My Lords, it is a great pleasure and privilege to follow the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, and I respectfully agree with absolutely everything he said. It is very helpful to have this debate today. When I was interviewed as a Cross-Bench candidate, I was asked whether, if I got it, I would attend. I said that of course I would; it was a great privilege to be able to take part in legislation, having been interpreting legislation for the preceding 35 years.
I am very glad that the noble Lord, Lord Balfe, was asked by the Prime Minister whether he would attend. It seems to me that it is a question that should be asked of every possible Peer: otherwise, what on earth is the point of coming here, other than possibly the honour that other noble Lords have referred to, which should be treated in a rather different way? I have to say, remembering what the noble Lord, Lord Foulkes, said, that I attend nearly every day and I am not alone in that. I bitterly resent what he said about the Cross-Benchers not attending. Most of us attend very regularly and I hope that he might want to retract that, as it really is not a fair comment on the work that we do.