Monday, 21 October 2019

Virtus Vera Nobilitas

There is a passage in Nicholas Coleridge's new autobiography in which he describes arriving at Trinity College, Cambridge and being invited, as an Old Etonian, to a reception with the Master. 

There were three such: one for those from major public schools, with champagne; one for those from minors and grammars, with red and white wine (although probably still pretty good red and white wine there); and one for us plebs, with beer and cider. No doubt the food matched the booze, and no doubt the dress code matched them both.

Oh, how I wish that this had existed at Durham in 1997. I would have been perfectly happy with my beer and my meat pie, in my lounge suit. But I can think of others who would also have been so classified, yet who would have insisted that they ought to have been at least black tie and wine, if not white tie and champagne. They would still have been going on about it, 22 years later. And it would have been very, very, very funny.

Then again, 22 years later, I would not be at all surprised if this were once again rather the done thing. And the man responsible would be the man who had become Prime Minister weeks before my arrival at Durham. The very last vestiges of that world ought to have been swept away by the Labour Government that ought to have arrived in the natural course of events in the middle to late 1990s. But we all know what we got instead. As a result, we all know what we have had since, and we all know what we have now.

Most Labour MPs still think that Tony Blair was their party's greatest ever Prime Minister, and most of them are still going to be there after the next General Election. Another hung Parliament is coming, however and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. A new party is now in the process of registration.

After nearly 30 years of suggestion, speculation, and even a sort of preparation, I will stand for Parliament here at North West Durham. The crowdfunding page is here, and buy the book here. Please email Very many thanks.

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