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Beat the food shortages with Chatty’s Turnip Tuesdays


OUR Man in Westminster, Sir Charles ‘Chatty’ Chatterton MP, is committed to truth, transparency and decency. He is happy for TCW Defending Freedom to publish his correspondence to his constituents. Sir Charles has represented the people of Greater Tittleham since entering Parliament in 1966. Out of a sense of duty to the nation, he remains an Assistant Under Secretary at the Department for Transport

My Dear Friends 

Whilst on a shoot on one of the Duke of Westminster’s estates in the North Country last week, I noticed that a misty dew had coated the early-morning fields and the jolly beaters were clad in layers of garments necessary to fend off the anticipated chilly breeze. It brought home to me that we are entering the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and that on my return to Tittleham it would soon be necessary for Clarke to fire up the trusty old Lancashire boilers to heat the Hall. 

Sadly the burning of splendid Welsh anthracite is frowned upon these days and it is now de rigueur to find an alternative fuel so that we might calm the sensibilities of the balding vicars, teenage brats and retired librarians who glue themselves to the M25.

I relied upon my colleague Sharma to advise me. Perhaps it was not a wise choice as you may recall he was the minister in charge of the Glasgow climate farrago, and he recently demolished a perfectly good coal-fired power station in a futile gesture to encourage the Chinese to do the same. 

Sharma introduced me to his friend, Hiram Schucklehammer III, President of Gore Pellets Inc., based in Stumptown (formerly Woodsville), South Carolina. Mr Schucklehammer explained that Gore Pellets is an ethical company which transforms ancient forests into small pieces of wood which are transported across the Atlantic in huge bulk carriers. The pellets are then taken by diesel trains to fire the boilers of our power stations. Apparently the electricity generated is regarded as ‘renewable energy’ and can be sold to virtuous people who congratulate themselves on the so-called clean fuel they buy for their electric vehicles and heat pumps. 

It all seems a bit rum to me but I have been assured that such extraordinary measures are necessary to allow polar bears to roam and thrive in their frozen wilderness.

I do appreciate that the energy policies approved by Parliament during the past 15 years have been ridiculous and that for the foreseeable future those of you without access to the pellets will be in something of a pickle. As you would expect, Lady Veronica and I will be doing whatever we can to help out. 

My good lady has already suggested inviting my elderly tenants to attend ‘Warm Wednesdays’ in the Great Hall. As they huddle together for a couple of hours she proposes to treat them to her interpretations of a selection of Gilbert and Sullivan songs, and plans to accompany her warbling with rudimentary fumbling on her zither. Needless to say guests will be furnished with lashings of tea and slices of lemon drizzle cake. 

As part of my contribution to the emergency and the likely food shortages, I am considering ‘Turnip Tuesdays’, on which day hot turnip soup is to be distributed by my secretary Catherine, on a first-come-first-served basis on the village green in Over Tittleham. Further events of this type are under consideration. 

Like me, I am sure you were terribly bored by the competition to become our next Prime Minister. I note that the former Chancellor, young Sunak, has disowned his role in the disastrous lockdowns and the ruination of the economy. For my part I always thought the restrictions were nonsensical and had it not been for my important work at the Department of Transport overseeing the location of cycling lanes in Kettering, I would have been more vocal in my opposition. Although I do not have a high regard for the woman, at least Truss was appearing to be doing something useful at the time, such as reducing the tariffs on Moldavian widgets and attempting to sell cheese slices to the Japanese.

For once I find it difficult to end on a happier note. However, it is my belief that times like this bring out the best in you good people. I am reminded of the time when the Barbary pirates enslaved the fairest maidens of Nether Tittleham in 1608; of the plague that took all but two of the residents (Seth and Beth Whortleberry) of Upper Tittleham in 1666; and of the famine of 1816 which brought death and destruction to the entire county. In each and every case the denizens of Tittleham stood tall, shrugged their shoulders and endured their setbacks with good humour and fortitude. 

I have no doubt that with events like ‘Warm Wednesdays’ and ‘Turnip Tuesdays’ we will emerge stronger and more united than ever before.

Your humble servant

Sir Charles Chatterton MP

Tittleham Hall
Middle Tittleham

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John Ellwood
John Ellwood
John is the father of four beautiful girls. He is, thankfully, not knowingly related to Tobias Ellwood. ‘My Dear Friends . . . ’ a compilation of many of John’s contributions to TCW Defending Freedom is available in paperback and on Kindle.

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