This news is a few weeks old, but as I’m not a Daily Mail reader it had passed me by. And as I’m also not deluded, misinformed or ignorant about the EU, or so ideologically hidebound that I can’t separate reality from fiction, any real benefit deserves acknowledging.
Strangely enough this benefit comes to us courtesy of the Daily Mail. Its latest smearing of any person or group who dares to speak or do anything that it deems anti-Brexit as a ‘traitor’ (or at least this was the latest as of May 10th. There may have been others since then) centred on the Lords (or “traitors in ermine”). The “traitors’” crime on this occasion was to vote for amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill and thus “betray” all those who voted for Brexit (or in the Mail’s terminology, “the ‘little people’ they so despise”).
I shan’t bore anyone with any further quotations from the Mail, not least because I find the fact that a supposedly mainstream newspaper can resort to labelling people who are legitimately carrying out their function under the form of democracy we have in the UK as ‘traitors’ as both dangerous and repugnant. The important point is that having been a stalwart in protecting the House of Lords from any attempt at reform over decades (just two examples being its attacks on the first Blair government’s attempts to reform the Lords, and ditto Nick Clegg’s attempt in 2011), as Private Eye (No.1470, p.10) reports, it now believes that “If the Tories are wise, they will enter the next general election with a solemn pledge to abolish the Lords in its present form…”
An actual Brexit dividend for those of us who believe it’s long past the time when the UK should have adopted a second chamber that really is fit for purpose in a country that’s supposed to have a functioning representative democracy. And given that we know that so many politicians are scared of what those who control the Daily Mail think it’s not something that the Tory party should forget in a hurry either. Additionally, I hope Corbyn and co keep the Mail’s full throated and unambiguous endorsement of the need for refrom of the Lords to the fore if they are fortunate enough to form the next government. It’s unlikely the Mail will do anything else that might be useful to Corbyn and the Labour party, but on this topic at least we have it in black and white and straight from the Mail’s own mouth. And as the Mail is a paper that clearly doesn’t believe in compromise let’s hold them to it.