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Torturing stern lefty sister N as my reactionary father comes out in style

Tom Winnifrith
Friday 22 July 2016

My lefty sister N is the one who gave her husband, the kraut, membership of the Labour Party as a Christmas present. Jesting with her about the current woes of the People's Party is therefore not something that boosts family unity. But there is a new tease from my father.

The old man has for the past 28 years humoured my late step mother by reading the Guardian every day. Global warming, LGBT oppression, the beloved EU, those poor polar bears, he knows it is all rubbish but devotedly he read it anyway. As the Grauniad argued that poor oppressed and overworked university lecturers needed to be even more overpaid he thought back to his bone idle colleagues at the University of Warwick, and his anger boiled up but he suppressed that in front of my step mother by toddling off to the White Bear to read the Daily Telegraph whose world view was far more acceptable.

During the past three days my father has been in Bristol and sometimes he listened to my podcasts being recorded, at the end of which he pretends to be a lefty by muttering "fascist filth". Most of the time has been spent reading Niall Ferguson (Empire), Melanie Phillips (All Must have Prizes) and that Peter Hitchens book about the decline of Britain. He nodded with approval throughout all three tomes concluding that he could find little to fault in any of them. And then, he joined the Conservative Club too, noting its cheap cider. Heck: Dad that is the joy of capitalism, market forces and all that.

And so, on our return, sister N phoned to ask how Dad had enjoyed Bristol. For N, Ferguson, Phillips and Hitchens are devils of the right, wicked awful folks who support everything that she opposes. And of course they all do so with a cracking sense of humour. It is N who expresses the view that "if Uncle Chris (Booker) supports something it must be wrong". You and I know that on all issues bar one ( Israel) C Booker is bang on the money. For N the horseman of the conservative apocalypse are Hitchens, Phillips, Ferguson, Booker (who Dad reads every week) and perhaps these days Rod Liddle. Maybe I shall give her a book by Mark Steyn or perhaps Demonic ( how the Liberal mob is endangering America) by the wonderful Ann Coulter, to broaden her sense of outrage.

Anyhow last night Dad fessed up to his reading matter and how much he had agreed with Mel in particular. I guess that was his "coming out" moment.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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