Wednesday, 26 November 2014

I am horrified to discover that I attended the same college as cabbie-monstering David Mellor!

Odd - he looks like such a nice chap!
Back in 1988 David Mellor, then a  Foreign Office minister, took the opportunity on a tour of Israel to berate an Israeli solder on camera for arresting some Palestinian children. I distinctly remember him wagging his finger and bellowing “This is not good - not good AT ALL!” at the bemused chap. It was all over the news. This earned Mellor a (private) tongue-lashing from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for having overreached himself. Unfortunately, this grotesque display of ill-mannered pomposity didn’t earn the odious, self-regarding pimple the sack he so richly deserved. 

Mellor was eventually defenestrated after taking up the role of Minister for Fun under John Major in 1992, when some Spanish actress with whom he had been conducting an extra-marital affair blabbed to the press, followed by revelations that he had enjoyed a month-long holiday in Marbella courtesy of the daughter of the PLO finance director. John Major’s initial support for Mellor cemented the Prime Minister’s reputation as a hapless, dithering wimp. Now, twenty-two years later and this truly horrible man (Mellor, I mean – not John Major) is yet again making trouble for the Tories.

Whenever I’ve heard the phrase “the nasty party” since Theresa May used it at the Conservative conference in 2002, I invariably get an image of Mellor’s distinctly unprepossessing physog in my head. I force it out, but it leaves a bad odour behind. The Tories have spent years trying to divest themselves of the “nasty” tag. David Cameron and his mordernising chums gained control of the party on the unspoken assumption that they’d make it fluffy and cuddly and thereby acceptable to floating voters. This desire for redemption  (quite misplaced, of course – disaffected working and lower-middle class Labour voters are actually rather partial to a dose of nastiness as long as it's aimed at the right target) has resulted in the current government’s failure to cut public spending and in wasting time on pointless, feelgood rubbish like gay marriage, which has accomplished nothing but the further alienation of its traditional voting base. The imagined need for compensatory “niceness” has led to it tackling this country’s problems with limp-wristed effeteness.

So it was with mixed feelings that I listened to the story of Mellor’s ludicrously over-the-top monstering of a London cabbie as the result of a disagreement over the best route to the Great Man's house on the ride back from a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony attended by Mellor and his wife last week. In case your newspaper didn’t carry it in full (the loyalist Telegraph skimped on the details) here is the full transcript, pinched from the Daily Mail (full story here) with all the expletive-deleteds restored. It is one of the funniest things I’ve read in years:

[The two are already arguing about the route the taxi driver has taken when the recording begins…]
CABBIE: I know who I’m talking to. You’re David Mellor — so what?
MELLOR: I don’t want a lot of backchat. Just drive me there, and don’t think even with the limited supervision that you guys have today... I can’t take a lot of fuss from you.
Don’t you talk to me like this, I’m a Queen’s Counsel for all these years, and don’t ruin our day, just drive a sensible way. I don’t want to know how much you know about London because you don’t know as much about London as I do.
Take me the way I wanna go, OK, because that’s part of what you’re supposed to do.
CABBIE: I don’t have to get talked to like that.
MELLOR: I’d think carefully if I were you.
CABBIE: You don’t intimidate me.
MELLOR: I’m not trying to intimidate you.
CABBIE: You are.
MELLOR: I’m just sick of having to be in the same cab as you.
CABBIE: Listen, you got in here and then you start telling me which way to go, and I said, look, it’s Friday night, it’s ten to six, you may have lived in London 40 years or however long but I’ve been driving a cab for ten years.
MELLOR: You’ve been driving a cab for ten years, I’ve been in the Cabinet, I’m an award-winning broadcaster, I’m a Queen’s Counsel.
You think that your experiences are anything compared to mine?
Just shut up for Christ’s sake, drive whichever way you wanna go and keep a civil tongue in your head.
And don’t give me a lot of shit.
CABBIE: You wanna calm down.
[Mellor notes the cabbie’s number.]
MELLOR: Of course you could apologise. I don’t suppose a guy like you does apologise, do you?
Because you think you’re a big shit, having driven a cab for ten years.
You don’t need to worry about someone who’s been in the Cabinet, who’s an award-winning broadcaster, who’s a Queen’s Counsel.
Treat me like shit, ruin my wife’s day. She’s been to the Palace and been awarded a major award.
You fuck up our day. Does that give you pleasure?
CABBIE: To be honest with you, Mr Mellor...
MELLOR: I don’t want to hear about you being honest, and if you think you’re going to be sarky with me, get a better education.
So if you’re not going to say you’re sorry, shut the fuch up. And you, cab number ****, listen to Ken and I tomorrow, you’re going to get a fucking bucketful.
I have so many cabbies, when I get in a cab they listen to my show, and are proud to do so, I’m going to tell them what you’ve done.
Uber [a controversial minicab-booking app, taking black cabs’ business] is going to be my thing now.
CABBIE: To be honest...
MELLOR: I don’t want to hear from you, shut the fuck up.
CABBIE: If you’ve had a bad experience I’ll apologise, but to be honest, I think...
MELLOR: I don’t want to hear this, do you understand? Shut up!
You either say you’re really sorry, you’re a little guy who will learn when you grow older, or you shut the fuck up and you don’t ruin my day any more. Your choice.
But tomorrow, cab number **** you’re getting it on LBC, before about 300,000 or 400,000 people.
CABBIE: I have apologised.
MELLOR: I don’t want to hear any more from you. You’ve fucked up our day.
How dare you. Smart-arsed little bastard.
MELLOR: How dare you? I can deal with you, but now she’s upset.
All you had to do was drive us back in a sensible way instead of being smart-arsed.
What’s that to be proud of? Anyway, cab driver **** you tune in tomorrow from ten.
And a lot of your old friends listen to my programme and know I’m a big supporter of black cabs.
Do you think they’re going to say ‘wonderful, clever little guy’?
Because they’re not. I’m going to tell them I’m supporting Uber from now on, and that’s all because of you.
And enjoy tomorrow because I will. Take a right here.
CABBIE: OK... right again?
MELLOR: Yeah. See what you’ve done to her, she’s telling me I’ve ruined her day.
YOU fucking ruined her day. She’s been at Buckingham Palace, she’s seen Prince Charles, received a major award, and you, smart-arsed little git, have ruined her day. Are you proud of yourself?
You’ve been a taxi driver for ten years and [are] such a great guy and I have to pay £30 for the limited privilege of being in your fucking cab.
Do you get any of this, my little friend? Or do you need me to tell you tomorrow, on the radio, what a sweaty, stupid little shit you are?
CABBIE: Sorry.
MELLOR: Stop here, by the red light. Then you can fuck off, and understand that you just ruined our day. Stop here.
Cab driver **** you’re going to go down in history as having turned London’s biggest black cab supporter into an Uber supporter.
And I’m going to say that on LBC tomorrow. You’ve got anyone you respect in the cab trade?
Because you won’t take it from me. You’ve done it for ten years, what about the people who have done it for 30 years?
You’ve done them no fucking favours. Got anything to say?
CABBIE: I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick, sir.
MELLOR: You are a sarky bastard and you’re going to get it. How much is it?
MELLOR: What’s your name? I can’t call you number ****. Do you want to give me your name when I refer to you tomorrow?
CABBIE: [Giving false name] Brian.
MELLOR: Brian what?
CABBIE: R*****.
MELLOR: Right, Brian R*****. Listen in tomorrow and learn something.
I’ve learned that younger cab drivers should not be driving black cabs — you should be in some fucking minicab.
CABBIE: Thank you.

Now, I wonder why the Tory Party got a reputation being ‘the nasty party”. Hmm.

I enjoyed Mellor’s response when questioned about the incident: “I will leave the public to judge his [i.e. the cabbie's] actions.” Pure comedy gold. As was his comment to the cabbie, referring to his wife:  “See what you’ve done to her, she’s telling me I’ve ruined her day. YOU fucking ruined her day. She’s been at Buckingham Palace, she’s seen Prince Charles, received a major award, and you, smart-arsed little git, have ruined her day. Are you proud of yourself?” I wonder if David Mellor is feeling proud of himself. But the real question is – how can Viscountess Cobham (i.e. Mrs. Mellor) bear being married to such an odious prat?

If I were the Tories, I’d use some of their election funding and pay Mellor not to leave his house or use the internet or answer his phone between now and the general election.

I hope the Israeli solder Mellor berated 26 years ago (who I remember feeling very sorry for at the time) is still with us and that someone has brought his former persecutor’s gloriously public humiliation to his attention. (And I wonder if Mellor's cabbie was Jewish - just a thought.)

While I was checking up on Mellor's history, I came across the fact that we attended the same college. As he's three years' older than me, I assume he must have graduated a few months before I arrived. A narrow escape indeed. From now on, I may have to pretend I went somewhere else.


  1. I think it's rather a shame that you and the frog-faced little shit didn't meet at college. You could have sat on the ugly bastard and saved us all a lot of bother..

    1. I had two close escapes, actually - he became a presenter on BBC 2's "Midnight Hour" the season after I stopped being the editor - I doubt ours would have been a happy working relationship.

      Unfortunately, the tradition of unpopular undergraduates being beaten up and having their rooms trashed would have fallen into abeyance by the time Mellor arrived - otherwise I suspect it would have happened to him quite regularly.

    2. Methinks the QC doth protest too much.

    3. No you've got me wondering what exactly the letters "QC" might stand for in Mellor's case.

    4. Nothing rude intended by "QC". It just strikes me as psychologically odd that someone as successful as Mr Mellor should need to keep making the point to chefs, waitresses, barmen and taxi drivers who are hardly competing with him. There's a lack of confidence there. Thin skin. Brittleness. As though he can't believe his success himself and wonders if he deserves it, is it all some horrible mistake that will be corrected tomorrow? And tomorrow. And tomorrow.

    5. That's a really interesting point, L Macbeth. For some reason, a lot of Oxbridge undergraduates suspect they don't deserve to be there, and either make themselves invisible or obnoxious as a result - perhaps Mellor has never managed to shake that feeling of not really belonging.

  2. Despite being referred to several times as his "wife" – the modern meaning of which is unclear – the whole point is that they're not married because if they ever were Lady Penelope would stop being a Lady.

    1. I apologise - senior moment(s), aided by Mellor's reference to her as "my wife". Wise of her not to forsake her title for the wretched man.

  3. I'm not sure about perverting the meaning of 'wife' but sleeping with that odious little turd stretches the definition of 'lady' to infinity.

    Has LBC or Classic FM sacked him yet?

    1. Of course, he may have hidden charms. Mind you, they must be incredibly well hidden.

  4. I've just seen a photo of his "wife". An attractive woman; did she lose a bet with God?

    1. Attractive women are often attracted to fairly dodgy-looking men. But the men in question usually have something else to recommend them - charm, wit, intellect, creative talent, vast wealth etc. The mystery in this case is that - apart from being a QC (something Mellor evidently doesn't like to mention) - there don't appear to be any balancing factors to set against his physical appearance and his lack of manners.

  5. I suppose if you live many years with a viscountess you are bound to end up behaving like a bit of a count yourself? In Mellor's case [wasn't there a gamekeeper called Mellors who had an affair with an aristocratic lady?], he has also ended up looking like a complete count...I mean, nobody has to appear like this at age 65 [ for example, a proper hair-cut, adopting permanent Ray Bans, dental work to the front teeth etc]. Also, there is Chris Rock's advice - "just shut the fuck up!" Has the "Gap-Toothed Count" not got previous form when he got involved in a slanging match a few years back with the cook in his local restaurant or am I wrong? Now I had that Andrew Mitchell in the back of my cab once...

    1. Yes, Andrew Mitchell - another reason to vote UKIP.

      Here's the exchnage between Mellor and a chef and a waitress from a neighbouring restaurant who he felt were violating his privacy (from the Daily Mirror this time):

      David Mellor: (Inaudible)
      Chef Stephane Ale: Really, really? Well you want me to make speak about you tomorrow, about fat people?
      DM: You speak about me, f*** off... (inaudible)
      SA: You want fat people to speak about you?
      DM: F*** off, f*** off. Go on, what are you doing here?
      SA: Why you speak about me? Why are you swearing at me? I didn't even speak to you.
      DM: Because you're staring into my garden, you are prying into my privacy.
      SA: Not at all, sir.
      DM: And your boss has lost his licence.
      SA: Not at all. I am not part of the boss you know. And you are swearing at me, treating me like fat b******.
      DM: Well you are a fat b******, now go away.
      SA: So tomorrow I make sure we say on the news about what you say about big people.
      DM: It doesn't matter what you say. Now f*** off.
      SA: It doesn't matter of course. You are just swearing at people, that's all you do.
      DM: I don't want anything to do with you, now f*** off, go and do your 10-quid-an-hour job somewhere else.
      SA: I earn better than that.
      DM: Urghh.
      SA: And I am not using people's money for it.
      DM: Now go away, go on, f*** off!
      SA: Ok, of course.
      DM: (Inaudible) is going to his lawyer, there's no reason why you should have a job.
      SA: Me I don't care, me I don't care.
      DM: (Shouting loudly) Now F*** OFF!
      SA: Yes sir, no problem.
      DM: (Quietly) F*** off.
      BAR MANAGER EDMOND MITRAJ: Thank you sir.
      DM: Go away. And you, you f***ing a***hole, you go away too, you're no better. Who do you think you are? Go away.

  6. Please can you remove the photograph accompanying this post? It is causing unnecessary distress to your readers. Whatever one might think of the 1997 general election, it provided moments to relish such as the sight of Mellor losing his seat at Putney while the equally loathsome Sir Jammy Fishpaste did what the taxi driver should have done and told him what a tosspot he was. I had some dealings with him a few years back and I can assure SDG that he was exactly the same long before the unfortunate Penelope made the transition from a real count to a complete and utter one.

    1. Sorry ex-KCS - I'm leaving it there as a reminder to myself to tell everyone from now on that I did Cultural Studies at the University of East Droitwich - and a warning of what Nature might do to me if I forget to take Mr. Manners with me whenever I leave the house.

  7. Perhaps Dave and Andrew could get together and open The Mellor and Mitchell School of Charm.
    Dave should be on LBC radio tomorrow morning. I'm rather hoping the old count has got the sack.

    1. ...together with Piers Morgan, of course. For the sake of this country's reputation, the Home Office might think about impounding all their passports.

      I'd love to see recent emails sent to Mellor at LBC, the form for which can be found here: - I wonder how many cab-drivers have done so via their smartphones as they wait for their next fare.

  8. Horace Rumpole's explanatory Quite Cocky seems to do Mellor's towering arrogance little justice (unworthy pun intended).