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Lord Selsdon on “the Commonwealth’s shared goals in democracy and development”:
Lord Selsdon: In the debate on the Queen’s Speech I made certain suggestions. I have learnt in your Lordships’ House that if you want to get anything done at all it takes 10 to 15 years, like some good wines. So I have used what I call the “rule of thumb”. It is extremely useful. If you want to know where you are when you are sailing with a rather bad map, you put your thumb on the coastline and stay outside the width of your thumb. If you want to know where and how deep to plant things on land, wherever it may be, you stick your thumb in the ground. If you want to know how far away you are from other people—for example, from the noble Lord, Lord Luce, although I am not allowed to gesture in your Lordships’ House—you hold up your thumb and shut one eye, and you will see that it will move to the right. You work out how many fingers that is, and that will tell you how far offshore you are.

The theme I want to adopt today is to state further that when you look at the Commonwealth, you should first of all look at it from space. (etc)[Hansard]
Immediately after the words “how offshore you are”, the camera in the chamber cut to the aforementioned Lord Luce just as he said very clearly to the Peer next to him, “Is this relevant?”



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 10th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
I think I've said this before, but I always picture these speeches happening with him sitting in a leather armchair by a lamp and finishing with "I was ver ver drunk."
Dec. 10th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
Is he actually mad or pretend mad? He's someone Lear might have dreamt up.
Dec. 10th, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
although I am not allowed to gesture in your Lordships’ House

Dec. 10th, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
I reported his contribution to the Queen's Speech debate. It was Solid Gold Selsdon, including - as referred to above - his commissioning of six satellites to "deal with" pirates from space. I think he meant track them, but the possibility of high-powered lasers would be rashly ruled out.

Anyway, he's been in discussions with the relevant manufacturers and, having done the nation this great service, plans to send HMG an invoice any day now.
Dec. 10th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
Lord Selsdon: One of the suggestions that I have made … is that we should launch a series of satellites that could survey the sea, and name them after Commonwealth leaders. That is in hand, I suggest to the Ministry of Defence, and I would like to buy them if someone would finance them.
Dec. 11th, 2009 08:43 am (UTC)
From the same speech (which also includes the rather brilliant "I have a number of weaknesses; one is that I hate mirrors. I sometimes shave in the morning without looking in the mirror, because a mirror confuses me"):

Lord Selsdon: I would like your Lordships to know, and I am sure that the Minister would be willing to agree with this, that I have put in hand a preliminary order for six surveillance satellites from the United Kingdom, possibly in co-operation with Nigeria and India which are also in that business, and possibly also the Russians. They can pick up and deal with any form of piracy. I have been told that I can get six for £100 million, which is not a lot today. I thought that we might consider who we could name them after. However, £100 million for space surveillance to pick up any form of piracy is an extraordinarily good deal.

(I admit it's a little vague, but in the context of HMG using the order to kickstart the economy in these difficult times, that's what I took it to mean. Plus, of course it's "a little vague". It's Selsdon.)
Dec. 11th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
Is there any way of knowing when he's going to speak? I think I'd quite like to see him play live.

Edited at 2009-12-11 12:54 am (UTC)
Dec. 11th, 2009 01:06 am (UTC)
This link should keep you apprised of who has put their name down to speak in the near future, although bear in mind that the list is constantly subject to change until the day.

The noble Lord is, for example, speaking next Wednesday, Parliament's last day before the recess, on, it says here, “The Pre-Budget Report 2009 for the purposes of the EC (Amendment) Act 1993”.

Dec. 11th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
when you look at the Commonwealth, you should first of all look at it from space.

What he means to say, of course, is that you should look at the Commonwealth from France.
Dec. 11th, 2009 01:12 am (UTC)
Sadly the noble Lord does not seem to have made any pronouncements on the infinite France conundrum. It's tempting to ask him.
Dec. 11th, 2009 09:23 am (UTC)
"To: Lord Selsdon

Hansard URGENT

Please respond to the following specific inquiry:

My Lord,

If French airspace extends infinitely upwards, does this mean - thanks to the angle of rotation and orbit of the Earth - that there is no part of the universe that is not technically French?

Thank you.

Please tick here if you would NOT like us to return your notes.


I suspect that this would come back with nothing but a simple tick on it.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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