I attended this evening the latest of the Speaker’s Lectures on Parliament and Government given by David Blunkett in his capacity as a former Home Secretary. At the last lecture, when I was sat at the back in the dark, the Speaker, John Bercow, confused me with Sir Peter Tapsell. This evening, he opened by looking into the audience and asking if I was present. I waved my arms – at which point he realised I was sat on the front row!
The reason he asked if I was present was in order to draw attention to the fact that I had attended every one of the sixteen Speaker’s lectures that had taken place since the inauguration of the series at the beginning of 2011. He suggested I should be eligible for a medal. Mention of my name then prompted David Blunkett to open by drawing attention to the fact that we were at university together. ‘While I was busy in the Student Union’, he recalled, ‘Philip was busy in the Library, to good effect’.
Anyway, I already have the next two lectures in the diary. By the end of the year, I may have the Distinguished Attendance Medal – and bar.