Nicholas Soames’s Twitter account is a miracle (and so is his diet)

We must hope that the tweeting – if not the dieting – keeps up

21 May 2016

9:00 AM

21 May 2016

9:00 AM

Miracles are not ceased. A few years ago, a kindly educational therapist took pity on John Prescott and set out to devise a way to reconcile the Mouth of the Humber and his native tongue. He came up with Twitter. That explains the restriction to 140 characters, barely room for Lord Prescott to commit more than three brutal assaults on the English language.

A hundred and forty was too much. Twitter did not cure John Prescott. But it did gain pace among the young — and, the miracle, with Nicholas Soames. Nick is one of the funniest men of this age. With Falstaff, he could say (he could say a lot with Falstaff): ‘I am not only witty in myself but the cause that wit is in other men.’ Even so, he is not new-fashioned. His taking to Twitter is on a par with Jeremy Corbyn becoming leader of the Labour party. No one would have thought it possible until it happened. Nicholas would know what a tweet was: the sound emitted by a bird to signal that it was too small to shoot. But who would believe that he was attuned to the fashionable young?

Oh we of little faith. He has become the Nijinsky, the Tendulkar, of the Twittersphere, with a glorious array of fours and sixes. The contrast with Boris Trump is instructive. Boris tries to drown out all debate — any other voice — with clowning and insensate egotism. Nicholas enhances serious points with spice and wit. I will confess that I have not read a lot of tweets. But I cannot believe that many twitterers have expressed such moral force in so brief a space. Nicholas’s tweets are not the sole reason why Brexit will lose. They are a further reason why it deserves to lose.

We were discussing Nick the other day in one of his favourite restaurants, Bellamy’s. I mentioned his name to Gavin Rankin, the admirable proprietor, in pursuit of a further miracle. In recent weeks, Soamesy appears to have suffered from galloping anorexia. He has lost prodigious amounts of weight. So how? I wanted to hear that he had discovered a new remedy, the Mayan chihuahua bean or some such. Couple of them at the day’s end, and in no time Falstaff is indistinguishable from his page. Alas, no such good fortune: he has done it by restraint and abstinence. A restraining and abstinent Soames: that is surely another miracle. But it is not a useful one.

Bellamy’s is no place for abstainers. It concentrates on a short menu of toothsome dishes in which excellent ingredients are allowed to sing. Although there is no direct descent from the Bellamy whose meat pie the Younger Pitt craved on his deathbed, this is life-enhancing food. I had an iced lobster souffle followed by a salt-beef pot au feu. There was also a properly French coeur de laitue salad. Any competent restaurant ought to be able to produce such a salad: many of them often fail. It would be impossible to improve on the Bellamy’s version.

Drink: a 1er Cru Drouhin Clos des Mouches ’10. Recently I have been fortunate enough to drink a lot of serious white burgundy. This was up there with the best. To follow, we had a Malescot-Saint-Exupery ’01. That year was overshadowed by the 2000s, but excellent wines were produced. This was one of them.

For dessert, I was determined to exercise a Soamesian self-discipline. So, despite a range of temptations, I abstained from pudding and made do with a Klein Constantia Vin de Constance ’11. This used to be one of one the world’s most prized wines. It was drunk by Frederick the Great, Napoleon and Jane Austen, among many others. Then it went out of fashion; now it is returning. Delicious already, the ’11 will last for ever. We hoped that this would also be true of the -Nicholas Soames Twitterfest, but not of his diet.

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  • cmflynn

    What has he said that’s so witty? Example?

    • kyalami

      Yes. I went and looked for something witty or insightful on his Twitter account and got thoroughly bored.

      • rationality

        I’m sure we would find much more interesting things on our Disqus accounts but then again we’re not all related to well known er politicians.

    • post_x_it

      I suspect that you and I are not part of the target audience for this article.

    • Chingford Man

      Come on, this is his Finest Hour.

      “Major part of this debate should be to set out how Britain can lead an agenda for getting EU moving forward in a competitive world .2

      “NATO V EU argument nonsense.Over last 60 years their efforts have
      rebuilt a broken Europe with prosperity,security,peace and stability”

      And as for retweets…

      “If only every partnership worked this well: we get almost £10 back for every £1 put into the EU”

      • bobl

        I think he meant that we get back 10 gimmegrants for every £1 we put in.

      • Frank

        This appears to be a straight repeat of everything put out by the fuhrer bunker in Downing Street!

  • rationality

    Will there be a thread opened on the EgyptAir flight going down? I really dont care about Nicholas Soames and Jeremy K Hunt.

    • Augustus

      A Greek naval vessel has sighted some wreckage of the EgyptAir plane South of Karpathos. And the Egyptians are saying that the plane is more likely to have crashed due to an attack, rather than because of a technical problem.

      • rationality

        Thank you. I didnt know that.

        I like Egypt as its one Middle Eastern Islamic country that tends not to export millions of rapefugees and loons as al-Sisi actually protects his people, albeit in an authoritarian manner. Cairo is indeed a crazy place. I think its highly unlikely that this attack is Islamic terrorism though will be presented as such. The answer to this is, who has Egypt annoyed lately?

  • Meezer

    Nicholas Soames’ twitter comments are the reason Brexit will lose and, moreover, the reason Brexit deserves to lose? Could anyone, the more especially someone who purports to describe himself as a journalist, devise a more fatuous comment? Even Dan Hodges would struggle.

  • MummyofPrudence

    We all know he has a gsatric band because Steerpike told us. I even wrote a fairly funny poem on the subject, though obviously not as witty as old fatso could have composed about himself, had he not taken out an injunction banning the discussion of it in the press. The Spectator bot rejected my poem and I couldn’t be bothered to edit it, at least I think it was the bot, responding randomly to some rude word, but it might have been the injunction.

  • Chingford Man

    Bruce has always been shamelessly good at sucking up to Tory politicos. So it’s good that he has given us a masterclass in what is wrong with crony Westminster “journalism”. Does he really think we are interested in what he stuffs down his gob in the fancier Mayfair restaurants?

    As for Fatty Soames, he is just an outdated Europhile with no regard for the interests of his fellow countrymen – those who can’t afford to clog up their arteries with Goose Rillettes and Piccatas of Veal.

  • Iffy

    Aren’t we all so chummy and well fed and, well, dammit, comfortable? Why upset the applecart with all this silly talk about Brexit and all the rest of it and risk the possibility of no longer being able to eat at Bellamys when the mood takes me?

    Just do as you’re told and vote Remain, there’s a good pleb.

  • bugshead

    Fat Boy Soames, the posh boys bald equivalent of the Hairy Bikers – obese, unsavoury and not very amusing

    • davidofkent

      The Hairy Bikers are polite, mildly amusing and a bit on the plump side. Whereas you are simply rude.

  • CRSM

    Is the picture of this Soames chap, pre or post the weight loss? I think we should be told.

  • Alex Dunlop

    Soames is a magnificent man; a veritable citadel of sanity in the modern Conservative Party.

    • Seadog

      Are you posting from Broadmoor?

  • Clotsworth

    poor old Bruce, reduced now to rather unsavoury and sadly perverted grovelling…I only hope he gets the invite to wherever it is he longs to crawl back to

    • Frank

      Crawling to Nicholas Soames ( and by implication Cameron – does it get any lower). He must be gagging for a knighthood to keep up with Finkelstein.
      Is “Boris Trump” thought to be a clever joke?
      Do you think he gets free food if he praises Bellamy’s? There ought to be a warning that this article is actually an advertisement.

  • Chip Chipperson

    I find the Greggs coeur de laitue salad to be infinitely superior to Bellamy’s

  • Faulkner Orkney

    Where’s the pudding?

  • Sean L

    I enjoy your column but politically you’re full of tripe. As to Soames, I don’t doubt that he’s an amusing chap but if his Tweets were so fine surely you’d want to share a few choice morsels?