Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Mr Sheridan, The Astronaut, And The True Meaning Of "Swinging"
I try, if I can, to avoid thinking about Mr Tommy Sheridan. But, like his ideological soul-mate, Mr George Galloway, he is a magnet for controversy. Mr Sheridan would have us believe that this is due to the efforts of MI5 to blacken his name, but I find this an unconvincing argument. I have seen The Ipcress File, and I understand it to be an accurate reflection of the activities of The Service. Rather than exposing subversives to trial by media, they would - I'm sure - be subjected to a sophisticated torture technique involving flashing lights and "psychedelic" music. In addition, I am reliably informed that the Service does not work in the manner described by Mr John Le Carre - possibly because such behaviour would be expected of them. Instead, our spooks tend to operate from the backrooms of golf outlet stores in metropolitan shopping centres. That is why, when applying for a job as a spy, it is now more important to have a working knowledge of mashie niblicks than it is to speak a foreign language.
But, like Mr Ronnie Corbett, trapped in a Radio 4 studio with Mr Gordon Ramsay, and talking on the subject of his father's bakery, I digress. My point is Mr Sheridan, and his continuing disagreement with the News of the World. I must stress that I have no first-hand knowledge of this affair. Indeed, until Mr Sheridan's activities were reported or (if you insist, M'Lud) invented, I was of the happy opinion that "swinging" was something that was best achieved with the assistance of Mr Nelson Riddle's orchestra. But I am, I confess, baffled by the latest turn of events. According to the News of the World, Mr Sheridan was videotaped by his best man, Mr George McNeilage, from behind some tiles which he (the best man) was putting up in the living room. Is it, I wonder, common for living rooms in the West to be decorated with tiles? Do they also have jacuzzis and plunge pools? And, given the News of the World's reliance on journalistic fancy dress, usually involving a "fake sheikh", could Mr McNeilage not have been better schooled with his camerawork?
It is, though, peculiar that Mr Sheridan's alleged confession came so soon after Mr Peter Shann Ford used audio analysis software to show that the distant son of Langholm, Mr Neil Armstrong, was grammatically correct when he made a small step onto the moon's surface. The missing "a" in the sentence "one small step for (a) man" was obscured by static. Oddly, even with the latest techonology, Mr Armstrong says nothing about visiting a club called Cupid's.