How many members of the House of Lords do you think live in Yorkshire?
According to last available figures – just 27.
And how many live in London – 154 – and in South East – 119; that’s 273 altogether – more than ten times as many as in Yorkshire and the Humber.
30% of all peers live in London, 24% in SE, 5% in Yorkshire and Humber.
We can’t find statistics about how many peers live in Leeds. That’s an interesting fact in itself. But we’ve identified one – Lord Woolmer, a Labour peer.
That’s out of 787 peers – far more members than in the Commons.
Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Makes you realize how important and how radical Labour’s plans for devolution are.
Because right at the heart of them is the abolition of the House of Lords as we know it – and its replacement by a new Senate of the Regions and Nations – a truly representative body.
Ed Miliband wants a new chamber based on representation of the regions and the four nations of the United Kingdom.
The new chamber would mean no extra costs – abolishing the House of Lords would easily cover that.
But it will right the gross injustice of the current system of representation.
As he said to a packed meeting yesterday in Manchester
‘It cannot be right that the North West has almost the same population as London but only a small fraction of London’s number of peers.
“London is our capital and one of the world’s great cities but it cannot be right London has more members of the House of Lords than the East Midlands, West Midlands, Wales, Northern Ireland, the North East and Yorkshire and Humber added together.
“And it cannot be right that those peers who do live outside London are less likely to be from great cities like Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol [or Leeds] than they are to be living in less-populated rural areas.’
Devolution will be at the heart of the next Labour government, with regular meetings of a new English Regional Cabinet Committee chaired by the Prime Minister. This will be attended by relevant Secretaries of State and leaders from major City and County Regions.
There’ll be a new Minister for Yorkshire.
And a senate in which Leeds and Yorkshire are REALLY represented.
“We will make the second chamber of Parliament truly a Senate of the Regions and Nations of our whole country.
“Because only when every part of our country has a voice at the heart of our politics can we be sure that our country is run for all and not just for some.”
And with greater equality of power will come greater equality of prosperity.
“Labour has a radical plan for spreading power and prosperity across England’s city and county regions, so that the recovery reaches your town square – not just the Square Mile of the City of London.”
Forget English Votes For English Laws and all the other timid, partisan Westminster stitch-ups.
This is a radical redistribution of power. Back to the regions of Britain – to the cities and counties where it belongs.
Britain Really Will Be Better Under Labour
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