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House of Lords reform 1960-1969, reforms attempted - Peter Raina

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House of Lords reform 1960-1969, reforms attempted - a history
Peter Raina
Peter Lang
UK Publication Date

Volume 3 of Peter Raina's magisterial history covers the 1960s and draws on newly released documents. In astonishing detail, it traces new plans drawn up during the Macmillan-Wilson era to reform the House of Lords. 'Mission impossible,' a civil servant declared. But when, to remain a Commons MP, Tony Benn insisted on disclaiming an inherited peerage, he started off a fresh willingness to tackle old problems. The Peerages Act 1963 allowed peers the option of disclaimer and, at last, gave equal rights in the Upper House to Scottish and women inheritors.
A Labour government came in, and in 1967 gained the majority needed to embark on bold legislation. But it feared interference, so comprehensive plans were backed for changing the whole complexion of two-chamber politics. Led by Lord Shackleton and the intellectual Richard Crossman, schemes were devised and inter-party talks got under way - at first in a spirit of cooperation. But had the party elites listened to their fiery back-benchers? When a bill was introduced into parliament, the scenes were unforgettable
This volume tells not just the story, but reveals the intricate thinking of those who wanted to make a bicameral system work in the age of modern party politics.

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Peter Raina has been a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London, and an Associate Member of Nuffield College, Oxford. He is is currently Senior Research Associate at the Graduate Centre of Balliol College, Oxford.

&Peter Raina has written a remarkable book about Lords Reform between 1960-69, those years were part of the long running discussions about the future of the Lords and they are brilliantly told in Mr Raina's book. For anybody interested in the History of Reform this is sensible reading. (The Lord Carrington)
&What a magnificent opus. From the start, I was gripped by admiration for [the] scholarship, mastery of the English language, and understanding of the British body politic! (...) As one who lived through it all - to have you bring out the differing climates of opinion - in the early 1960s to that of today - fascinating... [This] book is well described as magisterial. (Sir Michael Wheeler-Booth, Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford)

New edition
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xx, 956

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