Luke Archer Photography

I have recently relocated from Bristol to Hertfordshire. Inheritance remains my current long-term project. In 2011 I was nominated for Black and White Magazines under 30’s Photographer of the Year. I was the joint winner of the 2011 South West Graduate Photography Prize. I have exhibited extensively in Bristol as part of the 2010 and 2012 Bristol Festival of Photography as well as the 2011 Royal West of England Academy’s Open Photography. My portrait of the Marquess of Bath is held in the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection. The book version of Inheritance was displayed at Ffotogallery’s Book Arts Fayre 2012. I joined the Vignette Magazine team in winter 2011 and I am now features editor.
If you would like to know more about any of my projects or purchase a print please get in touch.

No Lords Reform


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Nick Clegg appears to have admitted defeat on the lord’s reform at least for now. Another lose lose situation in his role as deputy prime minister.  At the press conference he held to announce the news he  was described by the media as looking ‘dejected and ‘defeated’ in what appears to many as a failure in this key Liberal Democrat policy. For some this clearly shows how powerless the Lid Dems are, another in the long list of Lib Dem capitulations –tuition fees anybody?

In defiance Nick Clegg  has announced he will block any redrawing of parliamentary boundaries, leading some to describe him as ‘petulant’. Perhaps with the Olympics and a backdrop of financial uncertainty still looming getting embroiled in arguments about politics as opposed to wider issues is considered energy spent in the wrong place. Nick really can’t win.

Some criticism has been levelled at the prime minister, however by Clegg conducting a press conference it seems all the public damage will go his way, when perhaps Cameron’s own weakness to Tory backbenchers should be drawing more scorn.

Always a fan of the underdog I’m still hoping this is all part of Nick’s master plan, a tactical move on the chessboard of politics… but no matter your thoughts on individual policies the failure for Clegg to show any sort of power surely makes him unelectable?

As this article shows the emphasis of the debate has really shifted  from the actual lords and its make up to the political ramifications for the main parities. Stay tuned.

The Guardian has an interesting piece voicing different reactions to the current situation.

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From the Economist


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© The Economist / PA

© The Economist / PA

With  the dust starting to settle aftet the last bout of reform talk, the Economist has published an interesting web article.  The article describes a problem that many keen on reform are struggling with, referring to the House of Lords:

Its composition breaks every possible notion of good government… 700 are appointed in a process which often gives the prime minister huge powers of patronage. Tony Blair appointed 374 lords during his decade in office. David Cameron has packed the chamber at an even faster rate…

And yet the place works fairly well. The Lords often scrutinises legislation that the Commons has not had time to look at (it has carved out an important role examining edicts from the European Commission). It also has some virtues the Commons lacks. The Lords contains more people with impressive private-sector experience than the Commons. Members are astonishingly polite to each other.  When asked how they would like their elected politicians to behave, voters tend to describe something that sounds a bit like the unelected Lords.

The article also mentions the 20 Anglican Bishops who sit in the Lords. This is an issue which I have not commented on before and is commonly overlooked . Whilst I am constantly re-evaluating my own position on the House of Lords, often based on my experience of meeting peers, I do not agree that in a country as religously diverse as the UK the Anglican Church should have an automatic seats in the Lords . The country and its laws stem from Christian values but perhaps it would be fairer for all religions to be represented.

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Coalition Killer?


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Everything is moving so quickly with the Lords Reform that after week away I am struggling to catch up. It seems a backbench rebellion has stalled the government’s plans. For now the Lords are likely to remain as is, however talk has moved to impact the lack of progress may have on the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition. Some believe it is such an important issue for the Lib Dem’s that they may act, threatening the stability of the government.  Its comments like this that remind me a coalition exists and we are not in fact ruled by a Conservative Government, often the Liberal Democrats seem noticeable only by there absence.

For some reason part of me wants to believe that Clegg is playing a hugely tactical long game, letting Cameron make all the mistakes before he leaps to the rescue in a yellow spandex suit complete with cape. Maybe he is  not making a fuss due to the economy, what with all the bad news perhaps its not cricket to stir things up…definitely not with the Olympics ‘so close’ or could it be the kryptonite Cameron carries in his pocket that is rendering him useless?

Whatever the reason it seems incredibly unlikely that the coalition will implode on the issue of the Lords. Surely the Liberal Democrat’s would choose a major issue to get worked about? One the public can get behind, and one that marks a clear division between these two parties now melded together from opposite ends of the political spectrum. Since the last big reform of 1999 the Lords has continued in the same way with little public opposition or dare I say interest,and  for now the status quo remains on all fronts.

 

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No Referendum on House of Lords Reform


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It has been announced  that there will not be a referendum on future reform to the House of Lords. It has been deemed not necessary as reform is an issue that all three of the major parties agree on. The cost of a referedum would be in the region of £100 million, a huge figure in a time of economic uncertainty.

Many will view this as  victory for Nick Clegg in his role as deputy prime minister, despite this it is understood that many concessions have been made to his proposed reforms.  When refroms are made they may be Cleggs legacy from his time in ‘power’ but its seems like a win-win for the Conservatives.  Clegg has be positioned into  taking the heat from those opposed to reform, whilst Cameron appeases the liberal democrat leader  by appearing to listen to his demands on an issue he agrees with anyway.

 

 

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