There seems to be a curious connection between the noble Lords Young and telephones. In 1990 Lord Young of Graffham, Conservative peer and former secretary of state at the DTI joined Cable and Wireless as executive chairman. That same year, Lord Young of Dartington, Labour peer and Consumers Association founder, became chairman of Language Line, a telephone interpreting service. There the similarities end.
Language Line started out as a charitable project to solve the communication problems of ethnic minorities in London's East End. Two years later it was incorporated and tailored its services to the public sector. Last month it widened its base to include private sector clients. Now with a network offering 24-hour instant translation in 140 languages, those who cite ignorance of Falakunda, Bicolano and Twi as a reason not to export are left without an excuse.