Symbolism of House of Lords move to York could be very superficial – The Yorkshire Post says

THE possibility that the House of Lords could be relocated to York – or another Northern city – shows where the political and public balance of power now rests.

The Government is said to be considering relocating the House of Lords to York.
The Government is said to be considering relocating the House of Lords to York.

There is now an acceptance that politics is too London-centric and David Cameron, for one, discovered this when he called a referendum on EU membership. He believed, erroneously, that the capital’s more liberal outlook was emblematic of the whole country.

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The pomp and pageantry of the Queen's Speech epitomises the House of Lords.

And while relocating the Tory party’s HQ to the North would be a political decision, any change to the House of Lords would involve far-reaching changes to Britain’s constitutional arrangements that could detract from the current devolution agenda. How ironic that the Lords could be moved to York when agreement between the Government and local leaders on this issue has been so elusive for so long.

But, in many respects, questions of geography are secondary to the more profound debate that needs to be held – how should the House of Lords be reformed to meet the democratic demands of the 21st century?

If the House of Lords moved to York, would the Queen's Speech still take place in the city?

For, as the Prime Minister looks at the location of the Lords, there were also fresh reports that John Bercow, the former Speaker, will be nominated for a peerage by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

And with the number of peers – all unelected – now exceeding 800, the main issue is deciding whether such individuals should be elected in the future and, if so, whether their membership should be determined on a regional basis to ensure the whole of Britain is represented more equally and fairly.

Once that conundrum is reconciled, and the current democratic deficit addressed, a more substantive and serious debate on the location of Lords can follow, including a thorough appraisal of the benefits and disadvantages, rather than the symbolic and superficial approach being pursued by the Government for now.