Baroness Murphy

I’m taking a ‘sabbatical’ from the Lords for a little while, so this is my arrivederci blog. There’s no such thing as a sabbatical from the House of Lords of course but there doesn’t seem to be any other type of official leave that quite suits my circumstances. Leave of Absence seems reserved for the sick or dying or those translated to grand office abroad like Lady Amos (UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs) or Baroness Ashton of Upholland  (EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy). I no longer have a desire for Very Long Titles.

I’ve been a peer now for eight years and contributed to numerous bills and committees and done my best to move causes along behind the scenes when opportunities arose. It is very hard work to achieve small gains and we know from this blog, many folk would prefer we didn’t do it at all! But it’s almost impossible to combine a regular contribution to parliament with any other serious work or writing. After eight years I feel I need to recharge the batteries, get away from politics, forget the loopy arcane inefficiencies of the institution for a while and do something different.  Lord Phillips of Sudbury famously announced his retirement after serving 10 years on the Lib Dem front bench but he couldn’t resist returning Frank Sinatra style when House of Lords reform came up. I know I shall want to return some time soon, perhaps for the next health bill (there’s always another on the way) or the long awaited social care reform bill. So I’m not ‘retiring’, and no doubt colleagues will still see me lurking about the library from time to time.  And perhaps I’ll come in for the debates of the future of the House of Lords, voting for reform but with no expectation that change will happen. The current arrangements suit the Executive very well indeed.

I have enjoyed being a blogger on this site and grateful for the many hundreds of comments that we have attracted. I shall continue to read the blog avidly and undoubtedly I’ll be tempted to comment under a pseudonym. I expect to be back, probably before any of you notice I’m gone. Ci vediamo presto.


6 comments for “Arrivederci

  1. tory boy
    28/03/2012 at 5:37 pm

    Baroness Murphy, I for one think the HoL and all active peers do a great job ensuring the government is held to account and serious issues facing the country are aired. (I have done HoL form for my BA &MA dissertation. How long are you going to be away for? Why have you suddenly made this decision? I hope you have a nice break but will be back on the xbenches soon!

  2. Twm O'r Nant
    28/03/2012 at 7:10 pm

    Lady Amos (UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs)

    That is indeed an impressive title with an impressive task.

    The curious Italian words of the Baroness’ last post(for a long time) make me think that she, or her other half, have got some thing Italian up their sleeves. I don’t know what, but something. I am more interested in the derelcit water mills of Portugal, but it is only an interest; my Ky brother, in the derelict water works of Uganda, which regrettably are still being used by the 30m population.

    I just wish I were intersted in olives; then the water mills would ave a fine use indeed in extracting the oil at harvest time.

    Arrive derci Barona/essa?

  3. Lord Blagger
    28/03/2012 at 7:55 pm

    forget the loopy arcane inefficiencies of the institution


    We’ve noticed. We’re paying through the nose for the bonkers state of affairs.

    That’s why the lords should be axed completely.

  4. maude elwes
    29/03/2012 at 11:34 am

    Ah, Baroness, you will inded be missed.

    And you are so right, nothing will change except you. As the distance will give you a clearer view of what appears to the citizen as mayhem.

    Buon viaggio!

  5. ladytizzy
    29/03/2012 at 3:17 pm


    Renew your love and have fun.

    With thanks, appreciation, admiration, Tiz.

  6. Twm O'r Nant
    04/04/2012 at 7:24 am

    It’s the Baroness’ decorticated nutters that are surely of interest to the wider public.

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