Earl Ferrers: The noble Baroness is making a very interesting speech, but she will talk in acronyms. She talks about HBs, DCLGs and so on, and some of the more modest of us are not quite certain what she is talking about.
Earl Ferrers: Perhaps I may interrupt my noble friend for a moment as one who intended to make a speech but was unable to do so because the noble Baroness got up too quickly. Does my noble friend agree that it is in fact impossible to have equality between people? You can have equalities of opportunity for people to use, but you cannot possibly say that two people are equal.
Earl Ferrers: With the greatest respect, the noble Lord is doing more than making an intervention; he is making another speech.
Earl Ferrers: My Lords, would my noble friend the Leader of the House agree with me that the Government are perfectly mad to increase the size of the House to 800?
Earl Ferrers: I just want to ask my noble friend whether, in referring to the chair of Ofcom, she really meant the chairman of Ofcom.
Earl Ferrers: Might I just interrupt my noble friend for a moment? I wondered whether he might think that he would serve the national interest best if he remained here to the end of the debate.
Earl Ferrers: My Lords, only the very best of the best become Clerk of the Parliaments. I am taken back to the time when the late Lord Soames was Leader of the House and was then made the Governor of Southern Rhodesia. As a result, I found myself being made the acting Leader of your Lordships' House. I was set up in the room that the Leaders use, a very large and frightening place, but I was there and got...
Earl Ferrers: My Lords, will my noble friend be kind enough to revisit the answer he gave to the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Boyce? His question, as I understood it, was: will the redundancy payments that are being offered to these people be meaner than those offered to people made redundant previously? I do not think that my noble friend answered that.
Earl Ferrers: I am sure that the noble Lord wishes to adopt the courtesies of the House. It is incorrect to refer to people below the Bar.
Earl Ferrers: Does my noble friend not realise that he is now making the same mistake in referring to people who are below the Bar and are not in the Chamber?
Earl Ferrers: My Lords, given what my noble friend has just said, will he give an assurance that the oath taken by Members of the House of Commons will not change?
Earl Ferrers: Of.
Earl Ferrers: My noble friend referred to Earl Erroll. Actually, he should have said the noble Earl, Lord Erroll, but if he was going to say Earl Erroll, he ought to have said the Earl of Erroll.
Earl Ferrers: The noble Lord!
Earl Ferrers: It is the noble Earl, Lord Ferrers. For goodness' sake, the noble Lord is still on the Front Bench. He really ought to get to know the rules and procedures of the House.
Earl Ferrers: The noble Lord, Lord Hunt, is a very bright noble Lord, and he normally picks up things straight away, but he has made the mistake twice. If he wishes to refer to me as he should, he ought, with respect, to say "the noble Earl, Lord Ferrers" and not to say "the noble Lord, Earl Ferrers".
Earl Ferrers: My Lords, the noble Lord was kind enough to say that he agrees with something that I said, but he came to the most astonishing conclusion. Can he tell me how what I said made him come to that stupid conclusion?
Earl Ferrers: My Lords, having listened to the remarkable contribution of my noble friend Lord Alderdice, it made me realise how complicated this whole issue really is. I am sure that my noble friend Lord Hunt of Wirral, who has shown today how conciliatory and understanding he is, has done a tremendous job with his committee to produce this interim report. However, I am not going to be very helpful for I...
Earl Ferrers: My Lords, the noble Baroness has produced the old chestnut. I am bound to tell her that I was giving the views of a young man, and the views of young men are always wanted to be known, are they not? I gave the views that I held at that time, which is what I thought and what a number of other people thought. Of course, things have happened since then and I have changed my mind. Peers are...
Earl Ferrers: My Lords, could I interrupt my noble friend? I was following what he was saying and I wanted to get it absolutely right because I could not believe what I heard. Is he saying that the Government are in favour of a fully elected House of Lords?