Daily Express - - NEWS -

WHEN some­one is given (or buys) a furry nightie, it’s re­ferred to as be­ing “raised to the peer­age”. Surely this phrase needs to be re­cast.

In the last war Fitzroy Maclean, au­thor of East­ern Ap­proaches, wanted to quit the For­eign Of­fice and vol­un­teer for the army. Per­mis­sion re­fused, he was told. Diplo­mats may not be­come sol­diers.

So he hit upon a ruse. He re­signed to stand for Par­lia­ment. (Al­lowed.) He got a seat, then ap­plied for the Chiltern Hun­dreds and joined the army. (Al­lowed.)

Win­ston Churchill, who ap­pre­ci­ated ad­ven­tur­ous young men, was amused by the trick and in­tro­duced Cap­tain Fitzroy Maclean to an­other MP as “the young man who has just used the Mother of Par­lia­ments as a pub­lic con­ve­nience”.

Such a pity Blair and Brown have spent 11 years us­ing the Up­per House of that Par­lia­ment as an un­flushed lava­tory bowl. One is not raised to a toi­let. An hon­ourable com­moner surely trumps a tawdry peer.

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