Sunday, February 06, 2005

Nice Belvoir

The Tory MP Jonathan Sayeed is facing suspension from parliament for two weeks, has had the Tory whip withdrawn for a month and is now threatened with deselection in his Mid Bedfordshire constituency. Full details from the BBC.

But if you want a really good laugh, visit the website of The English Manner Ltd, the company run by Sayeed's parliamentary aide Alexandra Messervy.

In the words of the Guardian:

The English Manner's website promised unique travel experiences, courses in etiquette and seminars in social graces. The organiser, Mrs Messervy, promised "once in a lifetime trips to recreate a classic English country house party by enabling guests to stay with members of the aristocracy in castles and stately homes throughout Britain". She also promised "tutorials led by the British political, cultural and artistic elite".

The tours included staying at Belvoir Castle, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland, and private tours round Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace.

How much does this combination of snobbery and wishful thinking cost? A four-day visit to Britain, staying as guests of the Duke of Rutland, will set Americans back an eye-watering $4440 per person.

If gullible people want to stay in an aristocratic home in Rutland, I suggest that they contact my old friend Lord Bonkers instead. I can guarantee them a holiday they will never forget - and at a fraction of the price.

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