It seems highly likely that the Scottish Labour Party will back Kezia Dugdale to become its leader in the two way contest between her and Ken Macintosh.
Apparently the ‘Labour machine’ is behind her.
One of the issues floating round the political stage at the moment is reform of the House of Lords.
Tony Blair in bygone days of his Labour Premiership seemed rather ‘gung ho’ about reform of the House of Lords but the idea rather fizzled out.
So, what is needed in the House of Lords?
Should the House of Lords remain?
To second question, yes, the House of Lords should remain; the reform to ‘clean it up’ should be to remove people who abuse the privilege of being a member. Recently two stories surfaced, the Lord Sewel story about sex, drugs and prostitutes and Michelle Mone getting a peerage.
It is right that Lord Sewel should be kicked for his episode and fall from grace, but that incident shouldn’t be used as stick to attempt to ‘beat’ the other peerages who take their role seriously.
The UK Parliament needs a second chamber as a brake on the Executive pushing through bad law.
As to Michelle Mone getting a peerage off David Cameron, that is just a joke, and an unfunny joke at that, she will bring nothing to the second chamber.
Kezia Dugdale says that she favours the abolition of the House of Lords.
This is wrong and rather bad judgment on her part, she says that she also wants a democratically-elected replacement to be based in Glasgow.
That will never happen, the seat of government for the United Kingdom is in London, the second chamber must be based there so peers can have the opportunity to discuss with MPs and hear their views on legislation.
Is the second chamber as Kezia Dugdale says a a "democratic outrage"?
If she believes that, one would also think that she favours the Queen should be fully removed from Parliament proceedings altogether as well. What right does an unelected Queen have to open Parliament and sign Acts in her name?
If the United Kingdom is about anything is about history and tradition, something Kezia Dugdale needs to grasp and face up to rather quickly.
The disgrace of Lord Sewel was a positive benefit for the reform agenda either.
As to the notion of a replacement chamber based in Glasgow, she said:
"I’ll campaign for it to be based in Glasgow – where better than the biggest city of a nation that has just reaffirmed its commitment to keeping our country together? A yes city. A city bristling with political energy, art, culture, deep-rooted poverty and grand history. A city hungry for change. Shifting location would demonstrate that power is literally on the move – a move from a clubhouse for the elite to a democratic, representative, balanced revising chamber."
If elected I think that Ms. Dugdale time as leader will be painful, ineffective and short, she appears to be signed up to the SNP agenda which is bizarre nonsense based on grudge, grievance and malcontent.
Johann Lamont failed to provide Scottish Labour with effective leadership and the result of Westminster 2015 speaks for itself.
If Kezia Dugdale thinks any part of this scenario this is a vote winner, she is badly out of touch with the mood of the public. People put face in public institutions because they represent stability, And one thing which people should know is that because someone wins an election doesn’t mean they are the best person for the job.
Does Dugdale think that Mhairi Black is better than Douglas Alexander as an MP?
One thing which Dugdale did point out is the the SNP dominates both the chamber and the committees at Holyrood".
"Post-legislative scrutiny is non-existent. Bad laws can be passed by whips doing good jobs. Is that why the SNP has been less concerned with developing an alternative to an unelected Lords? Because it has experienced the power of power unchecked? It is not enough just to be angry, to rage against the political machine. That alone will not drive change. Those who are serious about shaking up our country and who it works for need more than anger – they need an alternative."
So, why replicate a version of the failure of Holyrood and attempt to transplant at Westminster. The great thing about the House of Lords is that the peers on both sides and independents do speak out against the Government. If the House was ‘democractically elected’, it would be controlled by the political parties various machines and be less effect, much like Holyrood’s committees which are now a complete waste of time.
Johann Lamont’s leadership was a disaster which didn’t last long, if Kezia Dugdale doesn’t get serious help, her leadership will be known as having the worst Labour defeat in Holyrood history in 2016.
With that tag stuck to her CV like Jim Murphy, her position as leader will be completely untenable. If she then limps into the 2017 council elections and there is a landslide for the Nationalists, she would have no option about to resign as leader.
Kezia Dugdale should drop her ideas for reform for the House of Lords.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University