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Feb. 3rd, 2011

Yesterday there was a debate about the protection of children from grooming and sexual exploitation. The debate had many contributors (many of whom simply rehashed their own well-worn speeches from previous identical debates, but nonetheless wanted to swell the numbers of the concerned) but was time-limited, which meant that there was a strictly enforced speaking limit of three minutes. That is why the Minister chose to begin his response with:
Lord Hill of Oareford: It has been a good debate which has been a good advertisement for speed dating.
It’s safe to say that this was misjudged. The Minister is a cheerful man who is generally well liked, which is probably one of the reasons this quip went down so badly. There was an audible gasp and noble Lords, with appalling stories and statistics still fresh in their minds, stared at him incredulously. He cracked on with his remarks, oblivious.

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