Monday, April 09, 2012

Lord Bonkers on the sinking of the Titanic

Lord Bonkers, who was Liberal MP for Rutland South-West 1906-10, writes exclusively for Liberal England

Can it really be 100 years since the Titanic sailed? I remember how proud the White Star Line was of its new ship and how I encouraged the first Lady Bonkers to book a cabin on the maiden voyage. Sadly, she did not share my enthusiasm for the enterprise.

I say 'sadly', let me hasten to add, because I am in no doubt that, had she been aboard, things would have turned out very differently. She would have taken the command from the hands of that booby Smith and ensured that the lifeboats were properly launched. Indeed, I cannot entirely rule out the possibility that she would have persuaded the iceberg to change its course by giving it One of Her Looks.

After the loss of the ship on that dreadful night, I had that iceberg towed to Rutland Water and displayed it there as a tourist attraction. At first it did well, with the queue of charabancs extending as far as Oakham, but after a few years one began to hear comments like “I should have thought it would be bigger than that” and “I told you we should have gone to the Pork Pie Museum instead.”

Eventually, the thing simply melted away and I consumed the last of it in a stiff gin and tonic after hearing the news that we had lost a safe seat in a Suffolk County Council by-election.

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