Wit of Westminster – 2

Lord Norton

Some of the most amusing comments in the House have come from the formidable Baroness Trumpington (second from the right in the photograph).  Over the years – she was elevated to the peerage in 1980 – she has come out with a number of notable one-liners.

A few years ago, there was a question on the condition of a female chimpanzee that had been rescued from ill-treatment.  The minister reported that the chimpanzee was now being well cared for and was housed with a group of chimpanzees.  He added, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that she was getting on rather well with the male leader of the group.  Before anyone else could put a supplementary question, Baroness Trumpington shot to her feet to declare: ‘My Lords, she’s better off than I am’. 

More recently, there was a question on portable antiquities.  After the minister had answered, there were several informed supplementaries, including one from Lady Trumpington.  She concluded with the words: ‘My Lords, I declare an interest as a portable antiquity myself’.

3 comments for “Wit of Westminster – 2

  1. Senex
    12/08/2008 at 8:45 pm

    Here is a collection of Second House anecdotes:

    http://mspong.org/percy/senate.htm

    If one does a search of Hansard for the word ‘anecdote’ quite a few references can be found. Not only does the House of Lords have its more charming moments but anecdotes can be used to great effect by way of illustration during debates.

    Baroness Corston illustrates this point in here reply to Q575:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmselect/cmniaf/118/7101004.htm

    Lord Judd’s comment on an anecdote used by Baroness Williams seems particularly poignant given the events taking place in Georgia at this moment in time.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199899/ldhansrd/vo990506/text/90506-09.htm

  2. howridiculous
    13/08/2008 at 9:07 am

    Dear Lord Norton,

    Thank you so much for posting something about Lady Trumpington. I was hoping you would. I have had the great privilege of bearing witness to Lady T’s wit first hand and it is magnificent to behold.

    I do hope you will consider doing regular ‘Wit of Westminster’ posts.

    Howridiculous.

  3. JB1
    22/08/2008 at 1:56 pm

    I have to agree Lady Trumpington is somewhat of a genius, and always brings a smile to my face when I hear her speaking at oral questions. Can we not get her involved with the blog? One of my favourites is as following: Baroness Trumpington: “My Lords, has the Minister been to Madagascar? When I was there, there was a very small embassy consisting of one and a half men.”

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