Yesterday’s Second Reading debate on the Digital Economy Bill produced some good speeches: the most telling critiques of the Bill were provided by Lord Lucas on the Conservative benches and Lord Whitty on the Labour benches. The debate is well worth reading. The first speaker on the Conservative side was former Cabinet minister, Lord Fowler, and I thought readers may enjoy his opening comments:
“Lord Fowler: My Lords, I am responding first from this side but I should perhaps make it clear that the views I set out are mine alone and, probably to its relief-do not bind my party in any way. This is also not a bid to move from here to the Front Bench. I know this will come as an enormous disappointment to your Lordships, but I have already made more political comebacks than the noble Lord, Lord Mandelson.
Lord Fowler: That is about right; on reflection, he has made rather more.
In any event, I was rather put in my place at the State Opening. The cameras roamed over those of us waiting and, I am told, for a moment or two dwelt on me, which noble Lords might think was rather good-and it might have been had the BBC commentator not chosen to add the remark: