An American friend who favours abolishing the UK House of Lords suggested a blistering public awareness campaign revealing that “It’s archaic, filled with eccentrics, and brimming with peculiar rituals and quaint customs”. He was disappointed to learn that such a message would be taken as a ringing endorsement of the institution by most British people.
Among the cherished and likely everlasting peculiarities of British politics is that Members of Parliament are not allowed to resign. What to do then when someone, for example Louise Mensch, wants to quit mid-term?
No worries. Flip open your law book to the three centuries old Act of Settlement and the solution is as plain as pikestaff. A member of parliament may not accept a remunerative office from The Sovereign. One therefore need only appoint the MP to some obscure sinecure, which effects removal from parliamentary office.
Congratulations therefore to Ms. Mensch, the new Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead.
Here by the way is a charming 1949 postcard photo of Peasholm Lake in Yorkshire, underneath which the Manor of Northstead is believed to be buried.