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The dishonour

I felt shame at the way we abolished the Lords

By Anthony Barnett   January 2000

On 11th november some centuries of tradition came to an end. How many centuries-ah how many! Estimates vary. The Guardian said 600 years; a government minister 200 years. It was 800 years for those who trace the power of the Lords to the year when his barons forced King John to sign the Magna Carta in 1215. It was 300, according to constitutional experts who saw the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688 as the beginning of the compromise between inherited and secular power which is now drawing to a close. More realistically, it was just 88 years since the Parliament Act…

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