The Earl of Onslow

Lord Norton

I was very sorry to hear of the death of the Earl of Onslow.  He died on Saturday and had been ill for some time.  He kept attending the Lords even though confined to a wheelchair and clearly ailing.  Despite his illness, he continued to contribute to debates, including the one I initiated on having a Royal Commission on the use of drugs.  He was somewhat eccentric – certainly a character – but was a great asset to the House.  He thought for himself and pursued causes that may have surprised some.  He was a humane character and was devoted to the Lords.  Although I heard him say on one of his last days in the House, ‘I have had a good innings’, he was only 73. 

Among the obituaries was a notably appreciative one by Quentin Letts.

[I would add a photograph of Lord Onslow but the recent update to the site has meant that we can no longer upload pictures.]

18 comments for “The Earl of Onslow

  1. 19/05/2011 at 3:54 pm

    A slightly sneaky link there to an article that sings the praises of the present House of Lords even more than it does Lord Onslow!

    I hope the picture uploading issue will be fixed, rather than being “policy”. If it’s the latter, perhaps I can suggest some work-arounds…

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      19/05/2011 at 4:54 pm

      Jonathan: A tribute to the man and to the institution.

      On your concluding point, this is being pursued.

  2. Baroness D'Souza
    Baroness D'Souza
    19/05/2011 at 5:03 pm

    The Earl of Onslow was appointed to the Joint Committee on Human Rights some two years ago and became an ardent and eloquent defender of individual rights. He used all possible opportunities to speak up and surprised many of his colleagues on what seemed to be a new found interest. We will all miss him.

  3. Chris K
    19/05/2011 at 5:05 pm

    I was shocked to have only found this out today via facebook. It seems that the death of peers, even notable ones like Lord Onslow, barely get a mention on BBC.

    Last time I saw him on TV he seemed very much alive and well, and that was only a few months ago.

  4. Matt
    19/05/2011 at 8:22 pm

    Place your bets folks on the year in which there will be no hereditary peers left sitting in the second chamber …. And will there ever come a time when there will be no people with the title, ‘Lord’, in there??

    • danfilson
      30/05/2011 at 1:13 pm

      a. 2020
      b. 2020

  5. tory boy
    19/05/2011 at 10:40 pm

    I was a fan of Earl Onslow, even though he was a bit batty. He could be both funny and very serious. I was somewhat saddened when i saw him in a wheel chair, i presume his illness was cancer related. The house will miss a dedicated member.

  6. 20/05/2011 at 2:45 am

    I am very saddened to learn of this, my contemplations go out to the Earl and his loved ones!

  7. Senex
    20/05/2011 at 11:59 am

    In the concluding moments of the 2007 film ‘The Bucket List’ starring Morgan Freeman (as Carter Chambers) and Jack Nicholson (as Edward Cole) both are sat atop an Egyptian Pyramid whereupon they take in the view and reflect upon life. Carter asks some questions of his friend Cole. “Have you found joy in your life?” Cole thinks for a moment and says that he has. Carter then asks “Has your life brought joy to others?” on this point Cole is not so sure.

    The point of the questions was to gain entry to an Egyptian heaven. Perhaps the Noble Lord now travels east to west on a daily journey as the free spirit he truly was?

  8. Gareth Howell
    20/05/2011 at 2:23 pm

    Cranleigh Onslow with whom I got along well with before 1997? I did not meet him again thereafter.

    A big sense of humour.

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      20/05/2011 at 6:15 pm

      Gareth Howell: No, Cranley Onslow was Lord Onslow of Dorking and died in 2001.

      • Chris K
        20/05/2011 at 8:22 pm

        Woking I think.

        There’s an episode of Have I Got News For You from 1999, featuring the Earl of Onslow, which discusses this. Available on Youtube. Very funny.

        • Lord Norton
          Lord Norton
          20/05/2011 at 9:12 pm

          Chris K: Quite correct – Woking.

  9. Gareth Howell
    22/05/2011 at 9:10 am

    Thank you.

  10. MilesJSD
    22/05/2011 at 9:18 am

    Lord Norton, and Baroness de Souza, if you please:
    when the late Earl of Onslow “became an ardent and eloquent defender of ‘individual rights'”

    did he attempt, and has any other in Parliament or other office-of-influence attempted, to advance Human Rights (or therein ‘individual-human-rights’) such that they would be as-it-were preliminarily ‘lockstepped’ to exhaustive Listing of Human Needs
    (and specificly thereunder to Listing of Individual Human Needs) ?

    Let me try to explain ‘where this is coming from’:
    The late Earl was both ill and seriously enough impaired to need (presumably also already having a ‘right’ thereupon) to be in a wheelchair;
    all of which was at the end due to the (so-called “disease”(see ‘Superimmunity’ below) of Cancer;

    for which he truly-needed at affordable-cost both remediation and illness-management, probably including some specific ‘further-education’, and certainly needing an ‘individual-human-right’ to avail himself (or be availed of by an advocate or carer) of each of those needs-satisfiers.

    Now please refer to two ‘old’ but nonetheless still advanced works concerning not only Cancer but all degenerative-illnesses:

    “Superimmunity” by Dr Paul Pearsall

    “The New Health Revolution” by Ross Horne (not a Doctor but an experienced health-researcher, who quotes in particular in his Conclusion
    “John H.Tilden MD said it all back in 1926. From his book “Toxemia Explained”:
    “In chronic disease, the treatment first, last and all the time must be … getting rid of the toxemia… It took a long time to evolve out of the one conventional idea of many diseases into the truth that there is but ONE disease, and that the four-hundred catalogued so-called (degenerative) diseases arte but different manifestations of (lipo-) toxemia – (namely) – blood and tissue uncleanliness” (see also page 54 “Today the reason that few people die of natural old-age is that they are killed long beforehand … (not by complaints that are not diseases at all but symptoms…of only one disease…Lipotoxemia, the stifling and poisoning of body processes…”).”
    Foreword by Dr Michael Aronoff to “Superimmunity” says
    “We wondered why people become ill when they do, and how the doctor-patient relationship affects wellness. In ‘Superimmunity’ Dr Pearsall has found a way to tie together these and other questions with the theories of mmany of our greatest researchers in Physics, Biochemistry, and the Neurosciences. I have never before seen such a complete networking of research that crosses so many disciplines.” The reader will find many effectively but effective ‘non-medical’, non-pharmacological, and non-surgical paths to Healing within ‘Superimmunity’ and its bibliography.
    I myself this week booked an appointment with my GP surgery’s senior-partner, specificly concerning our needs for National Health Service support and further wellbeing-building of our existing “Right habits of health”, and to ask for help to become sufficiently aware and able to take control of any “Wrong habits that Feel Right”;

    only to be told that
    (i) the GP can no longer give the patient 15 minutes but only ten minutes of interview-consultation time
    (ii) the GP has no remit to look at, refer to, approve, nor even recognise, holistic, alternative, complementary educations, managements and remediations outside of the BMA and NHS limits.
    I must fast-forward now:

    my supplementary question should probably be
    “So Viscount Onslow having been ‘killed’, rather just ‘dying’, by what ‘wrongness’ in organisation, people, and/or things was that ‘killing’ brought about ?”


  11. Gareth Howell
    22/05/2011 at 9:21 am

    I presume that the “Captain of the Yeoman of the guard” will be abolished as the name of an office of the House of Lords, if it becomes an all elected chamber.

    Droll in the extreme.

    • MilesJSD
      24/05/2011 at 9:09 pm

      “Yeomen of the Guard”
      “yeoman of the guard” ?

      2109 24 jsdm

      • danfilson
        30/05/2011 at 1:19 pm

        All the bizarre titles of MPs and peers holding the actual offices of Chief Whip, Deputy Whip etc stem from the concept that the sovereign can only appoint members of their household with the consent of the government which in turn must command the support of the House of Commons. This will remain the case even after the House of Lords is reformed, so in strictness there is no immediate case for removing the playing card titles. In the interests of making Parliament less concerned with flummery, yes these titles should go in 2015.

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