Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lord Bonkers' Diary: Freddie and Fiona at the New New European

The old boy's young friends turn up in all the most important places.


To the offices of the New New European. Who should I find working there but my old friends Freddie and Fiona? "We've written an article about Skegness," says one. "You won't have heard of it, but it's a funny little place in something called 'Lincolnshire'." "All the people there voted for Brexit, so we had a good laugh at them." "And now Paul Nuttall has decided to stand there, so we have laughed at them even more."

I ask if they have ever been to Lincolnshire. "Oh no, we’ve never been to the North." "Well, I did go to Hertford once, but I didn't like it. You couldn't get artisan quinoa."

"And do you think," I further ask, "that laughing at the good people of Skegness will make them less likely to vote for the odious Nuttall? Don’t you want them to change their minds and support Europe as they did in 1975?"

"That’s not what the New New European is about. What we are interested in is selling our newspaper in North London."

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

Previously in Lord Bonkers' Diary


Unknown said...

The sea breeze at Skeggie should blow in each issue of New European and the Londoners should wear 'Wish you were here hats'

Kiron Reid said...

As the paper celebrates 1 year and one week. I'm at huge fan of the New European, what it stands for and what Matt Kelly and the team have achieved. [I declare an interest as a one time published contributor on the battle of Jarama, and as a subscriber with my wife since very near the start. Matthew Kelly was also a childhood family neighbour but we didn't know each other]. What I can't stand is the far too bloody clever by half attitude - in fact the childish being offensive for the sake of it or being so smugly superior politics that many young (but many young did not; and some old did) Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conservative activists have been guilty of in the past and some still are today. I believe I grew out of that behaviour quite a few years ago now myself. As for the paper, the Skegness cover was inspired, brilliant - as a piece of work if it hadn't been nasty - and funny. But it was gratuitously rude, offensive and patronising, in a way that embarrassingly our own Liberal 'Liberator' magazine has often been in the past, but thankfully is not now. Being hostile and patronising to some residents of the town may be justified - as with Liberator's famous post 1992 General Election 'Bugger Basildon' cover but this far too clever smugness by TNE damages the work of the New European and its cause. Pro-EU anti-Brexit citizens are not some out of touch 'metropolitan elite'. That's the same kind of inverted snobbery and real 'elite' nonsense that denigrates anyone who works in a University as not in the real world. This kind of cover - and some of the other covers and rubbish cartoons simply panders to our enemies' stereotypes that we are. Many of the covers and a few of the cartoons are brilliantly inspired as it happens. The Skegness cover also degraded the quality of the article which was well written, and while bleak it was balanced and fairly sympathetic. Hopefully that is why so many copies of the paper were bought in the Lincolnshire town that week.

PS Until your later Freddie and Fiona at TNE column I'd failed to notice the subtle change to a fictional title in this blog :-), though you may have told me at Lincoln I wouldn't have remembered after meandering down the Steep Hill.