52 Labour MPs beg Gordon Brown for a Peerage
It is a safer option, you see, not being subject to the wrath of the peasants or the disturbing inconveniences of democracy – like elections. It is also a clear indication that at least 15 per cent of Labour MPs expect to lose their seats in a Conservative landslide at the next general election, and the atmosphere of doom and gloom is causing them to reassess their traditional doctrinal antipathy towards the upper house, like hypocritical Socialists tend to. It has never ceased to amaze Cranmer that those who spend their political careers as commoners lambasting the Lords invariably end up becoming one.
But back to the rats.
The disclosure that 52 Labour MPs are praying for a political afterlife in the Lords is precisely the sort of abhorrent spectacle which sickens an already-vomiting electorate. After Tony Blair’s dog’s breakfast of reform to purge the House of Lords of its hereditary peers, Labour presently has 214 peers to the Conservative Party’s 196. Of these, 210 are Labour life peers to the Conservatives’ 148. If all 52 deserting Labour MPs are granted seats in the Lords, it will provide them with a massive 266 peers – 70 more than the Conservatives – with which they can frustrate the will of David Cameron’s government for years to come (or at least until the upper house reform is completed to some sort of logical conclusion).
Like Gordon Brown’s present scorched-earth economic policy, he might find this sabotage irresistible.
One cannot really blame Labour MPs for throwing themselves a lifeline: it is, after all, perfectly natural to want to save oneself from catastrophe. But Cranmer wishes to apologise to rats. He meant no offence when he ascribed rodent-like characteristics to the blood-sucking parasites which make up the Parliamentary Labour Party. He has nothing but respect for those of you who bravely dwell aboard nautical vessels, for you would probably help to rescue the ship’s passengers and crew before jumping overboard yourselves. Labour’s vermin, however, have ceased to be concerned for the unemployed, the homeless, the suffering or the deprived. They simply need to ensure a method by which they can continue to claim their expenses. And if they can simultaneously scupper David Cameron’s first period in government, so much the better.