Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Fish Fingers for Uncle Rupes

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Fish Fingers for Uncle Rupes

Article excerpt

You need no qualifications to work in PR, merely an ability to pass the buck. It was no surprise, therefore, that my Saturday night chess soiree with the Lawson was interrupted by the PM demanding: "The Doc lands tomorrow, can you deal?"

I've holidayed with Tebbit, speech-written for Palin, but nothing quite matches the strangeness of last weekend.

From the off, I sensed things were awry when Papa Doc repeatedly referred to me as Dave--either I have put on a bundle of weight or his eyesight isn't what it was. Things deteriorated, as they always do, when Rebekah coquetted her way into the room. To be ungallant, just for a moment, Brooks is one of those ambitious redheads who assumes everyone wants to tonk her--while every man I have spoken to would, to evade her supposed charms, run screaming from the room into the folded arms of Polly Toynbee. Papa Doc, however, is not Everyman, so he carried on like Hugh Hefner with a preferred Playmate. Repulsive to behold.

And yet dinner was worse. First, Baby Doc joined us. He has the same dead eyes as Andy Coulson, yet even less going on behind them. Despite his father and boss thinking I was the Prime Minister, James ignored me. His call. Second, Rebekah's beau, Charlie Brooks, came to the table screaming, "Wassup!"

His wife and Baby Doc replied: "Wassup!"

"I learned that from Clarkson," continued Charlie.

"Way to go," said Baby Doc.

Papa Doc, like a wheelchair-bound grandfather on the edge of a playground, beamed. …

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