Friday, July 15, 2022

Lord Bonkers 30 years ago: Talking to the Labour Party

In fact it's slightly more than 30 years ago. I have neglected until now to give an extract from Lord Bonkers' Diary in the June 1992 Liberator (issue 205).

Paddy Ashdown, the Liberal Democrats' leader, had been floating the idea of some sort of electoral arrangement with Labour, so Lord Bonkers took up the suggestion that he talk to their local representatives.

Mikhail Gorbachev appears to have been working as Lord Bonkers' butler in this era as he was at a loose end after the fall of the Soviet Union. And the old boy himself had clearly not consulted the Wise Woman of Wing about the Labour party's prospects in the 1990s.


I normally pay little heed to the local Socialists, other than to tip the village urchins sixpence apiece to pelt them with kitchen refuse. But we have been urged by our leader to find what common ground we may, so, ever loyal, I today invite them to the Hall for a political discussion. 

I begin proceedings by pointing out that, by their proven incompetence in office they have engendered such hostility that the people of Britain are prepared even to suffer another five years of Conservative rule rather than see them returned to power. 

I then point out that, for all their rhetoric about caring, their policies have frequently seen the unfortunate amongst us robbed of their independence and self-respect and held in subtler chains. I conclude by alluding to changes in British society which make it unlikely that they will ever form a government again. 

At this point I have Gorbachev show them out, and am pleased to observe that, quite unbidden by me, the village urchins pelt them as they leave. Such altruistic behaviour gives me great hope for the future.

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

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