Monday 4 June 2018

Woof Woof

One of the incidental pleasures of last night's final episode of A Very English Scandal, the BBC's surprisingly good and very funny drama about the downfall of Jeremy Thorpe, was a brief sighting of Auberon Waugh (played by an actor called Chris Carrico). A beaming Waugh was standing on the stage as the result of the 1979 election in North Devon was announced. Thorpe lost his seat to the Conservative candidate (one Tony Speller) and Waugh picked up 79 votes for his Dog Lovers' Party, beating the Wessex Regionalist candidate and by-election legend Bill Boaks of the Democratic Monarchist Public Safety White Resident party.
  Waugh's Dog Lovers' Party was formed for the sole purpose of embarrassing Jeremy Thorpe by drawing attention to the unfortunate incident on Porlock Hill in which Andrew 'Gino' Newton (later declared dead, then found to be alive and well and living in a cul de sac near Dorking, and now missing again) shot a Great Dane called Rinka in lieu of his intended target, Norman Scott, whom Thorpe wanted dead. Thorpe slapped an injunction on Waugh's election address, which was to be printed in the Spectator in place of his regular column. However, a few copies made it to W.H. Smith's in Norwich.
 Here is Waugh's stirring address to the voters of North Devon:

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I offer myself as your Member of Parliament in the General Election on behalf of the nation’s dog lovers to protest about the behaviour of the Liberal Party generally and the North Devon Constituency Liberal Association in particular. Their candidate is a man about whose attitude to dogs – not to mention his fellow human beings – little can be said with any certainty at the present time.
But, while it is one thing to observe the polite convention that a man is innocent until proven guilty, it is quite another thing to take a man who has been publicly accused of crimes which would bring him to the cordial dislike of all right-minded citizens and dog lovers, and treat him as a hero.
Before Mr Thorpe has had time to establish his innocence of these extremely serious charges, he has been greeted with claps, cheers and yells of acclamation by his admirers in the Liberal Party, both at the National Conference in Southport and here in the constituency. I am sorry but I find this disgusting.
I invite all the electors of North Devon, but especially the more thoughtful Liberals and dog lovers, to register their disquiet by voting for me on 3 May and I sincerely hope that at least fifty voters in this city will take the opportunity to do so.
Genesis XVIII 26: And the LORD said If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
1 Samuel XXIV 14: After whom dost thou pursue? After a dead dog, after a flea.
Rinka is NOT forgotten. Rinka lives. Woof, woof. Vote Waugh to give all dogs the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


  1. Yes indeed – and not just the underdogs...

  2. Oh yes, I missed that although I have read the Waugh story.
    It was a terrific series, Grant was wonderful.

  3. Yes, it seems he can act after all – who knew? Alex Jennings was great too, but that was less surprising...

  4. Grant was a revelation. But Thorpe parted his hair on the left. Grant on the right. Was this a covert communication ? And why was Andrew Newton known as Gino?