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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Friday, June 30, 2006

Pride goeth before destruction

Earlier this week, the editor received a letter from the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside. (Lady Bracknell confesses that she has very little idea of the nature or the extent of this gentleman's general duties, beyond the fact that he evidently feels it incumbent upon himself to send stock letters to such local persons as have been honoured by our dear Queen. A task which can not have been particularly onerous, given that only one sentence need be altered in the template in order to give the impression of the missive having being crafted anew for each recipient.)

Lady Bracknell, who was otherwise unmoved by her reading of said letter, was nonplussed by the Lord Lieutenant's statement, "Merseyside is proud of you". She is not persuaded that it is possible to feel proud of an individual of whose existence one was not previously aware.

At the time of the last census, the population of Merseyside was estimated at just over 1.3 million souls. Whilst the editor is by no means a shrinking violet (on the contrary, Lady Bracknell has often felt it necessary to have words with her about her deplorable habit of engaging complete strangers in conversation), it would be stretching credulity beyond any reasonable limit to imagine that she has had the time or the opportunity to make herself known to more than a tiny fraction of the population as a whole.

In order to put the veracity of the Lord Lieutenant's statement to the test, a colleague of the editor has devised what can only be described as a cunning plan. (A plan which, apparently, has its genesis in a particularly unwholesome Channel 4 programme in which willing victims are exposed firstly to the humiliation of having passers by estimate their age when they are dressed in their most unbecoming garments, and latterly to intrusive medical procedures designed to eradicate any element of individuality from their appearance. This is then termed as "looking younger".)

The editor's colleague (whom we shall call, "T") suggests that she and the editor should stand in the centre of Liverpool on a busy shopping day. While the editor writhes under the scrutiny of the great unwashed and makes frantic attempts to look inconspicuous, T will approach them with a microphone and a camera crew and demand in stentorian tones, "Excuse me Sir/Madam, could you tell me whether you are proud of this woman?"

There is, of course, no need to actually run this exercise. It should be abundantly clear to even those whose intellectual capacity is such that they have attached vulgar little flags to the windows of their motor cars in order to "celebrate" England's participation in the World Cup that the suggestion that Merseyside is proud of the editor is utterly nonsensical. And Lady Bracknell would thank the Lord Lieutenant not to put such ideas into the woman's head at a time when she is already proving more than ordinarily intractable on the subject of taking dictation.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I shall seek the opinion of all my Merseyside-dwelling relatives (half a dozen at the last count) regarding their pride or otherwise in said editor.

I suspect the primary response will be "Say Who?".

8:58 pm  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

I think that Lady Bracknell is being a bit unkind to the Lord Lieutenant. We should always strive to be patient and considerate with the less fortunate among us. After all, the unfortunate gentleman is burdened with onerous duties like opening things (public buildings and such), being present at the laying of foundation stones etc, being obsequious to minor and not noticeably reputable Royalty, and all wearing, if I am correct, a very silly uniform and a hat with feathers.

It is no wonder that he is unable to write sensible letters. Someone should take him aside and explain gently that there is no such entity as "Merseyside" and thus "it" cannot experience pride in the first place.

Nevertheless I am sure that there are very many individuals living in Merseyside (and elsewhere) who are experiencing this emotion.

9:14 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the deluded gentleman is following in the noble and historic tradition of allegedly important people who have referred to themselves as a plural or collective entity. Hence "We are not amused" (yes I know that statement is apocryphal but she did use the first person plural when referring to herself) and "England expects..." Even my esteemed mother was heard to announce on the arrival of my firstborn, "We are a grandma".

The odds that Merseyside is experiencing some vicarious pride in the Editor’s recognition are considerably reduced if the noble Lord Lieutenant believes himself to be Merseyside.

Although it also has to be said that the Merseyside region has always been collectively and fiercely proud of its famous or high-achieving sons and daughters; which puts the Editor right up there alongside Cilla, Ken Dodd, Derek Hatton and Stan Boardman. A sobering thought!

PS For the benefit of colonial correspondents (and probably some of the younger English ones who are the victims of a “modern” education), I should remind you that Lieutenant is always pronounced "Lef-tenant" and never "Loo-tenant" as some of you seem to believe.

10:58 am  

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