The people of Britain could still be denied the right to elect all their legislators under proposals being drawn up in secret and reported in the press. Hundreds of years after democrats first demanded abolition of the House of Lords the government is still considering the option of having as many as 80 legislators appointed by the state and not elected by the people. And continuing discrimination against the majority who are not members of the Church of England has not been ruled out, with the right of that denomination still to appoint 26 legislators on the cards.
Proposals for reform of the House of Lords from a cross-party committee of MPs and legislators-for-life could be ready by the summer. If so they will be published in a White Paper and legislated for after the next general election.
The committee’s plans provide for 350 - 400 senators. Groups of 3 or 4 senators would represent 80 - 100 "multi-member" constituencies but would not be expected to help and advise their constituents in the way MPs do. They would serve a maximum of 3 terms of 4 - 5 years. The new senators would be elected in stages, gradually replacing the legislators-for-life.
Although the new legislators would be called Senator instead of Lord, the feudal title would still be awarded to what the Financial Times described as the "friends and donors" of the biggest political parties.
The last attempt to reform the second chamber were blocked by the legislators in the House of Lords. These legislators inherited their seats, bought them or were appointed by the state in return for services rendered. They will lose their final excuse for clinging to power if reform is included in the election manifesto of the party or parties that form the government after the next general election.
In a statement the Centre for Citizenship said that it would be unforgivable if Parliament again treated the British people like serfs, unfit for a fully democratic legislature. It was deeply disappointing that in Britain the basics of democracy were still questioned and that serious consideration was being given to continuing religious discrimination and the appointment of legislators who would represent themselves alone.