One amusing thing is, although the Socialists wanted and have, got rid of hereditary peers, they all long to be “Lords” and to sit in the House of Lords.
As I have mentioned before, one of the things I did like about hereditary peers is that a hundred years were short term for them and I have come up with an idea, after discussing possibilities with Richard, a friend of mine, to keep this essence, but to change the name of the House of Lords.
In African tribes we have “elders” who would be asked to rule on a problem from time to time, and it is a good system and I would like to introduce it to the UK.
The second chamber could be called the House of Elders. There could be one member from each county in England with additional members co-opted depending on their experience pertaining to a problem which may need specialist help from time to time, but the number of “Elders” never to exceed a hundred.
The “elders” from each county to be voted in and none of them to be sponsored by any party or business organisation.
They would have to have been a “fellow” of a Chartered Profession for at least thirty years or been the chief executive of a business of at least a hundred employees for at least twenty years. There should be a minimum age of sixty.
These “elders” would be voted in for a fixed term of two General Elections. However, half would stand at each General Election so that there would be continuity as half would stay and stand at the following General Election. As these would not be political appointees, the two term principle could be acceptable. No “elder” would be allowed to stand a second time in their lifetime. By holding the elections together with General Elections, money would be saved.
The members of the House of Elders would get a fixed allowance of £200 a day. The Internet would be used for “project management” and conferences and no expenses would be paid.
In other words, this would be a vocation for people who have made their money and don’t need the State (read taxpayers) to pay for them.
Elders in African tribes do not get paid at all but do it as a vocation to help their tribe prosper.