Sunday, January 29, 2006

Making Us Less Ridiculous

Given the protesting of some quarters since the proposed abandoning of the UK Theme, this news from the Independent will probably have blue-rinsers up and down the country spitting their tea out. However, as far as I'm concerned, it's about time that some of the more ridiculous 'traditions' of the House of Lords were done away with.

Wearing special gowns on special occasions I can deal with, but having the man in charge of keeping order in the Lords wearing a wig and stockings is, quite frankly, ridiculous. The old guard may say that it is traditional for him to wear such garb, but what purpose does that tradition serve? Tradition is the last refuge of the defeated; if there is a purpose to maintaining a tradition, it's normally for a good reason other than precedent.

And for heaven's sake, he'll still be sitting on the Woolsack! I personally find it quite embarrassing that we have to stick to such arcane practices in a chamber that ultimately decides on the law of the land. So welcome, new Lord Speaker, whoever you may be. The sooner we get away with the daft traditions of our Houses of Parliament, the more respected politicians might become.