I’m not the first Lady Basildon!

First published in Local News by

Basildon’S first baroness, Angela Smith, has made her maiden speech in the House of Lords... joking that playwrite Oscar Wilde created her fictional forerunner in 1895.

Baroness Smith, whose full title is the Right Honourable the Baroness Smith of Basildon, was introduced into the Lords two weeks ago after she was nominated for a peerage by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Making her first speech in the House of Lords, Baroness Smith paid tribute to her parents Pat and Emily Evans, of Piercys, Pitsea, for ensuring she received the education that has helped secure her prestigious new role.

She said: “As a child from a very ordinary working-class family, I could not have expected to have the honour of serving your Lordships’ House and the other place (House of Commons).

“My parents – my mother being from a Scottish mining family and my father from the east end of London, saw, like too many of their generation, their education ended too soon. They were therefore determined both my sister and I would have the educational opportunities they never had, for which I remain enormously grateful, although I did not perhaps appreciate them at the time. It has also made me a great believer in the value of education and of access to education for all.”

Giving her speech, the 51-year-old who lives in Langdon Hills, told peers the first Lady Basildon was a fictional character in Oscar Wilde’s novel An Ideal Husband.

She told the House: “When I was introduced to your Lordships’ House, I did so as the first Baroness of Basildon – possibly the first time that a modern new town has been recognised in this way.

“But I have to confess to your Lordships that I am not the first Lady Basildon.

“The first was created in 1895 by the great Irish writer Oscar Wilde in his play ‘An Ideal Husband’, which was performed first at the Haymarket Theatre.

“Lady Basildon was described as being of ‘exquisite fragility’ – an attribute which I doubt has ever been used to describe me – but she showed an interest in politics, of a kind.”

Baroness Smith, was Basildon’s MP for 13 years until she lost to Tory Stephen Metcalfe in May’s general election.

Comments (11)

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10:43am Sat 24 Jul 10

onegreatjohnny says...

Whilst I cannot think of a better person to be promoted to the House of Lords, how long can this archaic institution go on?
Or, indeed, the equally traditional way we have of keeping one particular family in a gilded cage in order to breed a head-of-state?
All mediaeval nonsense that must be consigned to the history books of the 21st century surely?
Whilst I cannot think of a better person to be promoted to the House of Lords, how long can this archaic institution go on? Or, indeed, the equally traditional way we have of keeping one particular family in a gilded cage in order to breed a head-of-state? All mediaeval nonsense that must be consigned to the history books of the 21st century surely? onegreatjohnny
  • Score: 0

11:01am Sat 24 Jul 10

karen29 says...

All aboard the gravy train,after her dodgy mortgage and dodgy expenses claims she gets kicked out by the electorate and is rewarded and still sucking up the public cash, something she is a master at.
All aboard the gravy train,after her dodgy mortgage and dodgy expenses claims she gets kicked out by the electorate and is rewarded and still sucking up the public cash, something she is a master at. karen29
  • Score: 0

11:55am Sat 24 Jul 10

Mary Lou says...

If the government want to save money, get rid of parasites like her.
If the government want to save money, get rid of parasites like her. Mary Lou
  • Score: 0

12:08pm Sat 24 Jul 10

onegreatjohnny says...

Mary Lou wrote:
If the government want to save money, get rid of parasites like her.
Now I'm no monarchist, but Elizabeth II has served the country well.

It's very wrong to talk about her like that.
[quote][p][bold]Mary Lou[/bold] wrote: If the government want to save money, get rid of parasites like her.[/p][/quote]Now I'm no monarchist, but Elizabeth II has served the country well. It's very wrong to talk about her like that. onegreatjohnny
  • Score: 0

1:45pm Sat 24 Jul 10

News Bunny says...

Stephen Metcalfe made his maiden speech in the house of commons this week. Why no story about that? Or is it that the search facility on this website is so bad it's not coming up? Could be as when I search for Stephen Metcalfe three of the first four stories are about Angela Smith....
Stephen Metcalfe made his maiden speech in the house of commons this week. Why no story about that? Or is it that the search facility on this website is so bad it's not coming up? Could be as when I search for Stephen Metcalfe three of the first four stories are about Angela Smith.... News Bunny
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Sat 24 Jul 10

Mary Lou says...

onegreatjohnny wrote:
Mary Lou wrote:
If the government want to save money, get rid of parasites like her.
Now I'm no monarchist, but Elizabeth II has served the country well.

It's very wrong to talk about her like that.
Please, don't get me going on the Royals. Oliver Cromwell got it right.
[quote][p][bold]onegreatjohnny[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mary Lou[/bold] wrote: If the government want to save money, get rid of parasites like her.[/p][/quote]Now I'm no monarchist, but Elizabeth II has served the country well. It's very wrong to talk about her like that.[/p][/quote]Please, don't get me going on the Royals. Oliver Cromwell got it right. Mary Lou
  • Score: 0

6:13pm Sat 24 Jul 10

Discouraged says...

Reading gaol would be a nice place to send this double council tax claiming, triple tv licence fee claiming, illegal war voting non-entity.
Reading gaol would be a nice place to send this double council tax claiming, triple tv licence fee claiming, illegal war voting non-entity. Discouraged
  • Score: 0

9:14pm Sat 24 Jul 10

vangebasildon says...

Mary Lou wrote:
If the government want to save money, get rid of parasites like her.
No you have that wrong....its David Ammes that need getting rid of. Basildon does not miss him at all. Perhaps he may like to take a 2 mile walk along Southend Pier
[quote][p][bold]Mary Lou[/bold] wrote: If the government want to save money, get rid of parasites like her.[/p][/quote]No you have that wrong....its David Ammes that need getting rid of. Basildon does not miss him at all. Perhaps he may like to take a 2 mile walk along Southend Pier vangebasildon
  • Score: 0

9:24pm Sat 24 Jul 10

torridpiper says...

To be nominated by Gordon Brown (alias Howard Hughes) is the kiss of death was he the man that said 'No more Boom or Bust'

Still could be worse her ladyship's title could be Baroness of 'alcatraz'
To be nominated by Gordon Brown (alias Howard Hughes) is the kiss of death was he the man that said 'No more Boom or Bust' Still could be worse her ladyship's title could be Baroness of 'alcatraz' torridpiper
  • Score: 0

9:31am Sun 25 Jul 10

Audioman says...

She was no good as an MP and is no good now.
She lives in a large house,pays NO COUNCIL TAX at all gets FREE PETROL by just showing her HOUSE OF LORDS CARD,and by the way gets all her rubbish cleaned away EACH WEEK.
She was no good as an MP and is no good now. She lives in a large house,pays NO COUNCIL TAX at all gets FREE PETROL by just showing her HOUSE OF LORDS CARD,and by the way gets all her rubbish cleaned away EACH WEEK. Audioman
  • Score: 0

10:55am Sun 25 Jul 10

onegreatjohnny says...

vangebasildon wrote:
Mary Lou wrote:
If the government want to save money, get rid of parasites like her.
No you have that wrong....its David Ammes that need getting rid of. Basildon does not miss him at all. Perhaps he may like to take a 2 mile walk along Southend Pier
Bearing in mind his charmed political life so far, he'd probably manage the extra half mile quite happily.

And it's always seemed miraculous to me how the Tory tribe has taken to him in Southend West.
[quote][p][bold]vangebasildon[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mary Lou[/bold] wrote: If the government want to save money, get rid of parasites like her.[/p][/quote]No you have that wrong....its David Ammes that need getting rid of. Basildon does not miss him at all. Perhaps he may like to take a 2 mile walk along Southend Pier[/p][/quote]Bearing in mind his charmed political life so far, he'd probably manage the extra half mile quite happily. And it's always seemed miraculous to me how the Tory tribe has taken to him in Southend West. onegreatjohnny
  • Score: 0

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