Like many people, my instincts favour reform, but in practice I think that the House of Lords is currently doing a rather better job than the House of Commons, and any reforms are likely to weaken its ability to hold the Commons to account.
According to Cameron the Tories back those workers while Labour are busy backing the shirkers. If that's really true then based on definitions and the PM's logic, Milliband is backing the Conservative Party and Cameron is far more Red than Ed for supporting the labourers. These are the people running the country remember?
Even if people agree on what is wrong in the current arrangement, they never agree on a solution. But that is no argument for accepting, yet again, a status quo which combines a hereditary basis with one of patronage and which results in a chamber which is totally unrepresentative of the population for which it is legislating.
This week's debate by MPs on reform of the House of Lords has been framed as a test for the relationship between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.
Were we starting from scratch – in the wake, say, of civil war or revolution – the issue would barely qualify for the label ‘controversy’. Of course every legislator would be elected. Anybody who proposed an upper house containing appointees and a smattering of men whose great, great, great grandfathers had been royal courtiers would be dismissed out of hand.
House of Lords reform should not be an issue we should be debating on a progressive left website. Indeed, the House of Lords reform should not be an issue for discussion at all. Reforming one entire third of the executive to be composed of democratically elected representatives is not a progressive idea.
The Prime Minister's comment, on this morning's Today Programme, that there should be a referendum on House of Lords reform depressed me greatly.
Whenever I start a campaign I ask myself a simple question - what does this mean to the man in the pub? The sense that a cause must be made relevant to others is often somehow lost by the policy wonks of Westminster.