Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lord Bonkers' Diary: Part 1

Many Liberator subscribers will have collected the latest issue from the magazine's stall at the Liverpool Spring Conference last weekend. So it is time to reporoduce the latest diary from Lord Bonkers on this blog.

This time we shall present the old boy's thoughts in two parts. Here is the first.

I am pleased to see young Clegg has made such a promising start as our party’s new leader, albeit that it was sheer good fortune that I happened to be in Westminster on the day of his debut at Prime Minister’s Questions and was thus able to persuade his advisers that it would not be a good idea for him to lead on the problem of schools with inexperienced heads. In particular, the contract he has been awarded to model Barbour jackets will stand us in good stead with the voters here in Rutland – and quite possibly as far afield as Market Harborough.

I just pray that he will have the good sense not to dismiss Constable Heath because of his Doubts over Europe. Our village bobby is a dab hand at escorting old ladies across the road, proved himself an adept detective and clipper round the ear during last autumn’s unfortunate outbreak of scrumping and, arguably more importantly, commands respect on all sides of the House when he rises to speak.

Last year I was again pipped at the post for the Liberal Democrat Moustache of the Year Award by John Thurso. I am not one to bear a grudge, as my readers will know, but I think it worth recording that while my moustache spends the summer as nature intended, grazing in the Welland Valley – the finest pasture in England – Thurso's facial appendage is packed off to the Atom Plant at Dounreay, where it is bombarded with gamma rays or something equally beastly to make it grow to an unnatural size.

It was when I noticed at the Brighton Conference last year that the normally dapper Thurso also sported a beard that I realised something was wrong. Late one evening in the bar he confessed that the radiation had affected more than his moustache: he is now covered with luxuriant hair from head to foot and has to shave his neck and wrists before going on television. As I say, I am not one to gloat, but I was not surprised when Clegg failed to find room for him in his first shadow cabinet.

The morning post arrives bringing with it the usual circulars, bills, appeals to me to speak at constituency dinners, appeals to me not to speak at constituency dinners and so forth. One letter, however, stands out. It appears to have been written with the end of a burnt stick on the inside of a banana skin and reads: "Help! I am being held against my will in Inverness Zoo. They think I am a gorilla. Please come and rescue me. Thurso."

My duty is clear. I have the Bentley loaded with thermoses, sandwiches and a supply of orchard doughties (those rugged staffs that every gamekeeper swears by) and point its nose towards Brig O’Dread, which for centuries has been the Highland retreat of we Bonkers.

Now read part 2.

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