The Price of Being Uncool

Britain's House of Lords is about to get more democratic and less charming

Modern is British Prime Minister Tony Blair's favorite word. Blair is forever telling us he wants a modern country with a modern democracy. Unfortunately, he finds himself in charge of a very old-fashioned nation. So he has set himself the visionary target of "rebranding" Britain. Instead of enjoying this country of nice old things, he wants to create a new "cool Britannia." Little surprise, then, that his passion for the modern has spread upward from Britain's House of Commons into the 700-year-old House of Lords. Under plans unveiled last week by Baroness Jay, the Labour government's leader of the Lords, Britain's...

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