Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Lord Bonkers' Diary: "Sir Percy Alleline is a fine upstanding fellow"

I was rather pleased with this entry, and then I realised what a narrow audience it would appeal to. It's people who loved John Le Carré's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or the television adaptation of it (but perhaps not the film) and who remember Ming Campbell's leadership of the Liberal Democrats and formed the same view of it I did.

As I explained recently, those letters from Paddy have their origin in The Goat Hotel, Llanfair Caereinion.


Yes, I miss Paddy Ashdown. I miss his correspondence – those envelopes marked ‘Top Secret: Burn Before Reading’ that arrived by every post – and I miss his company. Despite Ashdown’s best efforts, I never could quite get my head around ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.’ “What exactly was Toby Esterhase up to?” I would ask him, and “So did old Smiley do right by Ricki Tarr in the end?” 

Now Paddy is gone there is no one in the party to explain this to me. I tried asking Ming Campbell the other day, but he just told me Sir Percy Alleline was a fine upstanding fellow and that he wouldn’t listen to a word against him.

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

Earlier this week in Lord Bonkers Diary...

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