13 February 2011
Tory Peer rightly reminds us of our place
Ian Lang was once a cabinet minister, serving with distinction under John Major, inarguably Britain’s greatest ever Prime Minister. When Major was soundly defeated in 1997 and Master Lang was ejected from his safe Scottish seat by the New Labour hordes, it felt as if part of my childhood had died.
Mercifully Master Lang was not forgotten: He was made a life peer and has since been entrusted with an important post, that of Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Business.
Along with three other peers, two knights and a dame Master Lang is responsible for examining applications from the most senior public servants who wish to take up outside appointments after they leave their previous service. They also advise on posts taken up by former ministers.
Master Lang has come under pressure from the ignorant and unworthy to admit lay members fro the lower orders of society. However, he has rightly and steadfastly resisted such a move.
Lord Lang told MPs he would “rather die in a ditch than share a committee room with some ghastly little oik like a waitress or bus driver."
The Commons Public Administration Committee, which is looking into the employment of former ministers in big business, received his comments well. Paul Flynn MP said: "Speaking as a bus driver of long standing who married a waitress, neither I nor my wife could ever hope to make a contribution to your committee"
I agree wholeheartedly. How could anyone who had not been born to the great and/or god ever hope to understand the complex issues that Master Lang grasps with consummate ease.
I for one know my place and will continue to tug my forelock when the squire rides by my hovel…