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What is the British House of Lords?

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posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 04:56 PM
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I've heard of the Divine Rights of Kings and nobles (now conveniently ignored in religious discourse as if it never happened for 2000 years), but The house of Lords seems ridiculous.
I was reading Bill Bryson's: Mother Tongue: The English Language (Penguin books: 1991), and how abhorrent and immoral the British regarded American English.
And who should complain but the House of Lords.
The who?
I mean I've heard the name, but what are they?
Bryson offered just enough to raise my interest:

More recently, during a debate in the House of Lords in 1978 one of the members said: 'If there is a more hideous language on the face of the earth than the American form of English, I should like to know what it is.' (We should perhaps bear in mind that the House of Lords is a largely powerless, nonelective institution. It is an arresting fact of British politcal life that a Briton can enjoy a national platform and exalted status simply because he is a residue of an illicit coupling 300 years before between a monarch and an orange seller. (Bryson: pp. 167-198.)


So the position and status is due to a trickle of royal blood?
Are these the bastard descendants of royalty?




posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 05:12 PM
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According to Wikipedia: (en.wikipedia.org...) the house was indeed mainly appointed by hereditary rights.
However since some reforms under Tony Blair in 1999 it supposedly lost its hereditary membership (except for 92).
The situation now is not entirely clear form websites.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 05:14 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 05:17 PM
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parliament is made up of the house of lords and the house of commons (commoners?). upper house and lower house. house of commons is the rabble as seen on bbc parliament wednesdays (morning) at pmq's (prime ministers questions). house of lords usually have half a dozen or so snoring possibly deceased although they are introducing new blood.
f.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 05:22 PM
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reply to post by Redevilfan09
 


i say old chap! thats downright insulting to all the toffs here in the uk. if it wasn't for them i would be down a coal mine earning a crust!
f



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 05:26 PM
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reply to post by fakedirt
 

Or one could send the missus out to sell oranges in Downing St perhaps?
(joke)
No but seriously, who pays their salaries?
I read the Church of England also gets some seats.
It sounds like an open conspiracy.
It's like providing jobs for people to sit around and talk or sleep?

Perhaps it has some ceremonial significance for the people.
edit on 28-11-2010 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 05:59 PM
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reply to post by Redevilfan09
 


Don't understand how you can make a statement like that... Shows how much you know about Britain!! We have one of the most variations of accents in the world.. There is a different accent for every region of the uk, you can drive 1 hour by car and you will have a completely different accent. Some even myself I find hard to understand.. Your obviously just watching stereotype British characters in movies!



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 06:03 PM
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reply to post by Misterlondon
 


Yep everyone outside europe, would just hear cockney accents on tv programmes. There are only two accents done, either cockney or posh.

People abroad must think uk people all talk with one or the other.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 06:10 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 06:11 PM
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They have more or less no power to do anything. They get to read bills that are passed by Parliamant and can suggest that they be changed or delayed but the don't have any power to actually change anything themselves.

People are made Lords by the queen (people that inherited the title are no longer allowed) on the suggestion of the Prime Minister

Achh it's all so pointless I can;t go on


Just read this



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 06:13 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 06:22 PM
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en.wikipedia.org...

The House of Lords (commonly referred to as "the Lords" and also known as House of Peers for ceremonial purposes) is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom's national legislature. Parliament comprises the Sovereign, the House of Commons (which is the lower house of Parliament and referred to as "the Commons"), and the Lords. The House of Lords, like the House of Commons, assembles in the Palace of Westminster.

The Lords currently possess no governmental power whatsoever except to delay a bill passed by the Commons. They can attach and suggest amendments to bills, but these amendments are not binding and the Commons has no obligation whatsoever to follow them (although occasionally it does).

Unlike the House of Commons, membership of the House of Lords is not attained by election from the population as a whole, but by inheritance or by appointment (Lords Temporal), or by virtue of their ecclesiastical role within the established church (Lords Spiritual). The Lords Spiritual are 26 senior bishops of the Church of England. The Lords Temporal make up the rest of the membership; of these, the majority are life peers who are appointed by the Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister. Membership was once a right of birth to hereditary peers but, following a series of reforms, as of 2010
Important Topic Updates
only 91, elected by the House from the hereditary peers, remain as members. The number of members is not fixed; as of November 2010
Important Topic Updates
the House of Lords had 738 members, as against the fixed 650-seat membership of the House of Commons extra DIV
extra DIV



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 06:27 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 12:11 AM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 

Why is the Queen still in business and why is this coterie of hers called Upper house. I thought upper usually means something of higher significance than that which is called Lower.

I don't understand why the Brits still tolerate a private citizen (if she is !!) to be given so much ceremonial respect and consider her the head of their state. you can be either a democracy or a monarchy. I think the general public in UK thinks that since they elect people in power, they are ruling. But why can't atleast an elected official be the head of state. What is so strange is that countries which call themselves democratic like canada, australia, Newzealand accept a foreigner i.e british as their head of state. would they extend that courtesy to say even an official elected by citizens of UK. I highly doubt that. Something is really fishy.



posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 12:17 AM
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Gotta love how ATS allows blatant racism towards the English, yet mention a word about America and we end up with warnings.

I'd be offended, but then I realise half the people posting on this particular thread are probably no older than 13-18 years old and / or stupid.




posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 12:19 AM
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I bet you didn't know that the UK has one of the most varied of accents and regional dialects compared to almost anywhere else on the planet.

But yeah, you guys keep insulting us and removing letters from our language and bathing in your ignorance, we'll just keep laughing.



posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 12:30 AM
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reply to post by Timetraveller
 


Actually, in England it's called a "Constitutional Monarchy", where the Monarch, while they have veto power over laws that Parliament passes, rarely (if ever) acts on this power. The position of Monarch is actually very ceremonial in nature, there is no real power in the position.

The elected Prime Minister makes the decisions, and the leader of the largest party in the House of Commons usually becomes Prime Minister. Because there are more than two major parties, sometimes (such as now) a coalition of parties becomes necessary to obtain a parliamentary majority. In rare times, such as World War II, elected officials from ALL parties form a ruling party. The Prime Minister is an elected member of Parliament, usually the leader of his or her party, and is still responsible for constituents in his or her home district.

It's a very different system from that in the USA, where the President is NOT the leader of his (there has NEVER been a "her") party, nor an elected member of either Congress or the Senate. As such, he is NOT a representative within his own Government, other than the "Commander in Chief". He is also not responsible for any constituents other than the overall running of the country.

In the USA, the President swears to "protect and defend the CONSTITUTION of the United States", he does NOT swear to protect and defend its people or citizens.

However, the United Kingdom is the only country in the world whose national anthem is about a PERSON, not about a COUNTRY or a FLAG.

The President of the United States is also not DIRECTLY elected. While people vote for either the of the candidates, they actually are only making recommendations to the Electoral College, who then decide the outcome of the election (unless it's a single judge in Florida). This is far from being DIRECTLY elected. The electorate only make recommendations to the Electoral College based on the outcome of their votes, but the EC actually has the power to vote any way they please.

And you laugh at the so called "English Democracy", while letting the power of a few thousand people the so called "Electoral College" decide the fate of millions.



posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 12:31 AM
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Originally posted by mr-lizard
I bet you didn't know that the UK has one of the most varied of accents and regional dialects compared to almost anywhere else on the planet.

But yeah, you guys keep insulting us and removing letters from our language and bathing in your ignorance, we'll just keep laughing.


Hell, LONDON has one of the most varied and regional dialects on the planet !



posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 12:48 AM
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reply to post by babybunnies
 


i was not trying to offend anybody. i am just saying get rid of these hereditory ceremonial institutions.
the queen is not elected, she is chosen by some strange succession plans and also cannot be catholic if i am right. all these sound rather archaic in twenty first century.



posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 01:06 AM
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**ATTENTION!**

The topic is NOT about accents/dialects! Please stay focused on the topic and refrain from insulting other people/their accents.

Thank you.






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