Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lord Bonkers' Diary: "They’ll never take... our freedom! MOO!"


This secret courts business is getting very worrying as Clegg seems quite set on the idea. Many politicians get like this when they first meet the top brass of the secret service: they go native and start spouting whatever the spies want them to. I have never been so impressed by these types because, in my young day, every spy I knew later turned out to have been working for the Soviet Union, and I don’t suppose much has changed since then.

Still at Brig o’Dread, my Caledonian home, after the launch of the Ming Campbell, I learn that the Scottish Liberal Democrats are to debate secret courts this very day. I am not, strictly speaking, entitled to speak or vote at their conferences, but writing about Buttercup yesterday has given me an idea. Reasoning that the Scots would not turn away one of their own, I hire a Highland cow costume – you know the ones: they are pretty with long eyelashes, rather like the young Margaret Wintringham. Such a costume takes two, of course, but fortunately I have brought Meadowcroft with me to look at my tatties and neeps.

So after a practice during which Meadowcroft complains (a) about having to be the rear half and (b) that his udders are “befangled” by a bush we trample, we hurry to Dundee, undergo the necessary formalities and are sent on to the stage with a hearty slap on the rump – Meadowcroft’s rump to be strictly accurate.

I flatter myself that the speech is well received and I am particularly pleased with my peroration: “Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take... our freedom! MOO!” (I added that last bit because I could see the chair leafing through standing orders with a frown, but I do not think it detracted from my argument.)

Indeed, the motion against secret courts was passed almost nem con and a rather flushed Meadowcroft and I drive back to Brig o’Dread, the job well done. Our Auld Johnston will be well deserved this evening.

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

Earlier this week in Lord Bonkers' Diary...

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