Political

Gems from Hansard: the Christmas card that fell over

Important stuff from the 22 January 2002 in the House of Lords:

House of Lords Christmas Cards

Lord St John of Fawsley asked the Chairman of Committees: Whether the arrangements made with regard to the latest House of Lords Christmas cards were satisfactory.

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Tordoff): My Lords, as far as I am aware, the arrangements were quite satisfactory. I have had no complaints about the Christmas cards that I sent out, although, I regret to say, I did not send one to the noble Lord. If the noble Lord can indicate what the particular problem is, we could deal with it. If I cannot, the works of art panel could.

Lord St John of Fawsley: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for his Answer. Does he realise that, like Bognor, he is the last resort? Does he know that I addressed myself to the Printed Paper Office and was told that the matter was nothing to do with that office? I was told to go to the Attendants Office. On arrival at the Attendants Office, I was told that it had nothing to do with them and that I should go to the Printed Paper Office. So I have come to the noble Lord.

The noble Lord is very satisfied with the card. May I ask him whether he realises that the principal card – which follows the barbarous custom of standing on its side – did not and does not? It fell down. Having fallen down, it refused to get up. The envelopes were far too small for the cards. Does he realise that? The effect was that, when the cards were put in, the envelopes burst. Does he realise that the glue had long ago lost whatever adhesive quality it might have had? My unfortunate secretary had to go and buy, at her own expense, a glue stick to stick them down.

Finally, would the noble Lord advert to the fact that, although the exterior of the card contained a beautiful picture of Westminster Abbey, the interior described it as Westminster Cathedral? That must be the anachronism of the millennium. All one can say to that is, “Pas encore” and to the noble Lord, “Where will it all end?”.

Where did it all end? In controversy as it was pointed out by Lord Tordoff that he ad been able fit the Christmas cards in the envelopes and to make the envelopes stick.

Hat-tip: Esther Webber.

For other gems from Hansard see my appropriately named series of Hansard gems.

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