While the Lords was busy providing entertainment last night by way of a snoozing peer, much more important news came from Norman Tebbit who announced his impending retirement from politics at the end of the month. Writing in the Telegraph he says that his health has been getting worse since the beginning of the year, “particularly from the damage done to my left hip in the IRA terrorist bombing”. This, plus his impending 91st birthday, has forced him to make the decision.
Not only is Tebbit going to hit the institutional memory – and soundness – of the Lords, it comes after both Lord Fowler and Lord Lawson effectively announced their retirements. The clean out of Thatcher generation cabinet from the Lords should worry anyone keen on genuine debate in a chamber that struggles to break past its statist, liberal, high Tory default mindset.
Consulting the Twitter hivemind a few remain – Ken Baker, Lord McKay, Ken Clarke, David Howell, Tom King, Norman Lamont, John Wakeham, Heseltine, Gummer – though the likes of Heseltine can not really be described as “Thatcherite” and they are on the whole infrequent contributors to debates. Lawson and Tebbit were some of the few fighting for Brexit when the Lords was intent on thwarting the will of the people. Boris might want to think about topping up the tank with true blue believers…
Guido learns Maggie’s chancellor, Nigel Lawson, is stepping away from his lordly duties for a while, taking a leave of absence from the upper chamber that began just a month after his 89th birthday. His age appears to be the main driving factor, with one source saying it’s becoming increasingly exhausting for him to make it up to Westminster. Lawson’s office tells Guido:
“I can confirm he has already taken a leave of absence, which began on 8 June.”
With Boris’s fiscal plans becoming ever more spend-happy, Guido prays Lord Lawson will stick about to contribute to the national debate via Zoom for some years to come…
Lord Lawson on the Government’s ‘Green Industrial Revolution’…
“If the Government were trying to damage the economy they couldn’t be doing it better.
Moreover, the job creation mantra is economically illiterate. A programme to erect statues of Boris in every town and village in the land would also ‘create jobs’ but that doesn’t make it a sensible thing to do.”
Last year the BBC travel doc Russia With Simon Reeve made the rather worrying claim that reindeer populations across Northern Russia are “in steep decline because of climate change”. In fact, most populations of Eurasian Reindeer are now increasing in number or are stable…
After a complaint from Lord Lawson, the BBC has issued a correction – which pointedly stops short of an apology:
“This programme suggested that many reindeer populations are in steep decline because of climate change. It would have been more accurate to say that many reindeer populations are threatened by it.”
The Global Warming Policy Forum said:
“Even the assertion that they are “threatened” is highly questionable given their growing populations. Sadly, this kind of speculative claim is entirely predictable because any prediction of future climate disaster is impossible to verify, yet likely to be believed by a great many people.”
All in all, climate alarmists have tried and failed in their attempt to make the reindeer the new polar bear. What would Rudolph say?
“Probably a reshuffle” Lord Lawson on the chancellor’s future
“I fear he is unhelpful… what he is doing is very close to sabotage” pic.twitter.com/4kGzBpBsow
— Daily&SundayPolitics (@daily_politics) 12 October 2017
Nigel Lawson calls for Philip Hammond to go: “what he is doing is very close to sabotage”. Strong words summing up some of the Brexiteer feeling towards the Chancellor this week…
Nigel Lawson on joining the rest of the world…
“This may come as a surprise to some; most of the world is not in the EU and most of the world is doing considerably better than the European Union.”