Monday, October 02, 2006

Here’s one reason to keep an unelected Lords (or at least a portion of it unelected)

There are no scientists or technologists in the US government. If it wasn’t for the Lords they’re be none in the UK’s. That’s why the level of debate about climate change and other environmental and technological issues is so badly informed.

For ‘none’ perhaps we need to read ‘hardly any’ but I think I caught the gist of one of James Martin’s points that he made on Start the Week which made a welcome return to BBC Radio Four this morning.

He "made his name as a technology guru after predicting the rise of the internet and cellular phones as early as the 1970s. Now he is focusing on finding a solution to the many problems facing the world in the 21st century."
Lead by Andrew Marr they almost got onto the question about whether democratically elected governments will ever be able to take the long-term measures necessary to reduce mankind’s impact on the environment. See also my fascinating series of posts on ‘the limitations on the power of a government in a liberal democracy’ many of which I ain’t wrote yet.

You can listen again or download the podcast from the programme's web site ...

4 Comments:

At 16:22, Blogger Bob Piper said...

Mmmm, do you think there are any refuse collectors, home helps, school cooks, cleaners, bar staff, security guards, marine biologists, North Sea ferry captains, professional footballers, surgeons (tree or body), skateboard manufacturers, or road sweepers in either House? Hughesy, I've heard some desperate arguments in favour of retaining an appointed aristocracy... but this is one of the daftest.

 
At 17:18, Blogger Hughes Views said...

Bob, I must assume then that you are content for the upper house to become, like the lower one, filled with lawyers, accountants, failed estate agents, PR gurus and, increasingly, by professional politicians? The last mentioned often being those gorgeous souls who have 'done' PPE at Uni and then worked for an MP or perhaps in a party’s regional office for a few years before finding a comfy seat.

Just because these folk have been elected (ie brown nosed their way past the party selection processes) doesn't make them gods! No offence to you or any other elected representative intended and anyway it's different for councillors.

And don't come crying to me if climate change starts accelerating because they can't get their non-technical heads around there being more to solving it than sticking some recycling boxes in Tesco car parks and a few windmills up where the punters can see them as they race along the M6....

Herumph!

 
At 21:03, Blogger dreadnought said...

"I must assume then that you are content for the upper house to become, like the lower one, filled with lawyers, accountants, failed estate agents, PR gurus and, increasingly, by professional politicians?"
Personally speaking of course, yes; and it's because they can be booted out. If you are not put there by an election of the people, you should not be in parliament, or be head of state for that matter, but that's another story.
As for climate change: "We're all doomed!"

 
At 10:28, Blogger Hughes Views said...

Dreadnought - thanks for your thoughts. My, slightly tongue in cheek point, point was that about half our MPs are, in effect, appointed by their parties. In their safe seats there is no realistic possibility of them being booted out ...

 

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