Mice, Salmon Sandwiches and Hypoallergenic Cats – Usual Upper Chamber discussions!

Continuing from Will’s “Lords” theme, I thought I would share this fantastic clip. It’s 5 minutes long – but in my opinion worth watching!!

For those of you who prefer purusing Lords Hansard click here. The debate took place on 3rd March 2010.

It is a debate about cats and mice; in particular a mouse helpline and the option of getting some hypoallergenic cats – just the usual important business then!!

Ever the insightful chamber, we are told of how the former resident superintendent had a cat which killed 60 mice a night. Baroness Finlay has argued that cats would be cheaper than the pest control consultant and full-time pest controller currently employed by the Palace. She adds that they might do a better job as ‘They would munch the heads off the mice in no time’!

The Chairman of the Committees dismisses the idea of a cat because “the cat would then ingest mouse poison when eating poisioned mice, which wouldnt be very nice for them” and “there would be nothing to keep them where needed or stop them walking around the houses on desks, in offices or on tables in the restaurants or bars”. He adds that “the Bishops Bar is being hoovered” and “if you were a mouse you would rather eat the crumbs of a smoked salmon sandwhich than poisonous bait”.

Former Eton Schoolmaster Lord Pilkington of Oxenford is particularly sharp during this debate as he raises the valuable point that “if the executive cannot be trusted with the issue of mice, how can they be expected to deal with the economy” – perhaps he woke up and didn’t quite understand the question. Thankfully the Chairman of the Committees Lord Brabazon of Tara (an Old Harrovian) points out the fact that he is not the Chancellor of the Exchequer!

My favourite quote is from Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, (who is better known for leading the charge on the smoking ban and who wants organ donations to be opt-out instead of opt-in), ”It would be a tragedy for this beautiful palace to burn down for lack of a cat”!

For those you you with a further interest – I stumbled upon the details of a governmental position during my exam procrastination last month. Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office – I encourage you to ‘google-it’!

Who still thinks the upper house is a retirement chamber!!


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