Life in the Lords

The rewriting of Beveridge

Dianne Hayter  |  18 November 2011

While much public and political attention is being directed to the health and social care bill and the legal aid bills currently going through the Lords, an equally determined scrutiny of another far-reaching bill – on welfare reform – is taking place in an upstairs corridor of the Lords. This ‘rewriting of Beveridge’, which will …

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Book review: What next for Labour?

Dianne Hayter  |  4 October 2011

A more disparate group of authors than found in Blue or Purple books, this collection seeks to throw out an eclectic range of ‘lessons learnt’ plus thoughts for the future from activists and parliamentarians. The book’s weaknesses are: firstly, that Europe, the economy and internationalism get hardly a mention despite the ex-Tory contributor’s urgings;  secondly, …

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Lib Dems in the Lords

Dianne Hayter  |  21 September 2011

Say one thing, vote another. That seems to be the instructions to the government’s junior party in the Lords. The localism bill currently before us removes the existing right of social tenants to take a complaint (once dealt with by the provider) direct to the Housing Ombudsman – a right which every other consumer has …

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A Critical Woman

Dianne Hayter  |  8 September 2011

Baroness Wootton of Abinger was the first of the life peers when this breed was created in 1958, heading what became a flow of women into the Lords, though setting a standard to which few of us could aspire. In A Critical Woman by Ann Oakley, we learn that Wootton defined a socialist (like herself) as …

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House of Lords

New girl in the Lords VII

Dianne Hayter  |  25 July 2011

My first year drew to a close amid scenes of utter chaos in the government’s legislative programme. At first glance, it’s not clear why it should be in this state, given the session is double the normal length. However, its business managers are tearing their hair out and managed to end the session, as retiring …

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A believer still

Glenys Thornton  |  7 June 2011

Easter 1998.  I was on holiday on Islay off the west coast of Scotland with my husband and children. I got a phone call from Downing St. I was asked if I would accept a Peerage if one was offered. Amazed, flattered and bemused, in and amongst the discussion that followed I said I didn’t really believe in the House of Lords.

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New girl in the Lords VI

Dianne Hayter  |  12 April 2011

It gets ever more interesting in the Lords – due in large part to discontents on the Lib Dem and Tory benches. The latter are deeply discomforted by the completely unnecessary, and muddled, ‘fixed term parliament’ bill, which winged its way untouched through the Commons.

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New girl in the Lords V – and on the night bus home

Dianne Hayter  |  8 February 2011

At last the world knows a little of what we've been doing in the Lords, though more thanks to stories of campbeds and breakfasts than due to the nature of the struggle.

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New girls in the Lords – part IV

Dianne Hayter  |  10 December 2010

Dianne Hayter reports on the old Labour heads whose brains will be needed to slow up the AV referendum bill which cuts 50 seats from the Commons, and on how the date of the referendum appears to have upset most people...

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Battling it out in the Lords

Glenys Thornton  |  30 November 2010

Labour and the crossbenchers managed to score a win against the government last week on its 'bonfire of the quangos' bill, despite the many new peers awarded to itself. But designating the health in pregnancy bill as a money bill is cutting the Lords' power of scrutiny even more...

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