Committee (11th Day)

Part of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 19th January 2011.

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Photo of Lord Selsdon Lord Selsdon Conservative 7:15 pm, 19th January 2011

I speak as treasurer and secretary of the House of Lords Yacht Club and I am an islander. Historically, I come from Islay. My family are normally buried at sea and the female line like to have their caskets dropped off the Nab Tower-perhaps the Government can advise me on whether the Nab Tower is, or is not, part of the Isle of Wight. However, I do not agree with my noble friend Lord Hamilton, with whom I have the advantage of sharing an office.

I recognise that the two householders who tabled Amendment 89 have a certain interest because they live on the Isle of Wight; my interest lies in the fact that, when I was a Pompey rating, I had to row across the Solent from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight and back-I had to sail in a single cutter-and, just before Suez, I was shoved on an aircraft carrier and made to be ballast in a helicopter as we were dropped off on the Isle of Wight because plans were being made to invade Suez later. My feeling is this: there are some 70,000 islands and atolls in the world. All islanders are islanders; they do not like anyone else and they are a united community. It is not the same as a community that is divided on the mainland. There are islanders who have suffered from weather, affliction and everything else.

In my job, I had one very difficult time, when we had invested in a hovercraft service-