The House of Lords this afternoon was debating government policies on disabled people. Among the speakers was Julian Fellowes, now Lord Fellowes of West Stafford, making his maiden speech. It was, as you would expect, well delivered as well as in part very funny. His serious point, though, was that his early experiences in life made him realise that you judge people by who they are and not what they are, and there are dangers in trying to generalise about particular groups of people.
It was the sort of debate that reflected the knowledge and experience of members of the House. It was initiated by Lord Low of Dalston, who is blind. There were four baronesses lined up in wheelchairs behind the Clerks. All four spoke, including paralympian Baroness Grey-Thompson. Baroness Campbell of Surbiton is usually unable to complete all of her speech, so part is spoken, as it was today, by Baroness Wilkins. In effect, they took it in turns. Baroness Wilkins made her own speech later. Lord Fellowes was followed by fellow thespian, Lord Rix, also known for his tireless work on behalf of Mencap.
It reflected the real value of the House of Lords.