Saturday, 30 December 2017

Years from now they'll be asking, "Where were you when you heard that former Labour minister Lord Adonis quit as the government's infrastructure tsar?"

Lord Adonis (I think)
Unfortunately, I've already forgotten. Mind you,  it's one hell of a blow for a government already reeling from the loss of another ex-Labour minister, Alan Milburn, from its social mobility board, earlier this month. If those two hammer blows - plus the loss of the Ashes - don't topple the Tories, I think we can assume that nothing will. One answer to the problem of serial flouncing out by former Labour minister Remainiacs from meaningless government roles would be not to give jobs to your party's political enemies, especially when they've been incompetent enough to allow their own party to fall into the hands of a cabal of deranged insurgents - why shelter them from their well-deserved political ignominy? Still, at least we can console ourselves with the news that Nick Clegg has been knighted for his services to Brexit and for his invaluable role in destroying the Liberal Democrat Party (thanks Nick)...

...We can also welcome the award of an OBE to Marc Almond - presumably for being gay, making one decent record three and a half decades ago, and for his Hi-NRG Showgirls remix of Banarama's cover version of "Venus". I'll admit to being disappointed that no awards have been made to the survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster - and I concur with a correspondent who wrote to me bemoaning the lack of a peerage for Sir Lenworth Henry. I can only assume that the great man is being fast-tracked under the terms of some government affirmative action programme (no doubt run by a former Labour minister) straight to a newly-created dukedom some time next year, complete with a national holiday, street party, a special concert in Hyde Park, an RAF fly-past and a fortnight of programmes dedicated to the Duke's work on the BBC.

James Cosmo
There were several welcome awards in among all the nonsense - the knighthood for Barry Gibb, for a start: like or loathe the music of the Bee Gees (I'm a fan), it's hard to think of a Briton who has had a greater impact on popular music in the past fifty years. And I was delighted by the award of an MBE to the actor James Cosmo, who has made the role of psycho-nutter-bastard Scottish hardcase (ancient and modern) his very own - just as the newly-knighted sephologist Professor John Curtice has in recent years so ably taken on the traditional role of the nation's very own Professor Bonkers. I was pleased by the award of a CBE to Jilly Cooper, because she cheers me up whenever she appears on TV or the radio, and she's a British "type" - daft and posh and clever and girly - which is probably dying out (although I hope not): and for coming up with "Calypso turned to Collapso" to describe the England cricket team's performance against the all-conquering West Indies during a test at Lord's in the '70s. I don't begrudge playwright Peter Nichols's his CBE - but I don't think he should ever be allowed to forget saying, in 2004, "It's not easy to remember now how difficult it was at the height of Thatcher's regime to speak out against her."

I'll leave you with one of Sir Barry Gibbs' - and the Bee Gees' - most glorious creations: "You Should be Dancing" from 1976:

1 comment:


    See above for Jilly Cooper's sensible attitude to books.