It would seem that the U.S.A. has failed to follow the advice of the father of Hilaire Belloc’s ‘Jim’ – the little boy who slipped away from his nurse at the zoo and was promptly eaten by a lion.
In the frenzy of a presidential election the U.S.A. has slipped the hand of its nurse – the Republican and Democratic parties – and despite the best efforts of the keepers – the newspapers – to prevent the tragedy, has had the imprudence to be eaten by a lion , though in this case the lion is named Trump rather than Ponto as in the poem.
A pity…President Ponto has a certain ring about it…
A number of questions have been raised about the lion in the course of the campaign and after it: questions aimed at gaining popular support to put Ponto back in the cage.
His hair for a start.How can you trust a man with hair that has a half life of its own?
His business practices. How can you…no, wait a minute, these seem to be fairly typical: screw the little man and play the tax system.
His attitude to women. How can you possibly…no, hang on, in his circles he is more than likely to meet the sort of woman who doesn’t mind being treated as a commodity as long as she gets her share of commodities as a payout. Plenty of them about to this day…..
Well, all right, if none of that is working, what about the ultimate horror….he is the Manchurian Candidate….Russia’s most dangerous weapon, aiming at the overthrow of the U.S.A from within.
If that doesn’t have the populace bellowing ‘mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa’ before rushing out to film the lion being dragged from his cage to star in the stake and faggot show then nothing will.
For if you can’t count on Americans to foam at the mouth at the mention of Russia then the world as the CIA claims it to be has come to an end.
It’s not a new thing, this paranoia.
In 1964 the Labour Party came to power in the U.K. under the leadership of Harold Wilson.
I repeat..Labour Party…Harold Wilson…. who was decidedly not Che Guevara in a Gannex raincoat.
An American friend with whom I had been at school came to say her farewells: her father’s firm were withdrawing their American staff forthwith before the Communists took over.
What did they think it was? Hungary? Tanks rolling into Grosvenor Square? Every lamp post boasting its capitalist prey?
About that time Leo was – having been dragged back from Madrid – collecting his father’s rents in north London.
The tenants varied from hippies working for the British Telecom fibre optic project and stoned out of their minds on the weekends to gentlemen who attempted to intimidate the young rent collector while other gentlemen took it upon themselves to support him and show him that Madrid had nothing on London.
It was thanks to one of the above, Smithy, that he drove a getaway car for the first and so far only time in his life.
No, not a Porsche…a Volga, a Russian car he had picked up for a song in a car auction in Belgium. A local garage had converted it to driving on the proper side for the U.K. but after that it ran on air…or rather on paraffin. You could hear its Perkins engine hammering from miles away: the injectors needed regular and frequent cleaning, but it was a real tank. All it lacked was the cannon. Car after car ran into it on London’s North Circular and car after car was ripped apart while the Volga emerged unscathed.
Smithy – who is worth a post to himself – was a demolition specialist – another post to itself – but not a great hand at working in co operation with others….especially foremen. Altercations were frequent, and on this occasion Smithy had decided to get his retaliation in first.
He asked Leo to give him a lift to the building site to collect his pay….and when they arrived told Leo to keep the engine running as he would not be a moment.
He was as good as his word. He entered the site, collected his pay and bade farewell to his foreman with a Glasgow kiss – a balletic movement which culminates in the skull of gentleman A meeting the nose of gentleman B with sufficient force as to break same.
However, outings in the Volga were not restricted to business trips.
Smithy and his friend Belfast Jim liked to frequent the loucher parts of the capital around Earls Court and Notting Hill: interrogation having revealed that Leo’s experience of life in Madrid under the rule of Franco had been – in their view – somewhat subfusc they determined to show him why they were in agreement with Dr.Johnson when he said that the man who was tired of London was tired of life.
They had the experience…he had the wheels.
Accordingly he was taken to parties where respectable stars of British television threw caution and their clothes to the winds under the influence of weed and hooch….
The gay bars where admission was by password – remember, this was before the passing of the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 which gave limited freedom from prosecution to homosexual men.
The late night drinking clubs….which is where they met the American tourist.
All was going swimmingly until Belfast Jim suggested that the party remove to a club he knew frequented by M.P.s.
Nothing loathe the party removed and all went well until they reached Parliament Square where, even at that time of night, traffic was dense. Numerous lanes of vehicles were in constant movement.
Belfast Jim chose that moment to draw attention to the comfort of the car..roomy as it was it could also double as a hotel room as the seats folded to make a double bed….
The tourist was impressed.
What was the make of the car?
It was a Russian model…but there was no time to give further information. At the mention of Russia the tourist emerged from his alcoholic haze and with a cry of alarm opened the door and leapt out into the night….no doubt happy to have avoided a one way trip to the Lubyanka.
Goodness only knows what will be made of the dodgy dossier on Trump in the U.S. A., but one thing is certain: there is no way that a film depicting Trump and tarts could be used to blackmail him.
Just think about it; on his current form as displayed in the run up to the election, far from being ashamed and embarrassed – and thus open to blackmail – he would be waving the photographs about shouting
That’s me on the right…check the hair…