Delingpole: The House of Lords Is a Foetid Swamp. Boris Johnson Must Drain It

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (C) gestures as he chats with crew members of Vanguard-class submarine HMS Victorious in the mess hall during a visit to Faslane Naval base (HM Naval Base Clyde), north of Glasgow in Scotland on July 29, 2019. - New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes …
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Failed ex-prime-minister Theresa May is angling to promote her disastrous chief of staff Gavin Barwell to the House of Lords.

One advisor who has worked for her Government told the Sunday Telegraph:

“If she gives her failed MP chief of staff a peerage any shred of decency will have gone.”

Indeed. May’s planned appointment – and she’s by no means the only useless prime minister to engage in such cronyism –  is a handy reminder that one of her successor Boris Johnson’s most urgent priorities, once he has delivered Brexit, must be to abolish the House of Lords.

It saddens and surprises me to be writing those words. First, I’m a traditionalist and the Lords can trace its origins to the Great Council that advised kings in Medieval times. Secondly, I believe that there is a need for some kind of upper chamber to act as a check and balance on the House of Commons. Thirdly, in my naive youth I’d fondly imagined that one day I would be made a lord myself.

Lord Delingpole. The name has a ring about it. But when I look at the company I’d be forced to keep, I’m quickly reminded that James Delingpole, Esq. remains vastly preferable.

The fact that the House of Lords is so chock-full of grisly Remainers is bad enough. What really sticks in the craw, though, is just how many of these ermined parasites are there for one of the following reasons: tokenism; cronyism; reward for failure – or, as often as not, a mix of all three.

Hamster-faced nonentity Barwell is a perfect example of this.

He’s one of those Conservative-in-name-only losers who thrived in the Cameron and May years: grey, careerist, apparatchiks chosen not because they had any obvious talent, still less because they had a single conservative bone in their floppy invertebrate bodies, but simply because they could be relied on to prop up the decaying regime and not to rock the boat.

While I can understand why Theresa May might feel personally grateful to whoever was prepared to do the dirty job of helping to keep her in power for years past her sell-by date I don’t see why it should be the taxpayer who ends up on the hook.

Members of the House of Lords can currently claim a £300 daily attendance allowance – yes: three hundred quid, just for turning up – plus tax free expenses and travel costs.

If Barwell had performed some signal service to the nation – making sure Brexit happened on time, say – then I would be applauding his ennoblement.

But he didn’t. He is being rewarded, at great expense to the public purse, simply for having done OK at the job he was handsomely paid to do by the taxpayer.

So really what I am asking here is: what will Gavin Barwell be bringing to the party if and when he enters the House of Lords?

What wisdom or insight or valuable oversight skills can we expect of a man whose utterly undistinguished career has gone something like this: 17 years as a backroom boy at Conservative Central Office and as a Croydon councillor; another 17 years of nonentity in parliament, culminating in a period as a government whip and a junior minister (Housing) before he ignominiously lost his seat in May’s disastrous 2017 snap election?

Is there a person in the land who is going to be able to sleep more comfortably in their bed at night, knowing: “Well at least I’ve got careerist Conservative nobody Gavin Barwell in the Lords scrutinising all new legislation? Nothing is going to get past old Hamster Face, that’s for sure!”?

But it’s not just future Lord Barwell that is the problem is it? It’s pretty much all of them.

Consider, for example, another of the Lords who is in the news this week: ex-policeman Lord Hogan-Howe.

What did Bernard Hogan-Howe do in his police career to deserve such eminence?

Well one of them was to head the Metropolitan Police during several of its biggest recent scandals:

One was a multi-million pound witch-hunt which led to the arrest and harassment of dozens of Sun journalists for the vague offence of “conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office”. More than 60 journalists were arrested in the biggest criminal investigations in British police history – resulting in just three convictions – at a cost to the taxpayer of £40 million.

Perhaps worse, though, was the utterly demented pursuit of a number of innocent men – including DJ Paul Gambaccini, former MP Harvey Proctor, ex-Home-Secretary Leon Brittan and D-Day veteran Field Marshal Lord Bramall – because of allegations made by paedophile fantasist Carl Beech.

If you want to lose whatever remaining faith you might have had in the competence of Britain’s authorities, read Matthew Scott’s detailed account of the case in Quillette.

Bottom line: Hogan-Howe’s police squandered millions pursuing a case based largely on the testimony of a witness so obviously unreliable that a child of six ought to have been able to see through his nonsense.

At one point, Beech claimed to have been tied up and had his bones broken by Generals and Field Marshals; to have had wasps and spiders set upon him; to have witnessed the murder of three boys, two by totally innocent ex-MP Harvey Proctor. Beech bought himself a white Ford Mustang convertible with the £22,000 compensation he was paid for these wholly made-up stories by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

How, given the much more real and prevalent problems facing London – such as acid attacks and knife crime – could Hogan-Howe have allowed the Met’s resources to be diverted and squandered in this way?

And why, instead of being sacked for his failures did he end up being elevated to the House of Lords?

Meanwhile, the people who really have made a difference to British public life – such as the most influential politician of his generation Nigel Farage – often remain stubbornly unrewarded.

A House of Lords which does not include Lord Farage – not to mention Lady (Kate) Hoey and Lady (Gisela) Stuart – is a House of Lords completely unrepresentative of where Britain stands and what it believes.

It is a total affront to democracy, for example, that a country which voted for Brexit by 52 to 48 is yet represented by an upper house where the proportion of Brexiteers to Remainers is probably closer to 20/ 80.

As Mark Griffith wrote in Salisbury Review at the time of the EU Referendum:

Most current Lords members are overwhelming from the class of people who got Brexit and the EU wrong. These are the same desk weasels that clutter Brussels and Strasbourg committee rooms, doing (they believe) serious & valuable work harmonising complex legislation from the different (oh such a backward, primitive word!) nations still marring the smooth uniformity of the great tariff cartel.

If Boris is going to Make Britain Great Again, there are few bigger swamps in need of draining than the pullulent, foetid and parasite-riddled snake pit that is the House of Lords.

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