House of Lords (Members' Taxation Status) Bill [HL]
Lord Selsdon (Conservative)
I hope that I may be forgiven for intervening but I am pleased with the gentle light-hearted way with which this has begun. In the Recess, having worked in these areas for many years, I found myself being approached by a number of non-nationals who had growing concern about the situation in the United Kingdom. It is sufficiently serious to ask for certain reassurances. The problem arises probably in press comment, but it was said that this particular Bill was going to be fast-tracked though the House of Lords. I believe I was told that that was because it was a statement from the Liberal Democrat Party. That, for people who understand the British system, is no problem, because they know that the legislation has to go to the House of Commons; but there are those who do not and think that Bills end up in the House of Lords and then receive Royal Assent. That is quite worrying.
Your Lordships may not think this is important, but as we go on and as the matter develops, I will try to demonstrate to your Lordships that since the Bill was introduced there has been what one may call a series of material adverse changes in attitude to politicians and to law in this country, which could have a major detrimental effect on the economy. Therefore, I begin by asking a few questions of the noble Lord, Lord Oakeshott, and others, to which the noble Lord can well rely. He has solid financial background and has always been open in everything that he has done.
The first question is: is everything accurate and true that he is reported in Hansard as having said? I found two spelling mistakes, but people have been taking this apart. That is the first question. I have a series of questions; they are not unfriendly.