The Nominations

There are nine peers who have put their names forward for the role of Lord Speaker. The list is as follows:

They are Lord Boston of Faversham (crossbencher); Lord Elton (Conservative); Baroness Fookes (Conservative); Lord Grenfell (non-affiliated) Baroness Hayman (Labour); Countess of Mar (crossbencher); Lord Redesdale (Liberal Democrat); Lord Richard (Labour); Viscount Ullswater (Conservative).

My own preference is for a crossbencher, who would maintain the dignity of the Upper House without compromising political affiliation, and who would not be beholden to the government of the day. As the electoral pool is less likely to be swayed by whipping, the preferred neutral winner would be the Countess of Mar.

There is some agreement from Trubshaw, a blogger from inside Westminster who provides some information on the runners. He takes a cynical run at the competition, as it is part of the Blairite modernisation:

So it looks set to be a showdown between the Countess of Mar (odds on to win in my book) and (the somewhat turgid) Lord Richard, the only two "big hitting personalities" on the list, ho-hum

In the absence of the natural occupant of the Woolsack (Baroness "Betty" Boothroyd) one is forced to ask the question in my name on the Order Paper: Where is the Lord Whitty? Is he not THE obvious choice? Is this not the role he was born to play "m'Luds"? Sense of humour, tasteful collection of slate-grey suits, full head of hair, all his own teeth AND the right side of seventy! Opportunity lost. For us. For him.

The normalisation of what remains of the Upper House is underway.