Labour’s Promises……..Reality

When gazing in a mirror whilst trimming my beard, I admit that time has indeed marched on. My hair and beard are either silver, or snow white. Ever more, I look back upon my life, and examine the times which I have lived through, and noted how things have changed, usually for the worst. We do, as a Nation, live longer, mainly due to advances in medical technology, but these advances are, unfortunately, skewed towards the better educated, as well as those wealthier than the poorest. The life and the Body Politic have changed, in so many ways in these Islands of ours; so much that if a man who lived in, say the Nineteen-Thirties was transported forwards, and deposited in this year of Twenty-Nineteen: he would hardly recognise that this is the land of his birth. Changes almost beyond belief have been wrought; some for the best; but most bending towards the destruction of what was once known; in my eyes: as civilised society.

Take just one item from the morass of bits of our very lifestyle which have been subject to the slow, insidious grasp of the Liberal Left, and you may agree with this writer that ‘Change’ has not altogether been for the best. I can only speak of my own experiences in Education, but I believe that my upbringing had much in common with the wider community. Primary school was where we learned the Three ‘R’s: Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. There was discipline, there were no rowdy interruptions, we called the teachers ‘Miss’, ‘Mrs.’ or ‘Sir’; with absolutely no exceptions. The teacher’s voice was the only one heard, unless and until a common question was asked, and usually a forest of hands shot up in response: because no-one spoke without invitation, and we all waited until addressed by our name before replying. We learned by rote; by lists, by those ‘Times Tables, by learning, off by heart, small booklets full of the ‘most difficult’ words: and no-one jeered, or laughed, or disrupted the class! No-one ran inside the school buildings, because to run was to be uncouth, to be ill-mannered. We ran, and played, and talked outside; gaining, without ever realising or noting the fact that we were exercising, muscle tone and strength.

Moving on, as I did, to a Grammar school, or as most of my friends did towards a Secondary Modern school, we were all subject to varying models of discipline, but, again, we learnt by reading, by example, by observation. True, in the Grammar school which I attended, the physical side of the ‘discipline’ model tended more towards the back-hander across the ear, or in my own case being knocked unconscious for the ‘high crime’ of ‘disrespecting the teacher by lifting my desk lid before he was out of the class. But, I lived through it, and, I suppose, looking back from fifty years of life’s hard knocks; we came through with a healthy respect for rules, written and unwritten.

Fast forwards some fifty-odd years, and take a good, hard look at modern British schools, the (allegedly) comprehensive education system, and the hold which the Left commands on schools in general, teachers, the curriculum, how it is taught, and the very ethos of how our children are ‘educated’. Schools are crippled by league tables, exams are dumbed down and ‘well meaning liberal’ teachers refused to discipline black children for fear of being called racist. In the average state school, the kids would have had their studies disrupted by kids who didn’t want to work in classes run by teachers who couldn’t keep discipline. Discipline is a term so foreign to the State school set-up as virtually all of the teachers, never mind the kids; would not know what it means, never mind how to spell it. Bullying, of the weaker by the strong, is rampant, and the futile and feeble attempts aimed at grappling with this alarming problem are almost laughable; inclusive of such crap as Anti-Bullying Strategies. My approach to bullies is, understandably, old-fashioned in that physical force is used against proven bullies: but that ideal is so far away from present-day realities that it can be discounted. A close friend has a grandson attending a school which also caters for ‘Special Needs children’. He enquired why his grandson wasn’t showing any improvement? The Answer? The class contains disruptive kids who cannot be controlled; the lessons were interrupted, and the learning curve was disrupted!

But now we have a new role-model: a former marxist teacher who was fired after stating what she considered to be the absolute truth regarding the education establishment. A black educationalist who refuses to stick to the mould. She stuck to her guns, made her case, established a brand-new ‘Free’ school in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in Greater London; and this year, the first in which her pupils won through to receive the best results ever in GCSE examinations. Her school is named Michaela, her methods are strictly old-school. No more is the idea that anything goes in That School. 

Results Count,  which is why Michaela’s Head teacher can post this on her Twitter feed:-

LABOUR’S ELECTION PROMISES ……..REALITY

Why does the success of the Michaela School so infuriate the left?

 

Because though the headmistress Katharine Birbalsingh is black, she’s the wrong kind of black: a conservative who doesn’t believe in playing the race card or identity politics.

Because though the kids come from largely working-class, migration-background families, they are the wrong kind of working-class immigrants: ones who don’t know their role is to be victims and to blame their failures on racism and government inaction.

Because though the results are some of the best in the country, they were achieved using the wrong kind of methods: not the “child-centred”, supposedly creativity-nurturing, discipline-lite laissez-faire approach as recommended by the leftist educational establishment — aka the Blob — but with teaching methods so rigorous and demanding that classes are like a cross between a Trappist monastery and a Marine boot camp.

The derisive comments come thick and fast, such as:-

 

Some one needs to educate this head teacher that for kids life is much more than bloody discipline and GCSE.

You only have youth once.

Say no to educational robots.

This school will always be oddball.

It will never catch on.

 

And so on, and so forth.

But Katherine marches onwards, defiant and certain that her methods and ideals work, and her ever-supportive parents are right behind her.

The question must be asked, would this fantastic school’s educational achievements ever catch on? Even under a Tory Government, with an enlightened Ministerial hand on the tiller; I would give it odds of 100/1 against. The grip of the Left-wing on the whole of the education system, certainly in England, is so strong that it would take decades to rid ourselves of the Socialist ideals which have been fed so skilfully into the minds of teachers and pupils who, at present, don’t even know or understand what pap is being fed them: all under the guise of an ‘Enlightened System of Education’.

Surprise: Muslim Jihadi lies, then kills the fools who thought Jihadis were nice guys, but ‘just misunderstood’

The dead are not even cold, as they lie in the morgues, before the tributes to the gullible are being scattered around like buckshot. “ the organisers were present at Fishmongers’ Hall, and added: “Of course they [organisers] are absolutely devastated by what’s happened. “ as well as “”Jack lived his principles; he believed in redemption and rehabilitation, not revenge, and he always took the side of the underdog.”; and “Miss Jones, a volunteer with Learning Together from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, was described as having a “great passion” for providing support to victims of crime by her family.” The headlines talk about two ‘Idealists’. I would prefer the alternate term, ‘Do-Gooders’

We are also told, in grave and saddened tones, that a vigil shall be held in remembrance of the dead and injured, as well as the brave public respondents who hosed the stupid bastard down before the police ramped up, and by those armed police shooting the scumbag in the head; DID WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE EIGHT YEARS AGO!

The clowns who sat, posing in all their Liberal stupidity, in the Fishmongers’ Hall, were discussing  prisoner rehabilitation schemes such as ‘Learning together’. Well, being blunt, I hope they have learnt something concrete about the gullible being led by the stupid; but I doubt it very, very much. Just concentrate, for a second, and ask yourselves why this murderous piece of garbage was sent to prison in the first place. He, along with his eight co-conspirators,  were convicted of planning to set Pipe Bombs in or around the London Stock Exchange. The four would-be murderers from Stoke all did a ‘deal’ with the CPS and the Judge, whereby they were told what maximum sentence they would get if they pleaded guilty. Upon the ‘deal’ being made, the trial was halted, the jury dismissed, and the agreed sentences imposed. The ‘DEAL’ was done, and instead of a regular trial, where the ferocious intent of these murderous Muslims would have been brought out in open court, they were allowed to plead ‘guilty’, and the sentences were quietly imposed with virtually no publicity at all. However, the Judge, because Usman Khan was said to be more dangerous, his sentence was said to be ‘Indeterminate’. This meant that the total time of the sentence could be increased, if the prisoner showed no possibility of repentance.

 

Khan, along with Nazam Hussain and Mohammed Shahjahan, appealed against their sentences and had the indeterminate sentences dropped by the Court of Appeal in 2013.

Lord Justice Leveson found the original decision had “wrongly characterised” the three men as more dangerous than the other defendants.

In his judgment, he wrote: “Although we recognise that training terrorists in the use of firearms could only lead to potential loss of life… the fulfilment of that goal was further removed and there were other obstacles.” Mr Justice Leveson ruled the three men should have been given determinate extended sentences, finding that Shahjahan now had to serve 17 years and eight months and Khan and Hussain had to serve 16 years.

The nine men sentenced in February 2012 were sentenced under law from 2003, which said people given extended sentences would be released on licence at the midway point..This meant that Khan only had to physically spend eight years in prison, taking into account the 408 days he was behind bars before his trial. The law covering extended sentences was changed in December 2012, but Mr Justice Leveson used the previous law in the appeal as it was the one used at the original sentence.

Mr Justice Leveson, sitting with Mr Justice Mitting and Mr Justice Sweeney at the appeal, said: “There is an argument for concluding that anyone convicted of such an offence should be incentivised to demonstrate that he can safely be released; such a decision is then better left to the parole board for consideration proximate in time to the date when release becomes possible.” 

However, he then decided that while the risk to the public was clear, the three Stoke defendants were no more dangerous than their co-defendants – who were then eligible for automatic release without involvement from the parole board. 

So Khan went free after eight years, and he fooled the gullible Social Justice camp by even writing bloody poetry; but the single worse thing was to follow, HE GOT PERMISSION TO TRAVEL TO LONDON TO ATTEND THE FISHMONGERS’ HALL MEETING UNACCOMPANIED. 

 

The rest is history. He tied one knife to his hand with tape, then armed with two knives, he began his murderous rampage against the very people who had so foolishly given him their trust. Fortunately, there were some individuals with bigger balls than normally issued; they tackled him, and forced him out of the meeting hall; trained fire extinguishers upon him, and held him until the police arrived. Upon sight of the fake ‘bomb-jacket’ he was wearing, the police took the only action possible: they shot the murderous bastard in the head.

But what should we, as a nation, learn from this atrocity? A few things, to my own mind.

  • No terrorist should ever be believed.
  • The ‘Do-gooders’ of this world should be rudely woken up, and told their ‘services’ are no longer needed.
  • The law should be changed so that well-meaning but stupid Judges cannot overturn a sentence, even though they might not like it.
  • The Justice system must be turned to face reality, and that any convicted terrorist should face life, and what is more ‘LIFE WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE’!
  • An acceptance, by ALL Political Parties, that Radical Muslim Terrorism exists as a factor, and there should be no accommodation for this murderous philosophy.

Labour’s Manifesto: “Now Indeed is the Winter of our Discontent!”

The Labour Party published its 2019 Manifesto four days ago. It comes in at 105 pages, full of £Biliions for this, and more £Billions for that, sympathy and promises of action for the (alleged) users of Food Banks; more promises of a million ‘Green’ jobs for the ‘Climate Emergency’, and so on, and on, and so forth. Many commentators compared it to the ‘Longest Suicide Note’ Manifesto, produced for the 1983 election cycle by Michael Foot. 

 

If readers wish to waste their time, they can plough through all 105 pages. But they should ignore the £ Billions promised to fund this daft idea, or ever more £ Billions for that lunacy, such as funding HS2 all the way to Scotland. They should further ignore the 75 £ Billions promised to fund the building of 150,000 Council and ‘affordable’ homes across the Country. Readers should also view with great suspicion the talk of providing ‘Free Broadband’ for everyone, despite this being the product of bare-faced theft, by nationalising BT’s Openreach, as well as parts of Sky, TalkTalk etc; with ‘compensation in the form of long-term Government bonds.

But readers needn’t bother ploughing through all the ‘Socialist paradise’ promises which spew out over those 105 pages of well-typed drivel: because there are only four clauses which count: only four but these four really show what drives Labour, what they have feared over the barren years of Opposition: what they have conveniently forgotten from their triumphal victories of 1997 under Tony Blair; but show what drives them to once more hopefully commit total electoral suicide.

 

  • We will remove unfair and unnecessary restrictions on trade unions, allowing people to come together and speak up on issues that affect them at work.

  • We will work in partnership with the workforce and their trade unions in every sector of our economy.

  • We will require all companies bidding for public contracts to recognise trade unions

  • We will consult media-sector workers and trade unions

We should examine these four clauses very closely, because they will, at one step, give Labour’s paymasters, the  Trades Unions, the muscle and the power which they have longed for ever since the Tories, under Margaret Thatcher, neutered those same Unions with carefully-targeted and successful legislation. The question must be asked. Why did the Tory Trades Union Bills stop the strikes, the ‘bully-boy’ tactics of a ruthless Left-Wing Cabal so successfully? Simple, really: the Bills targeted the three weapons which the Union Barons had wielded so successfully for decades: namely

  • Open dispute ballots and voting en masse, in public, unshielded from all who watched.

  • Strikers moving against Companies who did business with the target Company

  • Wild-cat strikes which appeared in a so-called dispute, but cleared almost immediately; but always created sheer chaos because they were so unpredictable.

The Thatcher Government made it possible to guarantee that, if the strike was legally founded, the Union and the striking labour force had nothing to worry about. But the Tory-led legislation not only gave the Unions a guarantee that their strikes were protected, they also ensured the DEMOCRATIC process was clear by making all strike ballots SECRET. No longer could a workforce be made to vote by a show of hands, in public, in front of all their workmates, AS WELL AS THE UNION THUGS AND THE ‘HEAVY SQUAD’

No longer could the Unions enforce their grip upon a workforce, long tired of supporting unreasonable demands upon their employers.

The new regulations also ensured that, if illegality or strong-arm tactics were  either suspected or proven, this could be attacked by the imposition of a Court Order. If the Union concerned did not return, immediately, to legality, the union funds could be sequestrated and seized.

Rupert Murdoch, he of the Times and Sunday Times, wanted to introduce technological innovations that would put 90% of the old-fashioned typesetters out of work. The company offered redundancy payments of £2,000 to £30,000 to each printer to quit their old jobs. The union rejected the offer and on 24 January 1986 its 6,000 members at Murdoch’s papers went on strike. Enough printers were employed –670 in all–to produce the same number of papers that it took 6,800 men to print at the old shop. The efficiency was obvious and frightened the union into holding out an entire year. Thousands of union pickets tried to block shipments out of the new plant; they injured 574 policemen. There were 1,500 arrests. The pickets failed. The union tried an illegal secondary boycott and was fined in court, losing all its assets which had been used for pensions. 

If Corbyn’s Communist thugs of the Momentum movement get their hands upon Westminster, and Whitehall, the first thing they will do is repeal all the Union Legislation, and in a trice, Britain will revert to the 1970’s, where whole shipyards were paralysed over an argument as to who pluck the chalked string which marks where a steel plate should be cut!

As for the Labour Leadership, who authored and published this cart-load of confiscatory garbage, there has been much talk of ‘Trust’.

Trust in general, ‘trust’ in particular regarding the Leadership of all the Parties.

Prime Minister Johnson, comes in for his share of criticism on ‘Trust’, but mainly on a personal basis: women, affairs, character, but, I reckon, nothing too damaging or indeed lasting.

The LIB-Dems’ leader Swinson has badly-damaged herself and her Party by the fact that, in her statement, she confirmed that 17.4 Brits, from all sides of the political aisle, would be totally ignored; totally ‘Dissed’, as she confirmed that she would revoke Article 50, cancel the Referendum, and cling ever closer to the ‘Love of their Lives’; the shackles of a Brussels-based Dictatorship.

The Brexit Party failed to keep the ‘trust’ of their followers by dropping Brexit Party nominees in all Tory seats, but at least he kept faith with the balance of the supporters by aiming fair and square at all the Leave sides of Labour. Nigel slightly shot his own foot by stating that he would not run himself for a Parliamentary seat. Wise? Perhaps, but the wider Brexit electorate IS disappointed, and it shows.

I would disregard the Greenies, and the SNP. The Greens live in ‘cloud cuckoo land’ and The SNP, by their own words and campaign promises, are locked to either Labour, Lib-Dumbs, Greenies, or even the Westminster Cleaning contractors for their ‘pie-in-the-sky’ ideas of Independence.

We should now turn to the real n******s in the woodpile, The marxist, communist, anarchy-led Labour Party. The Party where a large proportion of the Labour MPs not only deeply distrust their Leadership, but several are actively either speaking out and spitting fury at the damage which has been done to their precious Labour Party; MPs such as Ian Austin, or John Woodcock, or the ultimate, in terms of the distaste which many Labour MPs hold Corbyn and John McDonnell; a former Labour MP is now standing as a Tory candidate. The whole Shadow Cabinet, in terms of ‘Trust’, wouldn’t be trusted with the simple task of picking up an pensioner’s cash from the Post Office: because they’d probably pocket the lot. As a note on ‘Trust’ issues, I would refer you to the former head of the Secret Service, who stated that Corbyn is a danger to National Security!

As a final note, upon which to end this polemic, I give you the words of the late, great Margaret, Baroness Thatcher, spoken in the dark days before the Nation came to its senses, kicked Labour out, and restored a sense of Democracy to our Nation State:-

 

The Demise of an American Institution

For those who are less than permanently interested in American Politics, one campaigning group, above all others, was given utter respect by both sides of the political aisle, totally because of its name; it’s initials. The ACLU, or to give it’s full title the American Civil Liberties Union, existed for one reason only. To ensure that Law, as it is both made and observed within the United States, complies and coincides with the Constitution. I used to believe that the American Civil Liberties Union is the one bastion of American Democracy which worked, and what’s more, worked for every American.

Their brief is ‘to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States’; nothing more, nothing less!

The cases which they fight may jar many nerves, but the one thing they always uphold is the supremacy of the American Constitution, and the laws which have come to be made in the shadow of that famous document.

I wish that we in Britain had both a Constitution, and an organisation as muscular as the ACLU to protect us against such as New, or even Old Labour!

But now, I have to confess, the time when the ACLU held the respect of the many is coming to a close, because that same ACLU has joined with other ‘kooks-in-the-closet’ and joined the clamour on the Transgender lobby. Proclaiming, as can be read in the linked Breitbart article, that  it pushed the claim that pregnant or menstruating women can become men by declaring they have a male “gender identity.”

The ACLU also tweeted that:-

There’s no one way to be a man. Men who get their periods are men. Men who get pregnant and give birth are men. 

Trans and non-binary men belong’.

As one Tweet comment noted:- I, a woman and a lesbian, have been an ACLU member since 1989.  No more. Men do not menstruate, men do not give birth. Women do both.  Girls and women are females.

 

Methinks the ACLU has jumped upon the wrong bandwagon, for the wrong reasons, for the wrong cause. It is rather sad, because America needs an independent voice, a voice which used to ring true: but now just sounds rather hollow.

 

Two hours and thirty-eight minutes wasted.

Many seasoned WW2 observers would argue that, of all the individual conflicts which raged through the six long war years, there were only three battles which, in the end, counted. The three were El Alamein, which saw the first time that the ‘invincible’ Rommel was out-thought, out-manoeuvred and out-fought by Montgomery’s Allied forces; Stalingrad, where the Germans took on the newly-reinforced metal of the Soviet forces, and failed, thus giving impetus to Stalin’s march westwards: and Midway, where, due to America’s cryptographic success, the Japanese Navy’s moves were predicted by the Americans; allowing the massive loss of four fleet carriers to the one loss for the Americans. 

Many times, Hollywood’s finest have attempted to portray various WW2 battle: and they have mostly failed. The original ‘Tora, Tora, Tora’ was, in my own opinion, about as honest as any in the portrayal of the Japanese planning, the Americans’ obstinacy and adoration of the ‘Big Gun Battlewagons’ as opposed to the newcomers of the aviation arm, where carriers ruled, and the  main warships of each side never caught sight of each other. ‘Pearl Harbor’ was rightly dismissed as a simple waste of good photographers’ time.

I went to watch ‘Midway’, and I can honestly report that that was two hours and thirty-eight minutes wasted. The lead actors had obviously never heard of emotion, they seemed to be reading their lines off of storyboards held just outside the camera’s viewpoint. The CGI air and sea battles were well done, but the huge mistakes made by the Japanese in swapping their aerial bomber battle loads twice, once they learned that there were carrier-borne aircraft making the torpedo attacks, was given so little prominence that most people would have missed it, the ones who were still awake; that is. The success of the American cryptography and cipher crews was almost dismissed as ‘two-thirds guesswork’ in the scripts parroted by the alleged actors.

No mention of the sheer heroic bravery of those slow torpedo plane fliers, carrying torpedoes which did not work: who were literally decimated as they flew against the Jap carriers, decimated by a Japanese Combat Air Patrol  who came down from up on high to slaughter those American heroes. It was that decision to attack the torpedo squadrons which gave the Enterprise’ dive bomber squadrons almost free rein to begin their attack runs, which took three of the four Fleet carriers out of the war, with the fourth sunk in a return flight off the  remaining American carriers. For a first-class overview of the entire conflict, I recommend Herman Wouk’s ‘War and Remembrance. In this superb author’s view, Midway was fought in three phases. The first lasted all the morning of June 4th. The second, vital action lasted five minutes. The third lasted three days.

midway2

If ice is melting, why build expensive icebreakers?

Many things might, and usually are, said about Russian business practices. After the collapse of Soviet Russia, the wholesale theft of billions of dollars-worth of minerals, of whole industries, of vast quantities of oil and gas sufficient to power whole Continents was achieved by the Oligarchs. These are the people who nowadays buy football clubs as though they were supermarket items, the people who order massive yachts, and then visit for a day, to find out that their boats have been outstripped in terms of length, engine capacity, and the obscene amounts of booze carried on board, by the next Russian or Ukrainian thief along the line. But modern Russia, ruled over by comrade Putin, knows the value of their roubles, knows that their mineral wealth is foremost in keeping the Capitalist wolf from the Russian State’s borders, and also knows that their  oil and gas wealth are a really good lever to keep the EU sanctions from biting too hard.

They also must know that the so-called Climate Emergency is not real, the  world isn’t warming up because of excess Carbon Dioxide, and the Russian State certainly isn’t going to shut down their lucrative gas and oil sales because a few thousand deluded lobbyists, aided and abetted by an autistic schoolgirl with a vastly-inflated sense of her own importance; say so. Despite all the catastrophic warnings of sea levels rising, and flooding everywhere, and ‘We’ll all be drowned in our beds’ panic statements, no-one. repeat no-one, has been forced to abandon their homes because of rising sea levels.

As for the oft-claimed Arctic ice melting away, the Russians seem to be of the belief that this will not only NOT happen, the prevailing thickness may well, in Russian business planning terms, be heading towards being thicker. The proof of this thinking is the planning and building, as  the Russian State-owned shipping company Sovcomflot signed a long-term charter agreement with gas producer Novetek for the new ice-breaking LNG (LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS) carrier. The vessel will be constructed at Russia’s Zvezda Shipbuilding and it is designed for year-round operations in the challenging ice conditions of the Kara Sea and the Gulf of Ob and will be able to sail independently through ice over two metres thick. In 2017, Sovcomflot introduced the world’s first icebreaking LNG carrier, Christophe de Margerie. Along with the massive Russian State fleet of nuclear and conventionally-powered ice-breakers, does the planned purchase of these hugely expensive ships, by an astute Russian energy sector, say one thing, and one thing only: that the Russians know that the ice ain’t going nowhere fast, and if the Russians want to take the LNG from their Arctic fields, they will need ice-breaking capacity for a long, long time yet!

 

Nigel has a few points

NIgel Farage is, at the same time, a barnstorming politician and a voice crying in the wilderness. But, and there is a point to my writing, there are pearls to be found in amongst the many lines he speaks so easily.

He isn’t standing for Parliament himself, which is probably wise. Given his track record of seven times showing up at an election, and no wins to his credit, he is possibly not wishing to add yet another failure to his CV. 

But, after listening carefully to his first Election speech to the Brexit faithful in Carlisle, we must remember that this is a man who, single-handedly, brought a Political Party from obscurity to 4,000,000 votes, unfortunately in a First-Past-the-Post General Election. This is a man who formed and led a team, know only as the Brexit Party; from nothing, in four weeks, to achieving twenty nine seats in the European Parliament which he reviles on a daily basis. This is a Politician with a capital ‘P’, who knows the back-alleys of the European Parliamentary system as though he was born into them.

Two small gems which emerged from Farage’s speech in Carlisle should be examined very carefully. He stated that this United Kingdom should update itself in regard to its Politics. He suggests a Referendum on items of interest to Britons. I ask you? What is more democratic than actually asking the voters what their cash should be spent on? The average politician would run a mile from such ideas and idealism. Switzerland does it all the time. In Cantons, in Federal areas, the Politicians ask, and sometimes, they are told, in no uncertain terms; what exactly to do with their bright ideas. Can anyone imagine any party in this convoluted UK giving credence to such an outlandish idea?

The second is much more valid, and, with all Parties, is worthy of exploration. What to be done with the House of Lords. In times gone by, the Lords was worthy of respect, of a tinge of awe. Here were scientists, engineers, landed men and women men and women who did not need to be proven of their worth. Usually wealthy, they wore their titles casually, and gave independent scrutiny to Bills passed forwards by the Commons. It is only in the past four decades that the Lords began the downward spiral, after the gerrymandered changes brought in by the Blair Government, where the Hereditaries were unceremoniously turned out, and politicised Life Peerages brought in.  The Life Peerages, where between Labour and Tories, have sent six hundred placemen, failed politicians and celebs alike, into a place where they can sway the passage of a Bill. I cannot understand why a peerage might be offered to a black entertainer on children’s television, but Floella Benjamin sits in the Lords, and can influence Legislation. Doreen Lawrence’s one claim to fame was that her black son (who was either a would-be architect or a drug dealer) was murdered by a bunch of white men. After the trials, and a one-sided inquiry into policing, she was elevated to the Peerage, and sits, ermine-clad, when Her Majesty opens Parliament.

How the Lords could be reconstituted in such a manner as to be less political, is a conundrum for this decade: all I know is that Nigel is right, and change is long overdue