Britain: Thorns in the Woolsack

Hardly any other institution in the world has been denounced, ridiculed and threatened with reform so often and so roundly as Britain's House of Lords. Harold Macmillan called it "a mausoleum." Winston Churchill went him several better, denouncing the Lords as "one-sided, hereditary, unpurged, unrepresentative, irresponsible, absentee." Plans to emasculate the upper house are just as common today as they were in Gilbert & Sullivan's lolanthe, in which the Lord Chancellor complained: "Ah, my lords, it is indeed painful to have to sit upon a woolsack which is stuffed with such thorns...

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