Why the Norman Conquest Works for Me Every Time

By Johnson, Frank | The Spectator, August 24, 2002 | Go to article overview

Why the Norman Conquest Works for Me Every Time


Johnson, Frank, The Spectator


Usually, at this time of the year, I am wandering, or renting, in Western Europe. But, for various reasons too uninteresting to recount here, I am spending this August at home. This removes the one drawback of being on holiday abroad: the search, in la France profonde, or wherever, for the British newspapers; and the knowledge, when they are found, that they are a day late, and that events must surely have moved on.

This year it would have been especially agonising. Lord Tebbit discovers spotty youths in Central Office! Such a phrase, as various authorities instantly pointed out, is a euphemism for Mr lain Duncan Smith himself. For `spotty youths' read `lain has been captured by the gays, the women, and the ethnic minorities, insofar as the three categories are distinguishable'. The authorities explain that in the Middle Ages, when barons wanted to attack the king, they attacked the spotty youths advising him. That is how things are done in Norman times: the times of Norman Tebbit and Norman Fowler.

Intra-Norman conflict had been aroused because Lord Tebbit had written his article again. That is, the one about how the Conservative party was much more successful during that heroic period in our history when he was chairman, working closely with Mrs Thatcher and, he almost implies, Churchill. I always agree with the article and, more to the point, always enjoy it. Long may Lord Tebbit continue to write it.

This August, another Norman peer -- Fowler by name; also a former Conservative chairman - set himself up in opposition to the article. He went on radio to say that the Central Office people were not spotty youths, but just as good as in Lord Tebbit's day, and earlier.

On Tuesday, the first Norman chairman, Lord Tebbit, had a letter in the Daily Telegraph disapproving of a leading article in that paper, which had seemed to side with Central Office. It was the last paragraph of the letter which some of us would have seized on. `The Conservative party,' it said, `could do without sneering, inane, unflattering comparisons between Mr Duncan Smith and Liza Minnelli made from Central Office and reported in the Peterborough column on the page facing your leader.'

The frightening thought occurred: what if I had been abroad? I might have seen Lord Tebbit's letter, but not the Peterborough item to which he referred. What agony! Had someone at Central Office drawn a comparison between Mr Duncan Smith and Miss Minnelli? If so, presumably Lord Tebbit - being one of nature's gentlemen had chivalrously rushed to Miss Minnelli's defence. He was insisting that Miss Minnelli was not at all like Mr Duncan Smith. None of her youths was ever spotty. Nor had she weakened her policies to seek favour with the liberal media.

But mercifully, because I was here at home, I knew that the Minnelli-Duncan Smith comparison was to do with the steep price - 500 - for a ticket to a Conservative dinner at the Dorchester hotel at which Mr Duncan Smith would be the main attraction. Peterborough had quoted someone at Central Office as anonymously saying that they could imagine corporate types paying that much to hear Miss Minnelli, but not Mr Duncan Smith. Presumably, to Central Office, Miss Minnelli is the latest star. Who says the Tories are out of touch?

August is increasingly the time of party splits. Next year, there is bound to be another split between Lord Tebbit and whoever leads the Conservative party. For, to Lord Tebbit, no conceivable Conservative leader can return us to the first Norman age. Norman civilisation only declined under the second Norman chairman (Fowler). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Why the Norman Conquest Works for Me Every Time
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.