Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Lord Bonkers' Diary: Steve Webb visits the Hall
From time to time I invite one of our Liberal Democrat ministers down to the Hall to hear how they are getting on and give them the benefit of my experience.
My latest guest is Professor Steve Webb, whom all agree is Terribly Clever. He tells me all about his plans to reform the pension system so that a chap can get his hands on his nest egg and use it as he sees fit rather than be forced to buy an annuity from the insurance companies.
“Of course,” he goes on, “the important thing is how long someone is going to live after retirement, but these days they can work that out. Here, I’ll do it for you.”
He begins to pound the keys of his pocket calculator, but grows steadily more puzzled as he does so. I even hear him mumble, with that pleasant Birmingham lilt of his, something to the effect that I “should have died years ago”.
“What you are failing to take into account, Professor,” I tell him, “is the Spring of Eternal Life that bursts from the hillside above what used to be the headquarters of the Association of Liberal Councillors in Hebden Bridge. I make an annual pilgrimage to bathe in it – I've checked the small print on all of my insurance policies and nowhere is it mentioned.”
All in all, a pleasant afternoon and I end it by giving Webb a lift back to the station in my Lamborghini.
Lord Bonkers was Liberal MP for Rutland South-West 1906-10.
Earlier this week...