Earl Ferrers on form

Lord Norton

Earl Ferrers

Earl Ferrers was on form yesterday when he moved the motion for the loyal address.  He noted that he been in the House for 55 years, but this was the first time he had been invited to move the loyal address.  “Your Lordships will soon find out why.”  He then made one of his characteristically witty but incisive speeches. 

He congratulated the Liberals on achieving office for the first time in 65 years, adding:

“That is quite an achievement whichever way you look at it. They have been at the forefront of all political jokes, especially from my party, most of which we thought were wholly justified. But not no more! We are chained together like suffragettes. When the late Lord Pethick-Lawrence, whom I remember sitting at the end of the Bench opposite, was in another place and his wife was a formidable suffragette, he made the wonderful observation that he would give £100 to a charity for every day that his wife remained chained to the railings of the House of Commons.”

Later, in discussing the proposals for a 55% majority for the Commons to provide for the dissolution of Parliament, he recalled the occasion in 1979 when the Government lost a vote of confidence by just one vote:

 “I was watching in the Gallery. There was a sombre feeling in another place because everyone thought that the Motion was lost. Then, one of the Whips-Anthony Berry I think it was-rushed in holding up one finger. The roar was tremendous. Everyone knew that the Government had lost by one. Everyone understood that. Now, one would have to work out 55 per cent of 423-[Laughter]-and come in holding up three and a half fingers.”

It got us off to a good start.

3 comments for “Earl Ferrers on form

  1. tory boy
    26/05/2010 at 9:21 pm

    I only wish Baroness Trumpington seconded the motion, that would have been a cracking speech, and we are all much the poorer for not heraing her performace. Maybe next time!

    • Lord Norton
      02/06/2010 at 9:24 pm

      tory boy: The motion is usually moved by a senior member of the House and seconded by a young up-and-coming member. Baroness Trumpington msy be flattered by the suggestion she should second the motion rather than move it.

  2. Gareth Howell
    27/05/2010 at 1:54 pm

    Why should the gracious earl not be witty?

    Listening to some of the wise cracxks of Barak Obama, who outwits the paid wits at big occasions, I wonder whether he is upsetting the victims of his wit until eternity, except for the fact that he has such charm,that his audience knows he does not mean what he says, for a moment!

    Wit can be cruel, but neither the earl, nor his excellency the President, is so.

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