Hansard in the House of Lords, unlike in the Commons, tends not to record interventions ‘[interrpution], [laughter]’. If there is a notable outburst of laughter or protest, it is recorded as ‘Noble Lords: Oh’. When I checked my speech online, a few hours after delivering it last Tuesday on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, I discovered I had achieved one:
“…The recent YouGov poll is especially revealing. Not only is same-sex marriage supported, overwhelmingly so by those aged under 40, but also by women, by a margin of about two to one. Opposition appears to come predominantly from older males.
I have been in the House nearly fifteen years – this October will mark the fifteenth anniversary – and I have never before achieved an ‘Oh’. When I mentioned to the deputy editor of Hansard in the Lords that I had achieved one, he said ‘But did it have an exclamation mark?’ I confirmed that it did. ‘That is very rare’, he said – ‘a collector’s item’.