Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

The Sunday Post view: Unelected Lords have no place in any self-respecting, modern democracy

Post Thumbnail

It is not yet a week since the Queen’s funeral, a sombre but spectacular day, that brought one era to an end and signalled the beginning of another.

It is impossible to say how the monarch’s death will change these islands but it would be foolish to believe we will not be measuring its impact on our country – and how we see our country – for years and decades to come.

Some might be relieved, others dismayed, but, for example, it is easy to suspect we may never see another state event as grand and resonant of Britain’s imperial past as the state funeral of Elizabeth II.

Certainly, her son, King Charles III, has already signalled his coronation, expected next year, will bear little resemblance to his mother’s in 1953. The King’s ceremony, we are told by palace sources, will be shorter, 90 minutes or so, more modern and more diverse. The tone will be more understated and low-key, partly, it is suggested, because the country will be emerging from a winter that, if it is half as bad as predicted, is going to be grim. The cost of living crisis is not the only reason, however, for this pared-down coronation. Change is in the air and the new King will continue to take great care over the tone and timbre of his reign.

The Queen offered an enduring, ever-present figurehead through her reign spanning seven decades. She was there during huge change and societal turbulence and by being there, through it all, suggested a continuity and stability that was more imagined than real.

Her death might easily provoke, sooner or later, a reconsidering of our country, where it stands and what it stands for. The monarchy is just one of our historic institutions which might come under scrutiny. It will not, however, be the only one, or the first, with the House of Lords likely to become an election issue as opposition parties are urged to adopt the recommendations of Gordon Brown’s forthcoming constitutional commission, including abolition of the Lords and creation of an upper house of nations and regions. It would not be before time.

Abolish the House of Lords: Tory grandee Sir Malcolm Rifkind calls for smaller Senate

There are undoubtedly peers who are diligent, engaged, visionary, and tireless in their efforts to improve legislation and our country. None, however, not one, has been elected. Most are there through an accident of birth, patronage, personal connections or, in some cases, bribery and corruption or something very like it.

It is no way to run a railroad or a modern, functioning, self-respecting democracy and, of course, it should be scrapped. Of course, the people of this country should choose who is allowed to govern their lives.

The need for the United Kingdom to find a new way of governing, a fresh constitutional framework and, most pressingly, a renewed blueprint for devolution means the continuing future of the Lords is likely to come under serious and sustained scrutiny. Frankly, it should have faced that scrutiny long before now.

It is not just an anachronism but a simple affront to democracy and, if we are to reconsider our historic institutions, a perfect place to start.