Sep. 10th, 2009

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It’s 1993 and the House of Lords is in the middle of a marathon debate about whether to ratify the Maastricht treaty:
Another hereditary peer, Lord Selsdon, there thanks to his grandfather having been Postmaster General in 1924, got up to tell the House he had meant to read out a speech he had made twenty years before but that he had left his glasses at home. He couldn’t really make up his mind about Europe, but he thought it was a very tedious debate and offered a humorous contribution. Did their Lordships know that the word ‘Maas’ in Afrikaans meant sour milk? He also reminded them of a hugely amusing postcard he had once seen, showing a little girl looking down a little boy’s swimming trunks and saying, “Vive la difference”.

John Wells, The House of Lords

December 2015

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