This project takes all the portraits of the current members of the House of Lords and averages their pixels together to create a visual representation of an average Lord. Averaging erases difference and there are many exceptional people in the house of lords. My focus in the average is not their erasure but on how the selection process is clearly creating a unelected majority house that does not reflect the people it represents and is clearly a vehicle for political power and antiquated nobility.
Joining the House of Lords
The House of Lords is one of the largest legislative assemblies in the world. There are 3 routes into the House of Lords:
- Nomination (from yourself or someone else) to the House of Lords appointment commission
- Prime ministers nomination
- Inheriting a Hereditary title.
Nominating yourself or by someone else is probably the trickest route with ~2 appointments per year. You have to be accepted by the review committee and generally have contributed something worthwhile to society. Applications however are open all year round: Apply now! Thankfully if you don't have time for "adding value to society" or have some questionable history that might upset a review committee the good news is the system has been optimisied for you.
Being nominated by an out-going Prime minister. They can pick as many peers as they like and who they want and nobody can do anything about it. Even if the security services, MPs or the House of Lords appointment commission are unhappy it's all good.
Inheriting a Hereditary title entitles you to sit in the House of Lords. It helps to be male as of the 808 Hereditary titles in the UK only 90 can be inherited by women. Currently there are no female Hereditary peers in the house of lords. Even if you have a title though there is some bad news, there are only 92 seats for Hereditary peers in the House of Lords. The House of Lords Act 1999 set out to remove membership by virtue of a hereditary peerage but thankfully featured an amendment that contradicted this by allowing 92 hereditary peers to remain members. So to gain your seat you need an existing peer to die, be associated with the same political party as that peer and get the existing Hereditary peers of that party to vote for you. There are 42 Conservative, 2 Labour, 42 Lib Dems & 28 Cross Bench Hereditary peers and they stay fixed, so your strategy lies there.