Friday, October 15, 1999

Lords have mercy

In Britain, the new Liberal Democrat spokesman on women’s issues is a man. He says that this is appropriate since it’s men who cause most of women’s problems. For example, he himself is divorced.

The neighbors of Hugh Hefner are complaining that his parties use up all the parking spaces in the neighborhood.

So how did France get hold of Carlos the Jackal five years ago? It seems they made a deal involving sending military equipment and satellite photos to Sudan, which I need hardly tell you is a terrorist state.

I mentioned a while back that hereditary members of the House of Lords were asked to submit 75-word statements on why they should be elected to the 92 spots allotted for hereditaries on a temporary basis in the reformed House. Some of those statements have been submitted. These are culled from the Times and Telegraph.

Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is campaigning on a platform of muzzling cats in public to prevent the “agonising torture” of mice and little birdies.

Baroness Strange reminded peers that the Lords would be a duller place without her. She brings flowers every day.

The Conservative peers Lord Morris and the Earl of Onslow made it clear that the whole thing was simply in bad taste. “It is hardly for me to attempt to proselytise my candidature; it is a matter for my peers,” Lord Morris said. The Earl of Onslow declared “It would be as vainglorious to proclaim a personal manifesto, as it would be arrogant to list any achievement.”

Viscount Torrington, at 56 a relatively junior member of the Lords, risks allegations of unsportsmanlike conduct by implicitly drawing attention to the age of his rivals. He said: “I believe that I am young enough to continue to contribute with enthusiasm and energy to (the House of Lords’) work.”

Lord Geddes demonstrates a populist touch by adopting the slogan “brains; breadth; brevity”, and Lord Montagu of Beaulieu stresses his knowledge of issues including the New Forest and the historic vehicle movement.

(Note: more campaign statements here.)

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