REGGIE largeFrom :

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Subject :    Relics, Haircuts and Woosers

Dear Dessie,

I am glad that you and Mrs Dessie have managed to get a break over the Parliamentary halt-term.  But rather a busman’s holiday, going for a package tour of Timbuktu?

I have been holed up in the family schloss and kept my head down.  “Colonel” Simpson recommended me to read that chap Simon Sebags Montefurious The Romanovs.  I must say what an historical romp with Tsar Alexei tearing out the tongues of advisers and Peter the Great torturing his son to death.   Makes the Plantagenets and the Tudors look quite tame.

You were lucky not to be on parade for the donors’ Black and White Ball.  Unfortunately Lady Mary is one of the organisers and hostesses, and yours truly was given no option but to attend.   Luckily we arrived early at some converted warehouse in the East End and escaped a major traffic jam because of the Boris road works.  Dozens of donors had to abandon their stretch limos and walk, with the result that wives and mistresses had ruined hair.  Boris arrived on his bike to a fairly frosty reception, and I poured in flanking fire about his wretched cycle lanes on the Embankment.

The usual auction of pomises with some young hedge fund manager paying ten grand for a day out with the curvaceous Penny Mordaunt in a Jolly Boat in Portsmouth harbour and a swimming lesson.  He failed to realise that the crew were Special Boat Service lads, so no hanky-panky on the briny!

Soames has been in the news virtually every day, and I put that down to whatever the medical equivalent of “liverish” is for those on the wagon.  I told him that all that carrot and prune juice would have side effects.  You may have seen what happened when he received an email form Emily Thornbird’s researcher asking for a meeting to discuss Labour’s defence policy.  Soames doesn’t take to teenage scribblers addressing him by his Christian name and replied with  a devastating put down to Lady Suttee, her married title, and copying it to the editor of the Eton College Chronicle.

Next he had a frank exchange of tweets with that scruffy economist R.Pest who opines on the telly and whose analysis is invariably for the fairies – told him to get a haircut and generally shape up.

Finally, he was moved to outrage and despair when Brother Redwood emailed all Tory MPs to “man up” and come out as Eurosceptics.  I must say that coming from the old Vulcan is likely to be counter-productive, just as is the prospect of Blair backing “the inners”.

As for both sides attempting to enlist the memory of M.Thatcher, it is like rival schisms in the early church, each claiming they possess the only relic of the true cross.

By the time you return to a snow-bound homeland we will know whether D Cameron has massaged an agreement with the EU.  The “outers” are desperate to get their campaign going at some rally in central London on Friday – uniforms optional.  I fear that the BBC will have a field day showing some of the eccentrics who will be in the body of the kirk – including Dottie, Lady Mary’s cousin, who breeds lurchers and denounced Farrago at a UKIP rally for being a “wooser”.

The “old knuckle-duster” (a.k.a David Davis) has gone on a speaking tour whipping up apathy for the EU outers – like Gladstone on Ireland, but without the Grand Old Man’s sense of humour!

It will not surprise you to know that many of our young colleagues are keeping their heads down about declaring whether they are “inners” or “outers”. Mind you, their seniors are setting a wobbly example, with Boris J dancing the seven veils of scepticism and Brother Gove having an attack of the principles.  To think we have only four months of this if the referendum is in June.  Reptiles and the electorate will be bored brainless whilst our Party has a debate with itself, just as Labour are doing the same over Comrade Corbyn.

Did you see that study which concludes that parents are reluctant to see their children marry someone with opposing political views?  Lady Mary said that was tosh and as far as our children were concerned it was whether their intended partner had been to a decent school – Eton not included for the gals.

Mentioning Eton reminds me that I tried to cheer up Soames by telling him that in this Parliament there are 19 Old Etonian MPs on our benches.  Soames: “Far too few”.  Actually it is, since in 1959 Macmillan had 73 fellow Etonians supporting him – well, some of the time.

Did you see the latest wheeze of the Speaker – digital voting?  Gone are the old pen and paper lists in the lobby and in comes digital tablets.  All well and good until some teenager hacks in and the government loses a critical vote.

I see we are on a soft whip next Monday: do you fancy meeting at “The Jolly Hangman” for a decent supper and some first class claret to hear Sir Simon Burns on the US Presidential election: he’s been in the Confederacy this week canvassing for that ghastly Clinton woman.

Yours till closing time,