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Dear Tony, please let me into the House of Lords

'I hate spiders, racial prejudice, conservatism of all sorts (including that of the Left) - and truckers'

To: Topdog@crisishq.com From: David.Aaronovitch@btinternet.com Re: Application for the post of member of the second chamber (peer of the realm).

To: Topdog@crisishq.com From: David.Aaronovitch@btinternet.com Re: Application for the post of member of the second chamber (peer of the realm).

Dear Tony: I am writing once again to ask you to consider my application for the above post. You were unable to elevate me in the period after the election, despite my letter to you of 8 May 1997, and I quite understand that decision (I was not anywhere as well known or exalted as those who you did eventually appoint, so no hard feelings). But now you have decided to invite applications from "ordinary members of the public" by e-mail (with which, as you can see, I am fully conversant), I am sufficiently emboldened by my own obscurity and "ordinariness" to write to you again.

Why me? IMHO (which, as you know stands for "in my humble opinion", an odd interpolation by a columnist, I realise, but very "cyber" I gather), one can do no better than to simply go through the basics. My daughter - now 10 and very like your own Kathryn - has shown me how they put together their likes/dislikes portfolio at school. Structurally I do not think it can be improved upon. So here goes.

Age: Not much over 40, so able simultaneously to comprehend the difficulties of age (my prostate is giving me a bit of gyp), to empathise with the stresses of the middle years, while recalling the passions and interests of youth. I am not so arrogant, however, as to turn down the opportunity to attend any refresher courses on the teenage years that your party organisation might have access to. Is it me, or has modern pop music become remarkably unmelodious?

Home and job: I live in Hampstead and work mostly from home. Now, at first sight this may seem to set me apart from the broad mass of the electorate who - through no fault of their own - do not have apartments in Hampstead and are not called upon to write for The Independent.

But I feel that such logic is faulty. I have a lively imagination, which I employ at least twice a week in speculating (occasionally correctly) upon what it is that the electorate as a whole thinks and feels, and what the Government should, as a consequence, do about it.

Also you have seen fit to listen to journalists before (notably the eminent ex-editor Simon Jenkins on the subject of the Dome, for whose, er, failure he can hardly be blamed).

Besides, living here can scarcely be considered a disqualification. Many other current and prospective Labour peers may be seen strolling round about, or sipping lattes in pavement cafes with Anthony Minghella and Sting. Melvyn, Helena, Waheed and Ivan - to name but four - are all close by. And one advantage of this is that should - God forbid - there be a worsening of the transport crisis, then several of us could come to the House together in one or other of the limousines owned by the aforementioned.

BTW (sorry, "by the way"), when I mentioned God just then, I have to admit that - unlike you - I cannot be classified as a believer. But I know your own feelings on the subject and want to assure you that I have a deep respect for the religious views of others, no matter how weird or founded in the crepuscular gloom of pre-civilisation they are. So I feel I could get on well with the assorted bishops, rabbis, gurus and Zoroastrian fire-holders that I am sure you will want to appoint to other seats in the reformed chamber. Some of my best friends are Jesuits.

Likes and dislikes: I like cappuccino, open government and intervention in foreign countries where justified by the scale of the humanitarian crisis. I am also a passionate supporter of education, having recently been elected a school governor (the second meeting is next week), and hoping to make it on to the curriculum sub-committee.

I hate spiders, racial prejudice, conservatism of all sorts (including that of the Left) and truckers. I would be quite willing, in the current crisis, to organise and lead a group of militant cyclists, who would undertake to ride very slowly in front of large lorries, tractors and pantechnicons, as a retaliation against the blockade. And there are many more ideas where that came from, Tony!

I think you can see from the foregoing that I combine commitment with experience, ideas with common sense, and an everyday practicality with the dreams of a better society, in which the old divisions are set aside and...

But the word limit on the application has been reached. Should you wish to take up references, they can be obtained from Frank Dobson MP (currently on retreat on Iona), Jimmy Somerville and Sir Alan Sugar.

BFN. David.