Always Keep A-hold of Nurse For Fear of Finding Something Worse


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…


24 thoughts on “Always Keep A-hold of Nurse For Fear of Finding Something Worse”

  1. Bloody ‘ell, Guv! Yerv gone an’ done it na! All them spivs wot we was drinkin’ wiv after the Ol’ Bill collared Keeler and them…Stone the crows!It’s a good fing I aint still runnin’ on the ol’ Passy-par-too!

    But you are spot on with the observation of American [over] reactions.

    1. It was an aspect of London life that I never experienced….and I would like to know how it was that Smithy and Belfast Jim had the entree…probably best not to enquire…

      I can remember being astonished at the firm removing its American staff to a place of safety, though.

  2. Ahhh, Harold Wilson! Most folk look askance when I mention Harold and the coup. ‘Coup!’ they say, ‘What coup?’ The one in 1974 when the army occupied all key points in the capital and not just Heathrow as is sometimes claimed. That was just an anti-IRA exercise – except the military/intelligence service just happened to forget to let the government in on the whole thing. Wilson (the supposed KGB asset) resigned and the whole caboodle passed over to good old, reliable Jim Callaghan an ex- commander in the Royal Navy don’cha know!
    The US, worried about yet another ‘Manchurian Candidate’, breathed a little easier in the dark of their restless, paranoid minds.
    One good thing from the election of the ‘accidental’ president, the Clinton Global Initiative slush-fund has closed its doors and fired its staffers – no influence, no brown envelopes it seems.

    1. Yes, I read recently that they are complaining that they are unemployable…and I don’t see their ex employer rushing to their aid either…
      On the coup…or the series of coup projects, Colin Wallace was lucky that the whole thing didn’t happen under Blair – or he’d have been Dr. David Kellyd……
      And as for Callaghan…deeply involved with the insalubrious Hodge and his bank, lending to immigrants and promptly foreclosing – not a savoury character but clearly capitalist to the bone.

  3. I don’t know why the media is focusing so doggedly on the prostitute thing. I agree that they are no hold over a man like Trump. However, the dossier reputedly contains much more compromising stuff — such as the exchange of details about Clinton’s emails in return for policy changes benefitting Russia. He is fatally compromised now, regardless of whether he makes it through his term of office. No one will be able to trust that he is not being manipulated.

    1. I see allegations, but no proof…
      I suppose we must take it for granted that all major powers spy on each other – thus the U.S. A. and Merkel…and Roussef of Brazil…and use the info as they see fit.
      I imagine it would be in Russia’s interests not to have Clinton in power given her track record and the strong likelihood of her maintaining the Obama strategy of surrounding Russia and pushing for war….but that is not to say that they had to suborn Trump in order to use the information gained on her and her party.
      Trump and his team don’t seem to me to have the PR power to deal with this problem and there is certainly no impartial body in the U.S. A. which could be trusted with an enquiry.
      A pity the U.S. A. is not so paranoid about Saudi Arabia which has been fomenting war since the Balkans after the death of Tito.

  4. Brilliantly written. Just the name Trump turns me stone cold!!! Perhaps he will surprise us all!
    I hope that you are both well and that Leo is doing OK. Sounds like he had an interesting early life! Take care Diane

    1. If Trump avoids a war with Russia then I’ll breathe again. the thought of Clinton in power was a nightmare.
      Leo has picked up a bit, thank you, and the furore over Trump and the hacking reminded him of the American tourist…he said he could not believe the chap just launching himself out of the car into heavy traffic!
      Yes, he did have an interesting life when young…! I just wish I could persuade him to write it all down.

        1. I’ll have another go….there are a vast range of characters from Franco’s chief of police to Woodsy the plumber and a woman described to him as having ‘grapes all over’….

  5. Trump is only an extreme example of the typical politician – misogynist, racist, narcissistic, nepotistic etc. I can only hope he’s reined in a bit before he announces some catastrophic policy that either causes US-wide riots or world war three. He certainly won’t help all those ordinary struggling Americans who think he’s going to turn their lives around.

    Ah, Harold Wilson. A very progressive premier. But such is the shift in political ideology, a lot of his policies would now be seen as the ravings of an out-of-touch hare-brained leftie. Baffling.

    1. No, I don’t think that those who voted for him in the hope of improvements in their own and their families’ lives will get much satisfaction either…even if he wants to it takes a long time to turn the ship round – even more difficult when there are a horde of ‘entitled’ bankers hanging on to the wheel.
      People always seemed to think Wilson dull…but I heard him several times at election meetings and he was a superb speaker.
      And, looking back from now, it is hard to remember that we thought him too right wing…

  6. You only missed the fact he lost the popular vote by a million or two. No matter. He was voted for either to give the finger to the establishment, or to make America great again. The unwashed can’t grasp that fat white men have no intention of helping them. We’re still on the same track: the rich help themselves; the poor help each other.

    1. Being so used to the British first past the post system where the popular vote counts for nothing I tended to disregard that point.
      No, I don’t see the prospects of poor people improving under him either…but when you;re in front of the firing quad you tend to make a last gesture and it strikes me that the referendum in the U.K. and the U.S. Presidential election was – as you say – a finger to the establishment.

  7. Blimey luv … you only went and blew the bluddy doors off! The doors onto the garbage being touted. The increasingly desperate attempts to prevent Trump’s inauguration and the rose-tinted mist that seems to still be settled over the wonders of Obama (who actually achieved the square root of nothing in 8 years) and Clinton who has bigger steelier balls than any bloke and was dribbling visibly as the moment when she could hoick them out of her y-fronts and bang em on the table in readiness for declaring war on Russia loomed ever closer in November and then had an epic and petulant paddy and had to be coaxed out of her hotel suite with sweeties to thank those who had been sleep deprived for weeks as they did the grunt work for her campaign, are the stuff of desperation and potential fodder for comic writers coming soon. He was voted in. He will be President by sundown on Friday and the best everyone can do is to pipe down and see what happens. Stop imagining that the end of the world is nigh and hope that he, in stark contrast to most US Presidents can get something done (and if that something is peace with Russia presumably he will be hailed as a hero in the same was as Reagan still is by Republicans and Democrats alike). I loved Wilson by the way … now there was a man with a real brain.

    1. I always thought that Obama’s Peace Prize was number one in the sick joke contest….and had the horrors at Clinton succeeding him – though it has to be said that I see things from the viewpoint of not being American – just one of those whose governments compete to see whose nose is brownest.
      Perhaps my views might be different if I was affected by U.S. internal policies.
      Trump has been elected: as far as we know he is not controlled by the Mafia – probably indiscreet to enquire as so many other American politicians might go down the tubes in the collateral damage caused by an investigation – and as he has so many Goldman Sachs contacts I really cannot see what harm they think he can do to the banks.
      The main problem appears to be that he intends to change the constituent members of the Praetorian Guard who control access to power…..and the existing members don’t like having their toys taken away,
      If he can come to an accord with Russia which brings any sort of settlement of the unbearable disaster which Obama caused in the Middle East then it can only be good…
      He has been elected in accordance with the system: we can do without modern equivalents of the Zinoviev Letter thrown into the works.

      Alan mentioned the coup projects in Wilson;s period. The worst was the one which succeeded, when Treasury officials fiddled the figures to allow the IMF access to the British economy – now there were some people ripe for introduction to lamp posts…

      1. Agree on every sentiment you raise. I particularly hope that this man can get some accord with Russia and I cannot join the wailing masses wringing their hands and pleading for Obama to be allowed a third term principally because of the mess in the Middle East of which he should be ashamed. Politics is politics, politicians are politicians. As my (US Citizen) husband notes, anyone who runs for high office in any land is someone you wouldn’t want to make friends with. Narcissistic at best and psychopathic at worst they are not people with others’ interests at heart in general. And that fact has become steadily worse through the passage of my lifetime. Integrity is not a trait you will find in any that I can name. I speak as someone who wants to make the rest of my life in Europe but who is genuinely faced with the possibility that our retirement may have to be in the US … it all depends on what happens on both sides of the pond in the next two years. Whatever happens, I will make the best of it because in the end I have only one life and I refuse to waste it on should’ves, would’ves and could’ves!

        1. You might find this interesting:

          I gather – I think – that one of the major factors for you will be health provision: it was so for us, given Leo’s problems, which is why Costa Rica was preferable to Nicaragua and has turned out to be infinitely superior to France!
          Wherever you are, I think the words of Elizabeth I would apply to you:
          ‘ I am endued with such qualities that if I were turned out of the Realm in my petticoat, I were able to live in any place in Christome.’

  8. I write this from under the bed. This appears the best option for the moment as what with Trumps crowning and May talking tough with nothing to talk with, her longing for a ‘low wage, low tax economy’ something we expected but not quite so brazenly.
    I know now how the Romans felt when the Visigoths were at the door.

    1. Given the current climate and May’s all enveloping ‘I spy with my governmental eye’ Act under the bed is not a safe place to be…think!
      Who is traditionally suspected of lurking under beds? Yes, you’ve got it…Red Trump supporters!
      Come out at once and bring the fluff with you….No, in the Trump context perhaps I should rephrase that…

  9. Helen, What a piece on Trump & so much more as you relate everything you say back to Trump! You said it best at the outset…..that all of this Trump reign rests at the feet of the Republicans & the Democrats who by exercising an ounce of brains could have cut Trump off at the outset. Thanks for your second comment about your headmaster who put student relations outside her job description. My website does not permit me a second reply to you! Aggravating! Thanks for all the comments. Phil from

    1. It is worrying that those who run the major political parties don’t have the slightest interest in making life as good as it can be for all…just for themselves and their backers.

      I’m still smiling at your close encounter with the abandoned boys!
      Student relations? She would be revolving in her grave at the thought – though I have also to say that if a girl was troubled – as opposed to being In Trouble – no one could have been kinder or more helpful.

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