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Keep your pecker up, says Chatty


TCW Defending Freedom has seen a copy of a letter sent by Our Man in Westminster, Sir Charles ‘Chatty’ Chatterton MP, designed to raise the spirits of his constituents. Sir Charles has represented the people of Greater Tittleham since entering Parliament in 1966. He is an Assistant Under Secretary at the Department for Transport.

My Dear Friends 

In these trying times I write once again to reassure you that your tribune in Parliament is doing everything in his power to ensure that the floundering ship of state regains its course and avoids the Sirens drawing us ever closer to the Rocks of Turpitude as we navigate these turbulent seas.

I do apologise if this letter strikes you as being a little grumpy in tone but I dictate it shortly after a most unsatisfactory breakfast. My soldiers were very much overdone, as was Lady Veronica’s eggs Benedict. I fear the fault may lie with Zlata, our Ukrainian refugee, who is helping Cook with matters below stairs.

As you would expect I was amongst the first to throw open the doors of my home to a poor refugee to ease the pressure on those dealing with the downtrodden masses as they take flight from the rapacious horde from the East. I intervened personally with the Home Secretary to express my willingness to accommodate one of the unfortunate wretches and suggested that a pleasant young woman might best fit in at Tittleham Hall. 

Zlata is clearly determined. She tells me that she has already done her bit to fend off the might of Putin’s stormtroopers. She explained that before she left Mariupol she inserted a deadly poison in several bottles of mineral water in a supermarket that the Russian troops were about to ransack. Do be reassured that Cook remains in charge of all beverages.

I must admit to being slightly baffled about what is going on over there as I gather we are giving armaments to some who proclaim to be Nazis. I have no doubt that someone in the FO knows what they’re doing and haven’t left everything to the hapless Ms Truss.

The reports of the conflict I see and hear in the news are also rather perplexing. Rowbottom, my gardener, who knows about these things, tells me that some of the films of destruction and mayhem have been taken from video games. 

Truth has always been the first casualty of war. My grandfather’s brother, Great Uncle Mortimer, was a noted war correspondent. He famously introduced many of his dispatches with the words ‘Today I once again witnessed events that will forever be seared on my soul.’ He reported on conflicts in various parts of the world from the Taklamakan Desert to the jungles of Central Africa. His most descriptive pieces were of skirmishes between Spanish and French colonial forces and Berber tribesmen in the North Africa. His tales of intrigue and thrilling derring-do were tempered with touching references to human interactions such as the time he played ping-pong with General Franco, and how he resuscitated the infant daughter of a tribal chieftain after she was crushed by a crouching camel.

Regrettably, only after my great uncle’s untimely death following a collision with a Leeds tram did it emerge that his missives had been written from his wicker bathchair in Harrogate. We discovered that he had contracted gout, a hereditary ailment, when he was comparatively young, and he satisfied his yearnings for adventure through his imaginative scribbling. His sources were garnered from the local library and included Col A E Travers’s definitive 1875 work, Rambling in the Atlas Mountains, and Lady Cressida Littledale’s Victorian epic travelogue, Adrift in a Sea of Sand. Newspapers lapped up his stories, none more so than the Manchester Guardian in the days when it was a half-decent rag. His purposely weathered copy would invariably be delivered to Cross Street by his manservant at precisely 5.15 pm on a Thursday, following the 4.58 arrival of the Leeds train at Manchester Victoria.

I understand that a malicious rumour has been circulated by the chairman of Sodbury-over-Marsh Athletic to the effect that Tittleham Academicals is owned by a disreputable Russian oligarch called Yuri Cruckov. I am pleased to refute his claim. They are in fact owned by a good friend of mine, Sheik Ibrahim Al-Fresco, who has business interests in the Yemen. He tells me that the ‘Acky’ have high hopes of avoiding another relegation this year.

I also want to put your minds at rest on the rather absurd question as to ‘what is a woman?’ You may have heard that Starmer and his bunch of failed sociology teachers and misanthropes do not feel able to give a coherent answer. Apart from one occasion in a dimly lit bar in Caracas, I have never had any doubt about the nature of the fairer sex. Indeed my secretary, Catherine, and I have gone into this matter, in depth, on numerous occasions and she confirms my understanding to be accurate. Should any of my female constituents feel distressed by this spurious debate and need advice, I am more than ready to give them the benefits of my experience.

On a happier note, you will be pleased to hear that Lady Veronica is planning to show Zlata how to make her famous Victoria sponge later today. Apparently, the delightful delicacy is not well known in the Ukraine. The resulting confection is to be auctioned at next Saturday’s Bring and Buy at the parish church. All proceeds are to be donated to the Eggs for Ukraine Appeal that plans to ensure that every Ukrainian child under the age of ten receives a chocolate egg this Easter. 

I remain your humble servant . . . keep your pecker up.

Floreat Tittleham.

Sir Charles Chatterton

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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