Friday, 11 December 2009

Peerless performance

WHEN it comes to the House of Lords, casual viewers may have assumed that it is a serene haven amidst the hurly burly of the Westminster village; a place where Lords and Ladies can contemplate, seated on their padded benches, the whys and wherefores of government and maybe catch a wee doze after lunch.

Who could have guessed that it was a competitive pit where government representatives are hauled to answer question upon question upon question.

Actually it is a fairly serene place, but one Lord has been laying down a storm of questions.
Step forward the UUP’s Lord Laird who has asked hundreds of questions and even made it to the chamber for 145 days.

Nevertheless, such frenetic activity comes with a price tag. Lord Laird claimed 73,000 of the best British pounds sterling in expenses.

His rebuttal to those that challenge these costs: “People want to be represented in Parliament and that’s what I do”.

While Lord Laird prepares to ask another question or six, it also emerged what our Lords can claim for. Each Lord (or Lady) can claim £86.50 for daytime expenses such as meals when attending a sitting in the Lords. That’s a lot of chow, no wonder we see them dozing of an afternoon!

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