|Baron Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay|
I live in the Sheffield Hallam parliamentary constituency and our MP is Nicholas William Peter Clegg who is also the national leader of the Liberal Democrats and the current Deputy Prime Minister. Thankfully, I have never seen him in person and of course neither he nor his fence-sitting do-gooder party have ever had my vote.
In last week's local and Euro elections the Liberal Democrats were utterly trounced - almost obliterated. Since then, there have been calls from within LibDem ranks for Nicholas William Peter Clegg to resign his leadership. He appeared on television, red-eyed and miserable still pleading that he had the right political approach. One of the loudest voices from those seeking to oust Clegg was a fellow called Lord Oakeshott or to give him his full title - Baron Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay. Under pressure, Oakeshott resigned from the Liberal Democrats earlier today.
Until 2000, this privileged chap was simply known as plain Matthew Alan Oakeshott. I wondered what he had done to become a lord of the realm with all of the associated privileges and hefty expenses. Had he raised thousands for charity? Did he invent an energy saving light bulb? Did he devote his working life to educating or helping others? Was he the author of a tide-changing book?
None of the above. As far as I can figure out he has been a self-seeking investor in commercial property as well as the director of a large investment group. As a sideline, he dabbled in the Labour Party before switching opportunistically to the Liberal Democrats. What this Oxford-educated nitwit has done for British society I cannot tell. People like that surely bring the entire honours system into disrepute. Here's Matthew Oakeshott in his own words:-
"My professional career is investing in commercial property, mainly shops and industrial property, all over the United Kingdom for pension funds, charities and investment trusts. I started my own business in 1986 after being a Director of Warburg Investment Management and running Courtaulds Pension Fund.
An economist by training (University and Nuffield College, Oxford), my first job was in the Kenya Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning as an Overseas Development Institute/Nuffield Fellow. I then worked as Special Adviser to Roy Jenkins from 1972 to 1976, both in opposition and in Government.
Active in politics since I was 18, I have been a City Councillor and finished a close second in both my General Election campaigns (Horsham and Crawley for Labour in October 1974 and Cambridge in 1983 for the SDP/Liberal Alliance). I was at Limehouse with Roy Jenkins for the formation of the SDP and served on its National Steering Committee and Economic Policy Committee.
I joined the Lords in May 2000."
And that's just one of the 779 people who sit in Great Britain's unelected House of Lords which still includes twenty five bishops of the Church of England and eighty eight hereditary peers. Though I am proud of our royal family and wish to see its continuation, I am not alone in believing that The House of Lords should be abolished so that undeserving figures like Matthew Oakeshott will no longer find that they have some power and influence in national political matters.
|Seagrove Bay, Isle of Wight|