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14 August 2012

The best of the inimitable Baroness Trumpington

The wit and wisdom of an extraordinary peer.

By Caroline Crampton

Baroness Trumpington, the Conservative peer rightly famous for sticking two fingers up at a fellow lord who called her “pretty old” during a debate has given an extensive interview to the Daily Telegraph, which allows us to appreciate fully the no-nonsense wit of this 89-year-old politician. In the course of her varied career, she was a land girl, a Bletchley Park codebreaker, Mayor of Cambridge, an agriculture minister, and now a Baroness. She is, quite simply, fab. Here’s a few choice quotes:

On sticking two fingers up at Lord King of Bridgwater:

“It was entirely between him and me — I thought. I wasn’t conscious of there being television [cameras there]. I did that [she repeats the gesture with faux innocence] to his face. His family say he is famous now.”

On her suggestion that sheep should be used to detonate Falklands minefields:

“My point was that you can put a sheep out of its misery and eat it. You can’t do that to a man.”

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On her attempted parliamentary campaign in the Isle of Ely:

“A godforsaken bit of the world. Driving from Cambridge, there isn’t even a pub on the way. I was Mrs Barker then and they called me Baker all through the interview. At the end, they said: ‘Why do you think you’re not in Parliament already?’ I said: ‘Because of selection committees like you,’ and went out and burst into tears.”

On getting older:

“You don’t give a damn about what you say. Other people’s opinions matter less — unless they’re medical.”

And that wonderful moment in the Lords last year: