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Paul Routledge's column: TITLE FIGHT.

Byline: Paul Routledge

JUST when you think the world has got about as mad as it can, along comes a fresh folly.

Peers who inherited their titles are suing the government for a million quid each, claiming that their right to sit in the House Of Lords has been illegally confiscated.

These toffs - mostly Tories - have the bloody cheek to think that the taxpayer should compensate them for their ancient privileges.

The bill could reach pounds 70million.

Lord Mereworth, whoever he is, wants to inherit the red bench once occupied by his father, the late Lord Oranmore and Brown.

"Our forebears and their descendants were given the right to sit in Parliament for ever," he bleats.

'Arf a mo. The title of Lord Mereworth (of Mereworth Castle, don't y'know) was created only in 1926. His father was also an Irish peer, with a title dating back to 1836.

In terms of their Lordships, he is a johnny-come-lately. His dad went to Eton and lived in London's fashionable Eaton Square.

What right does that give him to make the laws for the rest of us? None at all. That's why a Labour government chucked out 600 hereditary peers, and will evict the last 92 when it decides on what should replace the Lords.

"This whole thing has upset the balance of democracy in this country," whines Lord Mereworth. On the contrary, m'lud, this reform is completing the democratisation of Britain.

Naturally, the greedy peers' lawyer is an American, schooled in the compensation culture of the US, where hereditary politics is out of order - unless you are the ex-president's loony son. Nuff said, I think.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 10, 2003
Words:273
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