At the end of the Earl of Sandwich’s speech last Thursday on the Millennium Development programme, before he gave way to Lord Crisp, the printed Hansard records the following:
“I was going to say a word about health targets, but in this environment, it seems very appropriate that a Crisp should replace a Sandwich.”
Yes, it appears in ITALICS. I have never seen such splendid presentation of a joke, even as good as one as this, in the Hansard for either House. The rules by which the wonderful composers of the Official Report operate are usually very comprehensive and very precise. Can anyone explain how a joke, comment or witticism qualifies for this italicised treatment?