Magazine article The Spectator

A Call to Arms for the Silent Minority

Magazine article The Spectator

A Call to Arms for the Silent Minority

Article excerpt

WAY OF THE WORLD: THE FORGOTTEN YEARS, 1995-6 by Auberon Waugh Century, L15.99, pp. 211

Just how long can Way of the World survive? Our watchdogs of the meritocracy must even now be growling if not slavering. In a nation marching with its belly full of lettuce, radiccio and mineral water, Auberon Waugh is, dangerously and seditiously, a beef and burgundy man. No wonder the Daily Telegraph tucks his thriceweekly column away on the Obituaries page alongside defunct brigadiers and potters.

Long ago I gave up on opinions and became increasingly suspicious of those who have one on everything. We, the lowlying insurgents, keep our noses well below the parapet to hide from the barrage from know-alls baying for the protection of rabid bats, foxes and breast-feeding harpies in the aisles of Asda. We whimper cravenly as teenage thugs are sent on `anger management courses', or when the Sun blows `Up yer arias!' raspberries at grants to the Royal Opera House.

The lower-middle classes are sounding the bugles, all right, and 'nice' Mr Major and 'pretty' Mr Blair tootle along with them. `We are now governed by noncommissioned officers,' Waugh warns. `They are really not up to the job.' Or, as Noel Coward famously sang, `There are bad times just around the corner.' It is not the moment to be either humane or elitist, but, praise be, Bron is both. The Forgotten Years is the call to arms we silent dissidents have been waiting for.

Founder member of Vespa (The Venerable Society for the Protection of Adulterers) and the Penal League for Howard [Michael] Reform (aimed at squashing the former Home Secretary's ultimate goal of a National Register of Suspected Masturbators), Waugh promises: `One of the tasks which this column has set itself on behalf of its readers is to keep an eye on the European sperm count.' In June 1995 he writes:

There is a rumour that Mr Blair intends to pass a law requiring all fathers to spend at least an hour a day with their children, talking about rain forests, pop groups and suchlike drivel. It is at such moments that we welcome the news of a collapse in male fertility - brought about, apparently, by DDT, the miraculous chemical which has all but removed the curse of malaria from the world.

Did you know that the actor Roger Moore had a narrow escape on Wimbledon Common when he was eight and a pervert stole his sandwiches? …

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