Bertie Wooster

An end to cock tax? Not likely…but women are more economically empowered now

Apparently, according to Jane Shilling at The Telegraph women have moved on from gold digging.

But if anyone thinks that this is an end to cock tax then I have a bridge I can sell you.

I have never been to an Islington dinner party, mainly because I?m nervous of the conversations I might have to endure. Over plates laden with Nigel Slater?s pumpkin laksa, I shudder to imagine the banter that embraces the outrageous cost of educating one?s children or the thrilling rise in London property prices ? areas in which I find myself sadly short of conversational roughage.

Then again, the independent peer Baroness Deech, evidently an habitu?e of such gatherings, suggests that the discourse runs in different channels. According to her, the hot topic for kitchen supps in north London isn?t state versus private or equity release, but d-i-v-o-r-c-e. ?Go to an Islington dinner party and say the word divorce,? she remarked recently, ?and people will tell you the most horrendous stories.?

Divorce, like people?s operations, does lend itself to horrendous stories. When flesh or emotions are raw and weeping, the narratives tend to come up lengthy and lurid. But what the Baroness really seems to have meant is that it?s the men who will tell you horrendous divorce stories. And on this vivid anecdotal basis, she proposes a change in the law.

Baroness Deech is currently steering a private member?s Bill through the Upper House that would make pre- and post-nuptial agreements binding. The idea is that in future, when couples divorce, the assets they acquire after their wedding should be divided, but that the division should not include whatever the parties brought to the marriage. A jolly sensible idea, you might think, and a boon to the sweet-natured Bertie Wooster type of chap who gets his assets ruthlessly stripped by gold-digging trollops from vaudeville and other low joints.

Do they still exist, these delightful stereotypes? Yes indeed, according to Baroness Deech ? though in a slightly different social milieu from that of?PG Wodehouse?s Drones Club (or, indeed, the Islington dinner tables or the High Table of St Anne?s College, Oxford, where she was principal for 14 years). Existing divorce legislation, she argues, intimates to young women that financial security lies not in an honest day?s toil, but in marrying a rich man. ? Read more »

What will the National Party Look Like in 2022?

Last year my National Party membership was blocked by the president. I am not sure why, and I don?t know what constitutional basis he used to block it as I can’t find a presidential prerogative anywhere in the constitution. Nonetheless he held it up for several months until someone pointed out the decision wasn’t his but was the prerogative my local electorate committee. Even then he tried to influence the committee. All to no avail.

This year I am a proud card carrying member of the National Party again, and last years experience has started me thinking about the constitution and what the party will look like in 2022.

No one in National can tell me if anyone is even thinking about this, which is not surprising as the party itself is populated by modern day Bertie Woosters and the type of people he met at the Drones club.

Since the National Party isn?t looking at what it will look like in 2022 I have decided to launch a public project to do this for them. Readers are asked to post respective comments or email me with their ideas, and I will summarise them on the blog.

Topics to discuss are:

  • Which MPs will still be in Parliament?
  • Which Board Members will still be on the board?
  • How many current members will still be alive?
  • What will the Young Nats look like?

Please suggest other topics if you think the readers of this blog can contribute to them.

Commenters, unlike other posts your comments will be moderated as this is a serious topic. Please be respectful and refrain from abuse, bad language or attempts at humour. We all know Michelle Boag will have had another two face lifts, and Trevor Mallard will still be fighting his asymmetrical war, but humour will be a subject for a separate series of posts so keep your comments to the point.?