Yes, this is indeed a hit, a veritable bullseye.
Lord Pearson of Rannoch: The reason why I and my Eurosceptic friends believe that noble EU pensioners should declare that interest in our debates is that EU pensions are perhaps unique in that holders can lose them if they fail to uphold the EU’s interests or bring the EU into disrepute.
If we look at former members of the European Parliament, we have the noble Lords, Lord Dykes, Lord Inglewood, Lord Harrison and Lord Teverson, the noble Baroness, Lady Quin, and the noble Lord who asked the question, the noble Lord, Lord Tomlinson.
…[then] we come to the ex-Commissioners and ex-Commission employees: the noble Lords, Lord Brittan, Lord Clinton-Davis, Lord Kinnock, Lord Patten of Barnes, Lord Richard and Lord Tugendhat. As I say, I would not have named those people, but I think it will help students who read Hansard in future to know that our debates have been influenced to that extent. There can be no doubt that this unseen hand has distorted the quality of our deliberations. I very much regret that.
I conclude with a word of advice to my erstwhile political friends in the Conservative Party.
Lord Kinnock: My Lords, before the noble Lord does so, perhaps I may ask him as a point of honour, since I have been listening to him from beyond the Bar, that when he expresses a desire to ensure that future students have an accurate understanding of what is going on, it is necessary to record, first, that I thought that he was a man of honour and would not give himself to sentiments such as those he has just expressed; and, secondly, that there is nothing that I have ever taken from anyone that would begin to influence the judgment that I exercise as a parliamentarian.
Lord Pearson of Rannoch: My Lords, the noble Lord would say that, wouldn’t he?
Do read the rest to see quite how absurd Kinnock\’s main argument was.
Oh, and yes,. EU pensions can indeed be stopped for the reason given above and yes, they are the only financial interest which Lords do not have to declare in debates. Odd that, eh?