P&J Column for 8.4.13

An excellent week to be a Millionaire. But then, aren’t they all?


The other day I was asked if I support attacks on council house tenants.  “Indeed so!” I said.  “Attack them with sticks and harry them with beagles!  Drive them back down in the catacombs from whence they came so that their homes may be put to proper use, as stabling for horses!”  Now I learn the fellow actually said “a tax”, and that the general consensus is that it’s a bad thing.  Well butter my underbelly and roast me with parsnips, this country truly has gone to hell in a handcart.

What we need at the moment is economic growth.  And the period of greatest economic growth was the 19th Century – when paupers huddled 15 to a room while my ancestor, the 9th Earl, dined on caviar and black truffle butties.  People who do not succumb to mush-headed sentimentality will see that the bedroom tax is not a cynical attack upon the less fortunate but a long overdue first step to making Britain Great again. Lest anyone think it a bit rich for a man who lives in a 73-room mansion to begrudge a fellow his spare room, let me say this: not one of my rooms is unused.  We have 7 public rooms; Lady Antonia and I have a 5-room master suite; the offspring have one each for when they come up from the Varsity, their jobs in London, or, in young Ludo’s case, for when he’s ultimately released from that jail in Thailand (boys will be boys).  Once you consider the library, the guest rooms, the tack room, our ski storage room, the wine cellar, the boot room, the snug kept for three card brag, and the bricked up attic in which we keep our unfortunate first-born, we are so short of space that I don’t even have a dedicated room in which to commit adultery.  So my 5% tax cut is going straight into the pocket of my local builder.  Yet another example of the kind of job-creation by the super rich that so often goes unnoticed.  Hopefully by Lady Antonia, at any rate.


Gosh, aren’t we Conservatives unpopular at the moment? 2013 is turning into a right old Tory Horribilis Anus. What with Gorgeous George Osborne blaming the Welfare State for pretty much any and all crime and Super Dave getting it right up North Korean despot Kim Jong-un with his Trident, we’ve had a  lot of jolly bad press. I suppose my latest, rather regrettable, Tweet didn’t help much:

“IDS to survive a week on benefits? No chance. £53 wouldnt pay the subs for our club, Boodles, never-mind baldy’s weekly Krug quota.  LOL ”

Now Ian and I are great mates and clearly this was merely a gentle ribbing. We all know he doesn’t really spend his days quaffing Krug Champagne. He’s a Dom Pérignon man. But I deeply regret the way the press has tried to stoke up some kind of class war between us (Tories) and them (the poor).

Some of us know full well what it’s like to be on the bread-line. If it’s anything like the bun-queue at school, it’s pretty grim. I myself have been out of work a couple of times (though there’s nothing to gain from re-hashing all those sackings from the shadow front bench) and when the Gordonstoun rugger team had a novelty night out in Joanna’s nightclub in Elgin I had a pretty racy ‘pash’ with a girl from Buckie, so don’t tell me I can’t connect with the working class!


Those despots at Aberdeen City Council have gone too far this time.  Not content with cuts to services and their immoral self-administered pay hikes, they have sunk to a new low by installing 11 cameras around the city to catch innocent motorists in their so-called ‘bus lanes’!  I’m sorry, but since when have our Orwellian overlords had the right to deny us access to the highways of the realm?  I pay my road tax (I think I do, anyway – my husband looks after the paperwork, or at least his P.A. does, while he’s out of the country for tax purposes) but these fascists say I can’t drive in certain lanes at certain times?  I think you’ll find I can.  That’s the beauty of a Landrover Discovery.

The Mussolinis of Marschial College have afforded us a 2-week grace period during which, instead of a fine they send a warning letter.  Well I don’t mind admitting I’ve had 5 of them.  What would any ordinary mum do, when the alternative is sitting in traffic with Emmeline late for her dressage lesson?  Worse still are the lies spouted by the Town House propaganda machine.  They claim there was a month-long awareness campaign with signs all over the place, and that bus lanes are clearly signposted.  Well I didn’t see them.  Perhaps the authorities need to plan their visual stimuli to stand out for those of us who have oversized Prada sunglasses and an iPad dock on the dashboard!

Anyway, sometimes those buses only have about 3 people on them.  When I’m doing the school run, as well as Fidel and Emms I’ve sometimes got their friends Caspian and Isadora, as well as Snezahna, the Bulgarian au pair, scrounging a lift into town. If that’s not a public service vehicle, I don’t know what is.