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01 December 2009

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My Dear Lord Crouchback,

I had a similar problem a few years back with my wife. My solution was to hire a handsome, virile, athletic young west African chap to work in my stables. Lady Antrim took to him straight away and that soon put an end to any discussion of mistresses. As an added bonus, Kwame also helps satisfy some of my more, ahem, 'peculiar' requirements so I can heartily recommend a three-legged African to solve your marital problems.

Yours etc,

Lord Antrim.

Jolly good thinking, Lord Antrim. I did hire a young Brazilian fellow called Reinaldo for precisely those purposes. The plan was for him to assist Lady Crouchback with the interior decoration whilst always remaining on hand to satisfy the bodily needs of either myself or my wife.

Regrettably, however, Reinaldo has taken up with a young bartender in the White Hart and now throws a hissy fit whenever either of us demands his affections. I would throw him out on his over-used rear end, but Lady Crouchback has developed an unfortunate soft spot for the fellow and declares that the Castle would go to rack and ruin without his eye for a nice rug or painting.

I plan to surprise Reinaldo in the hallways one of these nights, but in the meantime I shall give some thought to hiring an African chappie, though I do worry that the stocks of Vaseline required would make Kwame-2 an expensive proposition.

Father Fitzpatrick is probably better qualified to give advice on Kwame-2 and vaseline, than on run-of-the-mill conjugal duties. And i can't believe i've joined in this conversation. Mr Whitfield and Mr Wesley will be turning in their graves - if only to shield their backsides from god forsaken sodomites!

By the way, my Lord, I see that 'Dave' has taken yet another step toward the wholesale prolerisation of the Tories. Sickening, what?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/dec/01/double-barrelled-names-tories

Well, I am from the Craig Brown school of thought when it comes to surnames, old bean...

From today's Mail:

Q. Is David Cameron right to ask Conservative candidates to drop their double-barrelled names so as to appear less posh?

A. It is more likely that David Cameron is performing a double bluff. Realising that the electorate prefers its Conservative candidates to have the aura of tweed, he wants them to switch to single-barrelled names so that they sound more posh rather than less.

Cameron has realised that rollcalls at primary schools are full of children with recently constructed double-barrelled names, the result of the current trend for women wishing to retain their own surnames when marrying or having children.

Nowadays, if John Smith marries Jane Brown, it is likely that their daughter will be christened Jemima Smith-Brown. And it is not going to end there. In 20 years' time, when Jemima Smith-Brown marries Freddy Jones-Wilson, Jemima will, quite understandably, want to hang on to her birth-name, and their child will be quadruple-barrelled: Mary Smith-Brown-Jones-Wilson.

After another 20 years, Mary Smith-Brown-Jones-Wilson will marry Keith Robinson-Clark-Clifford-Lane, and they will give birth to Jack Robinson-Clark-Clifford-Lane-Smith-Brown-Jones-Wilson. And so on, until entire parties will consist of nothing more than introductions.

But posh families know that the only way to stay posh is by staying one step ahead of the common game. This means that those with long-standing double-barrelled names will increasingly be drawn to dropping any superfluous names they have acquired over the centuries.

Soon the single-barrelled name will be the ultimate status symbol, and voters wanting a grandee for an MP will home in on candidates called Nancy Mogg rather than the much more common Annunziata Rees-Mogg.

But of course. A ruse to give Hyacinth Bucket and friends the slip. I like it. Phew, maintaining one's exclusivity sounds like hard work, though. Bit like an arms race.

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