Neil Kinnock - Thomas Paine - Tom Stoppard - Donald Soper - Tony Benn - Walter Bagehot - Richard Dawkins - Alan Sugar - Polly Toynbee - Benjamin Disraeli - Christopher Monckton - Sidney Herbert - Emanuel Shinwell - Oscar Wilde - Lord Chesterfield - Clement Attlee - W S Gilbert - Inside the Commons TV - Amanda Vickery TV - Mark Thomas TV - Meet the Lords TV - Expenses: The Scandal That Changed Britain TV - Simon Schama TV -
The House of Lords must go. Not to be replaced, not to be reformed in some nominated life-after-death patronage paradise, just closed-down, abolished, finished. They are unelected busybodies, and descendants of brigands, muggers, bribers and gangsters. Neil Kinnock, enobled to gravy train as Baron Kinnock of Bedwellty
The idea of hereditary legislators is as inconsistent as that of hereditary judges, or hereditary juries; and as absurd as an hereditary mathematician, or an hereditary wise man; and as ridiculous as an hereditary poet laureate. Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, 1791
All hereditary government is in its nature tyranny … To inherit a government, is to inherit the people, as if they were flocks and herds. ibid.
The House of Lords, an illusion to which I have never been able to subscribe – responsibility without power, the prerogative of the eunuch throughout the ages. Tom Stoppard, Lord Malquist and Mr Moon
It is, I think, good evidence of life after death. Donald Soper, Listener 17th August 1978
The House of Lords is the British Outer Mongolia for retired politicians. Tony Benn, also attributed Lord Beaverbrook
The cure for admiring the House of Lords is to go and look at it. Walter Bagehot
Bishops sit in the House of Lords automatically. Richard Dawkins
Look, I’m a member of the House of Lords and I’m the first to admit that I don’t understand how one gets new laws through. Alan Sugar
My Lords temporal, today is the day to rise up against the regiment of Lords spiritual and proclaim the values of enlightenment, compassion and common sense. Polly Toynbee
A man may speak very well in the House of Commons, and fail very completely in the House of Lords. There are two distinct styles requisite: I intend, in the course of my career, if I have time, to give a specimen of both. Benjamin Disraeli
I am dead: dead, but in the Elysium Fields. Benjamin Disraeli
Nothing surprises me about the Lords. Christopher Monckton
It was like addressing sheeted tombstones by moonlight. Sidney Herbert
I went to the Lords because I had nowhere else to go. Emanuel Shinwell, 1977
We in the House of Lords are never in touch with public opinion. That makes us a civilised body. Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance
The House of Lords – that hospital of incurables. Lord Chesterfield
The House of Lords is like a glass of champagne that has stood for five days. Clement Attlee
The House of Peers, throughout the war,
Did nothing in particular,
And did it very well. W S Gilbert, Iolanthe
Everything must be spick and span for Her Majesty. Craftsmen are sprucing up the royal apartments in the House of Lords. Inside the Commons II: Upstairs Downstairs
The Queen will make her speech to open parliament. ibid.
The Lords’ official known as Black Rod will take the star role. ibid.
The Palace of Westminster is a maze of tunnels and towers. ibid.
Built nearly a thousand years ago, Westminster Hall was where King Charles I was sentenced to death. ibid.
1958 until they were legitimately permitted to sit in the House of Lords. Amanda Vickery, Suffragettes: Forever! The Story of Women and Power ***** BBC 2015
The House of Lords: the vermin in ermine. Mark Thomas Comedy Product s5e6, Channel 4 2001
House of Lords? Into the belly of the catheter of the beast I shall go! Mark Thomas Comedy Product s6e4, Channel 4 2001
As political elites everywhere go up in flames one place remains untouched. Welcome to the Lords … Is there still a place for this very British institution? Meet the Lords I: Joining the Club, BBC 2017
92 hereditary peers remain. ibid.
‘Far too many people have been put in here as a sort of personal reward.’ ibid. Norman Tebbit
‘The ceremony is just absolutely ridiculous.’ ibid. Oona King
Most amendments are uncontroversial. ibid.
There are roughly 200 female peers. ibid.
For a hundred years the delicate balance of power has existed between our two houses of parliament. Meet the Lords II: Rebel Lords
Now Labour and Lib-Dems outgun the Tories. ibid.
In Westminster the Lords prepare for the biggest show of the year … The Lords’ library has been commandeered as a changing room. Meet the Lords III: Brexit and Exit
The sewage ejecters and many other parts of the palace are on their last legs. ibid.
Mistrust that may just have its roots in a chapter one decade ago: MPs accused of being on the take when a national newspaper blew the lid on their expenses system, in a country still reeling from a financial crisis. Expenses: The Scandal that Changed Britain, BBC 2019
How much did those events rewrite the relationship between parliamentarians and the public? How much did it redirect the whole course of British politics? ibid.
The job of redaction took place in secret. ibid.
‘From porn films to bath plugs’ … ‘chandeliers, horse manure, swimming pools, housekeepers’ … ‘It’s a classic smear this’ [Mandelson]. ibid.
The moat belonged to Douglas Hogg; the expense was for cleaning it. ibid.
Another kind of second home: a duck house. ibid.
Five Labour MPs and Two Conservative Peers who were eventually jailed. ibid.
On 4th November 1605 36 barrels of gunpowder were discovered beneath the House of Lords. The plotters were Catholic militants. Simon Schama’s Shakespeare II: Hollow Crowns BBC 2012