Monday, February 02, 2004

Lord Brocket surfaces

I gather from the newspapers that Lord Brocket is one of the people currently taking part in "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!", as well as John Lydon - John Lydon? John Lydon? This reminds me of something. Now, my lord's only claim to celebrity is that he is a convict, having done time for insurance fraud, and that he was mentioned in the House of Commons by none other than Tony Blair. Years ago, during a debate on the original House of Lords Bill, a Conservative was waffling about the "wealth of experience and talent" the peers supposedly brought to the political process. Mr. Blair instantly retorted by giving the example of Brocket - the first Lord Brocket, it seems, was an American millionaire who gave Lloyd George a large sum of money in order to acquire a title. The second was detained during the second world war as a potential traitor because he was a Fascist and a member of "The Link", a group of pro-Nazi aristocrats. The third never managed to attend Parliament in his life, and the fourth went to prison for concealing his collection of Ferraris under an ornamental lake so as to claim their value from his insurers. This is the one who is now wandering about an Australian rainforest in the company of various freaks for the public's amusement.

Clearly, blood will out.

The only worthwhile content in this story is the strange reminder of those long-gone times, now as distant as the Pleistocene, when Tony Blair's government seemed to be a genuinely progressive force...

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