From : Reggie@toptory.lidl.com
Subject : Gender Fluid
I understand that you survived your trip to Davos with all the so-called celebs and their PR gurus. I don’t know how you put up with all those awful meetings, execrable food (hamburgers at 60 Euros) and the fact there was “no room at the inn”, and you and the fragrant Justine G having to bed down in a woodshed.
The Euro rollercoaster continues here with the public bored brainless by the competing teams. You may have seen that the leader of the “in” team one Stuart Rose (I think he made his fortune off-shore) was unable to remember the name of the organisation he was officer in command of – “Britain a Stranger in Europe” – or words to that affect.
You would despair at the continuing Monty Python like actions of the “outers” who spend all their time fighting like ferrets in a sack, marginalising senior veterans like Cash, Redwood and Chope. Meanwhile Dr Fox addressed an “outers” rally at Kettering of all places, and the audience reminded me of those Empire Loyalist events of the 1950s.
I have to give it to the PM on the negotiations and referendum, he is taking a leaf out of the book of that Yankee General George Patton – firepower and speed and “grab em by the balls and their hearts and minds will follow”.
All of this is tied up with the continuing foreplay for the leadership. The Chancellor of the E has been wining and dining all the PPS’s by rota at No 11, stroking egos, promises of future patronage and just a hint of a cold shoulder if crossed. Meanwhile, Boris J is doing his bit with the 2015 intake at the “Empress of India” Curry house in Kennington – “time for a change, new thinking, talents to be rewarded”. Like me you may be amazed to hear that every day more colleagues are intimating they could be persuaded to stand: even the Solicitor General and young James Cleverley who I thought had more sense.
Much excitement amongst the ladies at the James Kirkup article in the Torygraph which suggested time for another Margaret T. I’m not sure whether at my age I could endure another roller-coaster experience and a lot of “strength through fear” – I get enough of that from Lady Mary.
Mentioning Her Ladyship reminds me that Soames has been absent with a chit from the Whips and Dr Woollaston. Two weeks at a health farm – “Beast Your Body” – as recommended by Lady M’s niece Hermione. Prune juice, raw vegetables and cold saunas. The boys at Whites tried to smuggle in a food parcel labelled “British Bible Society” but the female minders opened it and all hell broke loose. Soames is back looking like someone who spent four years at Colditz under the gimlet eye of Frau Merkel.
The Times has been running a series of articles speculating on where we will all go when the developers move in to the Palace circa 2020. I expected more from their reporters Francis Elliott and Sam Coates, who are supposed to be writing about the economy and global insecurity instead of ludicrous articles about parliamentary bars and bogs! Latest latrine rumour is that we will move into the Department of Health in Whitehall. Disadvantage is the lease is owned by ISIS and no alcohol. I put an alternative to George Osborne that the FCO should be moved into the Treasury building – his eyes gleamed at this – and we should move into the FCO. The Durbar Court would be turned into the Chamber and no damned nonsense about an alcohol free zone. Watch this space.
I don’t suppose you were surprised to learn of the latest equipment cock-up by the MOD. Our brand new state of the art T45 destroyers need their engines replaced on the grounds that they keep breaking down – I did wonder whether they were from VW? Anyway, the RN are having to drag old frigates and corvettes last seen in the Battle of the Atlantic out of fleet moth balls. Obsolete they may be, but any engine trouble can be fixed at sea by some artificer’s mate with a jemmy and an oil can, as those of us old enough to remember watching it done with Jack Hawkins in The Cruel Sea.
More political correctness on the home front. I was enjoying a snifter in the Whips Office with Matron (a.k.a Anne Milton), who tells me that the latest CCHQ wheeze is for all MPs to fill in a questionnaire on our “gender fluidity”. Needless to say, Soames got the wrong end of the definition and had to be calmed down. You and I assumed that there were only about three or four sexual perms, but no, there are 25 options ranging from “agender” to “intersex”. Stupidly, I asked why this was necessary, and Matron inferred that it is to provide the PM, or more likely the C of E, with vital information for the next reshuffle – a rainbow government. Safest box to tick I’m told is “not sure”.
All of this follows on the revelations by the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee that he took “Poppers”. Naively, Soames and I thought these were the streamers used at parties, rather than some chemical substance which combined the smell of nail varnish and creosote and was supposed to make you frisky – too much information for Lady Mary.
A week ago I thought I’d won the jackpot with 33 million readies on the lottery. I’d bought the ticket in Worcester when visiting “Honker” Radclifffe in his nursing home. I was sure of the numbers, but one of the Jacks had grabbed it off the hall table and by the time I’d retrieved it chewed it badly. Anyway, some other punter has come forward and my dreams of buying the Turf Club remain just that.
Following the latest announcement on the EU negotiations by that Polish chap Trump (or is it Trumpers?) I intend going out with colleagues knocking up for Zac Goldsmith’s mayoral campaign. That way I miss John Baron and the usual suspects boring for Britain in some debate in the House.
If you are in town that evening why don’t we meet for supper at “The Wild Colonial Boy” in Fulham? My treat.
Yours till the referendum,