John Harris

Journalist & Author

The Lords is a ludicrous affront to democracy and accountability | John Harris

Democracies have upper houses. But Britain’s upper house gives Andrew Lloyd Webber a say in how the poor survive

The death of satire, part 645: among the Tory peers dragged into the House of Lords on Monday night to support the Conservatives’ cuts to tax credits was Andrew Lloyd Webber. There were claims that a desperate government had flown him in from New York, but the good lord himself said that he was in town to attend the opening night of Cats at the London Palladium, and therefore able to nip over to Westminster to cast his first vote since 2013.

According to his official statement, he did so because he “feels that it is important for democracy that the House of Lords should not override decisions taken by the elected House of Commons”. He was joined on the government side by fellow millionaires such as Karren Brady, the JCB tycoon Antony Bamford, and the newly ennobled lingerie magnate Michelle Mone. To quote from Evita, what a circus, and what a show: a brazen instance of property kicking poverty, which in livelier times than ours might have seen the ghastly and guilty parties chased through the city by the mob.

Related: Cameron refuses to say whether tax credits plan will leave people worse off

To quote from Evita, what a circus, and what a show: a brazen instance of property kicking poverty

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