Today is Lords Reform Day, the 95th anniversary of the 1911 Parliament Act which said: ‘it is intended to substitute for the House of Lords as it at present exists a Second Chamber constituted on a popular instead of hereditary basis, but such substitution cannot be immediately brought into operation.’
Only now are the hereditary peers finally on their way out, though we may have to wait for the current hangers-on to die off. Nevertheless, the long tradition of selling peerages is alleged to be alive and well, with prices keeping up with inflation (it’s worth noting that this is the Labour Party price and that more Conservative than Labour apparatchiks have been questioned by police, which explains the opposition’s silence).
Anyway. There is another way to buy an honour and I’m not referring to the Elect the Lords campaign’s virtual honours, which offer no more than a pretend coat of arms. I’m talking about a title you can use from as a little as £195. It doesn’t come with a seat in the house of lords (don’t tell ’em and they won’t know) but you can use these effective (this is the key) titles on your driving licence, passport, credit cards, bank accounts or whatever without worrying about a gentle knock on the door from PC Plod. You can even buy a seated title which can be bequeathed to future generations. That’s right you can buy a hereditary title here.