Letters: Lords can do as they please

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The Independent Online
NICK COHEN fails to mention some of the advantages of the House of Lords ("Because his ancestor put down a riot in 1780 ...", 20 August). By not having to think constantly about their re- election, members of a non-elected upper chamber can act according to their consciences and independently of threats of wealthy pressure groups to deselect them if they step out of line. From the prohibition lobby in the 1920s to current lobbies representing gun, petroleum, national groups etc, we have seen how pressure groups in the United States can force a government to act against the interests of the community.

A further advantage is that the distinguished scientists and engineers who are appointed to the House of Lords can provide a useful technological insight on committees. Such people are very rare in the Commons.

Charles Hughes

Felixstowe, Suffolk