Sunday, February 01, 2009
February comes in like a lion. First, in The Sunday Times I interview Jonathan Miller and, second, as I slept, Frank drew my attention to my own paper's splash. Great heavens, Jeff may be booted out of the Lords. New rules may eliminate peers with criminal convictions. As you may recall, we have had a certain amount of innocent fun at the caperings of 'Lord' Archer. Perhaps, at times, I have overdone it. But the simple truth is that whenever I do not have a thought in my head, Jeff, somehow, leaps right in to fill the void. But will it be the same if he is not a 'Lord'? Something will have been lost, some aspect of the man's higher absurdity. Of course, we shall still have his blog to provide the consolations of his wondrous prose for those of us unable for whatever reason - embarrassment, fear, exhaustion, discernment, a functioning ear, status anxiety - to read his novels. But Jeff not being a 'Lord' is like Groucho not being a Marx or Tommy Cooper not wearing a fez. His identity will have been compromised. And why? Simply to make the House of Lords appear a serious, respectable place in the eyes of our foreign friends. But we are happy with it as a, to borrow from Clives James, 'transit camp for dingbats'. We need a campaign - 'Keep Jeff noble!'
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 5:48 am