Went to London yesterday. Absolute pits! Maximum train speed was 50 mph and most trains cancelled. But made the FUW lunch in the Cholmondeley Room at the House of Lords, but over an hour late. Still very worthwhile. Main speaker was the Chair of the Muslim Council, Dr Shuja Shafi. Now muslims are particularly important to Welsh farming because of the amount of mutton they consume. When I was a young farmer our 'scrap' ewes were worthless. Today, muslims have helped create a good market. I must admit the part of Dr Shafi's speech where he detailed the precise details of halal slaughter was a bit gruesome. It would have made Lorraine Barrett throw up all over her mutton dish, (or rather someone else's since she won't eat the stuff).
It was a great networking event for me - made more enjoyable by a little gentle ribbing of the Lib-Dem Lords, Emlyn Hooson, Richard Livesey and Roger Roberts about the details of the sex life of their party's Welsh leader. I get the feeling that they have had just about enough of it. Eleanor Burnham had better start installing telephone lines in her leadership campaign room.
The Lords is such a civilised place. Stuffed full of wisdom, along with the hearing aids and zimmer frames. Emlyn reminded me of Lloyd George's observation that the other place is living proof of 'life after death'. No matter, I would much rather be a member of the Lords than the Commons anyday. I have always found its wisdom based on experience to be more worthwhile than the opportunistic 'party line' politics of the Commons.
It might be vision from beyord the grave (the ultimate hindsight) but I found a lot more support for the 'Rainbow Coalition' than I had expected.