Leading article: Peer pressure

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The Independent Online

It's easy to mock the Lords and the presence of bishops and worthies in its midst. But it is in the Upper Chamber rather than the Commons that the most representative, and most relevant, debates are now taking place, as yesterday's seven-hour discussion on the "assisted dying for the terminally ill Bill" graphically displayed. On an issue of real concern to people, and real division, the Lords debated the questions in a way that a managed and professionalised Commons has ceased even to attempt.

That says something about the Commons and the low standard of its discussions on anything that does not reflect an immediate party political issue. But it also says something about the role of the House of Lords and its continued relevance on issues from civil liberties to scientific research. That the Lords needs reforming goes without saying, but that we need to proceed with caution to retain its independence and expertise also needs emphasising.