Quentin Letts catches the mood in Parliament
Quentin Letts is the Political Sketch writer for the Times newspaper and he has an extraordinary knack of capturing the mood in either house with magical and amusing drafting. Today he has a piece on Lord Fowler, Speaker of the House of Lords, and his unenviable task of managing a "Somnolence of Lords" - if that might be the collective noun for the inhabitants of the chamber in these pestilent times!

Posted: 200320
The Speaker for the House of Lords, Lord Fowler, said "the House's creakier specimens should stop attending debates until the plague has passed". His announcement came amid mounting exasperation that so many Lords ancients were ignoring the Government's "stay at home" advice to oldies. Letts added "debates had seen a parade of Lords cheerfully parping away, quite careless of official advice to septuagenarians to go into purdah. Among them was Lady Howe, 88, that spring lamb Lord Harries, 83, and Lady Butler-Sloss, 86, who was coughing away like a 40-Woodbines a day navvy but insisted that she did - ker-pleurrgh! - not have the lurgy. If peers believed her, it was only because they doubted any virus would be impertinent enough to invade the beak of a leathery old broiler like Butler-Sloss".