The New House of Peers

About twenty years ago, when Tony Blair was in the midst of “reforming” – ie, wrecking – the House of Lords, I suggested in The Sunday Telegraph that he replace it with the House of Gays, since, as a small, unrepresentative elite exercising power and influence out of all proportion to their actual numbers, gays were now the contemporary equivalent of the old peerage. It wasn’t the greatest jest, but Page Six in The New York Post and a few other papers picked up the quip and reported on it. And, running into me a few weeks later, my National Post colleague David Frum asked if I’d been a bit nervous about its edginess. I giggled, and said that originally I’d written that Mr Blair should replace the House of Peers with the House of Queers, but I’d amended it because these days only G&S fans recognize the formulation “House of Peers”.