Ask Agatha #34 – Peas Pleas In A Minor Key


Dear Aunt Agatha,

People are still making fun of me years after I ceased to matter, and I want it to stop. People should be ridiculing Jeremy Corbyn instead. They mocked me because my dad went from performing in music hall to making garden gnomes. They belittled my hard-earned 3 O-levels at school, forgetting that I added another 3 by correspondence courses. I think my total of 6 O-levels beats Jeremy Corbyn’s 2 Es at A-level, whatever the sneerers say. And it was my correspondence course in banking that lifted me from the Electricity Board to Standard Chartered. All Corbyn did was to drop out of North London Polytechnic – a place I’d have been ashamed even to walk into.

He claims to be a good campaigner, but it was my soapbox that brought me the largest Tory vote ever, and snatched the victory his lot thought it had in the bag. It’s true that in a 1999 BBC poll I was voted 17th worst out of 19 Twentieth Century Prime Ministers, but he has yet to get there at all, and probably never will.

It was sheer bad luck that we crashed out of the ERM on my watch, just as it was sheer bad luck that I had earlier taken us into it. How can I stop this constant belittling of me? How can I reverse history and get the UK public to see that I was right about the EU, and that they were wrong, and need to think and vote again?

(signed) “Minor Thing.”

Dear “Minor Thing,”

I’m afraid you can’t rewrite history. It’s that old moving finger thing. You can no more do that than you can retrospectively legitimize those Maastricht bastards. But you can open a new chapter by going back to your favourite sport, cricket. I don’t mean as a player, of course, but in a whole new career as a commentator. You could have great fun alluding to your past indiscretions, talking in droll tones about “the time I bowled a maiden over,” or saying she had a “deep fine leg,” and “I caught her in the gully.” You’d finally be respected because you’d be doing something you’ve never done before: talking about a subject you know something about.