Whatever happened to free speech?

The House of Lords
The House of Lords
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I have been a long-time supporter of the House of Lords, firmly believing that a bicameral system is the best form of government.

I have always believed that the Lords in its modern-day form is a great sounding board for everything that is on its journey from white paper to law.

Many of the members of the Upper Chamber have a wealth of political experience which should not be overlooked or wasted.

But if the House of Lords has a death wish, it is certainly going the right way about delivering it.

Last month, some 200 peers successfully voted to make it much harder for newspapers to investigate corruption – a move which has been universally attacked.

The penalties planned against newspapers by people who claim to be victims of newspaper harassment include, unbelievably, the payment of the aggrieved person’s costs even if he loses the case.

What kind of justice is that?

What makes this decision by the House of Lords even more sinister is that many of the peers who voted for it have themselves been exposed by newspapers, either for expenses wrongdoing, or sexual misbehaviour, among other misdeeds.

No wonder they want a toothless press to enable them to get on with their crimes without serious challenge.

The House of Lords is not supposed to be at war with the House of Commons, but be a revising chamber.

However, it is beginning to look like hostilities are breaking out and I only hope that the Commons, when the time comes, will overturn this gross injustice.

The unelected Upper Chamber should seriously watch its step, otherwise the elected Commons will be tempted to drastically reduce their powers, at the very least.

For British Parliament to have passed such a monstrous course of action is unbelievable and must be remedied, otherwise the media will be as hidebound and subject to Government controls as was the case with the Soviet press during the cold war.

Whatever happened to free speech?