Sunday, 25 January 2009

I intend to spend the next fortnight of convalescence trying to find something of interest in newspapers.  And almost certainly failing.  I may be jaundiced but they seem only to be interested in elections and erections, neither of which is of more than passing interest to me.  I wonder, too, about the talent which is able to fill the supplements and so called magazines with so many items which are of no interest to anyone over the age of ten.What happened to news?  There was a time when it was more important than one’s life’s blood.

 Older readers may remember an author called Derek Humphreys and how he made wife euthanasia profitable by writing a book about his own efforts in that direction. 

 He did a trial run on me.

In 1965 we were sent by our newspapers to the opening of the electricity grid on Anglesey.  A girl called Veronica offered to drive us to the Mermaid Inn in Brynsiencyn and, since she was very pretty, I broke my rule never to be driven by anyone who had been drinking with me.  Unwise, since she unaccountably drove through the closed iron gates of the Indefatigable Sea School.

The Captain Headmaster, who had been photographed by TV with the Duke of Edinburgh, had invited friends round to watch the film.  Our car brought down the power line just as he was switching on the set which exploded in his hand.

I passed through the windscreen, slid off the bonnet and landed in a bloodstained bundle.  Humphreys climbed out of the wreckage and, stepping over me, said to Veronica, "I am going to the phone."

When he returned, she asked, "Will the ambulance be long?"

He said, "I wasn't ringing an ambulance.  I was putting my story over."

 I had to stagger to the nearest house to phone over my account of the opening.  The copytaker said he couldn't hear me.  The reason was the phone kept filling with blood, which I emptied on the carpet and passed out.

It took my newspaper two days to find me in the hospital to which I had been rushed.  I had several stitches in my nose which were not expertly done.  When my own GP asked in disbelief “Who did that?” I told him it was an Indian surgeon.  “With a bow and arrow?” he asked.

Probably enough to get him struck off in our enlightened times.  Doesn't surprise me, though, that Humphreys became a world authority on wife disposal.



Many thanks for all the cards and good wishes kindly sent. . I was especially grateful to get this poem from an old friend Brian Hitchen, a former editor of the Sunday Express when it was the world’s greatest Sunday newspaper.  Patriot and a reporter’s reporter.

Goodbye to my England, so long my old friend,

Your days are numbered, being brought to an end.
To be Scottish, Irish or Welsh, that's fine,
But don't say you're English, that's way out of line.

The French and the Germans may call themselves such,
So may Norwegians, the Swedes and the Dutch.
You can say you are Russian or maybe a Dane
But don't say you're English ever again.

At Broadcasting House the word is taboo;
In Brussels it's scrapped, in Parliament too.
Even schools are affected, staff do as they're told,
They must not teach children about England of old.

Writers like Shakespeare, Milton and Shaw,
The pupils don't learn about them anymore.
How about Agincourt, Hastings, Arnhem or Mons
When England lost hosts of her very brave sons?

We are not Europeans, how can we be?
Europe is miles away over the sea.
We're the English from England, let's all be proud,
Stand up and be counted - Shout it out loud!

Let's tell our Government and Brussels too,
We're proud of our heritage and the Red, White and Blue.
Fly the flag of Saint George or the Union Jack,
Let the world know - WE WANT OUR ENGLAND BACK


     No wonder the Queen gave Hitchen a CBE

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