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Subject: The direction our system of government is moving in
Yimmy    3/7/2007 11:16:41 PM
Good or bad? h**p:// Am I the only one who thinks it's more than a bit off for a bunch of elected commoners to be allowed to vote what becomes of the House of Lords? Don't get me wrong, I am no Lord, but I feel our system as the status quo stands, is quite a good one. Why are we trying to fix that which is not broken? With the much reduced powers of the Queen, and now with the House of Lords becoming a simple extension of the House of Commons, I think our system is losing its balance.
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EssexBoy    Yimmy   3/8/2007 2:14:55 PM
I am delighted that the Commons has voted to get rid of the Lords. The very fact that they are elected means that they have far more legitimacy than the Lords.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by the balance of our system when you seem to refer to HMQ and the Lords v The Commons. In my opinion there shouldn't be a balance here: HMQ should be a non-political figurehead and we should have government of the people, by the people for the people.
Appointments, patronage and the accident of birth should not feature in our system of government.
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interestedamateur       3/8/2007 3:19:35 PM
I agree with Essexboy. IMO a House of Lords that is basically unelected is an anachronism. We want people in there who are accountable to the general public! An unelected House also allows for corruption - witness the ongoing "peerages for loans" scandal.
I think the Lords should have the ability to modify or delay legislation proposed in the House of Commons. It should be 80% elected with one-third of the Lords being replaced at every general election. The other 20% should be requested to join the Lords by a mixed commitee (i.e. from different parties) of existing Lords in order to provide expertise or to make use of their experience.
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Yimmy       3/8/2007 4:18:18 PM
 An unelected House also allows for corruption - witness the ongoing "peerages for loans" scandal.


Excuse me, but wasn't that scandal led by the commoners?

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Yimmy       3/8/2007 4:20:10 PM
Elected House of Commons = Cunning, scheming, cheating individuals who would sell their mother into slavery if it would get them elected.
Lords = Rah-Rah's who have no incentive other than speak what they know (and what they think they know).
I like the balance as it was.
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VelocityVector    Government At Work   3/9/2007 10:45:08 AM

Prison threat for pensioner who put sand back on beach
Last updated at 08:58am on 9th March 2007

Sand-blasted: Mr Bulmer's home and the road that separates him from the sea
Sand storm: Mr Bulmer says council rule is 'crazy'

A pensioner has been threatened with prison or a £50,000 fine if he takes windblown sand back to the beach where it came from.

Arthur Bulmer’s seafront garden became carpeted after a week of storms swept tons of sand from the beach across the road.

It seemed like common sense to shovel it into his wheelbarrow and take it back, load by load, to its rightful place.

But the local council did not share Mr Bulmer's idea of logic.

Doing that, they told him, would class as fly-tipping, for which the maximum penalty is a £50,000 fine or six months in jail.

Oh, and he would also have his wheelbarrow confiscated.

"I've always had problems with sand blowing into my garden but the gales this year have made it much worse," Mr Bulmer, 79, a retired bank manager, said.

"I asked the council if I could shovel it up and take it across the road and put it back on the beach. They said I could not do that because it constitutes fly-tipping.

"It is crazy. Windblown sand is of high quality - very fine and very clean and I'm sure my sand is cleaner than the sand on the beach which gets covered in dog muck."

The weather has been so bad over the past few months in St Annes, near Blackpool, that sand has been displaced right across the seafront.

It has covered roads and footpaths as well as private gardens. One car park has inherited a 20ft-high dune.

Council workmen have been slowly hauling it away, but will only do so from public areas, leaving householders to do their own clearing up.

Which was no easy task in the case of Mr Bulmer. Some seven tons of sand had blown into the garden of his £450,000 detached bungalow.

A spokesman for Fylde Borough Council made it clear that householders were responsible for their own property.

"The sand is actually part of the Queen’s Crown estate, which owns most of the foreshore around our coasts," he said.

"This year has seen an exceptional problem with wind-blown sand. We have been cleaning up since Christmas. But the council has no responsibility to clear sand or any other debris from private land.The owner must do this."

Dumping "anything" on to the beach from a private garden constituted flytipping, he said, and was a contravention of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act. "It is a case of where do you draw the line."

The maximum penalty for fly-tipping is a £50,000 fine and six months imprisonment. Offenders can also have their vehicle - in this case a wheelbarrow - confiscated.

Mr Bulmer, a widower with four grandchildren, has now paid £500 for a private firm to take away the sand. But he is aware that a few nights of heavy wind would bring it all back. "It took two men seven hours to clear the sand from my front garden," he said.

"The sand is not my property. It has just invaded my garden. We want the local authority to show some common sense and help us do something about this problem.

"I can’t understand their logic. They say I can't return the sand from where it came from because it is contaminated once it has left the beach.

"But when their own workmen scoop it off the roads they put it back, contaminated or not. They told me to take it to the tip, but there was too much of it."

Don Moore, a campaigner for beach protection, said the council needed to do more to stop the sand blowing away, instead of threatening residents for putting it bac

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flamingknives       3/9/2007 12:02:14 PM
Velocity Vector:

Would it be too much to ask to remain vaguely on topic?
What does a ScaryMail piece on local government have to do with the fundamental workings of the UK's parlimentary democracy?
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VelocityVector    flamingknaves   3/9/2007 1:42:43 PM

Would it be too much to ask to remain vaguely on topic?
What does a ScaryMail piece on local government have to do with the fundamental workings of the UK's parlimentary democracy?

I put it here because I cannot imagine an average citizen would not want Lords restructured and repurposed. 

Mr. Bulmer needs sand to be removed from his garden.  No Lord can initiate a piece of legislation to grant Mr. Bulmer or his class relief, and if a hereditary Lord did decide to intervene the Lord’s exercise of power realistically would be limited to saying “no.”  Thus at present the Mr. Bulmers of Britain shoulder the burden of a substantial disincentive to act affirmatively in their interests.

Why would a common person choose the status quo other than to maintain it as such? Lords is an obstructionist institution.  Per the lofty criteria established at the beginning of this thread:  “good.”  I trust this quiets the issue of my previous post here.


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jbapk1       3/9/2007 3:53:46 PM
Aren't both the Lords and the monarchy essentially rubber stamps for the House of Commons anyways?
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Yimmy       3/9/2007 3:57:30 PM

 Lords is an obstructionist institution. 

Indeed it is.  And what better reason to like it?  Our country works.  It has been working for a long time now.  Our laws work.  The Lords are a good tool for keeping self-serving politicians in check. 
"Whats that Skippy?... A terrorist has blown up a tube train?!  Damn, we had best create new anti-terror laws a.s.a.p!!"
That is how the mind of your avergae politician works.  They don't care how they botch the country, they just want to look strong, take action, and get re-elected.  It is the job of the Lords (and one they have recently been failing at) to remind the politicians that we already have perfectly workable laws against murder and treason.
Look at how many morons there are in our society.  You trust these people with full power to "Democratically" run the nation?  We need a balancing power.
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flamingknives       3/9/2007 4:25:43 PM
What, pray tell, is an 'average' citizen?

The Lords cannot initiate legislation, true, so who is it that implements these lunatic laws? The very sort of people it is proposed to replace them?
The Lords act as a curb to the populist government. If the Lords were to be likewise elected via a populist campaign, the media, spin and the charismatic liars would gain ever more power.

Had you combined the article with your explanation then perhaps things might have been clearer? 
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