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.

The Lords Tale


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This Channel 4 documentary gives a great behind the scenes look at the 1999 House of Lords Reform Act. It depicts a time of great political change, covering the wide base of opinions, from those lords willing to leave, to those putting up a fight.  The way Molly Dineen goes about her interviews is subtle yet probing and if there is further lord’s reform she should definitely the one to document it.

A must watch for anyone interested in the subject.

It is available in several parts on Youtube

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Lord of the Blog: One Blog to Unite them All?


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 © Lord of the Blog

© Lord of the Blog

 

I feel for many the House of Lords may seem like a shadowy world, something that is hard to understand because it cannot be seen. Little is done to help change this impression, BBC Parliament lacks the mass appeal of MTV thats for sure. This general void of information is what makes Lord of the Blog such a great achievement: a modern way for the Lords to reach the public and one that may help  demystify the second chamber.

At first it is strange to read the blog, the entries are written by individuals,  often within the media these people are referred to collectively as the ‘Lords’ or  ’Labour Peers’ etc as if a faceless corporation. Lord of Blogs manages to personalise and give an identity to the men and women who make up the Lords. The subjects tackled are not trivial often sparking fierce debate, including peers opinions on gay marriage and even Lords reform .

It is not known how many people read the blog but it is encouraging to see that as Lord of the Blog becomes more popular more Lords are contributing. It is this engagment with the public, a name and voice to the Lords that will really help inform opinions. If the current House of Lords does continue it is likely new peers both life and  hereditary will be increasingly media literate and the discourse with the public will only increase.

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What Does the House of Lords Do?


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© House of Lords

To find out what the House of Lords got up to in 2009 – 2010 a 32 page pdf of their activies can be found here,  a little dry but interesting non the less. I believe it is this form of online report that helps break down the barrier in understanding between the public and the House of Lords.  In the unlikely event of a public referendum  it will only go one way if little information of this type  is in the public domain.

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Confusion: Elected Hereditary Peers


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Even for those clued up on UK politics the House of Lords can be confusing, perhaps the most confusing and often overlooked aspect is the way hereditary peers are now ‘elected’.

Just to recap: In the past any ‘Lord’ ( Baron, Viscount etc) by virute of their title was allowed to sit in the House of Lords, in theory making for a large second house. These Lords sat through choice and many chose not to. Their numbers fluctuated little as when a peer died their heir inherited the title and the right to sit in the House of Lords. In 1999 the House of Lords Reform Act was passed – this greatly decreased the number of hereditary peers to 92. These 92 remaining peers were elected by their contemporaries, with many hereditary peers choosing not to run for election.

The major confusion starts with how these remaining hereditary peers are replaced upon their death. As  expected with a ‘reform’ act the ability for a hereditary peer to pass on their seat to a relation was removed. Mistakenly some believe that the number of hereditary peers is decreasing as more of the 92 elected in 1999 die. This is not the case and in fact the number remains constant, but how?

On a hereditary peers death a House of Lords by-election is called. In this instance hereditary peers removed in the 1999 act  may put themselves forward as a candidate for a seat in the House of Lords. The exisiting Lords then vote and the favoured candidate is able to sit in the House of Lords as a hereditary peer.

The solution seems a strange mix of the old and the new, by virute of their birthright a person with a title is able to put themselves forward but they must be democratically elected, however the only people permitted to vote are hereditary lords.

With so little public knowlegde of the process it is hard to comment on how peers make their choice.  With the lords holding a low public profile it is easy to see why the public maybe suspicious of such an internal process.

Please note: this is a paraphrased explanation of the by-election process, please contact me if you would like further information

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