A Great Party

Baroness Murphy

Lord Norton is sad to see the Law Lords go but of course my getting a new office in the Palace depended on their going so I’m selfishly delighted. But I do really approve the idea of the Supreme Court being detached from parliament, although of course it was in effect detached in the way it conducted its business. Rather to my surprise our new office has been completely refurbished already and is now, while not roomy or particularly luxurious,  adequately equipped and has storage. Today the man from PICT, (the Parliamentary Information, Communications and Technology office) set up my computer.  Our filing cabinets are red to match the carpet. Very lordly. I can now find my way there without getting lost. I must tell you there is a loo nearby which has a big notice on the door saying ‘ This is a unisex loo, gentlemen are asked to close the door’.  And ladies?

Yesterday evening to a very special party in the lovely River Room in the old Lord Chancellor’s suite where  we Lords of the Blog celebrated the launch of the new site and our going ‘permanent’. We aren’t a ‘pilot project’ any more. Definitely an A list event…..all your favourites Lord Bloggers were there and all the people who have made it happen, from the Lords Director of Information Services and Chief Librarian Liz Hallam Smith, who was wearing a definitely A list floaty dress, the Lord Speaker (whose room we were using) pleased to be out of her clerical garb into a summery suit on such a warm evening, to the team from Communications and the Hansard Society without whom none of it could have happened.  We talked about all you bloggers of course, we’d love to know a little more about our ‘regulars’. We aren’t anonymous, do you have to be?

17 comments for “A Great Party

  1. Croft
    03/07/2009 at 2:54 pm

    On your new office: I rather like to imagine you in a high backed leather chair rather like Ernst Stavro Blofeld of James Bond fame. Though instead of stroking a white cat in a sinister manner while plotting your latest parliamentary tactics I thought perhaps stroking a phrenologists skull 🙂

    I’m sure the commoners-of-the-blog are either students, young professionals the retired or those who have been sectioned for the own safety. The usual suspects in other words 😀

  2. howridiculous
    03/07/2009 at 3:04 pm

    Dear Lady Murphy,

    I like the loo door story!

    As for the Law Lords, I am one of those opposed to their eviction from your House. I do not see, and never have seen, the need for the setting up of a ‘Supreme Court’ not least because we already have one ‘The High Court of Parliament’ which works very well indeed.


  3. j
    03/07/2009 at 3:50 pm

    Croft’s talking about themselves again 😉

    Oh and we aren’t THAT anonymous – our IP address shows up for your technical bods and you have to use a valid e-mail account in order to be able to comment. Sorry if I’m teaching you to suck eggs – am a a bit of a technophobe since Windows changed from 9.5.

  4. j
    03/07/2009 at 3:55 pm

    P.S. Am a forty-something disenfranchised ex-pat, hubby’s work moved, we followed. No taxation without representation hasn’t worked since the 1770’s, and we find ourselves caught up in the middle of various intergovernmental departmental mismatches despite (sometimes feels like TO spite) “free movement of goods,services and people”.

  5. 03/07/2009 at 4:27 pm

    As this project is about engaging the public, shouldn’t this have been an opportunity to open Parliament and invite some of the more prodigious bloggers formo LOTB inside?

    I’m sure a ‘great party’ in the Lords for a small group of privileged members is all well and good, but a competition on the LordsOfTheBlog could have generated real interest and excitement out in the blogosphere.

    It would also help to open up Parliament at a time of distrust of politicians and an impression that they are helping themselves, however unfair that may feel. Holding a party for yourselves probably doesn’t help.

  6. lordnorton
    03/07/2009 at 5:19 pm

    CRAiG B: We are ahead of you; that was one of the very things we discussed.

  7. 03/07/2009 at 6:58 pm

    well, yes, but the ‘open up’ party was held ahead of the ‘party for those of us already in here’!

    but good to hear it’s at least being mooted. attendees could do some video-blogging from the event. or some Audioboos.

  8. 03/07/2009 at 7:04 pm

    CRaig B: I’ve mentioned that in the past too so I’m, like, way ahead of both of you (oh pants, there goes my invite)! 🙂

    Some form of meetup with the Lords would be a great idea though. The wisdom of the Lords shouldn’t be confined to the House and school outreach programs.

    I’ve found myself wondering if it would be a simple meet-and-greet, or whether there would be speeches, Q&As and such? Probably depends upon how many people would be there.

    I’m really glad the Lords are moving fast to promote their worth to the nation. Glad to hear you had fun at the party too and that Lords of the blog is now a permanent fixture.

    Since Baroness Murphy asked: I’m a British ex-pat now living in Canada, moved here because I married a Canadian lady; we met when I bought http://www.webmaster-forums.net Our first child is due on 15th October!

    I’m a political outsider who finds it difficult to get enthused about the Democratic process. This might sound odd, since I post on here often, but I’ve never voted.

    The only politician who’s reasoning has made sense to me is Lord Norton. Not sure if that’s because most of the others are rubbish or I don’t listen hard enough — probably a mixture of both. I do have a positive impression of most Lords on here, no-one is as prolific as Lord Norton though, so I know his views best.

  9. lordnorton
    03/07/2009 at 8:56 pm

    CRAiG B: We know who we are, but in most cases we don’t know who most of you are; even e-mail addresses do not often give much away. I have noticed, though, that people who comment and are happy to use their own names, or some variation, tend disproportionately to be Hull politics graduates!

    I am thinking of offering tea at the Lords for winners of the quiz.

  10. Craig
    03/07/2009 at 9:12 pm

    Great idea!

  11. Troika21
    04/07/2009 at 2:23 am

    Oooo, I like the new site.

    Its nice to see this becoming a permant activity.

    Come to think of it, now that this is an on-going project of the Lords/Hansard, how are new bloggers going to be chosen in the future?

    • Matt Korris
      06/07/2009 at 12:11 pm


      Bloggers aren’t exactly ‘chosen’ – any peer who wishes to get involved is welcome. We have promoted the site to peers, but the most effective recruitment tool is the work of existing bloggers encouraging their colleagues to get involved by word of mouth.

      Matt Korris
      Hansard Society

  12. Adrian Kidney
    04/07/2009 at 1:03 pm

    In case nobody’s guessed, my handle is a pseudonym. I work not too far away from their lordships, and while I take neutrality seriously, I am not sure if I’d be allowed to do this publically!

    Unless I am mistaken, of course…?

  13. 04/07/2009 at 3:25 pm

    I comment under my real name, and I’ve never been to Hull in my life! I’m not involved in politics at all because, although it’s interesting, I’m completely unimpressed with political parties, which may well be why I’ve gravitated towards the House of Lords where people are more independently-minded, even if they are not crossbenchers. That’s also why I oppose an elected Lords that duplicates the Commons.

    As for aliases, it could be said that all Lords use aliases – their titles of peerage. Also, it’s interesting to see the aliases people post under. Until the site’s revamp, this was only visible to people like me who read the RSS feed, but I’ve noticed the usernames now appear in the metadata at the end of the post. So Lord Soley appears as “Clive Soley”. The funniest is Lord Renton of Mount Harry who is, apparently, “beccy83”. Do we suppose it was posed by his 26-year-old assistant?

  14. Clive Soley
    04/07/2009 at 10:50 pm

    I think I know the loo in question. Before it was re designated as a uni sex loo it was used by men only so I was very surprised to find a tampax dispensing machine in there! 30p a pack was, I thought, very reasonable – not that I’m fully up to speed on pricing them! I think this loo has changed its sexual identity several times – hence the dispenser.

  15. ladytizzy
    05/07/2009 at 11:24 pm

    “30p a pack was, I thought, very reasonable…”

    10p per tampon is the average rate – how many are in the HoL pack?

  16. Clive Soley
    06/07/2009 at 9:48 pm

    Three but I didn’t buy any – I didn’t have the right coins!

Comments are closed.