More From Matthew
I return once more to Matthew Parris's autobiography, which I would have finished by now if I wasn't writing this wretched blog.
We pick up the story where Matthew has left Parliament and is the Parliamentary sketch writer for The Times. He goes to the Tory Conference to write a review of John Major's speech. What he doesn't tell his readers is that he himself has written chunks of that speech. He squares his conscience by steering clear of the passages he had written in his review. But this story is a good example of the cosy, incestuous world of the British Establishment and how we are all conned rotten every day of our miserable lives.
Another story links to my earlier rant against Ofcom. Matthew was appointed to its forerunner, the Broadcasting Standards Council, in 1993 for a salary of £12,000 for a few hours work a week. Governments always appoint members of the great and the good whose main qualification seems to be that they rarely watch television and are completely out of touch with popular culture. At one meeting Matthew spent a long time explaining to Dame Jocelyn Barrow the meaning of the word 'shag'. On another occasion there was a long debate about whether 'twat' meant a silly person or a vagina. Presumably it never occurred to them that it might mean both.
Around that time the Red Hot Dutch satellite channel was beaming porn in from Europe. Members of the Council, which included Lady Howe, were given compilation tapes to take home along with tick boxes to check on such subjects as types of penetration and the angle of erections. One can't help wondering if Sir Geoffrey Howe helped his wife with her homework and whether it might have done wonders for a moribund middle-age sex life. But it's funny how these guardians of our morals are never corrupted by this stuff while you and I would go out and rape the first man or woman we saw.
The current head of the TV regulator is the athlete Jonathan Edwards. He's an evangelical Christian but I'm sure he's able to put that to one side when deciding what we should be allowed to watch. He's also said - surprise, surprise - that he watches very little television.
Woken early today by old Mrs Skidmore at the front door, full of apologies. Her dog had killed one of the ducklings on the moat. As she was leaving, she thrust a Co-op carrier bag into my hand. I assumed this was a peace offering, probably one of her inedible fruit cakes that had been the cause of the W.I.'s unpleasant altercation with Trading Standards. But when I opened it in the kitchen it contained the dead duckling along with a jar of maraschino cherries. That woman is demented.
Carlo got a spoon and ate the cherries for his breakfast, which made me retch. The duckling, he said excitedly, would be used to make a traditional Filipino dish for our dinner. Oh dear. That may not have been the last retch of the day.
I was considering suspending this blog for the duration of 'I'm A Celebrity......' which is rubbish but Carlo is addicted to it. Sometimes, when I suffer from insomnia, we sit up together and watch the live streaming coverage on ITV2 all night, eating Pringles and drinking Darjeeling with a slice of lemon. At times like that, I'd quite miss the little bastard.
Carlo is already rooting for Brian Harvey from East 17 who he thinks looks a bit like Lee. What is it with that boy and rough trade? I must remember to lock the telephone in the drinks cabinet because during the last series he ran up a huge bill on the telephone voting after he discovered how to use the redial button.
Tomorrow: I meet Lee for the first time.