Letter: After the Lords

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Sir: Lord Strathclyde has asked whether hereditary peers "are not entitled to know where we are heading" before leaving the stage.

The answer is unequivocally "No", if only because of the offensive manner in which they appear to have blackmailed our elected government into allowing some of their number a continuing voice in Parliament.

They should go and go now. No tumbrils await them in Parliament Square and for those with ambition and talent other avenues into politics are open.

The future of the second chamber depends on a clear definition of its functions; for example, whether these should continue to include those of the ultimate court of appeal for the UK and a number of overseas countries. From this, with three minutes' thought, its constitution will follow - though, as Houseman remarked, thought is arduous and three minutes is a long time.


Ashburnham, East Sussex