As Mr Yoghurt points out, the Lords has been one of the best guardians of our remaining civil liberties but with Labour currently gaining an ascendancy in the House, those days are likely to end shortly.
However, I don’t think the solution lies in an elected House of Lords. After all, the root of the problem lies in majoritarian grandstanding by a duly elected government. It seems to me that we need to enhance the Lords’ credibility as a deliberative body. Instead of making it into an analogue of the House of Commons, turn it into a jury. And like a jury, select its members at random from the population at large, by means of a lottery.
Lords so selected would be invited rather than compelled to take the ermine, and given a fixed term: say, the life of a parliament. They would receive a salary and expenses to cover things like housing and amusing traditional lord style clothing. Their sole job would be to drag out the effusions of the lower house into the light, and, where necessary, beat them to death like seal pups on a Canadian ice floe.
After all, comparatively few people value the Lords because they are Lords, but rather because they are independently minded, draw on a wide range of areas of knowledge and less likely to be tied to party factions. Random selection would tend to support all these virtues. Additionally, it would be a robust addition to Our Democracy. Britain: the country where everyone can have an equal crack at being a Lord.