One of the comments I've seen made quite often by people who oppose reform of the House of Lords is "if it ain't broke don't fix it". A predictably shallow and intellectually unsound argument but, despite that, I've decided to rant about it :)
So, if you've used that phrase to defend an undemocratic, unaccountable House of Lords then the following is addressed to you (warning contains *quickly checks* one swear word) :
It ain't broke. Are you serious? We have a chamber stuffed full of failed politicians, appointed by the nepotism of their party leaders, who can get £300 a day, tax free, just for turning up and then going home again, who rebel against the party line much less than MPs and who can't be kicked out even if they commit murder - and you think that isn't broken?
70% of people want an elected house of lords. It's 100 years overdue and anyone who's arguing against it cannot claim to be anything other than an undemocratic defender of unelected, unaccountable privilege and nepotism all for the benefit of failed politicians.
Yes, there are a hell of a lot more important issues facing the country. So why don't opponents of lords reform simply shut the fuck up, vote for it, get it passed without it taking up any more parliamentary time than necessary instead of gumming up the works with filibuster attempts? If you're going to defend the lords then do so but don't pretend you're doing it on anything approaching a reasoned argument. The arguments against lords reform are so mutually contradictory they make the Chuckle Brothers look like veritable sages of wisdom. So if you're going to defend it at least have the honesty to admit that you're doing it in the face of all common sense and all democratic principles. And, at the end of the day, you're going to lose.
The same crap arguments being recycled today in defence of unaccountable privilege are the same arguments rolled out against abolishing the rotten boroughs, against extending the right to vote, against giving primacy to the commons and against giving women the right to vote. Every single meaningful reform in the history of this country, every single reform that paved the way to our modern society, has been obtained only though lengthy battle against die-hard opposition from hypocrites and two-faced dinosaurs. But those battles were won all the same. Democracy won, again, and again and again. Democracy will come to the lords sooner or later and posterity will rightly judge the opponents of reform the same way they judge the misogynists of the 20th century and the divine-right-to-rule aristocrats of the 19th century. And if the opponents of reform had any decency, any shred of credibility or concern for the well being of this country and its people then they would get out the way and cease their ridiculous efforts to stop the people of Britain being able to decide who governs Britain. End of.
Update: for those looking for a guide to what the Lords reforms actually are, in order to cut through the squabbling politicians, here's one I made earlier.