By Harry Phibbs
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One of the more amusing constitutional legacies of Tony Blair's modernisation programme as Prime Minster is that we have byelections for hereditary peers.
A campaign is under way for one at the moment. The death of Lord Reay means a byelection for a replacement hereditary peer will take place on Tuesday – using the Alternative Vote System.
Douglas Hogg, who as a Tory MP was embroiled in the expenses scandal for claiming for the cleaning of his moat, is seeking a return to Westminster. Mr Hogg, as he usually calls himself, has since 2001 been Viscount Hailsham – a hereditary peer albeit one hitherto with a seat in the Lords rather than the Commons and currently without a seat anywhere. These days the real power in that family is with his leather jacket wearing daughter Charlotte – the Chief Operating Officer in the Bank of England.
Rivals for the Lords seat include Harold Macmillan's grandson The Earl of Stockton – who is currently a councillor on South Bucks District Council. There is Lord Sudeley whose hobbies include ancestor worship. He says :
Land Registry must record ownership in compliance with a unified national standard. Current inconsistencies and omissions are a cover-up for criminal elements and their illegal activities (takeovers, auction rings, collusion, etc.) I have personal knowledge of both abuses, and can supply further detail on many cases.
Lord Ampthill has issued a candidate's statement saying his "likes" include , understatement, rain, Hornblower, the law, Georgette Heyer, tax incentives, and oak furniture while his "dislikes" include wind turbines, social media, and bus lanes. Lord Borwick says: "I made the London taxi the first wheelchair accessible public transport in the UK."
Lord Borwick is a businessman who "made the London taxi the first wheelchair accessible public transport in the UK, and most of my businesses have had some connection with disability."
The Earl of Onslow says he would contribute to the task of scrutinising legislation adding:
The intellectual foundation of this scrutiny would be based on:
- The freedom to live in a fluid and flexible society.
- The provision of an environment in which people can achieve, prosper and control their destiny.
- The protection of vulnerable members of society.
Lord Swansea also sounds good. "Served for 12 years on Wandsworth Borough Council," is promising enough, he also speaks Chinese.
Lord Windlesham, one of the younger candidates and has been a hedge fund manager.
A strong field!
It is shame that only one of them can win.