Blair's Thousand Days: The Lady and the Lords

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Blair's Thousand Days: The Lady and the Lords 4.5
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New Labour came to power pledging to abolish the 800-year-old right of hereditary peers to sit and vote in the House of Lords. Michael Cockerell tells the story of the efforts made by Lady Jay, the first female Labour Leader of the Lords, to get the bill through Parliament. Prod Charles Miller; Editor Anne Tyerman. TX BBC Two, 6 February 2000 8pm - 9pm

💬 Comments on the video
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Earl Longford rather burst Lady Jay's balloon at the end!

Author — Knappa22

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Love these docs, thanks for the upload!

Author — James Willetts

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49:02. "Never trust a Cecil."

Author — DCFunBud

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Tony Blair always looked uncomfortable at most formal ceremonies (e.g. the enthronement of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams), and around the royals. It all makes perfect sense now. He became Roman Catholic after attempting to bring down the establishment. Oh my ! A jelly bean inside boxed chocolates...

Author — J Yelvington

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I opposed this bill
what did it do for the ordinary man on the street

Author — ABUTARI70

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A wholly elected second chamber would do nothing for the United Kingdom. It would either simply replicate the House of Commons, or create a complete reverse of the House of Commons make up. So it would either provide a platform for an elected government to get all of its bills through the second house, or create a complete stalemate. We see this in the USA, with both their houses elected, and utter stalemate created, with no cross party support and an approval rating in the toilet. An appointed upper house is better and stable.

Author — John King

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i am sure Lady Jay has a sense of humour but she hides it well (Tory peers 'attitude' to women etc) - also when is stage 2 of the reforms she talked about going to happen? Labour were in power for 12/13 years..didn't get around to it i guess

Author — marcokite

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Margaret Jay may be characterised as effective, but she is decidedly arrogant and condescending.

Author — S. M. Clarke

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in 3 years they got rid of hereditary peers in 11 years they never got to stage two, I say those toffs saying there was no stage two seem to have been on the money. Baroness Jay is still there because of something her ancestor did, badly.

Author — hens0w

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The House of Lords in 2017 needs to be radically reduced. Over 800 members, why? Time for this chamber to be reduced to a half the size of the Commons. 300 peers at maximum. For the time being, keep them appointed. No hereditary. Having an elected second chamber means two elections every 5 years, Oh God!! Keep them appointed for the time being.

Author — John King

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Lord Strathclydes comments are rather curious considering his recent opinions...

Author — Alex Turlais

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Lady Jay is evil! Why, with 850 hereditary peers did they not just all (or at least a huge majority of them) stand with one voice and say, "um, I don't think so". I don't get how this horrible thing happened at all.

Author — johe64

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In Ireland they have a Senate, called the Seanad. 60 members, 43 appointed by five panels, (admin, agriculture, culture/educational, industrial/commerce and labour), 11 nominated by the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of the day, 6 nominated by the Irish universities. The elections to the chamber happens at the same time a general election occurs. I wonder of the House of Lords would be revamped to this form?

Author — John King

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I'm kind of glad we still got the house of lords. It's kind of a safety net, so these MPs don't push in some dreadful law's or get it changed at least. Seeing how much crap the Tories tried push through some dreadful policies the past few years, I'm glad they there. It's not perfect but it's there.


Oh before you ask if it's any better with Labour. How much worse if Tony Blair got his way on some changes he wanted to make? It could of been far worse than he left us in. Also the government don't serve the will of people. What a myth that is! They change their minds on policies, just to get into power and for their own agenda. Same as it ever was.

Author — Joey X Smith

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For more info, read Vote UK Forum ( general politics, House of Lords0

Author — Sandy Wallace

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As one of them said, the motive was that the executive refused to have anyone who might be independent of it have any power at all.

If you look at recent Parliamentary history it's only been the Lords who have attempted to hold back the excesses of BOTH Thatcher and Blair. With rigorously enforced whips in the commons, the only people who are not beholden to party discipline are the hereditary peers in the Lords.

And the Lords power is already very circumscribed, they can't even block legislation passed by the commons. Only delay it and send it back, asking the commons to spend more time considering it. And, again looking at their record, some hereditary peers (even on the conservative benches) can be far more radical, and on the side of the ordinary citizen, than the arse lickers who wheedle their way into the commons (or are nominated to the Lords).

Author — Anthony owen

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59:26. "An" by all means. Readers of The Washington Post ridiculed me for making the same point of English grammar as the Conservative hereditary peers of the House of Lords. I used the example, "an historic event." Really, "a historic event!" Sounds like the huffing and puffing of the Big Bad Wolf. The more aspirant the h, the more necessary the preceding an.

Author — DCFunBud

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Excuse my ignorance, but, where is lesofa?

Author — christopher briscoe

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I am amused at the attitude of Lord Strathclyde (Tom Galbraith) affecting the airs of someone from an ancient hereditary background when his title came from his grandfather, a chartered accountant and pretty crap Tory MP. His father, Tam Galbraith was at the centre of a gay spying scandal form which he was exonerated by an 'in house' so-called investigation by people who had a vested interest to keep the matter quiet. The House of Lords is an anachronism that should have been swept away 100 years ago.

Author — supernumery

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just get rid is your pay £300 a day all thay do is sit there job, s for the boys

Author — stphn44