Saturday, March 3, 2007

Tip O'Neill, meet Baroness Jeger

Looking at the UK Independent just now, I was reminded of why I like obituaries so much. Lena May Chivers(created a Baroness in l979), the wife of a prominent politician who took over his seat in the House of Lords after he died, passed away this week at the age of l0l. When she began her political career, she had yet to learn the lesson that Tip O'Neill knew so well, as this excerpt from her obit makes clear:

"Canvassing as she did from the top of flats, downwards, she met a woman in the lift. Jeger addressed her on the issue of the day - German rearmament - which evoked the reply, 'People have been pissing in this lift. What are you going to do about it?'

Jeger said that, if elected, she could not promise, as an MP, to stop this. She harped back to the German threat. "Well," said the woman. 'If you can't stop people pissing in lifts, how are you going to stop Germans rearming?'"

The obit notes that Lena Jeger was a quick study. She drew the conclusion that "MPs, however immersed in foreign policy and the great issues of the hour, ought to remember that politics is local."


No comments: