Thursday, 11 March 2010

Urge the Bishops to support Lords reform

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A few weeks ago, I blogged about the Power 2010 campaign, and the attempt to find the top five political reforms favoured by the electorate. At the time a poll was open to determine the five, and I urged you to get behind the proposal for a fully elected House of Lords – in my personal view a worthy political cause in its own right, and one particularly relevant to humanism in that it would lead to the removal of the 26 unelected Church of England bishops from the second chamber.

In the end the proposal made the Power 2010 top five (it came in third, in fact), and so the campaign is now calling on politicians to pledge their support for Lords reform, along with the four other top issues – electoral reform, scrapping ID cards, a written constitution and a proposal to only allow English MPs to vote on exclusively English issues.

The British Humanist Association is a partner of Power 2010 and, along with the liberal Christian think tank Ekklesia, they're inviting people to support the Lords pledge by writing to the 26 Bishops, as members of the Lords, to urge them to get behind the democratic reform of the second chamber, and "call on them to engage positively with democratic renewal rather than burying their heads in the sand". You can do this easily via the Power 2010 website.

I wonder if the Bishops will go for it? You never know – after all, this is one set of turkeys that's actually quite keen on Christmas...


silvertiger said...

I suspect that in their heart of hearts, some bishops know that their position in the Lords is anomalous and should be terminated. However, I think they will stifle these feelings and continue to maintain that they should remain in the Lords.

I don't think that any one approach will bring about a change but that as many expressions of opposition to the bishops as possible should be mobilized. Only when the pressure becomes great will the government reluctantly take action.

I don't know how effective the Power 2010 initiative will turn out to be. That, of course, depends on all of us joining up and taking part.