Sunday, September 19, 2021
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Big Carrie is watching you

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OUR man in Westminster, Sir Charles ‘Chatty’ Chatterton, the raffish, six-times-married, long-serving Member of Parliament, has been appointed as Assistant Under Secretary at the Department for Transport, tasked with leading the ‘Volt Jolt’ initiative to promote the take-up of electric vehicles. The Conservative Woman is privy to his recent notes.

Monday 

I had barely finished dipping my soldiers into my soft-boiled egg when I was told of an unseemly incident outside Tittleham Girls’ Grammar School. It seems that three elderly nuns who had been distributing Bibles were set upon by the police, arrested, and charged with Covid offences and affray. Two have been released on bail but Sister Concepta is still in hospital under armed guard. I have made my feelings known to the Chief Constable and demanded immediate action.

The sink holes on the B7492 are still causing problems. Following the recent disappearance of a school bus and several tractors, they have now consumed an Ocado van, a mini-bus full of Romanian broccoli pickers and Councillor Trevelyan’s yappy Jack Russell, Eddie (thank you, God!) 

In the afternoon I picked up my secretary Catherine in the Bentley to return to the gulag that is Great Minster House. I was met by the masked mumbling Malcolm who was chewing gum. He asked if I had familiarised myself with the Combined Holistic Approach on Sustainable Solutions Symposium (CHAOSSS) meeting briefing notes. I gave him my well-practised inscrutable look.

On arriving at my desk I was alarmed to notice that the wall had been adorned with a large image of Carrie Symonds. It is impossible to move without her glaring eyes following you around the room.

Tuesday 

I attended the CHAOSSS. I had only briefly scanned my notes but it seemed something like the ‘integrated transport solution’ pie in the sky ideas that the overweight buffoon Prescott used to babble on about. 

There were the familiar dire PowerPoint slides from civil servants with no idea about communication skills and a short film featuring Shapps tinkering with his bicycle and tottering off down the road on it. He was introducing yet another magic money giveaway in the form of vouchers for mending your bicycle. I have long been of the opinion that for the past forty years all new members are failed pop stars or talentless actors, that charlatan Blair being the prime example.

I’m all for responsible lady cyclists on their sturdy Raleigh Athenas riding to the greengrocers but surely we don’t want to encourage those skeletal figures in Lycra who hold me up when I go for a spin in the Aston. They are also a menace to many of my constituents for whom the trusty steed is their preferred mode of transportation.

Wednesday

This afternoon we suffered a lecture about the supposed wonders of HS2, the largest in the herd of white elephants in the Westminster zoo. It will have zero benefits for the good people in my constituency who are being taxed through the nose to pay for it.

As far as Greater Tittleham is concerned, the obvious solution is the one I have been banging on about for over fifty years: namely the reinstatement of the GWR branch line which connected all the villages in the constituency. It was closed under the auspices of that rogue Wilson in 1966. I can think of nothing better for the environment than a couple of Churchward Prairie Tanks with their copper-capped chimneys glinting in the sun, trundling up and down to connect with the main line at Lower Bottomley.

I was pleased to hear that following my entreaties Sister Concepta has been allowed to return to the Stella Maris convent, albeit with her right leg in plaster.

Thursday 

I finally got time to start dictating my report to my secretary about how to kick-start the sales of electric vehicles via the Volt Jolt project. I am determined that this initiative should not go the way of so many government ‘green’ mumbo jumbo policies which have failed miserably, so I am recommending four attractive incentives.

From some (admittedly unscientific) research done by Catherine and myself, it seems that the majority of those driving electric cars are nerdy men who use them only to go to Waitrose or to Green Party meetings, and who probably live with their mother. 

As Shapps is so keen on gimmicks, my first suggestion is that every buyer should be given a voucher that allows him the services of an attractive young woman escort, once a week, for a year. The escort’s only duty would be to sit next to the driver and smile whilst he drives to the supermarket. This is sure to gain the attention of observers wondering whether to buy an electric vehicle. I am happy to provide details of appropriate escort agencies.

My second suggestion is that electric car buyers are entered into a draw to win a lunch of vegan pickled herring with Greta the Doom Goblin.

Thirdly, I propose that every buyer should be given a nodding dog, perhaps to be called ‘Chatty’, for their parcel shelf. The ‘Chatties’ would be a limited edition and therefore much sought after on eBay. Perhaps we could recruit the sinister Michie from Sage to manipulate car buyers into thinking that ‘Chatty’ is a must-have accessory that will ward off Covid. The public seem to believe any old rot we tell them these days.

Finally, I suggest that for every car sold, an oak tree should be planted on one of my estates in Tittleham. 

Catherine and I celebrated my inspired proposals in the usual way.

Friday

After the exertions of yesterday, we decided to return to Tittleham. It took three hours to reach the M40, what with the ridiculous road closures and cycle lanes. I negotiated the sink holes on the B7492, and arrived home just in time for Lady Veronica’s lovely cream tea.

My dear wife tells me that she has been reading the recently published diaries of the puffed-up popinjay Alan Duncan. She says he calls me ‘a dinosaur, a sybaritic relic from a bygone age, who would prefer to live in 1900’. I can’t quarrel with that. 

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John Ellwood
John is the father of four beautiful girls. He is the co-author of Steam Dreams and other interesting stories. He has generously donated his vaccine to the people of France. John is, thankfully, not knowingly related to Tobias Ellwood.

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