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Summer in winter, winter in springtime

The new mix of tunes on my phone is a bit too summery, I think. Pop Singer's Fear of the Pollen Count, particularly, is just kind of weird to listen to when you're wandering around in the pissing rain and gale force winds we're getting. I should have done a rock mix.

From the BBC, MPs vote for House of Lords to be elected rather than appointed. This isn't law yet, just a sort of testing the ground vote, but yay nonetheless.

From various people, Shadowrun player steals lingerie while being an elf called Beho. "Mr Boyd, who said he visits a psychiatrist regularly, conceded that he "seemed to have blurred that line between reality and fantasy"." Heh. Well, slightly, yes. I know the local vampire LARP here have been on in-character expeditions to museums and things, but I don't think they actually nicked or destroyed anything.

From miss_s_b, Wearing a Red Nose near Westminster could get you arrested, thanks to those new anti-demonstration laws. I don't think they're saying anyone will get arrested, more trying to point out the idiocy of the laws, but it amused me.

From donbert, Vastly overpriced Serenity convention at the hotel in Central Station next weekend. I'm not going (see: vastly overpriced) but I'm quite tempted to go and hang around in the station, and possibly accost people as they pop out to M&S Food for lunch.

I feel Not Quite Right, but can't figure out if it's (a) the other week's illness back again, (b) new pills, (c) PMT, (d) too much sleep, or (e) all in my head. Never mind.

Comments

( 9 comments — Comment )
a_pawson
Mar. 7th, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC)
Is an elected second cahamber really a good thing. I have my doubts.

Firstly, given the existence of the Parliament Act, you do have to wonder what point there is in having a second chamber, as the government of the day can eventually force through legislation, no matter how many times the upper house rejects it.

That aside, whilst the idea of a democratically elected second chamber is preferable, at least on an idealistic level, in reality it would become like the Commons, with whips controlling the MP's based on party lines as the Commons is currently. In other words, it would be filled with "yes" people voting for whatever their party tells them to 99% of the time.

A lot of the current members of the Lords may be blundering old baffoons, but the one good thing about the Lords is that the members can sometimes debate things sensibly and throw out nonsensical legislation. Mostly I think this is because they are not concerned with re-election, and so are more likely to speak their minds, instead of blindly following the whips. Being less afraid of being deselected allows members to offer opinions and vote the way they think is best.

If it were up to me, I would certainly start by repealing the Parliament Act. I doubt there is any enforcable way of banning party whips within the Lords, but perhaps members could be elected for a lengthy period of time, 10-20 years say, but with no prospect of re-election.
luckykaa
Mar. 7th, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC)
I agree totally. The Lord may be anachronistic and undemocratic, but it does actually work, and has been pretty effective at eliminating unwanted legislation.

Theres more details here

Looks like we won't see the additional changes to the law that would make the second house more independent and as powerful as they should be.

The single (15 year) term should prevent the whipping thing from being a problem. although IO think it should be possible to ban whips simply by making it illegal to try to influence a vote by means of whips.

Although when put like that, I'm surprised it's legal in the first place.
pickwick
Mar. 7th, 2007 11:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, interesting, thanks!

"There would be no reduction of the 26 Lords places given to Anglican bishops and archbishops." *sigh*

And I didn't know there were currently 746 of them! That seems...more than strictly necessary.
pickwick
Mar. 7th, 2007 11:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I am a bit in two minds about it. On the one hand, democracy is good, but yeah, People Are Stupid and we do need somewhere that can just go "don't be so bloody stupid" occasionally. I hate, hate, hate the whips system - it seems to me to defeat the whole point of voting for a local MP for their own principles.
nallac
Mar. 7th, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC)
I have to say, I like the idea of a non-elected upper house, in particular, a bunch of people who have absolutely no need to worry about what people , and can concentrate on doing what the upper house should be doing, i.e., what the government of the day doesn't want them to do.
pickwick
Mar. 7th, 2007 11:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm all swithery about it now. If we could elect people but not through a party system, that might be OK, and apparently they're going to serve one 15-year term and not be able to stand for re-election, so they won't have to worry about constituents.
bunnyk
Mar. 7th, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC)
I'm not feeling quite right, either :(
pickwick
Mar. 7th, 2007 11:07 pm (UTC)
:( Hope you feel better soon!
luckykaa
Mar. 8th, 2007 09:54 am (UTC)
And on Starfury cons
There is a tradition amongst people I know to gatecrash these events. You can't get into the main hall (and nor should you) but usually the hotel bar is a general hotel area, so open to the public. Helps to know a few people, of course.

Not that I'd recommend such unethical behaviour...
( 9 comments — Comment )

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