One of the sharpest and loudest bursts of applause during Gordon Brown’s speech at the Conference today was for the restatement of the intention to legislate before the General Election for the removal of the right to sit and vote in the House of Lords of the remaining hereditary peers.

So sharp and loud was it that it roused from its slumbers a pigeon that had been roosting in the roofspace of the Brighton Centre.  The pigeon then flapped around the Gallery for a few minutes before disappearing whence it came.

It is just as well that it had disappeared before it was captured by the Conference Stewards given what they did to the handful of red balloons that had been released just before the speech began.