If You Go Down to the Lords Today…

If you go down to the Lords today,
You’re sure of a big surprise.
If you go down to the Lords today,
You’d better go in disguise.
For every Lord that ever there was
Will gather there for certain because
Today’s the day the Lordships claim their allowances.

My thanks to a very diligent co-conspirator who not only found the fabled whereabouts of the Lords’ Queue, but sent a map too. The legendary Lords’ queue is where they get their day (and overnight) allowance. The sight of all those Noble Lords queuing every day to claim their allowances, having spent precious little time in the Lords Chamber and even less time contributing to Lords debate is truly something to behold. Even without fiddling their expenses they can make £150 a day just for joining the queue – and many do just that.

The noble Lords queue up once a day in the evening at their Fees Office (administered by Black Rod) near the Pugin Room on the ‘red benches’ side of the Palace of Westminster. An MP or a Commons researcher with a Category 10 Pass could legitimately encounter the Noble Queue by taking a short cut from the Pugin Room through the Lords Library corridor back to Commons territory. Guido would like a picture of that queue – this is a covert mission, surreptitious use of the camera-phone will be required. In return for undertaking this risky mission there will be a prize of a copy of bestselling The Bumper Book of Government Waste* to the person who first emails or texts Guido the picture.

Don’t forget to nominate politicians with their “snouts in the trough” to : Pork Busting, giving the name of the politician and the reason. Guido is compiling from the emails a list of politicians with their snouts deep in the public trough and will then organise a readers poll to find our piggiest politician.

*Prize courtesy of publisher Stephen Eckett at www.harrimanhouse.com




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