Ladies and Lords
The House of Lords
"You only are chosen by the people and therefore in you only is the power of binding the whole nation by making, altering or abolishing of laws. You have therefore prejudiced us in acting so as if you could not make a law without both the royal assent of the king (so you are pleased to express yourselves) and the assent of the Lords".
Richard Overton, A Remonstrance of Many Thousand Citizens, 1646
While British Olympic athletes were honouring their country with gold medals, its politicians brought shame on their country, using the cover of the Games to keep the hereditary legislators who were to have lost their seats in a new reform of the second chamber of Parliament. So in Britain in 2012, hard as it may be to believe, some seats in Parliament will continue to be the private property of the country's "nobility", passed on from generation to generation.
The decision of the government to keep the hereditary and other unelected legislators rather than face down the opponents of reform, again critically undercut Britain's claim to be a model of democracy. 350 years after the civil war in which the rights of the Lords were first seriously challenged, the people are still to be treated as serf-like fools, unfit for more than a limited control of their legislature. Laws passed by the elected representatives in the House of Commons will continue to take effect only if the hereditary and other "Lords"approve. The most contemptible of people, those who believe that it is right to accept an hereditary seat, will continue to have a veto over the wishes of the people.
This setback for democracy is the result of the opposition of many Conservative Party MPs, supported by the Labour Party in order to embarrass the governing coalition. Even some Liberal Democrats were unenthusiastic, according to newspaper reports.
The debased values behind the decision were also on display in the Olympic Games opening ceremony. It portrayed the factory owners of the Industrial Revolution negatively but showed no such negativity towards the Windsor family. The factory owners shared the wealth their factories created, although inequitably, and helped make Britain a prosperous nation. The Windsor family has created nothing but has taken millions of pounds from the pockets of the people every year for merely being "royal".