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Anorak | Three Lords A Leaping

Three Lords A Leaping

by | 5th, December 2003

‘THERE was a time when people would – and, in the case of Lord Nelson, did – give an arm and a leg to get a peerage.

”It’s what we Englishmen call an alarm cock”

These days, however, they just get their cheque book out and sign over a couple of million of their often ill-gotten pounds to whatever party is most in need of cash.

In fact, maybe we should stop looking at political donations as such and consider them down payments for membership of London’s most exclusive gentleman’s club.

The Times reports that Tory leader Michael Howard is bracing himself for a “cash-for-honours” row after it emerged that Sir Stanley Kalms, Irvine Laidlaw and Leonard Steinberg are all in line for a title and a place in the House of Lords.

What the three have in common is that they have given more than £2.3m to the Tory party since 2001 and the paper says in return they were promised peerages by Iain Duncan Smith (who he?).

“Mr Howard has decided against last-minute changes,” it says, “even though Labour is certain to seize on the appointments as renewed evidence of Tory sleaze.”

However, instead of getting all sanctimonious about this, the Government would do much better to take the policy to its logical conclusion and start auctioning off titles.

A simple baronetcy (even without a familial history of dementia caused by a particularly virulent 17th Century strain of syphilis thrown in) could be expected to raise a seven-figure sum on e-Bay.

And a dukedom, say the Duchy of Cornwall, could net ten times as much, once all the attendant benefits, vis-a-vis early morning wake-up calls, are factored in.’



Posted: 5th, December 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink