You liked that, do you? Feel all tingly and enfranchised?
That’s one in the smug faces of those heartless Tories, isn’t it? That working tax credit smackdown.
Don’t get suckered though.
The notion that the House of Lords has become, overnight, the People’s Chamber of Champions is as laughable as it is dangerous. It is still Downton Abbey.
(Funny to see the ineffective left-leaning opposition cheering the privileged elite for bloodying the noses of a democratically elected executive.)
The House of Lords is a revising chamber. It is not there to make or strike down policy sent there by the elected House of Commons – which passed the working tax credit on a democratic vote three times.
The idea that an unelected bureaucracy can overturn the will of the people is unacceptable. That is why we are going to have a referendum on Europe – because of a fatal democratic deficit.
The second largest legislature in the world (after the Chinese National People’s Congress) is stuffed with people who got there because of some good fortune in their past or some perk of the job or they offered some foldable patronage to a political party. Some are there, literally, to make up the numbers.
Courting popularity is not something the institution is used to and the fear has to be that, in the absence of an effective opposition and on a wave of unaccustomed acclaim, they will cast themselves in the role.
Working tax credits are an easy target. And then what? Will they run through the manifesto looking for applause lines? Will they want to stop something you agree with?
These are not by definition people who are naturally attuned to the wishes of the electorate. Many of the remaining hereditary peers are men simply because women are not permitted to receive the title. Is that the flavour of chamber we want creating policy through the back door?
The House of Lords on balance made the right decision on working tax credits. Also my horoscope was spot-on today. But that doesn’t mean Jonathan Cainer’s astrological aphorisms should now run my life.