WE decided, the landlord of the Red Lion and I, that outbidding the Victoria and Albert Museum for the late Lady Thatcher’s cast-offs might not, after all, be such a good idea.
“It would scare the local kids, seeing Mag-guy Fawkes on top of the pub bonfire in her Tory-blue two-piece,” said Iain.
“Wouldn’t do much for the grown-ups either,” I agreed. “I mean, what sort of draw would the former prime minister’s drawers be, even on November the Fifth?”
Still, it got me thinking: most of us bag up our deceased relatives’ gear in a black sack and pack it off to Oxfam almost as fast as we packed granny off to a care home; but if the V & A DID accept a donation from the old girl’s family instead of rejecting it (perhaps fearing the vandalism and riots its display would provoke) it would set an almighty precedent for prime ministers past.
After all, If Maggie’s old knickers are good enough for the V&A why wouldn’t they want Cherie Blair’s infamous morning-after-the-election nightie? Or John Major’s over-the-top underpants? Or Michael Foot’s Remembrance Sunday donkey jacket?
This sort of blue-sky thinking was getting us nowhere close to deciding on Godzone’s bonfire Guy, I was forced to admit. And the landlord was worried about inciting distasteful celebrations from his Countryside Alliance regulars if I pressed ahead with my plan to ‘throw a badger on the barbie’.
So we settled for the same bonfire centrepiece as last year and the year before that: David Cameron in an Old Etonian outfit, the tailcoat to which was kindly donated by one of the local privately-educated farmers in these parts.
But don’t worry, Byreman: your waist measurement from Bullingdon Club days is safe with me!
Send your emails (ALL of them) to Dear Theresa!
I HAVE decided to cut out the middleman and save MI5 the bother of sifting illegally through my emails. From now on, every message I send or receive is routinely cc’d to firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Theresa May’s inbox is slowly filling with the minutiae of my existence; the Home Secretary and her spooks will, I feel sure, find their admission to the detail of my daily doings quite refreshing.
So far they have received two editions of my free-subscription email newspaper The Clarion, invoices begging payment in return for a Press Gazette article, an appearance on LBC Radio and an on-stage interview I did with a former SAS man-turned-author at the Sage Gateshead.
Of course, I can’t pretend that every email conversation I have shared has been blameless and innocent: some have been downright subversive. . .
Received from K: “Flicked through a huge stockpile of Journal back numbers before sending them for recycling, and re-read a number of columns. . . was powerfully struck by the consistently high quality of writing . . . [the paper] must be completely mad to have let us go!”
Received from B: “True re quality of all . . . they’re stupid and ignorant to wreck that. No soul, don’t care, just make money, that can be their only motivation.”
Sent by DB (yes, this was me!): “Yeah, right. Why don’t we start our own online site, call it Voice of the North, tell our readers where we’ve gone and let THEM decide who to follow: us columnists or the unholy Trinity Mirror which owns The Journal and expects us to write for nothing while its CEO trousers £1.8M a year?”
NOTE TO THERESA MAY: Now if THAT isn’t downright terrorism, I don’t know what is! Should certainly keep your spooks busy as long as they’re following us bad guys on www.voiceofthenorth.net
NOTE TO MI5: Feel free to put the frighteners on my spam mail senders. Neither BT nor Talk Talk has ever been able to sort them out!
NOTE TO OUR LOYAL READERS: Don’t delay, don’t disobey! Do as our Big Brothers say! Why wait for a Snoopers’ Charter? Send your Christmas card lists, EBay bids, online supermarket orders — indeed EVERYTHING you write and receive online — to Dear Theresa at the Home Office: .
Confidentiality guaranteed . . .