THE Liberal Democrats try to squeak a few drops of democracy from the undemocratic and pretty archaic working peer system: that’s the system which plucks anybody a political party wants – I dunno, let’s say Oona King – and gives them a job in the House of Lords.
They at least have an internal vote, the results of which are made public, to decide who should get on a sort of final peerage shortlist for top-up places. My favourite recent bidder for a place on this panel is Mark Pack, the former party agent/blogger who you often see popping up on TV and radio, talking calmly while others are ranting. Favourite, because of this line in his prospectus:
I would work to ensure that my term of office is short and power is taken away from me – because unelected Parliamentarians should be abolished and power should be devolved.
It’s interesting though to see who else is on the list of contenders which ran close. Give it a scan and folks from Camden will recognise a very familiar name: Flick Rea, the councillor who kept the Lib Dem heart beating in Camden when the membership was thinner and stuck around to see the party almost win full control of the council a few years back.
In recent years, she is credited with making sure the beautiful Prince of Wales Baths in Kentish Town were not sold off during a four year stint as Camden’s head of culture.
Islington scored when Baroness Meral Ece, the Lib Dem working peer, was enobled earlier this year, so why not a councillor from this side of the border? Why not Flick? She would certainly liven up some of the stuffiest debates in the second chamber. While you’ve still got the power to choose (i.e. until Pack gets in), make it so Lib Dems, make it so.
* In other news, Holborn and St Pancras candidate Jo Shaw has kept her eye in: she’s been elected to the Lib Dem federal executive. No time to lick wounds inflicted by Frank Dobson in May, it’ll be worth seeing what she comes up with there.