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.