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.
9 thoughts on “Another Peculiarity of British Politics”
Isn’t the traditional appointment in these cases to Steward of the Chiltern Hundred?
I believe it alternates.
It’s only fitting that a real Mensch was appointed to that vital post.
How deliciously awful
Re: “Flip open your law book to the three centuries old Act of Settlement and the solution is as plain as pikestaff.”
Keep flipping to the House of Commons Disqualification Act of 1975 and I think you’ll find it clear and tedious.
Why is your American friend focused on the House of Lords when he could just as well be describing the US Senate?
Indeed. Does he know about the Seventeenthers? ( http://repeal17now.org/ )
Calhoun lives! ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_C._Calhoun )
Such terminology is confusing, since “tenther” is used to describe proponents of a more vigorous (as they if not others might describe) interpretation of the tenth amendment. Should an advocate of re-enacting prohibition be called an Eighteenther or a Twenty-firster?
The American consul posted to the Manor of Northstead is, if I am not mistaken, Jimmy Hoffa.
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