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Good lord

This just in:

Just minutes ago it was announced that Viscount Ridley was elected to a sit in the House of Lords, taking the seat vacated by the death of Earl Ferrers.

Congratulations to Matt from everyone at BH.

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Reader Comments (59)

Indeed that is good news. I look forward to him crossing swords with Baroness Worthless.

Feb 6, 2013 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

HoL embraces rational optimism - I do hope so. Do the Lords get involved in the repeal of Acts?

Feb 6, 2013 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat


Feb 6, 2013 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Excellent. He will have to speak quietly at times lest he disturb those snoozing on the red benches, but surely he will also find other good things to do there as well. Three cheers for tradition and continuity!

Feb 6, 2013 at 4:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

That was fortuitous it could have been Viscount Monckton :-)

Feb 6, 2013 at 4:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

"The maiden speech is expected to be short and uncontroversial and would not express views that would provoke an interruption."

He could always just talk about the weather :-)

Feb 6, 2013 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

A maiden speech on a rational energy policy would be nice.
Short and controversial would wake the old b----- up.
Be a hero Matt.

Feb 6, 2013 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterG.Watkins

Yay! That's great news! Congratulations Matt!

Feb 6, 2013 at 5:10 PM | Registered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

Praise be! A voice where it might matter. Lord Turnbull will be pleased to have some reinforcement.

Feb 6, 2013 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Thompson

Great news and well deserved by Matt.

Feb 6, 2013 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeomac

I like his books, I listen carefully to everything he says. I wish him well but I'm to congratulate him on his wise choice of father?

If I am mistaken and he is not a hereditary peer then of course my comment is misplaced.

Feb 6, 2013 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered Commenteralleagra

Excellent news indeed. A penetrating mind and a persuasive voice. Will he take the Tory whip or sit as an independent, I wonder.

Feb 6, 2013 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

alleagra - Matt is the 5th Viscount Ridley. So yes, a wise choice of parents. But his election was (imo) merited.

Feb 6, 2013 at 5:30 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Nicholas Hallam

This was an election of Tory peers. So sitting as a Conservative.

Feb 6, 2013 at 5:34 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Always happy to see another Northumbrian in a position of influence and this is an especially good result.
Well done, bonny lad!

Feb 6, 2013 at 5:41 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Thanks, Bish. I still get confused at the idea of electing peers!

Feb 6, 2013 at 6:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

Look on the bright side...all those catastrophiliac haters are now going to have to refer to him as Lord Riddley and show him some respect.

Bwaaahahahaha...who am I kidding...of course they arent going to show him any respect! :)



Feb 6, 2013 at 6:46 PM | Unregistered Commentermailman

This is good news. Not just on climate alarmism but because he is a "rational optimist". I am so tired of the adolescent, it's worse than we thought, pseudo-scientitific hand wringers. An intelligent man who doesn't say, OMG that's terrible; but, that's a problem - how do we solve it?

Feb 6, 2013 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Fowle

It will be interesting to see any debates involving the good Baroness Worthington vs Lord Ridley of course...

Feb 6, 2013 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

Superb news. Hercules cleaned the Augean stables in a day. We'll allow Matt slightly longer, but only slightly.

Feb 6, 2013 at 7:31 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Excellent news and another step in the right direction.

Feb 6, 2013 at 7:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterA.D. Everard

Great news - congratulations to Matt!

Feb 6, 2013 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

What a marvellous piece of news!

I love the line in his Wiki entry:

His pieces on global warming in the Wall Street Journal have been criticized by Joseph Romm.

Shades of "being savaged by a dead sheep".

Feb 6, 2013 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

Very exciting. Excellent news! Congrats to Matt.

Feb 6, 2013 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterFay Tuncay

Great news. Thanks to the Bp for advising those of us who have given up on the MSM.
Tony Windsor

Feb 6, 2013 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterTony Windsor

Here it is

and here in more detail

Feb 6, 2013 at 8:36 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Hercules chose wisely his father.

Feb 6, 2013 at 9:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Oedipus chose unwisely his mother.

ah, er, sorry.

Feb 6, 2013 at 9:47 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson

Phillip Bratby : Indeed that is good news. I look forward to him crossing swords with Baroness Worthless.

Doubt that will ever happen. Promotion into neutrality - talk as much as you like there love, as with Science, nobody outside the bubble is listening anyway.

Worthless silenced. Ridley silenced. What's next... Lord Montford ... the silent?

Feb 6, 2013 at 10:08 PM | Unregistered Commenter3x2

Congratulations to Matt Ridley. I hadn't realised that he was a Viscount before. Just as well he didn't play the "I am a Lord but the House doesn't recognise me" card like a certain other Viscount.

Feb 6, 2013 at 10:16 PM | Registered CommenterAndy Scrase

Gosh, sometimes the good guys do win!
Fantastic news. Well done Matt, er Your Lordship:)

Feb 6, 2013 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Many Congratulations

Feb 6, 2013 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

Not to be taken too seriously

My only contact with the house of lords was to make a major contribution to running them and their fellow 'deep ecology' class warriors out of The Guardian environment pages a few years ago.

Viscount Porrtt, Lord Melchitt, Oliver Tickell, George Monbiot, Zak Goldsmith, David de Rothschild, Paul Kingsnorth, James Lovelock, Edward Goldsmith.

Only Little Lord Monbiot remains. Still, he is descended from French aristocracy. His family fled the revolution and changed their name from Beaumont. George's father was reduced to being deputy Chair of the Conservative Party. . George has reclaimed his aristocratic roots by defending their environment against the rest of us.

My short political career involved infiltrating the Labour Party and exposing them in a newspaper (which was shut down by Special Branch). Like Ridley, I was a Libertarian. Long time ago.

Feb 7, 2013 at 1:17 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Well done to the old Etonian Viscount! I'm sure he deserved every one of the 14 votes that got him elected. It's a shame the election wasn't publicised more, as I would have liked to cast my vote. That would have given him a total of 15 votes, which would have made the election a total landslide. Isn't British democracy a wonderful institution?

I'm sure the good Viscount will provide strong advocacy for government support, backing and bailouts for all banks inherited from one's daddy, instead of squandering money on renewables.

Feb 7, 2013 at 1:18 AM | Unregistered Commenterheide de klein

A bit background for foreign readers. The UK has a bicameral parliamentary system: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Until 1958 membership of the House of Lords was hereditary. In that year Life Peers were introduced. These are nominated by the government and are a mixture of retired members of the House of Commons and people of standing from other walks of life. In 1999 the number of hereditary peers entitled to sit in the House of Lords was reduced to 92. (I was actually in the House of Commons when the then Prime Minister announced it.). When one of the 92 dies a bye-election is held at which hereditary peers of the same political party as the one who died can vote. In the case of Matt Ridley he led with 14 out of 46 votes in the first round and continued leading in all other rounds.

The House of Lords is in many ways anachronistic and to paraphrase Voltaire, if the House of Lords did not exist it would not be necessary to invent it. What does do is to allow people with wide experience of the world who have never had to temper their views to appeal to voters, like Matt Ridley, to play a role in affairs of state.

I wonder, incidentally, how Christopher Monckton has reacted to the news. He is also a hereditary peer and has stood four times for election to the House of Lords but has never received a single vote.

Feb 7, 2013 at 2:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterRon

heide de klein

I would have voted for him too. It's a great shame he those Labour Party dullards have asked him not to comment on banking matters. We in Britain need more optimism. We should be proud of the first man in history to run a bank without money. Daddy must have been thrilled to bits. Next, the first oil free Rolls Royce.

Feb 7, 2013 at 2:39 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff


"I wonder, incidentally, how Christopher Monckton has reacted to the news."

I imagine he thinks Ridley is part of a communist plot to eradicate the minor British aristocracy.

Feb 7, 2013 at 2:50 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Hear hea - It should be fun to watch him dun the duller Labor lords and mix it up with Martin Rees.

Bunga Bunga , Northumberlandia !

Feb 7, 2013 at 3:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Thanks for all the kind comments and for the funny ones, too. All I know at present is that I plan to champion the cause of reason...

(By the way, not that it matters, but the BBC predictably got my score wrong: I got 24 votes in the end, not 14. I admit this is hardly a landslide!)

Feb 7, 2013 at 8:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterMatt Ridley

Just what is the difference between Viscount Ridley and Fred Goodwin? Apart that is that Fred didn't inherit his bank.

Feb 7, 2013 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterheide de klein

"Just what is the difference between Viscount Ridley and Fred Goodwin? Apart that is that Fred didn't inherit his bank."

Fred came the 100% opposite social background, namely the worst estate in Scotland, Ferguslie Park. He is a cousin of Grant McIntosh, the drug dealing gangster who went to my school.

Coincidentally, in my class at school and university was Dougie Ferrans who brought down the $150 billion HBOS Insight investment fund at the same time. He lived around two miles away from Fred and is about the same age. He has a physics degree

Two working class boys done good, brought down the British economy between them. Ridley helped too, obviously.

Feb 7, 2013 at 9:58 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff


I've been to Paisley, and the notion that there is a worse bit of it is quite disturbing.

Feb 7, 2013 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterheide de klein

I am a libertarian and see much use in inherited common law but no place for hereditary lawmakers. However, those who object to 'an accident of birth' bringing power or wealth to a person ought, in consistency, to call for each native-born person's national citizenship and right of residence to be earned or agreed to by the electorate or their representatives.

I should stress that I see no wrong in the inheritence of wealth justly acquired nor do I think that the country belongs to The People and that the state has the right and duty to permit or deny entry and residence.

Feb 7, 2013 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterBob Layson

heide de klein / esmiff
Nothing like a bit of snidery to brighten up a dull Thursday morning, is there?
You've just about got down to the average level of comment under most of the DT's articles, which is quite an achievement. Keep it up long enough and you just might dislodge the chips on your shoulders.

Feb 7, 2013 at 11:12 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

@Mike Jackson

I'm glad you appreciate the contrast to the overwhelming sycophancy.

Would all you sycophants be equally happy if Fred Goodwin was "voted" into the House of Lords?

Feb 7, 2013 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterheide de klein

Safely ensconced, Matt may prove far too reasonable for many here, let alone the crowd Lawson & Co. have imposed on Boris & the PM.

Feb 7, 2013 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

heide de klein
The fact that all you can see is sycophancy says more about your world view than about the posters on here. Pavlov would no doubt be proud of you — he's a viscount, ergo he's a toff, ergo his views are to be discounted, ergo I despise him, ergo anyone who speaks in his favour is a sycophant. The very mindset we spend so much time on here trying to overcome — his opinion is worthless because [make your choice from the dozen or more (irrelevant) excuses that warmists make for refusing to listen to qualified sceptics].
Personally I don't care to have the mindless and oh-so-bloody-boringly-predictable witterings that I can read under virtually any piece of political comment in the Telegraph regurgitated on here where normally the standard of debate is somewhat better.
So Ridley was chairman of Northern Rock when it went belly-up. And that is relevant how, exactly? Get over it.

Feb 7, 2013 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

So the Viscount is in the Vanguard? And he went to Varsity as well.

Let us hope he will continue to be Valiant in engaging the Alarmists in the HoL and the wider world......

Feb 7, 2013 at 2:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterVickers Brooklands

So Ridley was chairman of Northern Rock when it went belly-up. And that is relevant how, exactly?

I suppose it shows that if you know the right people it doesn't matter if you're useless at your job.

Good grief, some of the regulars here are all over anybody with an interest in wind farms if they think there's a bit of jobs-for-the-boys involved. Double standards anybody?

Feb 7, 2013 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterBadger

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