Lucy Vickery (Competition, 3 January)
likes the idea that Lord Mandelson’s New Year resolution
might be ‘In due course I shall float the Lord Home precedent,
but not yet’. Lord Home, however, was notoriously the fourteenth
Earl, while Lord Mandelson is only the first (and last) Baron.
In law that makes a difference.
Lord Home succeeded to his peerage;
Lord Mandelson was appointed to his. The Peerage Act 1963 allows
surrender of a peerage only by those who succeeded to it.
Lord Mandelson can never escape
the honour he was pleased to accept.