Humor Magazine

Yet Another Trip to the D&N Archives - Such Treasures!

By Davidduff

In my previous post I drew attention to an old post of mine featuring 'Mandy Mountain' of West Virginia, a lady of such a size that she is very nearly as big as West, East, North and South Virginia combined. Sorry, Mandy, but she is a truly hideous spectacle.  However, is she any more ghastly to gaze upon than 'our Shirl', that is, Baroness Williams of Crosby?  Well, let's be fair (just for a change), 'our Shirl' is much, very much, better looking than 'Mandy' but it is the inner 'Shirl' I am concerned with today, and that provides an infinitely bleaker prospect.  Back in August 2011 I asked if it was not right, fitting and proper, after due process and all that, to hang Shirley Williams given that she bears the main responsibility for destroying our education system?  Particularly given that the hypocritical old cow lady went to extraordinary lengths, including sending one of her children to live with friends so as to be in the right catchment area, to ensure that her own children avoided the ghastly state system dear, old Mumsy had invented.


Sketch by Marc in The Spectator



Today I am reminded of this by a review in this week's Spectator by Lloyd Evans of a biography of 'our Shirl' written by Mark Peel:

Mark Peel’s admiring biography begins in Chelsea in 1930. Shirley, as he
matily calls her, was the eldest daughter of the political philosopher George
Catlin and the bestselling author Vera Brittain. Life at home was affluent,
comfortable and high-minded. The Brittains were privileged toffs who set out to
remove privileges from toffs they felt lacked their idealism and sophistication.
Shirley’s support for this manifesto achieved a stridency that sometimes grated
even on her mother. Vera complained to a friend that the 16-year-old Shirley kept me up till 2 a.m. holding forth in the usual domineering voice on the usual themes —  the wickedness of being ‘rich’, the virtue of being poor, mediocre and obscure.

Evans enjoys putting the boot into both her and this apparently sycophantic biography.  He ends his review, which I urge you to read, with a left hook to the solar plexus and a right hook to the jaw:

Peel’s book is easy to read but excessively discreet. He skates over the
collapse of Shirley’s marriage to the philosopher Bernard Williams in the late
1960s. Sloppy editing keeps squirting lemon juice in the reader’s eyeballs. Peel
writes ‘flaunting’ for ‘flouting’ and ‘panacea’ for ‘catalyst’. In 1983 Shirley
was not ‘out of Parliament, never to return.’ She was out of the Commons. She
returned to Parliament in 1993 as a peer.

I’m sorry to have to highlight these blunders but I’m confident Shirley will
read my corrections with joy in her heart and a flush of righteous pride in her
cheeks. I’m a boy from a comp. Peel went to Harrow.

As hanging is no longer permitted in this country I suppose I will just have to try and outlive her in order to enjoy the prospect of digging her up and then driving a stake through her silly, cruel, snobbish heart.


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