Saturday, January 09, 2021

A difficult year: Lord Bonkers in 2020

Putting my life back in order will be more of an undertaking, but I can at least start returning Liberal England to normality. So let's begin by looking at what Lord Bonkers got up to last year.


The old boy was fully in support of Harry's decision to elope with Meghan Markle:

Congratulations to the Duke of Sussex for making it over the wall and quitting the Royal Family, together with his delightful wife and child.

In my experience his family are a ghastly crew – in my young day it was common knowledge that the Jack the Ripper murders had been committed by Queen Victoria – and he is well shot of them.


By now the coronavirus was affecting life on the Bonkers Hall Estate:

Meadowcroft has taken this damned virus badly, locking himself in his potting shed and  morning, noon and night. You may very well feel he is Going A Bit Far, but he is determined not to pass the virus on to his beloved geraniums. As I gaze out of the window I see Cook pushing slices of cheese on toast under the door. What a fine woman she is!


This month saw some characteristically forthright comments on the leading lights of the Liberal Democrats in the Coalition years:
Whenever I questioned their actions, Clegg and Alexander assured me they were making Britain a better place to live. Yet now I find that the former has upped sticks to Seattle and the latter has fled to China. 

You may feel that rather gives the game away.


Lord Bonkers paid tribute to the Liberal Democrat MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross:
Jamie Stone telephones, full of his plans for his new spaceport in Sutherland; no wonder they call him the Wernher von Braun of the Flow Country. 


I made a personal donation to the Bonkers Home for Well-Behaved Orphans after publishing an inaccurate post about Sir Nicholas Clegg.


Readers were treated to my employer's recollections of the the Stilton strike of 1919 when the miners came out demanding better pay and Lloyd George sent the troops in:
I recall telling LG at the time that this was Going A Bit Far, but by then he only had ears for his new Conservative friends and the trade with Japan never recovered. Really, I wonder what they teach in school History classes nowadays.


Most scholars now accept the theory that the model for Bonkers Hall is Nevill Holt Hall near Medbourne in Leicestershire. 

So Liberal England was interested in the news that the 17-year-old son of the owner of Nevill Holt has received a garnt of £85,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund.

The lad is "patron" of Nevill Holt Opera, but I concluded that "it does sound more Darren Grimes than Peter Grimes".


Things were getting factitious in Rutland's alternative medicine sector:
Lunch with the High King of the Elves of Rockingham Forest, who tells me of their plans to help during the new lockdown: "We like to think of ourselves as putting the 'elf' into 'welfare'." ...

In the afternoon I call on the Wise Woman of Wing and purchase some of her herbal remedies as a precaution against the virus. "I’m much cheaper than those elves, dearie" she tells me, "and what’s more my shit works."


At the end of the year I took to reprinting Lord Bonkers' thoughts from 30 years ago, as his diaries have been appearing there that long.

Here he is on the 1990 Eastbourne by-election:

I presented myself bright and early at the committee rooms and was asked to drive some pensioners to the polls. A menial task for a man of my experience, you might think, but we Liberals are nothing if not democratic and I went about it with a will.

Fortunately, I had brought with me my collapsible travelling horsewhip and this eased matters considerably. the elderly voters made a terrible fuss and were constantly tripping over each other's Zimmer frames, but I got them all into the booths eventually.

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