Letter: Lords and Commons

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The Independent Online
Your leader of 12th February seemed to be saying: "The House of Lords does not work in theory, but it is disturbingly effective in practice. The House of Commons works in theory, but does not work in practice. We therefore recommend that the House of Lords should be reformed urgently."

This reasoning seems to be perverse. Would it not be better to see the reform of the House of Lords in the context of the whole of Parliament, especially of the relationship between the two Houses?

Meanwhile, it is clear that government intends to remove hereditary peers' right to sit. I hope you will encourage Mr Blair only to do so if he substitutes for them an alternative that is at least as independent.

As for the present House, I hope it will continue to exercise its independent judgement in monitoring the great power of this government without being intimidated by threats of reform or abolition. You, however grudgingly, I am glad to find, admit we are not doing a bad job.

Viscount CRANBORNE

Leader of the Opposition

House of Lords

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