Well, back in 1982, it was supposed to be worth a Grammy. Malcolm never really took to it: perhaps because, around that time, The Police were big with Number One daughter (and her tapes are still cluttering his attic to prove it).
Malcolm has never been a touchy-feely type. Something to do with the Norfolk upbringing, perhaps. Even at University, communication with loving parents amounted to gussied-up post-card variants of:
Starving, send money. Urgent.
Term over. Meet me at Brandon Station Tues 9pm.
That latter worked better than the former, if only because it gave dear old Dad the excuse to start early, take refuge from the frosts of Breckland (even in June it can get a bit nippy in those parts: imagination helps) in the nearby Great Eastern Inn, and listen for the train coming in from Ely.
The Times: they are a-changing.
Malcolm still finds highly embarrassing and even downright improper those encounters with occasional acquaintances who feel the need for warm embraces and air-kissing.
With the likes of Rebecca Brooks, though, things are apparently different. According to:
… a revised biography of Cameron written by Frances Elliott and James Hanning and titled Cameron: Practically a Conservative.
The book … claims that the Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin acknowledged that the clutch of News International bosses such as Brooks could be very demanding. He is quoted by the authors as saying: “If you are on the same side as her, you have to see her every week. This was how it worked.”
Such, and more, is being serialised in the Times. A selection on the shifting relationship between the Murdoch press and Cameron might prompt another snippet from Julius Caesar. These come fast-and-furious from Malcolm Redfellow’s Home Service: this time from Act IV, scene ii (and relishing the equestrian reference):
Brutus: A word, Lucilius;
How he received you, let me be resolved.
Lucilius: With courtesy and with respect enough;
But not with such familiar instances,
Nor with such free and friendly conference,
As he hath used of old.
Brutus: Thou hast described
A hot friend cooling: ever note, Lucilius,
When love begins to sicken and decay,
It useth an enforced ceremony.
There are no tricks in plain and simple faith;
But hollow men, like horses hot at hand,
Make gallant show and promise of their mettle;
But when they should endure the bloody spur,
They fall their crests, and, like deceitful jades,
Sink in the trial.
Yukk. Double yukk.
With even an echo of the late Sir John Junor’s “Pass the sick–bag, Alice“