A lady once offered to go to bed with me if I could ensure that she would write The Spectator’s Diary. This was some time ago, but what I clearly recall is that I didn’t even try. To help her land the Diary, that is. I don’t wish to start any guessing games among the beautiful ‘gels’ that put out the world’s best weekly, but to my surprise that particular lady did get her wish some time after, with no help from yours truly. (What I can tell you is that all this did not happen under the present sainted editor’s watch.)
I was thinking of the Diary as I sat down to write because of the one by Jonathan Sumption in the 1 June issue, mentioned by a reader in a letter to the editor last week. The letter was headed ‘Power to the people’ and I totally agree. Jonathan Sumption’s claim that Brexit was ‘an act of economic vandalism by a bare majority’ is intellectual snobbery at best, and willful ignorance at worst. But who am I, a lonely Greek boy scratching out a living in a garret, to pass judgment on my intellectual superiors? I should stick to tennis and karate, two things I know a little bit about. But first something about the dreaded C-word — no, not cocaine, a substance I know so little about, nor Corbyn, someone I really don’t want to know anything about, but ‘C’ as in Conservative.
Here is the greatest exclusive since a Rothschild pigeon informed the banker about the victory at Waterloo: the Conservatives are up shit creek, no ifs or buts about it. Theresa May, Philip Hammond and the poison dwarf John Bercow, among many others, have made sure of it. I played in a couple of poker games with Michael Gove a long time ago, and he could not have been nicer, more helpful or more polite. (No, we didn’t sniff anything.) What struck me was his intelligence and humility. But he did pull a Brutus, and although noble Romans admired Mr B., he did in the end have to fall on his sword.
Which brings us to the rest of the suitors. I like all of them, especially Sajid Javid, but it’s Boris who can mostly undo the harm done by the disastrous Theresa May. After all, he was the first to quit when he smelled a rat. And he refuses to play the elites’ game whereby anyone who dares to question unlimited immigration is a racist. Mind you, good old Nigel Farage is the Achilles in this Trojan drama, but without the sulking. He’s the one who slayed the cheaters and he deserves to be prime minister. But the system and the greasy hacks no like him.
Brexit has been a boon to British fifth columnists, and there are too many for me to start naming them all. The three I’ve mentioned will have to do. As previously but ever so elegantly mentioned, the Tories are in deep trouble and they are there because they asked for chocolate, got vanilla, and went along with it. Now it’s a bit late and a fire-breathing lefty is about to move into Downing Street. But not to worry, the rest of you can all move to Gstaad or, better yet, to Appenzell, where women got the vote as early as 1971.
What gets me is that people still trust politicians. In America Democrats running for president are screaming against tech giants, vowing to cut them down. Yet the same bums are organising fundraisers in Silicon Valley vowing to protect the unregulated giants. Go figure! American hacks are no better. There is nothing the media will not spin as evidence of Trump’s malevolence. One hysterical lachrymose ninny by the name of Roger Cohen stated that the Trump speech in Normandy — a good one, for a change — was down to Donald’s belief that he had led the troops himself.
But enough about such low-life topics. It’s not easy to feel sorry for someone who has a couple of hundred million, is good-looking, young and the best player in the world, but I thought that Federer had bad luck last week in Roland-Garros. The Swiss is taking the ball earlier nowadays, and attacking more, cutting down on the rallies. His game is finely tuned and his strokes more flat than spun. Indoors he is unbeatable, but on the day he played and was obliterated by Nadal, there was a hurricane blowing. Nadal’s relentless brutality and extreme spins suited him to a T. The Frogs should have called off the match in order to give two champions and the crowd a better show. As it turned out, the Austrian Dominic Thiem is going to be the next Federer some day soon. He had to play four days in a row, while Nadal rested.
Never mind. All three of them are great. Nadal is Wagner, Federer is Mozart and Thiem is Schubert. Djokovic bounces the ball before serving too many times in order to put off the opponent, and doth protest too much, so he’s off my list of greats. (I’m sure he won’t lose any sleep over this.) Maybe he’s Bruckner. The great Beethoven will always be the great Lew Hoad.
And now I’m off to London for some fun and games. But first to karate camp with some 50 black belts for a two-day session to separate the men from the girls. Kiaii, pow..!
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