Household power vacuum?

Lord Tyler

Thought for the day:   how come powerful vacuum cleaners have to be restricted by agreement of Europe’s Governments – not, of course, just by the European Commission – while powerful cars have no such constriction?  Could it be that those Governments are male dominated, and cars are “boys’ toys”, while those same politicians don’t…

What do Select Committees do?

Lord Holmes

As a relatively new member of the House of Lords I was delighted to be appointed to the Lords Select Committee on Digital Skills. Unlike select committees in the House of Commons, which are generally responsible for overseeing the work of government departments and agencies, those of the Lords look at general issues. They can…

What’s going on at the Foreign Office?

Baroness Murphy

When Baroness Warsi suddenly resigned last week from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) it was patently clear that her reasons were not as advertised by herself. Ministerial resignations like this, with no warning and no previously expressed public concern about policy, are nearly always a symptom of bad relationships between ministers or a quiet…

Just Deserts?

Lord Tyler

Over the weekend, a number of Conservative and Labour parliamentarians, from both ends of the building, were moaning and groaning about the arrival of 22 new Peers. Some were complaining that Conservative Party donors were included; some were querying whether Liberal Democrat activists were sufficiently august; some were griping that there were insufficient numbers of…

An Alternative World?

Lord Tyler

The so-called “Silly Season” seems endless in Westminster.  The sad death last month of my Liberal Democrat colleague Lord (Robert) Methuen – alongside whom I often shared the furthest backbench corner seat and enjoyed his erudite company – has sparked the most ludicrous farce. Let me explain.  An official green four-page notice, announcing the resulting…