Jan. 27th, 2011

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At the end of a long debate about support for traumatised ex-soldiers, former defence secretary Lord King is praising the new Veterans Minister. Suddenly he winces halfway through his own phrase.
Lord King of Bridgewater: He knows his way around. He is a Deputy Chief Whip so he knows where some of the bodies are buried. That was an unfortunate phrase to use and I withdraw it, but that is a phrase often applied to Whips.
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A hereditary peer with Viscount Slim's family background and own experience of things military might be expected to hold robustly traditionalist views, and he does not disappoint:
Viscount Slim: I am pleased to follow the noble Lord, Lord Sheikh, who does much for recruiting what we call the ethnic minorities. As I move among them myself a lot, I tell a British Muslim, a British Hindu or a British Sikh that it is payback time—and that it is time that more of them joined the reserve forces and the regular forces.
The strain of the White Man's Burden is still felt by at least one noble lord in the House.
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Lord Selsdon: I hate “ism” words. I do not like tourism, fundamentalism or any form of “ism”.
What with that and his previous assertion:
Lord Selsdon: I never support any word that begins with ‘p’, or ‘PFI’.
... we can only assume that one word guaranteed to send the noble Lord into absolute convulsions would be “prism”.

(He began his contribution today about UK tourism with the confident assertion that “I like to go to places that I want to go to”.)

December 2015

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