Who cares about reforming the House of Lords?

A parliamentary report recommended reforms for the House of Lords Photo: Reuters

Do you care that a bunch of unelected cronies can influence legislation that affects your life?

Or do you welcome the fact that some of the country's most experienced business, legal and medical minds can order MPs to look again at legislation which they feel is full of holes?

The chances are you care about neither scenario.

Because House of Lords reform is so low down on voters' priorities it barely registers in opinion polls.

And yet the two parties in the coalition are setting themselves up for a massive row about the future of the Upper Chamber.

A report today from a group of MPs and peers (the Joint Committee on the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill) suggests a largely elected House of Lords (80% elected, 20% nominated) where its reduced membership (450 members) would serve for a single term of 15 years.

And yet even the committee itself could not come to a unanimous verdict on the reforms (an alternative press conference was called this morning by those who disagreed with the findings of their own committee).

There are alarmed by the potential change in the balance of power between the lower house (Commons) and the upper house (which would be more like a Senate). MPs are concerned about the effect on the primacy of the Commons which exists in the current set up.

Similarly no consensus could be reached on the necessity for a referendum on the planned reforms to our legislative arrangements.

Even though all three parties in their election manifestos committed themselves to some sort of Lords reform, a lot of noise has been made by Conservatives MPs in the last few days. They argue that now is not the time to reform the House of Lords, that there are more pressing priorities for government and for legislators.

And after being forced to use up so much political capital on tuition fees, NHS reform and income tax rates, it does beg this question: why do David Cameron and Nick Clegg think they should spend even more on a issue about which, ultimately, no one cares.