The Westminster Government, or at least the Conservative part of it, is bringing forward proposals for a reformed House of Lords in which most of the members would be directly elected, and democracy is normally a good thing ("LibDems 'holding a gun to PM's head' over Lords Reform Bill", The Herald, July 9).
However, after thinking about the performance of our elected representatives over the past few years, I'm not convinced that we need more of the same.
What we do need is a reviewing and revising upper House, filled with people who have good judgment, knowledge and broad life experience. Exactly the sort who are conspicuous by their absence from the Commons, and who would run a mile from the shenanigans of modern party politics. We aren't going to find many of them on political party lists for an elected upper chamber, so how do we find them?
The best I can think of is through nomination from organisations that are integral parts of British society. Unite and the Royal College of Nursing would send representatives, as would the CBI; but so, too, would the likes of the RSPB and the Ramblers, organisations that have a mass membership, far surpassing the political parties in numbers, and whose views are often drowned out by the hordes of lobbyists employed by those with money and power.
I'm not sure how we would arrive at a list of organisations eligible to send a representative, or whether organisations with large memberships should be entitled to send multiple representatives. But, once established, the upper chamber itself could decide the detail of the rules. It would, of course, be up to each organisation to decide whether to hold its own internal election to select its representative.
There may be a case for a halfway House, with half the members coming from nominating organisations and half by direct election. But what we don't need is an upper chamber stuffed with political hacks, there only to toe their party line, and that's what we'll get if the current proposals end up as law.
52 Menteith View,
You report that Better Together is ahead in the latest opinion poll on the independence referendum ("Pro-Union camp sees lead in poll extend to 20 points", July 9).
Yet this week we will see the tripartite Better Together parties falling apart over another important constitutional matter: Lords reform.
Each of the three "together" parties has a divergent UK position and their Scottish political point of view is unknown.
Indeed there has been an absence of Scottish analysis on the future of that upper house.
Does the 1707 treaty have any relevance in the current reforms of the House of Lords? Has the House of Lords made us more together or is it not by its very nature a place that segregates our society; that encourages ancient distinctions even within the proposed reforms?
Scotland decided to have a unicameral constitution for Holyrood. Where are the voices opposing Scottish participation in that Westminster museum of political privilege and patronage?
64 Market Place, Carluke.
I agree with Ruth Marr that, as the results of the Scottish Government's consultation will not be published until the autumn, David Cameron would be wise to resist interfering with the date of the referendum (Letters, July 9).
What I find difficult to understand is, with one Conservative MP and 40 Labour MPs at Westminster and little likelihood of this changing soon, why he bothers with the Union; and I guess there will be a fair number south of the Border asking the same question. Certainly, his commitment to the Union has been steadfast and cannot be in question.
R Russell Smith, 96 Milton Road, Kilbirnie.
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