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Chatty gives a charlatan a Toktikking-off


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 has recently accepted the post of Assistant Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health

My Dear Friends,  

Except during times of war, and when poachers encroach, the Chattertons are well known for their placid nature. Indeed, my eldest brother, Michael, who renounced his peerage, enjoys a peaceful seclusion, in a cave, on an island off the west coast of Ireland. 

There he lives a simple life in contemplation, tending his goats and writing outstanding poetry. My youngest sister Anne has a similar disposition. She lives in rural Spain and offers a home to distraught bulls rescued from the barbaric practices inflicted upon them by the natives. 

However, I regret to say that a recent encounter raised my hackles. 

As I made my way down the Mall following the outstanding funeral pageant for our dearly departed Queen, I was approached by a smarmy fellow whom I recognised from the House, but whose name escaped me. I remembered he was one of us, but lost the whip some time ago when he skulked off to Moldova and failed to return in time to support the Government in a confidence motion. I have always thought him to possess an over-inflated opinion of himself, his influence and intellect. 

In the ensuing conversation, he wittered on for several minutes about the need to communicate the right messages on topics like supporting the rogue Zelensky, getting people jabbed, and the need for everyone to turn out the lights when brushing their teeth.  

He told me that because of the esteem in which I am held by the public at large, I was an ideal social media influencer; whatsoever that may be. 

He then mentioned operations with names like Toktik, and Instragrab, names that left me baffled, and Twitter and Facebook – which my secretary Catherine reminded me are sounding boards for people with grudges who want to vent their spleen about other people with grudges who are also venting their spleen. 

The chappie told me that the young were all on board with Ukraine, climate emergencies and the like, but his bosses wanted more heft in their efforts to persuade mature and discerning voters to go along with whatever was the current thing.  

Flattered though I momentarily was that he should recognise the weight of my occasional forays into contemporary political discourse, it quickly occurred to me that the type of manipulation he suggested was thoroughly un-British. I did not mince my words when rejecting his advances.  

I cannot remember my exact retort, but they went something like this: ‘The facts are these, dear boy! As far as I can see, we are giving taxpayers money willy-nilly to prolong a conflict that no one has any inclination to stop. Furthermore, I know of many good people in Tittleham who have been damaged by the jabs and they should be immediately withdrawn.  

‘As far as the climate crisis is concerned, it may be the case that my blackcurrants ripen slightly earlier some years, but that doesn’t give you the right to plunge people into poverty and destroy the economy. I suggest you take your Toktik and deposit it in a very dark place.’ (I apologise for any implied crudities).  

I pointed out that the emblem on our coat of arms is Chatterton non emit (Chattertons cannot be bought), and added that those who engaged in the subversive machinations he suggested should be horsewhipped in the town square before being tarred and feathered and paraded down the High Street. 

My former colleague was clearly taken aback by my reply, and he sloped off with his tail between his legs.  

I have no regrets in admonishing the fellow. I fail to see why a Conservative administration should squander the wealth of the nation on what are clearly manufactured crises the outcomes of which will not benefit you good people. 

The whole encounter left me in high dudgeon. It was only after a drink or two in the calming company of the long-suffering Catherine that I was able to regain my familiar equitable demeanour.  

I asked Catherine to look into what was going on. She later reported that the person who assailed me is a lieutenant-colonel in the Army propaganda outfit, the 77th Brigade, and there is a panoply of organisations associated with the Government Communications Service that employ over 7,000 staff to persuade people to change their behaviour. Additionally, hundreds of millions of pounds have been given to media organisations to promote the jabs in the past year. 

As I was driven back to Tittleham, I ruminated that it can’t be long before we have a Ministry of Truth to promote the jabs, a Ministry of Peace to promote the Ukrainian war, a Ministry of Love to demonise climate sceptics, and a Ministry of Plenty to normalise the looming food shortages. 

I returned to Tittleham to find that the first Warm Wednesday had not gone entirely to plan. On the insistence of Lady Veronica, and despite it being an unseasonably warm day, Clarke had turned up the heating in the Great Hall.  

As my dear wife tootled away on a discordant Jerusalem on her euphonium, several members of the packed assembly fainted. Whether this was the result of the heat or her playing, I cannot tell.  

Towards the end of the afternoon a contretemps ensued between octogenarians Miss Trevelyan and Mrs Chatburn-Litteldale, as cake knives were drawn over possession of the last slice of lemon drizzle cake. I resolved to ensure that my gamekeepers Mellors and Lawrence would act as bouncers at the next event. 

In these trying times it is easy for us to become despondent when we see the Civil Service treating us like toddlers, or when the last piece of cake disappears from the tray, but we Tittlehamists have always been famous for our resilience, presence of mind, and contrary nature.  

In conclusion, therefore, I urge you to recall the independence of thought shown by your forebears as Aubrey the Awkward, Uriah the Unruly, and Shirley the Sorceress, and question everything you are asked to believe. 

Your obedient 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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