This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← The problem in public life isn’t Islam, but religion itself

Jumped Up Chimpanzee's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee

Comment 8 by 78rpm Could somebody explain to me, an honestly ignorant American, what gives her the title "Baroness?" I really know very little about the system of titles like that. Thank you.

I'm British and I'd like to know too! (Nobody explains this to us, we are just told that we have our "betters".)

All I know is that once or twice a year the government (probably officially the Queen, but she's just a puppet) appoints a few new "life peers" (I believe they are all titled "Baron/Baroness"). They have the right to sit in the House of Lords. Their title is not hereditary. They are supposedly given to people who have made some sort of major contribution to public life. I think there is some sort of cross-party consultation on the appointments and at least a pretence of balance and fairness. Ultimately it is a subjective decision and can be controversial.

My view is that Warsi was fast-tracked because the Conservatives obviously thought it would enhance their appeal to multi-cultural/ethnic voters. I don't know what major contribution she has made to really justify her appointment.

If you look up "British Honours System" on Wikipedia, it explains the whole honours system.

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 08:21:04 UTC | #920661