THERE are plenty of reasons why the British political establishment will never shut down the House of Lords. The daily expenses of £305 and heavily discounted restaurant are the least of it. 

You also get to use Lord, Lady, Baron or Baroness in your title and, in 21st century Britain, these popinjay titles still have the power to mesmerise people and institutions. 

Ruth Davidson, former leader of the Sottish Conservatives, was sworn in yesterday and immediately pledged to ‘reform’ the place. You imagine that some of the older and desiccated members of this old place come along to be entertained when people like Ms Davidson and Jack McConnell turn up to inveigh on something or other. It’s their version of ‘Bring a Pet to School day’.

“So, Lord Trumpet-Verily, what did you do today?”

“Well, we had a rather nice young lady from Scotland telling us about interesting places she’s visited. Her name is Ruth and they’ve put her in charge of the army.”

The main reason why the Lords will continue unreformed is because it helps to normalise unearned privilege and deference in the life of the UK.

To read the rest of this analysis, sign up to The Herald's new political newsletter, Unspun, and get unrivalled political analysis in your inbox every day at 6pm.

Sign up here.