Sunday, 17 April 2016


It was good to see this week that the Beast of Bolsover has lost none of his rage and fire. Once more, the Speaker of the Commons insisted he leave the House. I thought Dennis Skinner’s description of the present incumbent of No 10 as ‘Dodgy Dave’ remarkably restrained.

I first became a fan of the Beast of Bolsover back in the late 80s in the early days of breakfast TV. He and a Tory MP were being interviewed on the subject of MPs having other full time jobs which meant in reality they became part-time MPs. Dennis had just written an article for a Labour Party magazine which had been well received and the Tory pressed the Beast on this point.

“Wouldn’t you like to earn money from writing?”

Other questions followed about ways he could earn more. The Beast acknowledged each question with the same answer.

“Of course.”

In the end the Tory, looking slightly stunned, asked:

“So why don’t you?”

The Beast replied:

“Because I have principles and sometimes having principles costs you.”

I have been a fan – and used this quote – ever since. He enriches the House and if only others had his principles.

Leaving the sublime, I shall now consider the present incumbent of No 10’s wife – Sam Cam. We learnt this week that the taxpayer pays for a special advisor to help with her diary and wardrobe. This advisor has a salary of £53,000 per year.

I have no memory of voting for this. At a time when so many are reliant on food banks why should the tax payer be paying for such services? Previous Prime Minister’s wives and one Prime Minister’s husband have managed on their own, with the support of No 10 staff.

Sam Cam is the daughter of a Baronet. Her family have a Yorkshire estate. You could say that Dave married well. Prior to 2010 she worked full time for Smythson as creative director. She then reduced her work to two days a week. Is she still doing this?  If we are paying for her additional help for her role as wife of the current incumbent of No 10 is this to enable her to continue two days a week of paid work? Are we not now entitled to ask questions about her finances? Are any of her funds off shore? 

And when “Dodgy Dave” listed his finances including the rent on the Notting Hill house he forgot to mention his country cottage in his constituency of Chipping Norton where I believe he spent Christmas.  No doubt he managed a dinner with his neighbours and friends, Rebecca and Charlie Brooks.

I do so remember in 2010 the photo shoots of Dave in his Notting Hill kitchen with careful placement of books and other objects to create the right effect. And again in 2015 in the No 10 kitchen, modernized at their own expense. Image and spin is all in this manufactured world.

To ease a long train journey from Cornwall to Suffolk in 2014 I had borrowed a book from the library – a biography of Clement Attlee, written by Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds in 2010. I became gripped and could not put the volume down. The picture of the man, his life and the times was riveting. When I enjoy a book I never want it to end. So I found myself reading his thanks to all who had played a part in his writing. The best bit came at the very end. The author remarked that while he was writing the book he was often asked if Clement Attlee could be Prime Minister today. To which he replied “Absolutely not. You can hardly see Sir Clement and Lady Attlee agreeing to be photographed with their children in the sitting room.”

I would think highly of Clement Attlee for that fact alone!

I do have a high regard for Jeremy Corbin and am so delighted that so far he is showing no inclination to be photographed with a simpering wife in a posh frock or in any kitchen.

On another note, this week Trainee Perfect Quilter’s Companion has been on holiday in her wonderful holiday home at Joppa Farm as we have been having some electric work done in the house. We did not wish for her to become an imperfect trainee electrician’s assistant! Nor would Peter Davis, our electrician, have welcomed her determined requests for another round of the ball game!

We have misse