Discourtesy call

March 6, 1998

Opposition peers have found the Achilles' heel of the normally unflappable Baroness Blackstone: her decorum. The rare moment of humility from the baroness came amid last week's hullabaloo in the Lords, when Tory peers accused the Liberal Democrats of conspiring with the government to drop plans to send the Teaching and Higher Education Bill back to the committee stage in return for nebulous concessions.

Lord Peyton of Yeovil complained about the "discourtesy" of the behind-the-scenes deal, which had left Tory peers in the dark. "I found the remarks of the noble lord, Lord Peyton, a little offensive," the baroness said humbly. "He accused me implicitly of lacking humility and good manners. I say this in all humility. I do not wish to be rude or not to display good manners."

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