Justin here. My lady wife and myself have been discussing our annual holiday – a joyful anticipation for everyone, I’m sure, whether it be a traditional sojourn in a seaside boarding house – I believe they’re called “guest houses” these days – or an altogether more exotic trip to foreign climes with sun-drenched beaches, dusky locals, and hammocks.
I must confess that my personal preference would be for a more humble but possibly more uplifting tramp through the hills and valleys Elgar trod whilst composing his quintessentially English variations and staying at coaching inns along the way. My lady wife stayed silent at this. I whistled “Nimrod” for a while, then the young man with the wire in his ear, sensing a certain atmosphere, vetoed the notion because of security considerations. “Can’t have you bumbling about off the beaten, Archie. There’d only be me to watch your back, and God knows what inbred loonies there are out there in the sticks. And a Glock 17’s only good for 50 yards at best" were his exact words. Such is the price of high office.
In the end, my lady wife produced an impressive pile of brochures (which she appeared to have been sitting on) all to do with European River Cruises. One she was especially keen on. It involved embarking at Cologne, sailing almost to the Russian border and back and featured no less than six wine-tastings per day. The young man with the wire in his ear approved, saying that it would be much easier to keep an eye on us in a closed environment and besides, one of us wouldn’t be moving about much anyway. He did say that he might be able to sequester a couple of Marines as this would be a waterborne journey, but I thought that a little excessive. So there we are. I will have to go and unearth my old college yachting blazer! Bodies between our knees, eh?!
But far more important than our little holiday aspirations are the political developments in this country and in Europe. The ebullient, ever-cheerful Mr Farage seems to have done awfully well, doesn’t he? I’m told by Mrs Ditchworth, our recently acquired replacement conference facility cleaner (Ms Heaver is on maternity leave) that Mr Farage is popular because he likes a drink, smokes, and swears occasionally. These do seem to me to be rather scant qualifications for one who seeks power. But perhaps Mrs Ditchworth painted only a partial picture. I admit to a certain unease when I read about UKIP. The young man with the wire in his ear’s assessment, i.e., “They’re a bunch of nutters” lacks specifics, and I read that the more Mr Farage is accused of racism, the more people vote for him. Which is worrying. There will come a point, I’m sure, that in the course of my official duties, I shall have to meet him. What would Jesus do? Well, I rather imagine he would admit Mr Farage into the Temple, keep a beady eye on him and the minute he started being beastly to travelling folk, pitch him out on his ear.