Peer Pressure: The House of Lords Opens Today

Today mySociety launches a pair of complementary services sprinkling some of our democratic pixie dust on the House of Lords:

Between them, these new services let you:

  • Identify a Lord who is interested in an issue of interest to you.
  • Write to any Lord you want via
  • View individual Peer profile pages including attendance at votes, most recent speeches, rebelliousness and more.
  • Get custom email alerts every time a certain Lord speaks, or when a word or phrase is spoken by anyone in the Lords. Over 5000 people will be mailed with unique updates today alone.
  • Produce league tables of which Lord or which MP has spoken words or phrases the most (handy for identifying which members show a public interest in which issues issues).
  • Search, read and annotate Lords Hansard back to 1999

Collectively we think that these tools should help pour light into the activities and workings of the House of Lords, and help members of the public develop productive relationships with the peers who vote on issues of importance to all of us.


  1. “In Britain today social failure has replaced economic failure as the new British disease. The contrast between the best state schools and the worst ones is incredibly stark and the consequences of the gulf between the two are increasingly disturbing.”

    I agree with David Cameron about that.

    You may have seen at the social exclusion web site [dead link removed July 2013; is relevant] there is a definition:

    â??Social exclusion happens when people or places suffer from a series of problems such as unemployment, discrimination, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime, ill health and family breakdown. When such problems combine they can create a vicious cycle.â??

    Whilst the first seven of these issues are addressed in the neighbourhood statistics or indices of deprivation at , the last one, â??family breakdownâ?? is not.

    So the Governmentâ??s view – some would say â?? is â??myopicâ??; indeed, equally so is that of the Conservatives – as they seem to be unwilling to draw attention to the suppression of this essential information.

    Every day there are references to national and regional statistics for domestic violence, rape, divorce, sexually transmitted infections, teenage pregnancy, out of wedlock births, lone parents, antisocial behaviour, and truancy etc.

    These are â?? collectively – a measure of social and domestic cohesion, or â?? if you like – the â??social failureâ?? which which David Cameron has correctly identified as being the current British disease rather than economic failure.

    However, it would make sense for the ONS to publish comprehensive â??unspunâ?? statistics â?? as requested recently by Andrew Turner MP – relating to social and domestic cohesion, and to produce an index by neighbourhood, if only to reduce the number of Parliamentary Questions. In West Yorkshire there were 35,000 incidents of domestic violence reported last year!

    In fact, publishing neighbourhood information relevant to social and domestic cohesion, would â?? more importantly – have the effect of motivating a great number of councillors, school governors, and other local community and faith leaders and charities to try to improve the situation in the areas in which they have some influence.

    At least it would enable them to measure changes, and to evaluate the few local programmes and policies that are helping to improve social and domestic cohesion.

    Let’s hope some members of the House of Lords, including the Bishops and other faith leaders, can get their heads around this issue.

    Nick Gulliford

    Policy adviser â?? National Association of Community Family Trusts

    Quel Bec
    TA4 3ED

    01823 432 420