This article appeared in The Herald
The following is an extract from a circular email which was forwarded to me last week. Its author, one Tom Brown, was presumed to have died some time ago. Suffice to say he is well retired from public life and suffers from senility, but his observations on matters political may be of interest:
“Dear chums […] Those of you who still have faculties, nay a pulse, in working order, may well have noticed things are not as they were in our time. Those Eton chaps seem to have the whole business sown up, for starters. I mean to say, I can’t think of an Old Rugbeian in the Cabinet.
“You may well conceive of my surprise, then, on hearing the name ‘Harry Flashman’ come spitting out of the wireless on The World At One. By Jupiter, says I to myself, hasn’t old Flashy had enough misadventure? But then I remembered Flashy didn’t make it through the Great War – some say he died falling from the Mata Hari’s bedroom window – and as I listened on I was somewhat relieved to grasp that the late Brigadier was not in fact Her Majesty’s Prime Minister and had only been likened to him; or rather, vice versa.
“As I comprehend the facts, the leader of something called the Labour Party thinks itquite the barb to call the PM Flashman instead of Cameron, which is his proper name, although some people insist on calling him ‘Dave’. Well, I was intrigued to find out more about this Dave fellow, and it seems that not only is he frightfully young, mutatis mutandum he’s really nothing like our old tormentor at all. In fact, Flashy would have shrank from the comparison as though it were double Latin.
“Now, some of you may recall that Flashy and I had our differences, and in all honesty he made my schooldays deuced unpleasant. But as the saying goes a roasting maketh a full man, or something, and, well, Empire demanded men like Flashy. That men like Flashy lost the Empire is beside the point – old Harry never picked a fight with a tyrant unless he dashed well had to and he certainly didn’t gad about the world telling people we were responsible for its problems, not unless he was about to be killed.”
The email goes on to compare Cameron’s ability as a “swordsman” unfavourably with Flashman’s, but we’re keeping that bit to ourselves for legal reasons.