Letter: Our new overlords

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I was in the public gallery of the House of Lords at 1pm on 5 November when the votes were announced to wipe out many of the hereditary peers. By any standards it was a momentous occasion.

The House of Lords certainly needed reform. It was a splendid anachronism. But it did have much civility, wisdom and genuine debate - what a contrast to the other House! The Government's "open cheque" process of reform is a shameful way of abandoning the history of the Lords to fulfil a party- political whim.

So, when the vote was read and many of the Lords walked out for the last time, where was our government, the elected representatives for the United Kingdom, to thank the departing peers for their service? They were nowhere to be seen.

In the vacuum remaining, is there, in the "classless society", a hint of a new ruling class, one that resides at Millbank? We commoners had better watch out. Most of the Lords can't speak for us now.


Burnham, Buckinghamshire