Twelve years on…

In an earlier post, I mentioned that 25 November would be the twelfth anniversary of my maiden speech.  At the weekly student seminar in Westminster last night, one of my students, David Bender, congratulated me on the anniversary.   Good job he did; otherwise – perhaps predictably given my earlier post – I would have forgotten.   Yesterday was the anniversary by the day and today by the date.

The speech (at col. 43) was one of three maiden speeches that day.  I was preceded by Lord Butler of Brockwell – the former Cabinet Secretary, Robin Butler – and followed by the Earl of Dunmore, a hereditary peer who had come from his home in Tasmania to make what was both his maiden and his last speech in the House: he wanted to speak before the hereditary peers were excluded. 

I think I may go and celebrate with a cup of tea.  I got back to Hull at 2.30 a.m. so I don’t think I can manage anything more energetic.

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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16 Responses to Twelve years on…

  1. Frank W. Summers III says:

    Lord Norton,
    Happy Thanksgiving on your twelfth anniversary.

  2. Carl.H says:

    Happy 12th anniversary my Lord, I can`t help but wonder though which will give out first, you or the House ?

    May I enquire, on the subject of tea of which I consider myself somewhat of a professional or addict as the case maybe, do you at home use a pot or teabag ? And which tea do you prefer ? The latter I`ll understand if you don`t answer….Wouldn`t want you getting unwarranted boxes of freebies on your doorstep. 😉

    • Lord Norton says:

      Carl.H: For me, the quality of the tea matters more than whether it is loose or in tea bags. I prefer Indian to Chinese tea and my favourite is English Breakfast. I buy it decaffienated.

      • Lord Norton says:

        On pots or teabags, it depends on where I am and how much time I have. I have a collection of tea pots. The House of Lords does a splendid cup-and-pot set.

  3. Carl.H says:

    The important part is the water must be boiling not just hot and NO Mrs.H do not put the milk in the bottom of the cup when making with a T-bag !

    Decaffeinated ! I have thought of it but never tried, the thinking being the tea will lose something of it`s quality or I may actually undergo withdrawal which I believe is possible with caffeine.

    One thing I cannot abide are beverage machines where just hot water is added to a dust like substance and plastic or polystyrene cups !

    Time for TV and Indian Tea from just north of Lancashire 😉

    • Lord Norton says:

      Carl.H: Bringing the tea to the (boiling) water and not the water to the tea is one of the basic rules of tea making – it is just a shame that this is not recognised in the USA or on the continent. I once saw an elderly and presumably British lady at Schipol airport berate the person serving her at the snack bar when he produced only hot water. She was adament it must be boiling water. The poor chap only had hot water and looked close to having a brolly brought down on his head!

      Nowadays you can get decaffeinated tea that tastes the same as caffeinated tea. I certainly can’t tell the difference.

      • djb13 says:

        After just a few months in Parliament, I fear that I’ve become something of a caffeine junkie (I’ve even started drinking coffee, which just a year ago I found to be a vile tasting black liquid…). I know it’s really quite bad for me, but it does mean I can function sensibly.

        I can’t really see the point of tea or coffee without the caffeine. If you want to sit down and have a relaxing drink, I can think of things that I find taste nicer. Anyhow, I guess it’s each to their own.

      • Lord Norton says:

        I drink tea (and it is virtually the only thing I do drink, apart from freshly-squeezed orange juice) because I like the taste. I get a boost just from the taste. I don’t need caffeine as well!

  4. Chris K says:

    Lord Norton,

    You dodged Carl’s first point quite well there! Personally I’m not as optimistic as I was 7 months ago that there will still be a House of Lords by 2015. More’s the pity. Another piece of jenga hastily removed from our constitution.

    At the risk of sounding very thick, what does ‘anniversary by the day’ mean? At first I thought you might have done it based on multiples of 365.25, but then realised that I’m the only person who does that sort of thing.

    I can attest to the quality of House of Lords tea. I was particularly craving some this morning when I discovered someone had “borrowed” my entire pint of milk. Tea’s just not as good with powdered…

    • Lord Norton says:

      Chris K: Me, dodge a question?

      The maiden speech was delivered on Wednesday, 25 November 1998, so I was taking Wednesday as the day of the anniversary and Thursday (25 November) as the date.

      Oh yes, I expect the House of Lords still to be around in 2015.

      • Croft says:

        Not in its present form I assume. Doubtless we will have had our first tranche of elected peers by then during the transition phase.

  5. Alice Stretch says:

    Happy Anniversary! Even though my comment is a day late 🙂

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