Friday, February 17, 2023

Lord Bonkers' Diary: Brave the angelfish and give it both barrels

Judging by the vacant expressions of my younger readers, I had better explain that the idea of having to get into the fish tank and sing Jerusalem because someone has said a certain word to someone else comes from the Monty Python sketch Buying a Bed.

As I first came across it on an LP of theirs I got for Christmas in 1973, it must be at least 50 years old. It's as though, when I joined Liberator 10 years later, the magazine had a column that required a knowledge of comedy from the 1930s. 

I always say that the problem with this Diary is not that Lord Bonkers is getting old, but that I am getting old.

Be that as it may, this entry ends our week at Bonkers Hall.


To the new Liberal Democrat HQ in Vincent Square (or that may be the name of the helpful chap on the desk – I got caught in the rain on the way back to St Pancras and my notes have run rather). 

I arrive to find the place in turmoil: our own dear leader, Ed Davey, has placed a bucket over his head and is resisting all entreaties to take it off. Vincent Square (if that is his name) explains that someone has just mentioned the European Union to Davey, and that the only way to persuade him to remove the aforementioned pail is for us all to climb into the ornamental fish tank that dominates the entrance lobby and sing ‘Jerusalem’. 

So your diarist, Vincent Square, the lovely Sarah Green MP and a bicycle courier who arrived at the moment juste brave the angelfish and give it both barrels. Sure enough, our leader is soon bucketless.

Conversation turns to what we shall do if another MP mentions the EU (perhaps quite innocently) while Davey is seated in the chamber. I suggest keeping a collapsible canvass tank behind the Speaker’s chair so that backbench Lib Dem MPs can leap into it at a moment’s notice to sing. 

“But how would we fill it?” asks one Bright Young Thing. “Oh,” I airily reply, “through the usual channels.”

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

Previously in Lord Bonkers' Diary


Matt Pennell said...

Only a moron would've missed the cryptic references to popular radio comedies such as Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh, Hancock's Half Hour and Round the Horne that you've placed into otherwise serious posts in the last 15 years Jonathan.

crewegwyn said...

I had assumed a knowledge of the work of Will Hay would be compulsory.

Frank Little said...

Should we be worried that LD HQ is now a stone's-throw from Nick Clegg's alma mater, Westminster School, in Vincent Square?