Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Buy your own peerage

No, it's not the Labour Party selling them. It's the Elect the Lords campaign.

Their press releases reads:

The Elect the Lords campaign has launched a range of "Virtual Peerages" for sale on its website, following the continuing "cash for peerages" row.

As an introductory offer, the Virtual Peerages are being offered at a 25% discount for one week only, meaning that a Virtual Baronetcy can be bought for as little as £7.50.

Purchasers of these Virtual Peerages will receive a "certificate of inauthenticity" and be listed on the campaign's website. Purchasers of a Virtual Marquessetcy and Duchy will have their own Coat of Arms designed.

In the real world, the money raised in this way will be spent on campaigning for an end to political patronage and a democratic second chamber.

Commenting on the new scheme, National Coordinator of the Elect the Lords campaign Peter Facey said:

"17 out of the 22 individuals who have donated more than £100,000 to the Labour Party in the past few years have received an honour; all but one of the individuals who have donated more than £1m have received a peerage. This is unacceptable in a modern democracy.

"With prices starting from just £7.50, our Virtual Peerages are truly 'for the many not the few.' What's more, the money used from them will be spent on campaigning to abolish political patronage - they represent the perfect gift for a spouse or loved one.

"In nine years, Tony Blair has appointed more than 300 life peers - 50% more than any other Prime Minister in history. We are hoping to create more than 300 Virtual Peerages in just one month."

Virtual Peerages can be purchased online from the Elect the Lords website

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