I’ve had a while to adjust to the heavily trailed Lords Reform announcement. Now, I’m not particularly bothered. The alternatives, a tepid (further) compromise or the bill suffering death by a thousand cuts, would have ruined the whole project for another hundred years.
As to the future of the coalition, I have always thought that the Fixed Term Parliament Act was well worth being in coalition for on its own. It is such a fundamental change which does away with endless childish machinations and, let’s face it, allows relatively stable coalitions like this one.
Lords Reform now has the clear and overwhelming backing of the Commons. Yes, the 91 Tory MPs (with 33 others, pitched against 462 MPs in favour) had some principles in amongst retirement aspirations for some and the desire to kill the boundary changes, to save their seats, for others. But they were the same “principles” that guided those who opposed the abolition of slavery, the legalisation of homosexuality, the abolition of rotten boroughs and female emancipation.
People who get elected cannot be described as “failed politicians”. Being elected is actually a success, funnily enough, not a failure. And a set 15 year term is a huge improvement on the 20-50 year term members unelected by anyone. If you really want to see lots of failed, and extremely old, politicians, look in the current House of Lords.
As Walter Bagehot said:
The cure for admiring the House of Lords is to go and look at it.