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House of Lords Reform — Motion to Take Note (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:10 pm on 15th September 2015.

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Photo of Lord Dobbs Lord Dobbs Conservative 8:10 pm, 15th September 2015

What is fundamental is that the size of this House should be restrained. It may not be a silver bullet, to use the phrase of my noble friend the Leader, but through restraint so much more would follow. We cannot carry on growing like a pig’s bladder. A House without limits is a House of confused qualities, with too many dusty corners for those who should not be here at all. So, numbers reduced by internal selection following the precedent set by hereditaries and others—as set out so ably by my noble friend Lord Cormack—a House no larger than the Commons would have the huge benefit of focusing public attention both on the job we do and who is best to do it.

None of this is easy. Sometimes in politics you have to do rather a lot to achieve just a little, and that is where we find ourselves today. Perhaps I am wrong about all this—I am often accused of turning everything into a drama—but this House is a House of service or it is nothing. If we cannot move forward with some urgency, we may find ourselves being dragged behind a crowd of flat-earthers, who do not understand public duty and who want to sweep this House away lock, stock and biscuit barrel. In that we will have lost a thing not only of great—