Some of you may not be aware of the intricacies of the British parliamentary system, but one of its stranger quirks is something called the House of Lords – an amalgam of hereditary aristocrats, ageing bishops and a range of other assorted oddballs.

Over the years (centuries), this ‘upper house’ has cultivated something of a reputation for eccentricity – but the latest outburst from Conservative Lord McColl takes the biscuit. In order to tackle the safety risk posed to pedestrians by quiet electric cars he suggested the following proposal:

“My Lords, does the Minister accept that there might be a simpler solution? When I purchased one of these cars a few years ago, my wife, being very practical, said that the answer would be to put on the front of the car a small Swiss cowbell….”

In response, Transport Secretary Lord Adonis couldn’t resist gently ridiculing the suggestion saying, “My Lords, I think this is England. [cue peals of laughter from the opposition parties] … Whether such Swiss innovations would go down well here is a matter for conjecture. We have nine months [for consultation].”

Now, I’m all in favour of innovative low-tech solutions to emerging problems, but this is something else…

Image Credit – crazbabe21 on flickr