Friday, 18 May 2007


When my dander is up, I don’t mind saying it is not a time to be a visitor at Blunt Mansions. I am normally an equable enough chap – slow to form hasty judgement, and equally swift in taking my time when responding to a crisis.

But certain things seem to get my dander up.

I’m not a doctor, so I cannot even tell you with any certainty where my, or anyone else’s, dander is located. I imagine it to be somewhere between the small intestine and the liver. I am sure someone with medical knowledge will enlighten me.

One thing I do know, however: a dander’s natural state is to be down. It is happiest when immotile, snuggled away not doing anyone the slightest harm. For the most part, we go about our day-to-day life without the slightest awareness of its workings.

When provoked, however, the dander can easily grow to four or five times its normal size, fuelled by gall, ire and bile. It can be prodded into life by the front page headline of any edition of the Daily Express, particularly if the words ‘asylum seeker’, ‘rising interest rates’ or ‘immigration’ are mentioned.

Most recently, I have found my dander stirring whenever I witness the attempts to canonise Tony Blair, our ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ prime minister. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not one of these rabid anti-Blairites you sometimes see popping up on the TV every now and again to have a go at the PM. But nor would I pretend to be one of Tony’s staunchest defenders.

I am, at heart, a man of balance. That doesn’t mean I have any truck with liberals, of course. Rather, I err towards the words of the late, lamented Aneurin Bevan, the firebrand Ebbw Vale MP who warned us that ‘People who stay in the middle of the road get run over’. I steer my course through life more as the drunk who makes his way home late at night, having squandered the few quid he’d put by for a taxi on one last drink. I stagger to the left, then I stagger to the right – but I never follow the white lines.

For the most part, I find this keeps my dander well in check. But Britain’s apparent willingness to jump into bed with our American cousins at the slightest invitation – whether this be the first Gulf War or the current one, brings my dander out in all its fearsome glory. I cannot (and will not) believe that the best interests of the British people are served by this ‘special’ relationship.

And Tony Blair’s lasting legacy will, I’m afraid, be precisely that he fed this same relationship with a slavishness bordering on sycophancy. I heartily hope that Blair’s successor, Gordon Brown, will steer a different course in seeking out a ‘special friend’. But I’m not holding my breath.


70s teen said...

Bill I hate to say it but to hold your breath would be futile! I am fully aware of the Whitehall machinery that is place entrenched in years ney! centuaries of tradition (have been studying the like today) I will be even more aware after I have trodden there on Monday, Life is so full of disappointments.

Andrew Goulding Articles said...

Tit, tut, tut, Blunt-san, you should have consulted Gray's Anatomy (the reference book, not the TV show).

It states (or at least my copy does):

"Dander: Central Nervous System aggregator, located at the back of the knee. Danders are thought to be responsible for the sometimes uncontrollable urge to knee politicians, celebrities or Chelsea players in the goolies."


nursemyra said...

tony blair's arse licking of george bush pales in significance compared to Our Johnny's

Daddy Papersurfer said...

Steady Mr Blunt - think of your blood pressure. Sit down and have a refreshing cup of tea - enlarged danders at your time of life can be hazardous.

Bill Blunt said...

70s teen: I think you are right. Amidst all that fluffy, pink head crammed with images of Donny Osmond, there lurks a wise mind, I can see.

Mr Articles: with luck, quite a few Chelsea players will be feeling the dander of Manchester United's first 11 in less than eight hours time.

nursemyra: having never licked a french letter, I don't feel qualified to comment, but you are another one of those wise women whose comments I always take note of.

dp: your dander-deflating tip shows that you have experienced exactly the feelings I have: I shall put the kettle on.

the domestic minx said...

Oh nursemyra, I heartily agree with you! The constant salivating at his anal region is most distasteful!!

My dander has become quite notorious I'm afraid. It is rather volatile and easily disturbed. People steer clear of it generally...
I must admit, however, my political inclinations sound as drunken as yours...

Bill Blunt said...

Hmm, domestic minx: if I'm not careful you will have me revising my long-held belief that women and politics don't mix. I'm starting to think there are just too many wise women out there for the good of my own prejudices. Perhaps I need to retreat from the world of blogs into the safer portals of home, where everyone knows their place.

Theresa111 said...

I don't know about their special relationship. I cannot wait until 2008! But I love my English cousins. What was your dander in a dander about? Remind me. I liked the part about spending the taxi blunt (oops, no pun intended) on another drink. You wouldn't have the wherewithal to walk any line. Do you really have a mansion? You could share some photos and I could imagine you living there. Active imagination this American has. But I do enjoy reading you.

Bill Blunt said...

It seems these wise and thinking women are ganging up on poor old Bill!

Madam theresa111, you are American, so you may not yet have grasped our quaint English ways with irony. I dubbed the first ever terraced house I bought 'Blunt Mansions', and the name has stuck as Mrs B and I have bettered ourselves. It's not a mansion in the sense an American might understand it, but it's a fine enough abode. I'll ask young Jasper to organise a few pictures sometime.

Thanks for dropping by again!


Crofty said...

I can't believe that Nurse Myra didn't assist with hour boundless anatomical knowledge. Perhaps one's dander is one of the parts of the body that she doesn't have a part in getting up?