The Times reveals something we've all known about for years. Some peers receive large sums of money to represent interest groups and provide their staff with passes as parliamentary researchers. Lord Berkeley (a Labour creation) argued that he needed someone to help him write his speeches. So I checked. On 18th June the noble lord asked, "Why there is a £10 charge for refunding rail tickets purchased online, but not for refunding tickets purchased at stations ?" What did he pay his researcher for that ? Nothing. On the contrary, the Rail Freight Group pay Lord Berkeley £37,000 a year.
We need that great Liberal MP, Hilaire Belloc, to do justice to the story.