Monday, April 28, 2014

Lord Bonkers' Diary: The party of Rasputin


I was unable to stay for last night’s debate, having already agreed to give the after-dinner speech at a fundraiser for the Home for Distressed Canvassers in Herne Bay. When I finally catch up with the proceedings on the electric internet, I am somewhat disappointed. It is not just that my orchard doughty is nowhere to be seen: it is the way Clegg puts over one of my best lines.

Yesterday afternoon the 12-year-old PPE graduates were desperate for jokes, so I told them the one about Roy Jenkins and the lavatory brush that won me a standing ovation at three consecutive Liberal Assemblies during the Alliance Years. They didn’t like it, not even after I had told them who Roy Jenkins was, and I eventually fell to reminiscing about my successful campaign in 1906.

I recalled for them a public meeting at the Bonkers’ Arms where I contrasted our own rough conviviality and fellowship with the effete manners of my Conservative opponent, who was known to be a frequent visitor to the Tsar’s court in St Petersburg.

"We are the party of inn," I said, gesturing at the familiar beams and faces around me, "and they are the party of Rasputin." Clegg, as you will no doubt have seen for yourself, used my line, but I am afraid I am obliged to say that he foozled it.

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

Previously in Lord Bonkers' Diary...

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