[thechat] House of Lords (was: US Elections)

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Sun Nov 17 16:35:00 CST 2002

On Fri, 8 Nov 2002, Freda Lockert wrote:

> >>  So it seems in a way they're similar to the US's Supreme Court? Can
> >>  they really prevent legislation from going through?
> Only for a limited period, the government can force legislation
> through if it decides to. A bill that's been rejected in the Lords in
> one session can be reintroduced in the next, and the Lords can't
> reject it again. The Lords can't prevent the annual Budget bill from
> going through at all, they can only try to persuade the lower house
> to amend it. If the government chooses to represent the bill again,
> they probably have to lose something else from the agenda for the
> following session, because of time constraints, their choice.

However, given a tight legislative programme (and *all* legislative
programmes are tight), this is enough of a threat to make it politically
extremely difficult not to work to get the Lords on-side. Plus of course,
the most dangerous thing you can do to legislation isn't to block it in
principle, but to amend it so that it's meaningless. See the Freedom of
Information Act for example. Or the Regulation of Investigatory Powers


"Names, once they are in common use, quickly
 become mere sounds, their etymology being
 buried, like so many of the earth's marvels,
 beneath the dust of habit." - Salman Rushdie

More information about the thechat mailing list