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Repugnant riff-raff: Chatty on the BBC


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

Yet again it is necessary for me to apologise for my tardiness in writing to you. Since my last communication the timbers of the floundering ship of state have grown ever more worm-infested, and I have spent all my energy trying to rescue distressed crew members who have been on the verge of diving into the unforgiving ocean of despair in the hope that they can regain a modicum of sanity.

As your humble but dutiful representative it is sometimes necessary to attend functions that one would much rather avoid. I am, therefore, somewhat hesitant to admit to you that, despite my misgivings, I felt obliged to attend a party recently. The somewhat subdued event, in the offices of the Department of Health, was supposed to be a celebration to mark the 75th anniversary of the National Health Service. My boss Barclay did his best to bring a little cheer to the occasion and even repeated the old canard about the failing and sclerotic organisation being ‘the envy of the world’. His words fell rather flat when the big scoreboard (the Board of Doom, as it is known) behind him showed that the number on the waiting list increased by more than a thousand as he spoke. However, it was a first for such an occasion to find that the wine was rather good. Apparently it was a gift from Pfizer.

In other news, our Defence Secretary, a burly cove with a permanently grim countenance by the name of Wallace, has been wandering round like a bear with a sore head bewailing the fact that the witless White House warmongers have vetoed his attempt to take the top job in Nato. I must say he has always given me the impression of an injured carnivorous mammal and I have instinctively kept him at arm’s length or more. Now it appears he has decided to abandon the rotting hulk that is the Government and step down at the next election. I am sure he will have no trouble finding employment as a debt collector, dog warden or bouncer. One can only hope that his position is not filled by the equally deranged Tobias Ellwood.

It has come to my attention that some young people have been receiving inappropriate messages from staff at the BBC. While to the best of my knowledge none of these messages has been sent to young people in Tittleham, I urge every parent to be alert to such missives. It has been clear for a very long time that the BBC has been pursuing a younger age group, but surely offering large sums of money in return for communicating with presenters is not the way to win a dedicated audience. The Corporation is replete with repugnant riff-raff and once more I implore you to have nothing to do with this disreputable organisation.

On the occasions that I have been able to escape the cesspit that is Westminster, you will be pleased to hear that I have been tutoring my grandson, Ivanhoe, to prepare him for the day when he has to take my place as your Parliamentary tribune. He is well aware of the venality and stupidity of the majority of members and is more than able to get the better of any individual who challenges him intellectually or physically.

In our recent get-togethers I have concentrated on advising him on ways to avoid the flibbertigibbets that are perversely attracted to the wastrels in the House. Most of them are vain and vacuous young things who survive on a diet of lentils and would not hesitate to fling themselves in front of a partridge to take the shot. I drew his attention to the necessity to find a reliable type like Catherine as his secretary, and the need to have someone with the strength and fortitude of his grandmother, Lady Veronica, to keep things in order when he is away on parliamentary affairs.

I think he is made of the right stuff. On his latest visit to the Hall he was confronted by some retired librarians, university lecturers and teaching assistants who were holding up the traffic to protest about oil or some such. You will be delighted to learn that he leapt from his Jag and wafted the wailing coven into the nearest ditch, much to the satisfaction of his fellow motorists.

Speaking of my dear wife, you may be aware of her new venture, the Tittleham Pickleball Academy. I have no idea what the game entails but she has had the Lower Barn converted into a sort of indoor tennis court and next Friday she will bully off, or whatever it is they do, when she smites the first ball. I urge attendees to stand well back. Membership is available at a reasonable price and includes a glass or two of prosecco and a slice of lemon drizzle at half time.

In taking my leave, I urge you all to ignore the naysayers who complain about the welcome warmth of summer and recommend you take a well-earned holiday. My suggestion is that you avoid the perils, plagues and pitfalls prevalent in foreign parts and spend time here in England, our ‘demi-paradise . . . this precious stone set in a silver sea . . . this blessed plot’.

I remain

Your devoted 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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