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Prize threat

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Another Norman peer, this time my old friend Lord St John of Fawsley, has been getting it in the neck from the denizens of the National Association of Pension Frauds (sorry, Funds) because he supports Rupert Murdoch's son James as a director of BSkyB.

As a believer in the hereditary principle, what else is the former Royal Fine Art Commission chairman supposed to do?

Anyway, the NAPF, the organisation that failed to prevent Maxwell and countless other pension scheme scandals, wants him off the board after 12 years on the grounds that he cannot be independent. The association obviously has no idea how principled (or awkward and prickly, take your pick) the veteran parliamentarian can be.

If he does go, however, what will happen to the Royal Fine Art Education Trust Awards that he runs with such aplomb each year? They are supported financially by BSkyB. Perhaps the pension fund Gauleiters have a view on that too.

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