"We live our lives as we dream-alone." Joseph Conrad

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

A marriage of convenience

Whilst it is still too early for intelligent people to fully digest the Con Lib coalition, it is, in some ways, a miserable circumstance for David Cameron of having to marry someone because the church has been booked. Whilst we are pleased for his confetti, there are some fairly glum faces amongst the ushers.

There exists in all of us some elements of Liberal sympathy. I think not of Clegg and Cable but of better times and the oratory of Jo Grimmond and Jeremy Thorpe. When it was Thorpe's turn to coalide, he showed that, with Harold Wislon, he was not prepared to jump into bed with just anyone. Later events showed that it was just with Norman Scott.

Thorpe, whom I and history will come to regard as an almost great parliamentary figure, did one great disservice to the West Country where I live. He made it in North Devon chic, louche and potent to vote Liberal. His seat has remained Lib Dem ever since though the ordinary present incumbent has none of Thorpe's panache when he would arrive in his Rolls Royce at the Barnstaple panier market wearing a saturnine grin and a velvet collared covert coat.

When I was briefly the Conservative candidate for that seat I was staggered by the number of people who should have voted Tory but continued to vote Lib Dem. Yet they would be the very people who would benefit from present Conservative thinking on Inheritance Tax and reduction of the National Debt.

With today's Liberal Democrats it is all too easy to write off the majority as fur-shinned retirees with an interest in wind farms. With their representation in government, they will have to become political adults. So too will Tory activists of the right have to give up some of their more extreme thinking. Believing that Liberals are not lentil eating lesbians will be the first step.


  1. In my experience lentil-eating lesbians are some of the most intelligent and humane people that I know. So put that in yer pipe and smoke it!

  2. Sorry Julian RL. It was meant to say 'are not lentil-eating lesbians." I agree with you. Thanks for putting me right. I personally do not smoke a pipe but was last week with Joss Acland, the actor, who aged 82, is still keen on his finest briar.

  3. Let's hope the Conservatives honour their promise about electoral reform this time round Rory.

  4. Dear Robert:

    I think I really do agree with this. My own experience of elections at University were that an STV system worked pretty well. For me, that is...

  5. Rory,

    Just dropping you a note to say Hello. I assume you are well. Then, didn't someone say that "Assumption is the mother of all f"€k ups". Regardless of that proposterous quote, Hello Rory, I hope you are well.

    Kindest Regards
    Jacob Darby

  6. Dear Rory,
    The ECH Committee would like to thank you for your entertaining speech at our end of season supper. We would like to wish you a great summer with your family.
    Roger Young