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A picture for My Lord Ashcroft

MAUNDY MONEY FOR THE WHOLLY WEAK. Those of us out of the loop may wonder how it is that one non-dom gets to be a legislator in the House of Lords; whilst another ex. Reading area Business man, R. Gaines Cooper, is adjudged differently, and is required to pay the back taxes he thought to have avoid by moving to the Seychelles thirty years ago. How is it that the recent Court ruling applies to the Commoner but seemingly not to the Noble Lord ? One reads that the matter of Lord Ashcroft’s ennoblement is to be considered by a relevant Committee, one awaits its deliberations with interest.

An ex. Impresario Maundy Gregory, was alleged to have master minded the SALE of Knighthoods Baronetcies and Peerages between the years 1916 and 1922. Doing so to raise funding for Lloyd George’s Liberal Party. There is no telling how many of the 1500 Knighthoods, and the 91 Peerages bestowed were actually traded, however the allegation was that the Tariff involved was £10,000 for a Knighthood, £30,000 for a Baronetcy, and £50,000 for a Peerage. The Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire being allegedly created in 1917 especially for those with shallower pockets. It was at that time Peerages were given en masse, rather than sold to, all four Proprietors of ‘The Fourth Estate’. But their honours too were tarnished by the Maundy Gregory scandal, to such an extent that my Father didn’t approve of his elder son keeping company with the daughter of one of them. He might have approved when his elder daughter became the second wife of the son of one of those original 1917 OBE.s, for he earned his award.

Whichever the truth of all this if mud is thrown, there is the tendency for it to stick. Lloyd George made tacit acknowledgement of the scandal by setting up the Political Honours Scrutiny Committee ( without powers of retrospection). Following which Government brought in The Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925. Thus it was no longer possible for such nepotistic advancement, so clearly there must be some sort of a misunderstanding concerning the Lords Ashcroft and Paul. That being so one wonders why Leaders of her Majesty’s Opposition have hitherto been so cagey concerning the Ashcroft incident.

WHEN SCEPTICISM HAS BEEN RIFE, SILENCE UNDERMINES CONFIDENCE IN THE JUDGEMENT OF THOSE WHO WOULD GOVERN US. One reads that the Leader of her Majesty’s Opposition heard detail of the matter only last month. Did Mr. Hague know of the situation earlier, if so was the information kept from Mr. Cameron?

One is minded of that remark quoted on Radio 4 this morning, on the Death of Michael Foot, which was on the lines of ‘The Boy David has risen from promising….to elder Statesman, with nothing in between.’

ELECTORAL AND PARLIAMENTARY REFORM. One Political Party has promised to reduce the number of seats in Parliament. Good , there are far too many members of Parliament, for its functions have been handed over not merely to the Euro-M.P.s, but too to unelected European Commissioners.

Do we who live in the United Kingdom approve of the Mess that Parliament has got us into, should one encourage them by voting?

It is past time to further reform both the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament, and too the electoral process. Government’s recent reforms of the ‘Lords’ did not go far enough. All the Hereditary Peers should have been put out to grass, and a new start made. Many sat in acknowledgement of the fact that their Ancestor provided ‘personal services’ to Royalty, whilst others sat not so much in the cause of good Governance, but in acknowledgement of the afore mentioned financial contributions they or an Ancestor made to some Political Party . Heredity is no longer Just Cause to give any man or woman , short or long term ‘Tenure’ in our Legislature.

DISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM Neither is there justification for those twenty five sitting Lords Spiritual, be they Bishop or Arch Bishop. Prior to the 16th.Century Reform Act. Monastic Abbots sat in the Lords as well . Hence the term ‘My Lord Abbot’ . Thus it was that prior to the dissolution of the Monasteries, the majority of the House was of such Lords Spiritual. I do not doubt that the latter, along with others Lords representative of Judaism or Islam are a good influence on Governance, however the numbers involved are disproportionate to the following each is representative of.

PRECEDENT Thousands and thousands of us can justifiably lay claim to Royal Descent (on the right side of the blanket too), and to degrees of kinship to the Nobility and to the Great and the Good, but the sharing of such Genes doesn’t necessarily endow one with ones forebear’s intellect or ability, or money. If such is so amidst Commoners it is no less so, amidst the hereditary Peerage. One read recently that the New Duke of Devonshire was quite willing to forego his perceived privileges. ‘Good on you mate’ as that ‘Aussie’ Mr. Hastings might have said when told that ‘rightfully’ he should be the ‘King of England, but then he was reported to be a Catholic so couldn’t be. 4th.March 2010

A Plague on both your houses, for I am sped ( William Shakespeare )

contact : John B. Pope
Email : pionono@tiscali.co.uk