Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blue-Bloods Unite

The House of Lords have allowed the Equality (Titles) Bill, put forward by Conservative backbench peer Lord Lucas, to be given a second reading – a crucial step as it means there will be a debate in the chamber, with Baroness Thornton responding for Labour. Hereditary peer Viscount Simon, who sits on the Labour benches, will also speak in support of the law. His title is destined to die out because he has no male heir – though he has a daughter.

The campaign for equality in the peerage, which calls for the same changes to succession that were introduced for the Royal Family this year, has attracted the support of 345 figures from Parliament, the arts and society, including 38 MPs from all parties and the former home secretary David Blunkett. Roddy Llewellyn, who had an eight-year relationship with the late Princess Margaret, is another supporter. His baronetcy cannot be passed on to his three daughters.

There is apparently much unhappiness among some daughters in the peerage that a girl born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would inherit the throne, even if she had a younger brother, but the same rules would not apply to them. A handful of titles can be passed on to daughters, but the majority are governed by male primogeniture. One case highlighted is that of the family of the 14th Earl of Northesk, who died in 2010. Despite having a daughter, the earldom passed to an eighth cousin, Patrick Carnegy, 72, who is childless.

SOYMB often expresses support against inequality but on this issue of inequality, we don’t care a f**k.

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