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Friday, November 19, 2010

The Unelected House of Cronies

Pro-war, pro-privatisation New Labour groupie Oona King was kicked out by the electors of Bethnal Green in 2005 and failed in her attempt to become nominated as Labour candidate for the London Mayor election. Her reward: to be given a peerage and a place back in the legislature.

Susan Kramer was kicked out by the electors of Richmond Park in 2010 (she also failed to be elected Mayor of London in 2000). Her reward: to be given a peerage and a place back in the legislature.

The Guardian quotes Peter Facey, director of the pressure group Unlock Democracy, who says:

"If politicians and prime ministers want to reward their friends, instead of sending them to the House of Lords, what's wrong with a gold watch?
"People who make and amend our laws should be elected by the public, not selected for good deeds done in the past by grateful politicians.”

He’s absolutely right.

Harold Wilson was pilloried for his Resignation honours list. But this list of cronies, political donors and failed politicians is even worse.

It’s time to axe the honours system once and for all.

David Lindsay asks: And will the consolation prizes for Oona King never end? She was notable for nothing except having been beaten by George Galloway, until she also became notable for having been beaten by Ken Livingstone.

Yes, David but she supported the greatest war crime of the century, so she must be ‘rewarded’.


Robin Carmody said...

Agreed wholeheartedly with this post.

The failure to create a proper second chamber once most of the hereditaries had gone was one of New Labour's many failures re. democracy and constitutional reform, and shows that they were much more interested in rewarding their friends than in those elusive things.

Chris Hall said...

What are the odds on Oona boarding the EU gravy train sometime in the future?