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Thursday, April 25, 2024
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Chatty among the Westminster wastrels

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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. He is an Assistant Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health.

My Dear Friends

Tittleham Estates has always been immensely proud of its recruitment policy. A great deal of credit for this must be laid at the door of my dear wife, Lady Veronica. She has an uncanny ability instantly to assess the cut of an applicant’s jib by observing his reaction to the hounds as he walks up the drive. It is not uncommon for a timid fellow to fail to reach the Hall and turn tail with bloodied and torn trousers. My chauffeur, Clarke, was appointed not least because he attended his interview despite losing a little finger on his journey.

I tell you this because, yet again, my colleagues at Westminster have proved themselves to be wastrels of the first order. The latest farrago surrounds the attempt of three of my colleagues and a Scottish Nationalist to pay for their motoring fines by claiming on expenses. I am pleased to say that I have never resorted to such venal behaviour. If the relevant chief constable is not willing to intervene on my behalf to quash the penalty, I have always been happy to pay such a fine from my own pocket. 

Sadly, as I have told you before, the party decided many years ago to defy the wisdom of local associations to insist that inadequate scoundrels become candidates instead of solid types such as my Cornish cousin Sir Leondegrance Chatterton and my neighbour Lady Desdemona Punnet. Indeed questions need to be asked about how young Sunak was thrust upon the clog-shod worthies of North Yorkshire. It seems he has failed to answer questions about his investments in one of those American snake-oil makers and his profligacy as Chancellor. I also wonder how the ‘Nah then’ brigade will react when he tells them that they must get rid of their sheep as a sacrifice to the climate gods.

Speaking of chief constables, I wish to reassure you that, although it was expected of me, I have never sought preferment through association with those who wear the apron. My father was a highly esteemed and very active Thirty-Third degree Mason in the United Grand Lodge of England and for many years a confidant of the Grand Master, the Duke of Kent. The Duke always sought my father’s advice when appointments to high offices of state were required. Indeed had I chosen to follow in papa’s footsteps and taken the skirret, pencil and compasses, I was assured that the keys to Number Ten would have been mine at the time when the dreadful deadwood drone Major became Prime Minister. I do now feel some remorse. I was unaware that my decision to avoid the gaze of the All-Seeing-Eye was to presage the period of political banality that we continue to endure.

You will not be surprised to hear that there is still much to be done to reduce hospital waiting lists. Despite my best efforts, this month they have reached well over seven million and there seems nothing to stop the rise above and beyond the ten million mark. Once again we have been undermined in our quest by hospital staff unable to advise patients of the time of their appointment and by doctors choosing not to work, preferring to spend more time with a four-iron  than forceps. 

On a happier note the Musical Evening in the Grand Hall featuring songs by Gilbert and Sullivan was a great success. Lady Veronica rose from her bed to host the event. With the assistance of two of the housekeepers, and teetering like a haystack in a hurricane, she kicked off the proceedings with a valiant attempt at Tripping Hither, Tripping Thither from Iolanthe. Zlata, our Ukrainian refugee, did her best with a guttural but poignant Poor Wand’ring One. Towards the end, with the ground staff as chorus, I chipped in with A British Tar, and for the grand finale there was a rendition of Three Little Maids with my secretary Catherine as Yum-Yum, Zlata as Pitti-Sing and Lady Veronica as a now sedentary Peep-Bo. A splendid time was had by all and a considerable sum was raised for the Tittleham Hedgehog Appeal.

It saddens me to tell you that you are not wrong if you have the impression that Westminster is replete with incompetent and corrupt poltroons. I can ask only that you judge me by my actions as I seek to keep the banner of freedom flying over Tittleham. 

At this season of Pentecost I urge you to think of the apostles cowering in the upper room. As the Reverend Slope told us on Sunday, the darkest hour is just before the dawn and I have no doubt that together we will face the new day in a spirit of hope, courage and determination.

Your 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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