Goodness! As my dear friend, Lady Bracknell might have said, “To have one wife, Mr. Worthing, is a blessing: to have two is a crime!”
Dr. Vesey Stanhope, writing from his pensione on Lake Como, reports that a certain demographic in Italy is demanding that polygamy be legalised. It is only a matter of time – and I predict days – before the same cry is heard in our green and pleasant land. No wonder Mustafa Fatwah has been sporting a lascivious look of late. Indeed, if one subscribes to the logic of diversity and all must have prizes, why not? I am sure Mrs. Sharia May-Dominate, our new Prime Minister, will smile favourably on the proposal when it comes, as she believes this sort of thing confers many benefits. Well, it certainly does, in the form of child allowance, housing allowance and other blessings from the public purse. I look to the day when democracy means the interests of the majority determine public policy – not the whirligig merry-go-round of pressure-group pandering and political virtue signalling that passes for politics these days.
His Grace wrote an interesting piece this week about the Burkha, whether it should be banned from public places or not. To ban is not the British way, but then of course in the dim and distant past we had sumptuary laws forbidding specific groups to wear certain fabrics: a peasant could not wear cloth of gold for example (not that he could afford it in the first place, mind). Perhaps the way to nobble this wayward notion is for everyone in the country – every man, woman and child – to start wearing a Burkha. Not only would this be equitable and democratic, it would foil every surveillance camera in the land.
Signora Neroni, though housebound herself, keeps up with several correspondents around the world and is well-informed about current affairs. It is always worth visiting her afternoon salon to gather snippets of interest. For example, the other day I heard it whispered that Lord Fondlebum of Boy, a Labour grandee of high distinction (which speaks volumes about the others) has been involved in what can only be described as ‘Black Mischief’ with a certain Mr. Mugabe, Africa’s answer to Joseph Stalin (with added embalming fluid). Having been somewhat lavish in spending other people’s money (mainly on himself), the President-for-life is desperately in need of cash, which is where his lordship steps in, brokering a deal to ‘save’ the Zimbabwe economy. I wonder who sent him to Harare (or Salisbury as I call it) and what is in it for him? Surely the poor peer is still not paying off the loans that enabled him to buy his luxury home in London? Signora Neroni, no stranger to a Brazilian, understands from a source close to his lordship that he is also lobbying the prime minister on Hinckley Point on behalf of the Chinese, saying our position with China was ‘invidious’. One suspects he’s familiar with many invidious positions. Such a busy bee, and so flexible too. Must be the snake-oil pomade.
I must say I take pride in our well-ordered household. The Palace looks spick and span… or at least it did until our tweenies got wind of the TUC report on discrimination in the workplace. They are now working to rule, claiming that tuppence halfpenny a week is not a living wage. Mr. Slope, temporarily back from Rio after Daley ministrations, has been issued with a pinafore and feather duster and the old gentlemen from Hiram’s Hospital tasked with beating the carpets. You should see them all whacking their Wiltons in unison – magnificent.
Mr. Harding is proposing to enter our Cathedral Choir in ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and asked me to attend evensong yesterday evening to help choose the repertoire, along with other Barchester worthies. Mr. Brace, our dentist, favoured ‘Crown him with many crowns’; Ebenezer Cutts, the tailor on the High Street, wanted ‘Holy, Holy,Holy’, and Josiah Hodd, the master builder, plumped for ‘The Church’s One Foundation’. In the end, Mr. Harding preferred my suggestion, ‘Pass It On’, which is what I endeavour to do each week in this column. Until next time then, my dear friends, adieu.