Thursday, February 15, 2024

Lord Bonkers' Diary: They could most fairly be described as "repentant headhunters"

The Look at Life film really exists and is online - the young Paddy Ashdown appears at about 6.35 and the comment on the Dayaks at 8.20.

Gentle humour at the expense of foreigners again? I prefer to think of it as gentle humour at the expense of the 1964 commentary. To be honest, I'm more concerned about my recurring assumption that Liberal and Liberal Democrat victories come as the result of armed violence.


I was watching a Look at Life short about the Malayan Emergency on Talking Pictures TV when who should pop up as the Lieutenant in charge of a jungle patrol in Sarawak but a Jeremy Ashdown from Somerset? That’s right, our own Paddy Ashplant – the finest leader the Liberal Democrats ever had. 

The film mentioned the splendid Dayaks, who only a few years before had been "unrepentant headhunters" but now supplied officers to the Sarawak Rangers – not a football team, but a feared regiment of the British Army. I met some of these fellows after Ashplant brought them back to Somerset following his adoption as PPC for Yeovil. By then, they could most fairly be described as “repentant headhunters”: they still lopped fellows’ heads off but were Terribly Sorry about it afterwards. 

I never did find out how Ashplant won some of those early South Somerset District Council by-elections, and I’m inclined to think that is just as well.

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

Earlier this week in Lord Bonkers' Diary...

The board of Thames Water, Mauricio Pochettino and Nigella Lawson

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