George Osborne has earned the dubious honour of being featured on HPANWO Voice two days in a row. This time it's due to his latest diabolical scheme to cut working tax credits. These are a government benefit currently claimed by over three million people in employment and are delivered in accordance with a person's income and how many children they have. I myself claimed working tax credits for seven years. Our noble chancellor has targeted them for cuts as part of his Austerity™ package so that the state can pay back the non-existent money it owes the banking system. The average tax credit family with one or more adult in employment will be £1,300 worse a year. These include some of the poorest workers in the country. As Jeremy Corbyn has said: "You'd honestly think that it was excessive benefit claimants and disability living allowance that caused the crash of 2008!" The tax credit cuts have always been an understandably unpopular and controversial proposal, but now they've caused an unprecedented ruckus, not because of mass protests in
but because they've been rejected by the House of Lords.
Many countries' government consists of a bicameral legislature. This is where there is more than one parliamentary assembly. Usually these countries are federations like
and the USA;
but sometimes unitary states have them too, like Ireland
and the United Kingdom.
The "upper house" in the UK
is the House of Lords and its role is to debate, amend and, in some cases,
block bills passed by the House of Commons. Unlike the upper houses of most
other bicameral states, the House of Lords can introduce its own legislation.
However its powers are limited and the Commons can submit bills for royal
assent without the Lords' approval and can also overrule the Lords on some
issues, particularly monetary policy. This is what might happen now because the
House of Lords has voted to delay the passing of Osborne's tax credit cuts
bill. This is a major victory for justice and common sense in the face of
runaway Austerity™ which has been ruining the lives of the most vulnerable
people in society for years, see background links below for details. He says he's
going to press on with his plans regardless, but with the scandal he's caused
now I can't see that as realistic. Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34645715.
What I find most contemptuous about Osborne's reaction is that he has mixed his
disapproval at the probable loss of his bill with a declaration of his support
for the sentiments of the House of Lords reform campaign. To my knowledge he
has never spoken out about this issue before. There is a movement in this
country that for more than a century has pushed to transform the House of Lords.
Today the Lords consist mostly of bishops appointed by the Church of England
and life peers who are primarily people appointed to the House of Lords by the
monarch, usually after a number of decades of being a member of the House of
Commons. The rest are the few hereditary peers. Some members are made peers for
other reasons. One of them is Doreen Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBE who
accepted her peerage after her teenage son Stephen was murdered and the police
bungled the investigation amidst much publicity (I don't wish to judge her, but
I do wonder why she agreed to be a peer under those circumstances). The
reformers want to make the House more democratic by having elected peers in the
same way we have elected Commons MP's. This is the case in most other bicameral
legislatures, for example Americans vote for their United
States senators. I'm not sure what I think of
that; in fact I've completely lost faith in democracy and did so a long time
ago. It seems to consist of gutless, heartless, brainless lying cheats like George
Osborne being continuously relayed into power by a raging mob of Jeremy Kyle victims... Sorry, there's no
way to say that without sounding arrogant, but I think it's a fact. Perhaps a
benevolent aristocracy of some kind with a bit of good old-fashioned noblesse oblige would be an improved
form of government compared to what we have now; but I'll have to explore than
in more detail in a dedicated post. However, whatever your opinion on Lords
reform, you must surely see through George Osborne's crocodile tears. He
doesn't give a damn about an unelected upper house; he's just saying it now
because said house hasn't played ball with him on his pet project. It's a total
sham every bit as much as his Trident contract, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/new-trident-contracts.html.
See here for background: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/cameron-pushes-workfare.html.