5% of GDP of which 83.3% is public expenditure - 7.1% of GDP is public spending
US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
jimbob is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2021, 07:36 AM   #27
Chanakya

 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 2,645
Originally Posted by Airfix View Post
Should we keep the Lords or replace them with an elected senate ?

I suppose that "we" there means you UKians. And what "you" want to do is for "you" to decide.

My views, though, as a non-UKian:

I think your entire "aristocracy" thing is a weird anachronism. While at one level, and to us non-UKians, it often comes across as quaint, a harmless enough throwback to more olden times and traditions, that kind of thing; but I would imagine that I would be outraged at the continuance of this system had I been a UKian myself.

The fact is that this entire system is the culmination of a system of outright oppression, that is ossified in that repulsive "class" system that you guys have not really been able to outgrow yet. (Which also comes across as a harmless quaint throwback to us outsiders, but which would have had repulsed me deeply had I been a UKian myself.) This entire system of these absurd "titles", these crazy precedences and hierarchies and whatnot, and these truly vast properties that some of these folks have that date back from feudal times and practices.

I'm happy to do the touristy thing and actually visit some of these old places and watch movies and catch the occasional TV/streaming series, since I'm not part of your system; but I'm amazed that you guys are content to let this absurd and repulsive state of affairs continue. (Like I've said already, it would have been deeply repulsive to me, had I been of your country and had this been anything to actually do with me.)

So, in that sense, I think all of your "lords" should be gotten rid of. All of them, the whole shebang. And most certainly and most emphatically their political power and position as well.

And that goes for your monarchy thing as well. Just like your aristocracy, as far as all of their privileges and indeed their very existence, not just the absurd political position and (potential) powers they are vested with. (Same thing: sweet old lady, your Queen, and picturesque old-world charm to everything they are and represent, to an outsider such as me; as things are, nothing to do with me and I can smile at it and enjoy it; but something I'd have found deeply offensive had I actually been part of your system.)
Chanakya is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2021, 08:08 AM   #28
GlennB
Loggerheaded, earth-vexing fustilarian
 
GlennB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Usk, Wales
Posts: 26,532
What Chanakya said.
__________________
"Even a broken clock is right twice a day. 9/11 truth is a clock with no hands." - Beachnut
GlennB is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2021, 09:30 AM   #29
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 17,162
Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I think all of your "lords" should be gotten rid of. All of them, the whole shebang. And most certainly and most emphatically their political power and position as well.

And that goes for your monarchy thing as well.
Past reforms have stripped both institutions of just about all of their powers so they don't play much of a role in government anymore. This was a lot easier to achieve politically than abolishment.

If you really think that British democracy needs fixing then you should start with the House of Commons. Replacing FPTP with MMP voting would be a significant start.
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2021, 10:37 AM   #30
marting
Master Poster
 
marting's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,255
Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
I think that's probably right.

The thought of hereditary peers (and Ian Botham) having a say in running the country is as abhorrent to me as any dictatorial regime, but they're a huge improvement on your Senate.

Could be that the mere fact of heredity and old boys' clubs ensure less partisanship and more pragmatism? Bizarre but real - bit like the head of state being the head of the church, resulting in far less religious interference in laws than in USA.
Lordy, lordy, ain't that the truth. Might be broken but not as much as the USA Senate.
__________________
Flying's easy. Walking on water, now that's cool.
marting is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2021, 12:55 PM   #31
Thor 2
Philosopher
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 6,688
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The meaning is to not make changes just for the sake of making changes. There should be some problem that the proposed change solves or some other tangible benefit from the proposed change.

Too often politicians and bureaucrats make changes just because they have the power to. The result is usually an unholy mess where the public service gets re-organized every few years for no other reason than that there is a new minister in charge.

The worst example (in Australia) of change for change's sake was in education. At the end of the 1990s, politicians and bureacrats all over the country became so enamoured with the concept of "Outcomes Based Education" that they decided to force this system on schools against the overwhelming opposition of parents, teachers and employers.

Well I have had several experiences, where intransigents refuse to try a new idea when there were "tangible benefits", and mouthed that old cliché as a justification.

You sort of undermine your argument yourself in your last paragraph. If the aim was to achieve "Outcomes Based Education", then there was some "tangible benefit" being aimed for. The idea may have been flawed but there was an aim. It wasn't just change for the sake of it.
__________________
Thinking is a faith hazard.
Thor 2 is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2021, 04:41 PM   #32
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 17,162
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
If the aim was to achieve "Outcomes Based Education", then there was some "tangible benefit" being aimed for.
That is the most unbelievable pile of **** that I have ever seen.
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2021, 07:54 PM   #33
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 17,162
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Well I have had several experiences, where intransigents refuse to try a new idea when there were "tangible benefits", and mouthed that old cliché as a justification.
I think you will find that it is more about ego than resistance to change itself. "I didn't think of it first so your idea is lousy".
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2021, 08:29 PM   #34
Worm
Illuminator
 
Worm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Dundee
Posts: 3,256
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
That is the most unbelievable pile of **** that I have ever seen.
It really isn't; Thor makes a fair point. There was an aim in mind - it may have been a poorly-described, ill-advised, or downright stupid aim, but it was an aim. It wasn't change for the sake of change, it was an attempt to move in a certain direction. Rightly or wrongly, it wasn't aimless.

(I have no strong views on Outcome-based education, in this case it was merely being used an an example)
__________________
"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent" Isaac Asimov

Not all cults are bad - I've joined a cult of niceness
Worm is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2021, 09:02 PM   #35
Hlafordlaes
Disorder of Kilopi
 
Hlafordlaes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: State of Flux
Posts: 14,957
Anglo countries seeking reform will get nowhere without campaign finance reform, including a blanket prohibition from meeting with anyone wishing to discuss government business once elected unless conducted in a recorded and on-the-record setting for doing so, the penalty being dismissal and disbarment from future office. Restoring the prohibitions against concentrated ownership of media assets -- broadcast, print or online -- is the other key reform. All news media must be subject to penalties for failing to rectify factual errors and making retractions regarding the same.

The US Senate is foremost corrupted by the interests that own most Senate campaigns, and US debate is drowning in nonsense and woo. Instead of doubling down on anti-democratic institutions, time to make the ones that exist actually function democratically.
__________________
Driftwood on an empty shore of the sea of meaninglessness. Irrelevant, weightless, inconsequential moment of existential hubris on the fast track to oblivion.
His real name is Count Douchenozzle von Stenchfahrter und Lichtendicks. - shemp
Hlafordlaes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2021, 09:38 PM   #36
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 17,162
Originally Posted by Worm View Post
It really isn't; Thor makes a fair point. There was an aim in mind - it may have been a poorly-described, ill-advised, or downright stupid aim, but it was an aim. It wasn't change for the sake of change, it was an attempt to move in a certain direction. Rightly or wrongly, it wasn't aimless.

(I have no strong views on Outcome-based education, in this case it was merely being used an an example)
Thor 2 used the expression "tangible BENEFIT" even though he had no idea whatsoever what the words "outcomes based education" mean.
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th February 2021, 05:18 AM   #37
Worm
Illuminator
 
Worm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Dundee
Posts: 3,256
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Thor 2 used the expression "tangible BENEFIT" even though he had no idea whatsoever what the words "outcomes based education" mean.
You can obviously read more into Thor's post than I can. I have no idea how much knowledge of "outcomes based education" is involved.
__________________
"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent" Isaac Asimov

Not all cults are bad - I've joined a cult of niceness
Worm is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th February 2021, 03:37 PM   #38
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 17,162
Originally Posted by Worm View Post
You can obviously read more into Thor's post than I can. I have no idea how much knowledge of "outcomes based education" is involved.
Nobody who knows anything about OBE would speak in favour of it. That's how I know that Thor 2 is totally ignorant about it. Although the OBE controversy is more than a decade old, it cost the government the election at the time.

There is a similar principle about reforming the House of Lords. Before you go off half cocked, you need to answer two questions: What problem are you trying to solve? How will this solution make things better?

Some reformers and politicians trying to make a name for themselves have no interest in answering these questions. They just want to inflict change because they can and as a result, we often get a "cure" that is worse than the disease.
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th February 2021, 04:41 PM   #39
catsmate
No longer the 1
 
catsmate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 24,303
Originally Posted by gypsyjackson View Post
In the UK, we don’t have jury vetting like I understand happens in (some states of?) the US. Though I confess my knowledge of that is probably from half-remembered Grisham and Turow novels!

You’re randomly selected from the electoral roll and provided you aren’t disqualified for a short list of reasons, then you have to serve on the jury. You can postpone your jury service for up to 12 months if you have a valid reason.

As far as I am aware, the only person who can disqualify a juror for subjective reasons (ie that aren’t related to undischarged criminal convictions or physical ill-health) is a judge, based on a mental health assessment. Judges aren’t political appointees in the UK. In addition, if you were selected for a jury and then dismissed by a judge on mental heath grounds, you might be a bit pissed off and want to challenge it!*

So the way the UK’s jury system is set up makes it less susceptible to manipulation of the type you describe. I’d be hesitant to say clear entirely, so a larger group of people to serve for 10 days, with a new panel put together to consider nominations, say, every 6 months would help to address that.

*Or not, as jury duty is apparently a badly paid hassle and people want to get out of it.
Barristers have a number of peremptory challenges that can be used to reject jurors without reason (i.e. the believe the person will, by appearance or gender, be biased against them) and may also challenge for cause if they have actual reason to oppose the presence of a juror. The jurors are also expected to inform the presiding judge if they are connected to the case, the parties, the counsel, have specialised legal knowledge et cetera, and be excused.
__________________
As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
catsmate is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th February 2021, 06:11 PM   #40
gypsyjackson
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Posts: 1,127
Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
Barristers have a number of peremptory challenges that can be used to reject jurors without reason (i.e. the believe the person will, by appearance or gender, be biased against them) and may also challenge for cause if they have actual reason to oppose the presence of a juror. The jurors are also expected to inform the presiding judge if they are connected to the case, the parties, the counsel, have specialised legal knowledge et cetera, and be excused.
Apparently not any more in England at least:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juries...land_and_Wales

Quote:
Peremptory challenges
Peremptory challenges, or challenges without cause, allowing the defence to prevent a certain number of jurors from serving without giving any reason, were formerly allowed in English courts and are still allowed in some other jurisdictions. At one time, the defence was allowed 25 such challenges, but this was reduced to 12 in 1925, to 7 in 1948 and 3 in 1977 before total abolition in 1988.
gypsyjackson is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Non-USA & General Politics

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:07 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.