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Edwina. By The Doktor.

Loath as I am to either restrict free speech or add to the burden caused by the Tory party on the prison system, I must propose that Edwina Currie be prosecuted for perpetrating an unusual and surprising degree of violence upon the visual imagination.

The mind shies away, like a maiden aunt from a wasp, like a nervous horse startled by an explosion of flaming vomit, from the dreadful pictures which would result from contemplating the conjunction between the egg-woman and the grey man. So we must not get too close to imagining this, my little darlings, for fear of the black whirling pit of stinky madness, as Papa Freud would warn us.

But may we not ask, in careful parentheses, anxious to exclude any wanton peeping of hitherto unsuspected Tory genitalia, whether this erotic catastrophe may not have (in some warped moral transfiguration) inspired the ludicrous vision of a morally bankrupt and fiscally cynical (or vice versa) administration promoting a return to Victorian values under the bathetic catchphrase 'back to basics'? Victorian values of philandering and slander (long the favoured hobbies of the Westminster elite), of prostitution and bribery, of perjury and lechery and malfeasance and verbose pomposity, values eminently Victorian in that they consist of perverse compounds of hypocrisy and guilt.

That John Major (so little the hero of this story) should declare the episode 'shameful' is personally understandable, politically true and pathetically ungallant - a rhetorical gesture typical of the man; flat, unimaginative, inadequate even to be described as bland. Edwina is a woman with a foolish desire to be the centre of attention. This is not a good reason to enter politics, although it often seems to be the only one, but it seems an excellent recommendation for an entertainer (a radio presenter), as is the possession of a voice both grating and dreary, as I would clearly know. Personally, whenever I hear her on the radio (generally the weekend night shift on Radio 5, heroically interrupting callers and guests on an appalling, incompetent and dismal phone-in) I switch it off, a kind of Pavlovian response which is also triggered by Sarah Cox, the loud mouthed git Chris Moyles, 'Sailing By', the National Anthem, Opera, Roy Hudd, the Queen, and the Archers theme-tune. This unfortunate state of affairs renders me ineligible for 86.2% of the BBC, and I hereby demand a corresponding refund of all the fees I have not paid them. Coupled (if I dare use that poor, soiled lexical item in this new and appalling context) with the two supreme qualifications alluded to previously, whatever they were, (narcissism and the love of wallowing in the filth of your own corruption or something wholesome and kindly like that I expect), Edwina's voice jabbing from the tiny black orifice of my Yacht Boy will carry with it the terrifying alloy of unspeakable horrors which Edwina has unleashed within our private minds.

The BBC, the Courts, the Government, the European Union, the Presbyterian Women's League against Public Immorality, the Pope and the United Nations must take action, make statements, print pamphlets, issue Bulls, publish bills, ring bells, talk balls, drink bols, must (in short) bring every pressure to bear in order to repress this unsuspected threat to the safety, no the very sanity of Society in general and the Nation at large, indeed, Civilisation as we have pretended it from Mesopotamia to the American Empire, and in particular myself.

So having rambled on like this for a bit, I want to appeal to whatever crazed force currently dominates the media: please protect us now from Edwina Currie, Jonathon Aitken, the oil-slick that is David Mellor, Jeffrey Archer and his flagrant wife and the whole panoply of Tory goons that the demon Thatcher unleashed upon the world. God help us now; we have already suffered them once - must we suffer them forever? They are reminiscent of the old Gods in the Borges story who return from limbo depraved and deformed, except that these puny gods of ours were plainly depraved from the beginning.

So what now? 40 years of bureaucratic managerialism basting in its own self-importance? We can look forward to a future where Stringfellows of pole-dancers lobby in hotels all over Westminster, their silicone valleys marked with the drool of pimply spin doctors and business-studies graduate half-wits destined otherwise for the lower reaches of the obfuscatory system. Still, no matter, we will die eventually. What is most shocking, perhaps, in the whole ghastly saga is the decision by the B.B.C. to fire the seemingly amiable Angus Deaton for spending his inflated wage on cocaine and prostitutes whilst retaining the services of the hideous Currie who therefore continues to harangue the innocent listener whilst bringing to mind scenes of erotic horror that

were previously literarily unimaginable. Steve Bell, cartoonist, for only one example, made an entire career from failing to imagine that John Major could have sex at all, let alone have sex with anyone quite as unattractive as Edwina Currie. This decision is not only unfair, unwise, a poor piece of judgement and plainly hypocritical, but a gross error of taste. But help. Now I have got too close and my mind is burned, or frozen, or boiled in the bag, and Papa Freud's black well of stinky madness beckons to me with its fixated lips. Follow me not, my beloved, in fact it would be best not to listen to this at all, I'm sorry I mentioned it.

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