The North Norfolk coast has long been a favourite stamping ground of mine. I often bring the Great Seal of Rutland to Blakeney Point for a holiday, and as a young man I would go to Cromer to catch the crabs.
I was summoned here yesterday by a tearful telephone call: “The road has been jam-packed with traffic for weeks. We can’t get in our out of the house. My children are hungry. Please, you must do something.” When I heard the address of my caller, my ears pricked up: it was the very same street in which our own Norman Lamb lives. So I travelled down to the Norfolk coast at once.
When I arrive at the road in question this morning, I do indeed find it crammed with traffic. So I tap on a few car windows and ask the occupants why they are there. “We are friends of Norman Lamb,” says the driver of the first vehicle. “We have come to tell him that we think he should stand as leader of the Liberal Democrats.” The second car contains someone who was at university with Lamb and says much the same, as do the inhabitants of the third car (a couple who met him on holiday a few years ago) and the fourth (who used to live just round the corner from him when he was at a previous address).
When I finally manage to get to Lamb’s front door, I find him a worried man. “I don’t want to be leader – the idea had never occurred to me – but my friends just won’t leave me alone.”
Lord Bonkers was Liberal MP for Rutland South-West 1906-10.
Previously in Lord Bonkers' Diary...