A great stink
My friend Gordon Prentice (here)has written a most entertaining blog in what I think is a long running series questioning the integrity of that most noble Lord, Baron (Conrad) Black of Crossharbour. It seems Gordon is getting under the noble lord’s skin by having the temerity to ask where Black is paying his taxes. UK Parliamentary rules state that parliamentarians should pay their taxes in the UK if they are to sit in the UK parliament. Black considers Gordon mightily impudent for asking the question. It seems Black lives in Canada, whose citizenship he renounced in order to gain entry to the Lords (Canada’s constitution prevents its citizens from sitting in foreign legislatures). Of course Black doesn’t want to answer the question, just as Lord Ashcroft faced similar difficulties. Given that today some of the more virulent, disease-ridden British press are calling for the un-Lording of Lord (Tony) Hall over his part in the Bashir/Diana affair, perhaps now would be an opportune time to have a root and branch defenestration of all the questionable peerages that clutter the over stuffed upper chamber. By what merit did the Prime Minister’s brother Jo become a peer? Or the Russian oligarch who owns the London Evening Standard? Why is there still something called a Lord Archer? There are too many examples to cite, but to be created a peer these days must almost be classed as a badge of shame. Of course, the preferable option would be to abolish the whole thing, but that’s not going to happen when there is so much political patronage to dish out. Nevertheless, perhaps a leading journal of the left, such as the Guardian, could start an in-depth examination of all those who deserve to be de-ermined.
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