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Thursday, May 24, 2012


quentin letts is a journalist. he gets lots of work: he must be good. he is the daily mail's political sketch writer. this is not an easy job as the remit is to inform, be opinionated and be funny. it is a hard act to pull off. humour is personal - what i find funny leaves most people scratching their head in bemusement, which is close enough to amusement for me. there are lots of people who think they are funny when they are not, mr. letts is one of those people. i imagine him laughing at his own jokes, but just before he has had a chance to give the punchline and it is lost under his laughter and everyone is forced to politely join in. this becomes a self reinforcing cycle because now mr. letts thinks he really is funny. he's not. the other day he was doing a bit about the uproar in the house of commons over the beecroft proposals (the fire and fire plan). "jo swinson (lib dem, east dunbartonshire) fretted about maternity and paternity rights. she often does. it is her baby. remind me: do they have such benefits in india and china?" and there in a nutshell is pretty much what the tories aspire to. it isn't just a roll back of the state that they want, they want to remove as many rights as possible from the working and middle classes. they want doffing of caps and tugging of forelocks. of course people like quentin letts would still have their rights, they would be part of the chosen. while india and china may not have maternity and paternity rights they do have poverty and sweatshops, in china's case there is no democracy or freedom of speech. actually for chaps like mr. letts that probably isn't an issue as long as his lots are in charge. so mr. letts is not funny and frankly he isn't the sort of person you'd want to spend too much time with. perhaps he would do us all a favour and go ply his trade in india or china - i am sure they would welcome his hard work.

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