Regular readers will know that in my not very humble opinion there is only one newspaper in Britain and that is The Business. However, the little 'Memsahib' insists on taking the Dail Mail. This results in a daily demonstration of our total incompatability. She starts reading at the top, left-hand corner of the first page and over the next two hours works her way through the entire thing by completing the 'Quick Crossword' in the bottom right-hand corner of the last page. I skim the entire thing in approximately 3.5 minutes! But not today.
The first item to give me pause was a re-print from The Spectator of an article by Fraser Nelson who normally writes for The Business. In it, he describes the way 'New' Labour has corrupted the country with the most brazen example ever of bribing people with their own money. Read it and weep!
Having been depressed by that, I turned next to an old favourite of mine, Andrew Alexander. I disagreed with him over the Iraq war. He is a real-politik man to his finger-tips and, pace Bismark, does not think Iraq worth the bones of a single British grenadier. Normally, I would be shoulder to shoulder but I believed 'Tony' Blair on the subject of WMD and considered that justification enough to support an invasion. I now feel a fool! Still, we are where we are and the problem is, as Spike Milligan used to chant, what are we going to do next? I was always doubtful of the 'neo-Kamm' dream of a democratic Iraq. It's not that I don't believe millions of Iraqis understand democracy and would like to keep it as a system, but the fact is that their society is such, that it is a step too far, and too early. I had assumed that the Americans would do what they did so well during the cold war, and install a 'Saddam Mk. II' to grip the place and thus provide a safe base for American muscle. It is exceedingly difficult to judge things from this distance but all the indications are gloomy. Alexander believes we should "accept humility before it turns to humiliation" and get out now.
Finally, I turned to the inimitable Richard Littlejohn. The hatred that erupts in the 'Trot-lot' creche at the mere mention of his name is an indication of how viciously effective his satire is. Today, even the 'Trot-lot' can enjoy him as he lampoons 'Prince Chuck' by printing an extract from the 1997 'diary' of Chinese president Jiang Zemin who was present at the hand-over of Hong Kong.
Collected by a Rover car taking him to the official reception, he muses: "Car overheats and breaks down halfway there. [...] One day Chinese will take over Rover and show them how to build a car properly. Maybe we will turn Rongbridge into a nice housing estate for Blummies. Eventually get to reception in back of AA Relay van."
At the reception: "Young gentleman comes bouncing over to me like a cat on hot tin wok. "Hi, call me Tony," he says, thrusting his hand towards me. Who is this iriot? This honourable Prime Minister Tony Brair, I'm told. With him is scary woman with gob like red pillar box. [...] She ask if there is any chance of a free holiday in China. [...] Would I be interested in a lecture on human rights, call it thirty grand for cash? This must be the one they call the Ricked Ritch."
On the royal yacht he is "met by gentleman dressed up like a New Year dragon. 'Have you come far?' he asks. From Beijing, I reply. 'Is that anywhere near Peking?' he says. He's Clown Plince Charles [...] This is the sirree iriot who dumped Lady Di for old boiler called Camirra."
And so on. All quite disgraceful but weepingly funny. And all you po-faces reading The Guardian or The (so-called) Independent missed it. Serves you right, or do I mean left?