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SUNDAY 14 APRIL 2024

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As a pantomime dame, a toady squire and the Queen of the Nasties get gongs, it’s time to abolish Honours

HAIR RAISING: Michael Fabricant has been knighted

Where to start? Well, let’s kick off by abolishing the Honours system. Johnson’s resignation list is the prime example of how such a ridiculous procedure can be so appallingly abused. 


Peerages for a 29-year-old woman* and a 32-year-old man who both worked at No 10; a knighthood for Chief Toady Squire Mogg (was there ever a more ridiculous figure?) and Queen of the Nasties Priti Patel made a dame. And no, it’s not panto season.


Oh, I nearly forgot, a K for the real pantomime dame Michael Fabricant, the Chief Wig.


This sort of nonsense really cannot continue, for a start each of the members of the Lords (nearly 800 of them) can claim £332 a day just for turning up plus travel expenses and subsidised food and drink. That’s a cost to the taxpayer of almost £50m assuming they all  appeared for 30 weeks of the year and claimed exes.


I have no real problem with an Upper House or senate, it’s there to scrutinise legislation passed in the Commons and usually does so very well. What I do object to is the way members of the Lords are sent there, often on the whim of a prime minister (as in the latest case) and as reward for political donations and/or not spilling the beans.


So let’s have a root and branch overhaul; reduce numbers to 400, choose purely on merit in whatever field (thus ridding the system of cronyism,) and stop calling those in the Upper House ‘lords’ because all that does is to proliferate the class system, deference and snobbery.


I have some friends in the Lords, sent there because of genuinely good works over and above their successful careers. They take part only when they think they have something to contribute and not because they have nothing better to do (I’m not referring to little Lord Stevens of Ludgate you will be surprised to learn.) Nor were they nominated by the greatest charlatan ever to diminish British politics.


Talking of Johnson, I wonder if he’s dared to glance at any of the reviews of his great flounce? I do hope so though I very much doubt it. His old editor at the Telegraph Max Hastings sums him up thus: Deranged narcissism; the most selfish person I have ever met; few if any personal friends; lifelong liar.


His biographer Anthony Seldon is not a fan either: Johnson has caused damage beyond measure; total absence of moral compass; not a single person he has encountered has not been cheapened or damaged by their association with him.


What will Tenerife Tel’s chums at the Dollis Hill bus garage make of that?


They may have to resort to the Mail and MoS which still flies the Boris flag and just as Seldon says, is cheapened and damaged by it.


*What could Lord Drone have been thinking of by allowing such an insinuation to sully his organ earlier? Probably asleep in the Lords after claiming his £332.


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RE THE awful Fabricant, I once had the dubious privilege of appearing on some TV discussion programme with Norman St John-Stevas, the very camp former Leader of the House (as a name dropper, even Gyles Brandreth would be going some to keep up with him) and Fab Fabricant.


Before the show I went to the loo to powder my nose (not a Colombian euphemism) and found our hero at the dryer after washing his hands. Alas, the spout from the machine was of the adjustable variety and it was facing up, not down. The blond wig must have been raised at least nine inches from his naked head before, in horror, he retrieved it with both hands.


And to think I got paid for such a high life …