Leading Article: Peering ahead

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The Independent Culture
REVOLUTIONS DO tend to vary in the pace of their change and the abruptness of their application; nevertheless, it is probably safe to say that there would have been a lot more knitting finished if New Labour had been in charge after the storming of the Bastille rather than the Committee of Public Safety. So it's not particularly surprising to learn that the hereditary peers, so momentously expelled from the House of Lords, are likely to be allowed back in to use it as a club. Plus c'est la meme chose.

Frankly, though, if we were a Lord, we would not be that enthusiastic. The best club in London is not what it was. Unfortunately, it's much the same elsewhere, too. Gone are the days when someone like Lord Glasgow could hurl a waiter out of his club's window and then bark: "Put him on the bill."

We would urge the nobility to be a little more adventurous: the Met Bar, for example, is having a bit of a membership shake-up. Or perhaps it's time to revive the Pelican Club, where a member, accused of throwing the boar's head which had knocked a peer senseless into the fireplace, replied indignantly: "Nonsense. It couldn't have been me. I've thrown nothing but jelly all evening." That's more like it.