Thursday, 22 October 2009

On styling life peers

I know that this is a matter of limited interest, but as long as the House of Lords is around, I'd like to see its members styled properly. So, Seumas Milne in The Guardian, 'Lord Mandelson', not 'Lord Mandelson of Foy'. Peter Mandelson's peerage was gazetted as 'Baron Mandelson, of Foy in the County of Herefordshire and of Hartlepool in the County of Durham'. That first comma tells you what the everyday substantive part of the title is.

And yes, there are too many lords for a media staffed by those bred up in egalitarian times to cope, hence the confusion over when to use a territorial designation. 'The Rt Hon Peter Mandelson, LP' [Life Peer] or (hence it be inferred that such a peer revolves at 33.3 per minute on a turntable) 'The Rt Hon Peter Mandelson, MHL' [Member of the House of Lords] would be welcome options.

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