Thursday, May 31, 2012

32 U-turns? The Government is divided, distracted and directionless

One might expect a marriage of convenience between two political parties to show occasional signs of tension. But the fissures are as evident within each party as they are between, with Lord Oakeshott (et al.) opposing Nick Clegg on health reforms and taxation; and senior Cabinet ministers like Iain Duncan Smith opposing George Osborne on the Budget.

Divisions can, of course, be healthy, for without vigorous differences of opinion and robust debate there would never be any development in policy. And the strongest democratic political parties are, of necessity, broad coalitions of the perpetually competing, irreconcilably pacified and mutually exclusive. But it is one thing to argue over philosophical points of policy; quite another to be seen to be blown this way and that by superficial psephology and political expedience.

The distractions are self-inflicted wounds rather than unforeseen ‘events’, ranging from forests to pasties; from Leveson to Lords reform; from VAT on churches to caps on charity; from the confidence-eroding drip-drip-drip of drinks, dinners and discussions with Coulson, Brooks and Murdoch, which is killing off SpAds and about to claim a ministerial scalp (subject to his Leveson performance today).

And the Government appears directionless in just about every policy area except education and welfare reform, where Michael Gove and Iain Duncan Smith have their eyes firmly fixed on the finishing line and are sweeping aside all opposition (including Sir Humphrey) in their wake. But these rocks of progress are being drowned in a sea of U-turns. Guido says 26; the Telegraph says 32. Whatever, it's about 25 too many.

There is nothing wrong with a U-turn per se: it is sensible to be flexible when the facts change. One may lose a little face, but stubborn belligerence is far more damaging than a little humble pie. Yet it must be observed that these coalition U-turns are not born of changed facts or unforeseen occurrences: they are a simple consequence of incompetence. In government, it is important to make policy decisions and then advocate, argue and persuade sceptics to your point of view. Of course, ‘events’ (such as war or economic turmoil) might force a re-evaluation of policy (such as defence spending or fiscal tightening). But there is nothing now known about forests, school milk, circus animals, secret courts, Cornish pasties, conservatories or caravans that was not known before. Of course, Government spokesmen tour the TV studios to tell us that the U-turns are a consequence of their listening and caring: in fact, they are evidence of quite the opposite. 

On Question Time recently, Nigel Farage observed that ‘we’re being run by a bunch of college kids’. The leaders of all parties long since graduated from their almae matres, and yet the widespread perception remains that of inexperience, ignorance, teenage exuberance and immaturity. As Britain's Apostolic Nuncio observed on one particularly contentious policy (yet to be U-turned): “ is quite clear that the Government has not thought through the implications of the changes they are proposing.” This is manifestly true of 26 or 32 policy proposals, so far. And David Cameron is not yet even half-way through his period in office.

The Lady, of course, wasn't for turning. But they don't seem to make them like that any more.


Blogger Nicodemus said...

Just Cameron's Conservative way of doing things.

31 May 2012 at 09:52  
Blogger Hereward said...

One U-turn is lacking.

The one that gets us out of the clutches of the EU.

31 May 2012 at 10:44  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

What did you expect when you have a coalition between a Tory Party which is split between an ideological wing that doesn't recognise that Thatcherism failed miserably in the end and that the world has moved and the PR/spin wing for whom power and position is everything and the poor LibDems whose elastic principles allow them to try and be all things to all men. There never was any political coherence in the first place.

31 May 2012 at 10:44  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...


You forget that both the coalition parties were supporters of continued membership of the EU at the last (and many previous) elections.

31 May 2012 at 10:47  
Blogger Hereward said...

Not at all. Events have moved on. You would think that the impending Euro disaster would be sufficient to warrant a re-evaluation of policy.

While the rest of them are rearranging the deckchairs it might just be a good idea to sneak off in one of the lifeboats.

31 May 2012 at 11:02  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Convitionless. Spineless. And ultimately impotent before the power of the EU and the global markets.

So what do they do? They attempt to exert authority over petty things like pasties & caravans; or by social engineering exercises like redefining marriage. And they shoot themselves in the foot - repeatedly - as they discover that these things didn't need "fixing" in the first place.

Party politicians are a contemptuous bunch. And I have to say, that those who perpetuate the party political stranglehold over political discourse by blindly advocating tribal party allegiances are equally culpable.

A curse on all their houses.

31 May 2012 at 11:02  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Of course Cameron is without direction - like every other politican in Europe (of the "left" or "right") he's a classical liberal. Essentially, he's a trader selling whatever political goods he perceives the public want, just like all classical liberals. Labour are the same. Cameron and his kind are the direct and inescapable result of the Thatcher revolution. This must be a proud day for the baroness and her admirers.

31 May 2012 at 11:54  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
We need two more U turns.
1- Keep marriage as it is.
2- Exit Europe ASAP.

Toy Boy,
Margaret Thatcher stood up for the UK more than any other PM over the EU issues and I don't believe her policies failed miserably.

31 May 2012 at 11:58  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Cameron and his kind are the direct and inescapable result of the Thatcher revolution.

You have lost me, boy.


31 May 2012 at 12:34  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Moan about Camoron as much as you like; the alternative was a Lib/Lab coalition.

Professional politicians, hot-housed from central office do not good representatives of the people make.

You have here a coalition of the lesser of three evils - it would have been a lot worse - suck it up.

31 May 2012 at 12:36  
Blogger bluedog said...

'Cameron and his kind are the direct and inescapable result of the Thatcher revolution.'

Now Mr Corrigan, if you think that you have just proved you are no better than Cameron.

The difference between Cameron and Thatcher is that Thatcher was capable of thinking through a policy initiative in terms of political and moral principles. Cameron has no detectable principles and, to use a chess playing anology, a complete inability to think more than two moves ahead.

31 May 2012 at 12:43  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

Rebel Saint said...
Convictionless. Spineless. And ultimately impotent before the power of the EU and the global markets.

A curse on all their houses.

31 May 2012 11:02


To specifically blame Thatcher for our helpless plight is as mindlessly foolish as blaming Gladstone, Disraeli, Churchill, Healy, Wilson, Brown, or Blair for our ever more common situation.

There is only one logical conclusion to come to and that is to curse the lot of them, and START AGAIN as best we can.

However we must share some of the responsibility for ever believing that any of them had our interests at heart, for they don't. Our real owners positively despise us all with a 'divinely' inspired and inconceivably murderous passion .

Our old statesmen knew then what our modern ones know either today, or will know sooner rather then later.

They KNOW who they work for, and that this is not the common people of this or any other part of the known universe.

Disraeli for example is on record as stating who was then ( and still is today ) really running the entire show, and it was not the elected representatives of the people, or highly selected Prime Ministers like himself.

31 May 2012 at 13:06  
Blogger Marcus Foxall said...

It is good to see that His Grace has almost completed his Damascusian journey. Never needed to set foot on that road myself , as I predicted here , two years ago and several times since , that David Cameron would be a poor PM.

Come on,Your Grace-
stop being a tease and tell us : if there were a General Election tomorrow , would you vote UKIP ?

Thank you

31 May 2012 at 14:51  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

Dreadnaught said...
Moan about Camoron as much as you like; the alternative was a Lib/Lab coalition...

No, the alternative was; lead a minority Conservative government, reveal the full extent of Labour's incompetence, set a tough "cuts" budget and call an election after about 18 months, which he would have won comfortably.

Of course, that would have taken courage.

31 May 2012 at 15:00  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"Of course, that would have taken courage."

An acute case of "Brownitis?!"


31 May 2012 at 15:18  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...


"Of course, that would have taken courage."

More like and act of gross stupidity you mean.

The Feb '74 government lasted until October that year. Considering the unprecedented financial chaos we are embroiled in, not to mention Leveson, Tottenham riots, bent coppers, Hunt,Murdoch,Coulson, Galloway's Bradford Spring, Rebecca Wade's sodding horse, granny taxes, pasty tax and whatever else you may care to throw in - how do you think a minority Con government might have fared in today's environment? Think it would have resulted in anything better or lasted longer than that one in 74?

At least in a coalition there are always useful scapegoats to hand.

31 May 2012 at 15:43  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

Dreadnaught said...

More like and act of gross stupidity you mean

No, I mean courage.

Thinking about it, Cameron would only needed to have waited about six months before calling an election. Labour would have been leaderless and too skint to mount an effective campaign, and the LibDems would be in their usual state of self-contradictory confusion. And all the sh*t that you itemised would not have hit the proverbial fan by then.

31 May 2012 at 16:04  
Blogger Oswin said...

God help us all! For we are without a rudder, and ever closer to the rocks...

31 May 2012 at 16:22  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Crystal Balls Mr T?

@Oswin -
Just bought that dream beach-front holiday home somewhere in Greece then I take it Mr O.

31 May 2012 at 16:53  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Yes, we need an 'Anchor'.

31 May 2012 at 17:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. He just doesn’t cut it, does he, and SSM is for the Inspector the final poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Rather hopeful now that he wouldn’t be around come the next election. This man has no intention of voting for him or for what he personally stands for.

Any decent types out there who can run the country, and maybe have a least some experience away from the lies, deceit, self interest, self enrichment, low standards, patronage and compromise that pass for parliamentarianism these days ?

Perhaps Archbishop, you could run occasional features on up and coming candidates of note. Remember, they’re going to have to have the ability to extricate us from that financial losers club, the EU.

31 May 2012 at 18:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Tripehound’s plan of a minority Conservative government for eighteen months was shot down by Dreadnaught, but it does have merit. The only criticism the Inspector can add is that the period would have been too long. Nine months would have been optimum.

Now here are the arguments for…

First. Cameron was new in and hadn’t let anybody down yet. He could have prepared the public for the need for an outright victory, and waited until the best of the pundits were shouting “Go for it”. At THAT point, the extra votes he needed, Lib-Dem mainly and UKIP’s, would have been on a silver platter.

Second. The dire state the Labour administration had left the country in could be viewed as a political gift. It wouldn’t have needed a concerted effort to get it across to the people, they do understand. But it would have taken a virtual “Ministry for the deprecation of the last Administration”, and ideally run by Goebbels or failing him, some other equally devious individual, an ex newspaper man perhaps. Plenty of those around, as we know.

Third. The full extent of the necessary cuts to have been hidden. Just winding up a few QANGOs and telling the benefit sponges the party is over, like the housing benefit cap. Maybe a no nonsense immigration policy. AND not agreeing to an increased rise in the EU funds leaving these shores. All vote winners for sure.

Fourth. All Conservative MPs and the like to be reminded to argue behind closed doors, and not to brawl in public. (Yes, Nadine, includes you). Also, to be advised of the approximate timescale of the minority government on a need to know basis. Nothing else, they just can’t be trusted to know more. The Conservatives do have a knack of all pulling together for a short time. Even pretending to like each other. It’s in the blood.

Do you know what, he could have pulled it off !

31 May 2012 at 18:02  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dreadnaught: alas, it was a mere 'studio apartment' once an old village bakery; sold when Greece bought into the 'euro' and holidays there became far too expensive. I wished I had it now!

I have the current owner's number; anyone fancy a time-share arrangement?

Er no, Dodo, no! :o)

31 May 2012 at 18:31  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

Office of Inspector General said...
The Tripehound’s plan of a minority Conservative government for eighteen months was shot down by Dreadnaught...

... Do you know what, he could have pulled it off !

In other words, my argument was not shot down by Dreadnaught.

31 May 2012 at 18:39  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

We’ll he opened fire, so let’s say he peppered you...

31 May 2012 at 18:47  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...


"a time-share arrangement. Er no, Dodo, no! :o)"
Good Lord, man..How many rooms did you say the 'studio' place had..It would require at least 9 going on the present 'fessed' tally but eavesdropping on the conversations in the apartment would be a real hoot.
Eat your heart out Norman Bates and Rory Bremner!


31 May 2012 at 18:53  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...


Contentious issues, at any time during the life of a 2010 Conservative minority government would have absorbed all the media flack and let Labour off the hook regarding the financial albatross it left dead and stinking around the neck of this Country.

We would still be vulnerable and hostage to the fortunes of the EMU and again left with only the prospect of an other hung parliament. I think most of us if honest, would still have taken the yet untainted Cameron and Clegg at their word, rather than risk the prospect of another toxic dose of Labour ruin.

That they were endorsing putting the Nation first ahead of Party ideals seemed a refreshing and honourable policy. Even now with U-Turns and all, I would rather have a government, prepared to adjust, amend or even abandon plans, that with hindsight were held to be counterproductive, even at the risk of Opposition derision and ridicule.

Like it or not as I'm sure you will agree, its that 'Events Dear Boy', especially uncontrollable economic events taking place beyond our shores, that affect us seriously and have to be attended to the best way we can. If this means being accused of making policy on the hoof - so be it. We were left with a basket case economy but we need to weather the present storms stoically.

The West is in deep Crisis but the UK has to have faith in its own ability and integrity to recover from adversity.

31 May 2012 at 19:03  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 May 2012 at 19:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dreadnaught. Comprehensive post. Has made the Inspector remember that they did present themselves as a couple of brothers. Taken in by the advertising again, we were. Some would say it was all predestined....

Where’s ASA when you need them, it’s their fault...

31 May 2012 at 19:49  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Office of Inspector General

Very good posts over the last few days.

I think that your jibe to Youthpasta regarding the primacy of the Gospel was telling.

Bonhoffer wrote in 1937 that "cheap grace" both weakened the authority of the Lutheran Church and led to others (Presumably he meant Hitler but did not say so...... we know why...... ring any alarm bells for today with anyone? ) distorting the fundamental truths of right and wrong.


31 May 2012 at 20:34  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


31 May 2012 at 21:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Good man Phil Roberts. You see, the biggest threat facing us right now is an inability to determine right from wrong. The Inspector believes we are truly finished if we lose that. Of course it’s insidious, like abortion when it’s not altogether wrong and can be at times right. Or gay marriage come to that, you can “bend it, shape it, anyway you want it, as long as you do it, it’s alright”...

And we can see what abandonment of scripture has done to Anglicanism. Can we blame God if he calls “time gentlemen please” in the next few years...

31 May 2012 at 21:03  
Blogger Bill Chapman said...

Sorry, Dreadnaught. You're absolutely wrong when you write of letting "Labour off the hook regarding the financial albatross it left dead and stinking around the neck of this Country." I don't think it has ever been suggested that Labour caused the financial crisis by employing too many nurses or whatever. The financial crisis we're inb was brought about by the bankers,backers of the Conservatives.

We now lave a lost, out-of-touch government with no moral compass, and we'll need Labour to come in and mend what can only now be called "Broken Britain".

We need a General Election very soon.

31 May 2012 at 21:58  
Blogger anna anglican said...

Yet again I'm forced to agree with an idelogical opposite- Rebel Saint says it all for me! (hmm, perhaps he really is a rebel and a saint?).

31 May 2012 at 22:09  
Blogger anna anglican said...

oh, and dear old Oswin is right too!

31 May 2012 at 22:10  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Bill Chapman

Liam Byrne, the former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, wrote a letter for his successor - the Liberal Democrat David Laws - stating: "I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left.”

What with dumping our gold reserves when at its lowest price;they borrowed to finance an extra million public sector workers and their generous pension plans while tax-screwing the private sector pension funds. I was Labour who failed to rein in excessive bankers bonuses and directors pay, while failing to support small businesses - I don't think Liam Byrne was at all joking.

I grant you they were not wholly responsible for the world banking crisis but they were totally responsible for making economic recovery nigh on impossible within the next ten years.

31 May 2012 at 22:44  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

I could never leave my shed and garage for a place by the sea in Greece!

More Bremer than Bates, old chap. And is it as few as a mere novena? Are you sure?

Oswin is always right, young lady! A man of few words and expressed opinions is rarely wrong.

'Right' from 'wrong'? Used to be simpler when people knew they were doing wrong and society disapproved. Nowadays, anything goes. I blame the pill! I do.

1 June 2012 at 01:21  
Blogger Oswin said...

Anna Anglican: that's me alright: poor, old and holiday-homeless. :o(

Dodo: Sorry to be so mean, but I couldn't have you using the bidet!

Ernst: only the one room; I don't think you've quite grasped the concept of 'time-share'. ;o)

1 June 2012 at 02:23  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

How civilised of you Oswin to have a bidet installed in your Greek villa.
One wonders how anyone manages without this French gift to civilisation which has never been embraced by the English.
Dodo would have to wash his socks in his because if he used it for its original purpose it would be sinful according to the gospel of unhinged Irish Catholicism.

1 June 2012 at 04:31  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

cressida de nova

Don't be so silly. There's nothing in Catholic teaching or Irish culture preventing me from washing my bits and bobs. So much better than using a flannel too! I mean, you wouldn't know who had cleaned their face with it last.

Why can't one just use the sea in Greece? Is there any need for all this modernity? Bidet's indeed!

1 June 2012 at 14:22  
Blogger Oswin said...

Tee-hee and multiple sniggers ... :o)

1 June 2012 at 17:32  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Now, I've had a thought.

Why don't the rich and famous employ people to, er, clean their bits? I mean, its a possible job creation scheme. Then I reconsidered. It would just be too much of a temptation for those of a, well, lets just say, "uncertain or disordered persuasion".

'Bidet' is, according to Wiki, a French word meaning pony (and in Old French, bider meant to trot). That's interesting!

Bidets, it seems, are primarily used to wash and clean the genitalia, perineum, inner buttocks, and anus. Of course, the shower is another way and much more efficient. Honestyly, those French should catch up with the times. And you wouldn't want to wash your hair (head) in a Bidet, would you? Your legs wouldn't fit either!

1 June 2012 at 19:02  
Blogger Marcus Foxall said...

Dodo the Dude said...
"Bidets, it seems, are primarily used to wash and clean the genitalia, perineum, inner buttocks, and anus."

Dodo , why could you not have told us this BEFORE my holiday in Paris ?? Eee, I just KNEW summat tasted funny in t' drinking fountain watter:-)

1 June 2012 at 23:09  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Mr Foxall
One should never get drunk in unfamiliar surroundings.

What kind of mind conceives of a toilet shaped pedestal, with a water fountain, that one sits akimbo and soaps ones anus, vagina and/or penis whilst warm water spurts upwards?

2 June 2012 at 00:08  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

A mind that is advanced and considers aesthetics when on fait l'amour a la francaise comme Oswin et moi!

2 June 2012 at 02:18  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

I much prefer the traditional British bed-bath and blow dry myself.

2 June 2012 at 15:54  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Traditional British Bath? You jest sir. The lower orders do not wash. A
survey showed that 21 million Brits do not wash on a daily basis.
'Cleanliness is next to Godliness"
I could do a Mrs King and sprout another 200 quotes chapter and verse about the virtue of cleanliness but it is time for my bubble bath:)

2 June 2012 at 17:13  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo @ 15:54 : a neat trick if you can manage it!

Marcus Foxall: hee hee.

Cress @ 02:18: you are too kind; bless you. x

I live a rather spartan existence, but life without one's bidet would be trés barbare.

2 June 2012 at 18:00  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

A bubble bath in a bidet would be quite a feat!

I referred to a bed bath, my good lady. One can have a great deal of fun playing doctors and nurses with one's life time sexual partner. And learning the art of blow drying together is something of a treat.

I can assure too that one's lower orders are perfectly clean and hygienic!

2 June 2012 at 21:31  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

A little bit of sick just came into my mouth reading that.

3 June 2012 at 09:13  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

That's because you have a disordered aversion to normal sexual relations. Considering the perverted acts your crew promote, this is healthy and natural. You really should seek professional assistance with this.

3 June 2012 at 10:34  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "You really should seek professional assistance with this."

It's a personal reaction to the mental image of a fecked-up wrinkly like you playing doctors and nurses, and using 'unnatural' items as sex-toys. Bleugh.

That said, you should seek professional help with your homophobia. That's surely very curable and it might help you find the religious path too.

3 June 2012 at 11:00  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hey Dodo, I think I've found a 'specialist' store for you. No need to bother those poor impressionable people in Ann Summers for your gear when you get randy. I suppose you'd know more than I would about what the "and beyond" entails. But please, don't say.

3 June 2012 at 11:24  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

See that's the beauty of natural sex DanJ0, one doesn't need to use mechanical aids or lubricants. One can but its not a necessity. The body is used they way its intended to be used, with some room for imagination. Believe me, there's a lot more more variety than you might suppose.

3 June 2012 at 17:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"Believe me, there's a lot more more variety than you might suppose"

Men with men, or women with women, for example.

3 June 2012 at 18:14  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Yuk .... how dirty. Artificial and unnatural sex is not for the well ordered. All those mechanical aids and lubricants to mimick nature must be such a pain.

3 June 2012 at 19:52  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Oh god, I bet you play 'priests and nuns' too in this 'natural' fallacy thing you indulge yourself with. Does it involve a fake confessional where you touch and rub yourself behind a curtian while your other half talks dirty in an Irish accent? *shudder*

3 June 2012 at 20:03  
Blogger Oswin said...

Oh dear, they're at it again...sighs...

3 June 2012 at 20:10  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

You really are a sick little puppy DanJ0!

3 June 2012 at 22:05  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

So Dodo adds another feather to his cap as this blogs "sex agony aunt/therapist"?!

As I've said before the Brits are more sex obsessed than any other race i've known- beating even the Venusians (who are descendents of created sex slaves for human earthers!).

3 June 2012 at 22:19  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

@Oswin, they are indeed "at it" again...

3 June 2012 at 22:27  
Blogger Oswin said...

One ought not be too surprised; it's as near as damn-it to being a full-moon. :o(

4 June 2012 at 02:22  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

There is a full moon ceremony tonight here in heathen land. The priest says he can 'turn' Danjo in this ceremony (if I give a small donation)
So Danjo if you find yourself dreaming of voluptuous curvaceous women you will understand why. Do let us know how you are progressing.

4 June 2012 at 04:15  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "You really are a sick little puppy DanJ0!"

Or, I have a devilish sense of humour and I can't help but take the piss out of you. You're so ridiculous that this must be an almost daily thing in your life so don't get all high-horsey about it.

4 June 2012 at 07:19  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

I find its only an obsession when one isn't "getting enough", so to speak. Poor old DanJ0 clearly isn't as he turned a serios discussion about the pros and cons of a bidet versus a bed bath into something sleezy.

cressida de nova
It would take strong medecine indeed for DanJ0 to be healed and restored to the way nature intended.

I am never "at it", especially with sick little homosexual puppies!

4 June 2012 at 14:35  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

I find its only an obsession when one isn't "getting enough", so to speak. Poor old DanJ0 clearly isn't as he turned a serios discussion about the pros and cons of a bidet versus a bed bath into something sleezy.

cressida de nova
It would take strong medecine indeed for DanJ0 to be healed and restored to the way nature intended.

I am never "at it", especially with sick little homosexual puppies!

4 June 2012 at 14:35  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: you are forever ''at it'' : that is the entire problem.

4 June 2012 at 18:27  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

In your dreams, Oswin.

4 June 2012 at 20:20  
Blogger IanCad said...


Thank you for providing a forum that has enabled me to clear up a minor curiousity.
Your faithful correspondent DanJo referred to a certain Ann Summers; a name that, as I have lived overseas for so long, I was not aware had enered into the vernacular.
While cleaning out an old greenhouse a few weeks ago I came upon a pile of receipts. Among them was one, for, as I can best remember;
Succulent Hard Willies. Quantity - 2. Size and color, unspecified. Total with VAT, sixteen pounds or thereabouts.
Thinking that they must be some kind of begonia or, perhaps, an orchid of a sturdy scottish variety, and completely forgetting that the diminutive of the unfortunate William is a term for the male member I thought no more of the matter. That is, until today when all became clear.
It does, however, raise some other questions, but it may be wise to let the matter drop.

4 June 2012 at 21:02  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Even available from Amazon now!

4 June 2012 at 21:21  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

I will never again view begonias in the same light:)Thank you for the poetic inspiration Ian.

5 June 2012 at 04:12  
Blogger Oswin said...

Ian: thank heavens you misinterpreted ''begonias' and NOT 'Sweet William'! :o)

5 June 2012 at 16:38  
Blogger IanCad said...

I should have stated that the receipt had no indication of the nature of the business. Just the name.
"Only this and nothing more."

5 June 2012 at 18:05  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

cressida de nova
I understand they're very popular at Hen Parties these days.

Do you manage to resist the urge reported by women to bite down and crunch hard on SHW's?

6 June 2012 at 00:01  

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