Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Lord Bonkers' Diary: The tramps of St James's Park

The new issue of Liberator has arrived in the post, so it is time for Liberal England readers to spend another week with Rutland's most celebrated fictional peer.

Monday

If I am up in town, staying at Bonkers House in Belgrave Square, and wish to know what is going on in the political world, I allow my morning constitutional to take me to St James’s Park. For the tramps who frequent that pleasure garden form an unrivalled source of news and gossip. There, over a stiffener of Special Brew or white cider, one may learn who is up and who down at the Home Office, how trade negotiations with Paraguay are progressing and whom the Minister for Fish was seen with at a soirée last week.

Quite why these gentlemen of the road should be so well informed has always been something of a mystery, but that mystery was solved this morning when I borrowed a footman’s Daily Mirror for the racing tips and saw its front-page story. It seems a Conservative by the name of Letwind (one of the Dorset Letwinds, I imagine) has been in the habit of working on his red boxes whilst sitting in the park and then tipping their contents into the nearest litter bin when he has finished. I know office space is at a premium around Westminster, but this does seems a trifle eccentric.

Now this practice has come to light, the Chief Whip will no doubt Have A Word with him, so I fear I shall have to fall back upon the National Liberal Club for political gossip in future.

Lord Bonkers was Liberal MP for Rutland South-West, 1906-10.

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