Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Journal OF Lynton Charles

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Journal OF Lynton Charles

Article excerpt

FIDUCIARY SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY

Friday "Where's bloody Swampy when you need him?" asks M bitterly. "Nowhere, that's where." He is not in a good mood; but then, who is? The Lubyanka polling has us behind the Tories for the first time since Noah spotted the dove.

"And that says it all," M continues. "I mean, why haven't all those tunnel and tree persons been out shackling themselves to tractors and making yurts out of articulateds? Why aren't the green folk of Britain filling the letters pages with arguments in support of the noble stand of HMG? I'll tell you why, Lynton," he whispers hoarsely down the phone. "Because they don't exist. Not when it gets tough. Not when it matters. And what about those people who sat queuing for hours outside forecourts and then said they supported the truckers and farmers -- who everyone usually hates? They're our people, Lynton. They're the ones we struggled for, fought for, lost our innocence for. They're the people who, if they say 'Sod off, lefties' to us, we listen to and then sod off. No Mondeo men, no dosh for hospitals. We have angered our household gods, Lynton, and we must now make a sacrifice to them."

"So what are you suggesting?" I ask him. "That we should give in to the hauliers and bring the fuel tax down? That we just roll over in the face of the Countryside Alliance, the Daily Mail and the trucking right?"

"Lynton, baby, use that delightfully shaped noddle of yours. What do the forces of darkness and reaction most want for breakfast, eh? Us, dearest: us. They don't care about petrol. It's poofs, ramblers, liberals, do-gooders, collectivists, blacks, vegetarians, cyclists, the United Nations, Jews, Europe and vicars that they hate. They tasted power for 11 years under Thatcher, and they want their country back. And at the moment we've got it, and it makes them so mad."

I digest this as he pauses to take a swig of an invisible glass of hot water with lemon in it. …

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