Sunday, 10 July 2011
The Cotwold Morris Dance To The Music Of Time
Apparently, there is something that in the recent past that has not been mentioned for fear of upsetting the neighbours and others. It is the existence of the Chipping Norton Set, a group of close like minded people who have had great influence over the affairs of state or something.
Amongst them is David Cameron, the local MP, It seems rather like the Cliveden Sets of old, only without the class. That of the 1930’s (The Astors) so deeply impressed the then German Ambassador, Von Ribbentrop that he assured The Fuhrer that Britain would not fight but come to terms.
This set was both a liability to the nation and a continuing embarrassment to the Conservative Party. Amongst the many reasons why so many voted Labour in 1945 was that they had no wish to be controlled by such cabals in future.
The Cliveden Set of the early 1960’s (Profumo with Astors) was more of a louche collection of funsters. The problem there was that associated with those seeking relaxation away from the public eye were sundry Soviet and other intelligence operators. This business seriously damaged the Conservative Party and led to the election defeat of 1964.
Buckinghamshire has become rather suburban and down market, the good properties there may be all very well for arrivistes such as the Blair’s and the more demonstrative celebrities but it lacks the je ne sais quois of a true clique of state.
Quite why poor old Chipping Norton, once a perfectly decent working market town should be home to the mega rich media and political meddlers and shovers intent on destroying the United Kingdom for the benefit of the bottom line is one of those accidents of history.
The district is one I knew from back in the 1950’s. I once lost a wheel there driving a recently serviced mini-bus back from Twickenham with my rugby club gently relaxing amongst the beer crates. The wheel came off as I came round a tight bend and luckily the bus stayed up.
The Gods were kind to us. When the passengers had disentangled themselves there was a village pub across the road with a supply of Hook Norton sedatives. When the authorities arrived, after some time, I was told cheerfully that Chipping Norton was a bad place to have a car crash because being close to boundaries meant that it was on the fringe of everywhere.
Fans of Gillie Potter, the mid 20th Century comedian will know of his “News From Hogsnorton”. He had a dry deadpan academic style of patter that exposed the frailties and idiocies of people, notably figures of authority and the BBC. His work has not worn well, despite it being very popular in this time. It was widely believed that the fictional “Hogsnorton” was really Chipping Norton.
His world was one of chaotic stupidity, disorganisation and selfishness with people whose arrogance was exceeded only by their short sightedness and bone headed attitude to life and others. Of course, it has all changed, see the link below for the names. One splendid irony here is the presence of Astor’s nearby, family of Mrs. Samantha Cameron.
There is nothing quite like tradition in politics, is there?