Thursday, September 27, 2007

Oooh, no missus!

No... no...hold on...
wait a moment...

Either she's the best Frankie Howerd impersonator in town, or she just doesn't get it.

Here's Ann Treneman doing the 'Conference Sketch' on page 25 of Malcolm's Times:
Mariella [Frostrup] wondered what he had done when he [Gordon Brown] was young.
"I played sports," he announced (he didn't say during which meal). He had gone to University at 16 but, in the first week, hurt his eye playing rugby.
"I spent several years in and out of hospital. Some of you may not know this but this was the Sixties and Seventies. At my hospital at 9 o'clock in the evening—this was the NHS, free at the point of need!—and I was only 17 and 18, they would serve all the patients with drinks!'
The audience barked, possibly with shock.
"Yeah! You could have Guinness. You could have beer! Free beer for all the workers!"
Oh god, where does one start?

Look, Anne dear; that is true. Arthur Guinness and Co believed that their product was healthy and good. They provided, free of charge, one third of a pint bottles for patients in hospital. Malcolm knows that, for sure, because, at the age of barely sixteen, because of a broken arm in a rugby game, he was in the Meath Hospital, Dublin, and was provided with, and—yes— joyfully imbibed the stuff (and looked for seconds).

So what?

Meanwhile, Gordon's punchline: you simply didn't get it, did you?

Well, dear, there's this song, you see. It used to be very popular among the Lefties. Particularly after pay-day.

Some say it came from the Wobblies (and they're still out there, you know!)

Everyone can make up verses to infinity. Basically, it goes like this:
[Invent your own iambic dodecasyllabic line, as offensive as possible, or]
We'll hang [any four-syllable name] from a sour apple tree
When the red revolution comes.
Then the only other rule is that every verse, however inane or inflammatory, has a rousing chorus:
Solidarity forever! Solidarity forever!
When the red revolution comes!
After a requisite intake of mild, bitter and comradeship, everybody staggers home, carolling an obligatory final chorus:
Free beer for all the workers! Free beer for all the workers!
When the red revolution comes!
Gordon knew that. The Labour membership knew that. The Times readership, alas, remain no better informed from Ms Treneman's efforts. Sphere: Related Content

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