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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The public and Lords reform

Sam Coates writes in The Times: "Yet this week [some Tory MPs] have put their careers on the line for a piece of legislation few members of the public care about." I would argue, rather, that members of the public do care about Lords reform, and do understand why it matters. It is not that they do not care, it is that they often do not find it very interesting. That is an important distinction. A lot of things that we care about (because we know that they matter) are also things that we can sometimes find boring. Some of the most important things in life are also the most boring, so the public has little interest in reading much about them. But that's not the same as not caring, and it's not the same as not having an opinion. I think most ordinary people do know why Parliament matters and so do care about Lords reform. They just don't often care very actively, unless prompted to do so. In most pubs, you could get people going on this subject quite easily, I reckon. Everybody gets what it is about, as with Scottish independence and Europe.

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