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Jabbing Actor draws the line over Hamas


TCW Defending Freedom has heard once again from Britain’s leading crisis thespian, the ‘Jabbing Actor’ Erasmus Demosthenes Hepplewhite. He was recently asked to add his name to a letter signed by individuals who call themselves ‘artists’ denouncing the response of the Israeli government to the murderous attack by Hamas terrorists.

IT IS not often that one feels obliged to make a foray into the tawdry and murky world of international politics. Indeed one’s interventions have been few and far between and one believes that the more one meddles in such affairs the less effective becomes one’s mediation efforts. 

I am reluctant to overstate my considerable achievements in this area, suffice to say that I believe that my regular missives to the Presidents of Greece and Turkey have prevented the furtherance of any recent attempts at the Megali Idea, the re-establishment of the Byzantine Empire, by vengeful hoplites on the one hand, and the ravaging of the Dodecanese by rampaging Seljuks and Janissaries on the other.

I tell you this because on return to my flat recently after delivering a crate of tekateka to a group of young men who are seeking sanctuary in West Ealing having fled from war-torn Madagascar, I received a frantic phone call from someone representing a Mr Stephen Coogan. I am told that Coogan is a funny man from the North who found his métier playing a dim-witted radio presenter who repeats a tedious catchphrase. 

Apparently this fellow was pleading for my signature on a letter calling for a cessation of hostilities in the Middle East. On inspection of the text, and following my in-depth analysis of the conflict, I noted that his letter omitted the dreadful atrocities of the perpetrators of the violence, a terrorist organisation called Hamas. Consequently, I demurred. I was told that the hubristic Coogan was furious not to have the endorsement of the world’s premier crisis actor as he believed that my intervention would have been critical in establishing world peace.

To compound my irritation, as I was practising my range of anguished expressions, I received a call to sign the wretched letter from a friend of the uncouth harridan Miriam Margolyes. I am afraid to admit that my reply was couched in the language with which that lady is all too familiar.

In making my decision to refuse to be associated with the correspondence, I was reminded of the wise words of dear, dear Dame Judi when she came to Rada to present the Anthony Quinn Award for Greek Peasantry. In consoling me following my inability to show sufficient rugged surliness, she comforted me by saying, ‘My dear boy, you do well to use your talents sparingly – nobody likes a smartarse. Be a darling and see if you can find me a vodka martini and some pistachios.’

In taking my leave I wish to reassure you that I am sure that the time will come when world leaders will have no option but to call upon the wisdom of Erasmus Demosthenes Hepplewhite to help them to resolve their difficulties, but until that day I feel I must allow them to act like the petulant rapscallions and bloodthirsty tyrants they have proved to be.

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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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