Abolishing the House of Lords is vital to getting rid of corrupt corporate politics, says Anthony Barnett. But an elected second chamber may not be the good democratic, reform-minded alternative many suppose.
In the current debates over House of Lords reform, there is one factor that the media seem to have overlooked. It's a factor that makes this year a particular suitable one for finally replacing the Lords with a democratic second chamber.
Most of the public think those who sit in the House of Lords and vote on laws should be elected, and 70 per cent of Christians believe it is wrong that some C of E Bishops are given automatic seats in parliament, an ICM poll shows.
There are 26 Church of England bishops sitting in the House of Lords as of right. They have been there since the time of Henry VIII - a constitutional set-up that leaves us in the inglorious company of Iran... and very few others.