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…
The winner of today’s caption contest gets themselves a copy of Lord Tebbit’s brand new book “Ben’s Story“.
It is about a radioactive telekinetic Russian dog. Really.
Only entries in the comments will be accepted…
Today has been a long time coming for many co-conspirators, a day we feared we would never see. Fortunately Norman Tebbit’s serious poor health this year has not stopped him becoming 83 years young today. Happy Birthday Norman!
It went little reported and those who are not readers of Norman Tebbit’s blog may have missed this pre-Christmas:
In the small hours of Friday morning I was awakened by severe pains in my chest. I slipped out of bed and went to call my wife’s carer for help. She dialled 999 and very quickly an ambulance arrive at the front door, I was carried out and whisked off to A&E. It was mercifully quiet and I was rapidly admitted to the cardiac unit which had already been advised that I had a heart rate of up to 200. Well-qualified staff were on duty, and dealt with what was a most unwelcome and extreme return of a problem for which I had been treated in London over a decade earlier.
Tebbit plays it down on his blog, however at the time friends were, and still are, extremely worried. Guido wishes him well…