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The new Baron Finkelstein of Metroland

"My Lords, at the moment I took the oath in the House I was filled with wonder and gratitude. There was gratitude to be given the privilege to sit among your Lordships and to contribute to your deliberations.

"... There is gratitude that as the son of refugees, I live in peace in this extraordinary country with its respect for human rights. It is therefore fitting that human rights should be the subject of my maiden speech. My mother is a survivor of Belsen concentration camp, and my father was an exile in a Siberian prison village. Pinner is nicer.

"People often bemoan the absence of big ideas in British politics. I always reply that big ideas drove my family from their home and their country, murdered my grandmother, starved my mother, imprisoned my father and stole our property. So I like pragmatic, small British ideas, our quiet suburbs and our stable institutions.

"My politics were never better summarised than by my paternal grandmother, saying:
"While the Queen is safe in Buckingham Palace, I am safe in Hendon Central."

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