I support both reform of the Upper House and the review which the Boundary Commission has been undertaking to improve the blatantly unfair constitutency boundaries for the House of Commons.
Given the catastrophic economic and fiscal position which the present coalition government inherited from the previous Labour administration, it is unsurprising that this is not top of the public list of concerns, which is headed by bread and butter issues such as the cost of living (especially fuel costs), jobs, and services like the NHS.
However, there is no good time to reform the constitution, but it does need reform.
It is no criticism of the present members of the House of Lords to say that Tony Blair's incomplete "reforms" made the composition of the present chamber indefensible.
Ironically what appears to have happened this summer proves how right the Conservatives were when Blair took most of the hereditary peers out to call for "no stage one without stage two."
Those Labour voices who were serious about reform suggested that the Blair House of Lords was so indefensible that it was bound to be further reformed soon, but Conservatives at the time argued that agreeing reforms was always difficult and we might be stuck with this model for a long time. That was nearly thirteen years ago and the first serious attempt at "stage two" appears to have just failed.
A majority of MPs including most Conservative MPs have consistently voted for reform and it was in the last Conservative manifesto (and those of the other parties) to replace the upper house by a wholly or partly elected upper chamber. Reform of the House of Lords was not a "Lib/Dem" policy, it was supposed to be the policy of all three major parties.
The Clegg proposals were not perfect - a fifteen year term was a bit much, and I detest regional party lists as a system of election, although the open lists proposed were not as undemocratic as the closed party lists introduced by Labour for several kinds of election. But these could and should have been addressed during debate on the bill, and even with these flaws the bill was far preferable to the present system.
I am extremely disappointed that reform has been stalled by an unholy alliance of Conservative rebels and a Labour party which as usual, talked the language of reform while sabotaging it for the most destructive of self-interested sectarian reasons.
I expected nothing better from Ed Miliband - given a range of options you can always rely on Labour to take the worst, and they'll never let you down or display the tiniest atom of principle. Just as John Smith did over Maastrict, Labour have demonstrated that they will fall overthemselves to abandon what they claim to believe if they see the slightest opportunity to damage a non-Labour government no matter how much collateral damage they do to the country.
But I did hope for better from the rebels who, I'm afraid, have played right into Labour's hands. I am sure that Mr Miliband is delighted with himself today, but the rebels should not be.
This is not going to kill the coalition because the country needs this government to last the course in order to finish sorting out Labour's economic mess.
But I hope that everyone in parliament in both the coalition parties will reflect over the summer on what constructive measures can be agreed to re-start the process of reform.