Thursday, May 25, 2006
Mr David Cameron's Infatuation With Kamikaze Milkmen Is A Worry And A Danger, And Is Made No Better By Its Association With Mr Benny Hill
I have long been suspicious of the musical choices made by politicians on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. With the possible exception of Lady Thatcher, and her peculiar insistence on the merits of Mr Rolf Harris's childish parable, Two Little Boys, these musical selections most often arrive with the whiff of the focus group about them. (In this category, we may place the Chancellor, Mr Brown's claim that he awakes to the Arctic Monkeys on his "i-Pod".)
But I confess I am quite befuddled by the revelation that the former PR man and Conservative leader, Mr David Cameron, considers Mr Benny Hill's novelty hit Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West) to be worthy of a slot on his imaginary desert island jukebox. Mr Cameron has claimed that the ditty reminds him of his childhood - a revelation that will alert many in the psychology profession to a future "earner" - and that it is the only song he knows all the words of.
Certainly, one cannot choose the lyrics which affix themselves to memory: I can recite the second verse of Mr Edward Lear's The Quangle Wangle's Hat, and sometimes do so, quite involuntarily. But I am not convinced that Mr Cameron made himself more electable by intoning the line, "You could hear the hoof beats pound, as they raced across the ground", from this comedic tale of lawless milkmen. Indeed, as the hero of the song, Ernie, departs this mortal coil for the "milkround in the sky" after a battle with "two ton Ted from Teddington", is Mr Cameron not in danger of giving encouragement to suicidal fanatics?
I am in favour of milkmen, and milkfloats. Dawn shoot-outs over the gold top are less endearing.