Sunday, April 07, 2024

Lord Bonkers' Diary: “Ed doesn’t approve of thinking"

Question the Liberal Democrats' targeting strategy or the leadership's reluctance to mention Brexit outside party conferences and you risk being accused of wanting to "turn the party into a think tank". 

I'm with Lord Bonkers on the importance of thought and never tire of retailing his judgements on Russell and Wittgenstein. Whether his readers feel the same, I don't know.

He's right about T.H. Green too.


There I was the other day at Vincent Square – that’s our party’s London headquarters and not an unkind nickname for the former Member for Twickenham – entertaining the younger members of staff with recollections from my long career in politics. 

Conversation had turned to the great philosophers of the 20th century and I was giving my impressions of them – Bertrand Russell: “Terribly Clever”; Ludwig Wittgenstein: “Terribly Clever but Rather Hard Work” – when Freddie and Fiona hurried in. “Can you change the subject please?” one asked: “Ed doesn’t approve of thinking,” the other explained. 

I wasn’t going to upbraid them in front of everyone, but what immortal rind! That pair have been in and out of think tanks ever since I first met them. At one stage they had one each. Besides, if we’re going to get ourselves out of this jam, then we’re going to have to think jolly hard. No one told L.T. Hobhouse not to think, did they? 

I draw the line at T.H. Green though: one paragraph of his and I’m out like a light. I much prefer his brother T.H. White.

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

Earlier this week...

1 comment:

Ruth Bright said...

I was about to go out delivering a few hundred FOCUSes but thought I'd treat myself to a cuppa and the Sunday political telly first. Lo and behold up comes his nibs on the screen telling me I am a think tanker. Decided to postpone my delivery, put my feet up with a volume of Chips Channon's diaries instead and work out how I was going to a. deliver b. canvass c. pass my policy test for re-approval as a PPC without any synapse connecting at any stage.