House of Lords

Having been offered their first ever newly-minted seat in the House of Lords — a chamber which they want to replace with a democratic alternative — the Green Party faced the challenge of pragmatically accepting the position without looking too … unelected.

Party spinners solved this problem earlier by issuing a press release which, errr, doesn’t mention the “House of Lords” or “peerage” once. Throughout the whole email on the ennoblement of London AM Jenny Jones, the Lords is referred to euphemistically as the “the second chamber in the Palace of Westminster”:

“The Green Party today accepted the nomination of London Assembly Member, Jenny Jones to the second chamber in the Palace of Westminster.”

Jones continues with the rebranding:

“It is an honour and a privilege to be chosen as the Green Party representative in the Second Chamber.”

The nomination brings the party back to the level of representation it had in 2008 — life peers Baron Beaumont (1928-2008) and Baron MacLeod (1895-1991) had joined the party after ennoblement.

  1. The main point isn’t that the Greens accepted a peerage, but that Jenny Jones has become the de facto first elected member of the House of Lords after being picked in a ballot of all party members to top the list. Partly explains the hesitation in calling it a traditional ‘peerage’. It’s actually quite a radical step – though of course the Lords needs to be fully elected.

  2. She’ll still become a Baroness, a junior member of the aristocracy; her children will be entitled to use “The Hon” before their names.

    And of course she will have to have her ordinary red blood drained out of her and blue aristocratic blood put in instead.

    For what it’s worth, the hereditaries are elected too.

    It’s just that, like the Greens, the electorate is pretty small and in their case, inordinately privileged.

    Disappointed that anyone would accept one of these ridiculous empire titles. But a Green! tut tut. Still £300 a day tax free. Not to be sniffed at.

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