Today, though, he has written a glowing appraisal of Baroness Warsi, whose peerage appears to me to be equally inexplicable. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about her:
Baroness Warsi was the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Dewsbury at the 2005 General Election, becoming the first Muslim woman to be selected by the Conservatives. She lost that election by nearly 5000 votes. She has served as a special adviser to Michael Howard on Community Relations and was appointed by David Cameron as Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party with specific responsibility for cities.
On 2 July 2007 Baroness Warsi was appointed Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion and a working peer. Her peerage was conferred as Baroness Warsi, of Dewsbury in the County of West Yorkshire on 11 October 2007 and gazetted on 26 October 2007. She is, by October 2007, the youngest member of the House of Lords.
I've only seen Sayeeda Warsi once, on Question Time, and I wasn't especially impressed. Perhaps the 39 year old northerner really is a "brilliant individual", as Hannan claims. Personally, I suspect her peerage has less to do with her individual talents, and more to do with her status as a politically-engaged moderate female Muslim who's prepared to associate herself with the Conservative brand.
What a tragedy that Baroness Thatcher, who achieved so much, must share her title with the likes of Warsi and Ashton, who have achieved so little.
The sooner we dispose of these discredited titles, and dispense with the corrupt system of appointments, the better.