Friday, October 14, 2005

The White Heat of Rhodesian tobacco

As I take my first steps from the lay-by to the hard shoulder of the "information superhighway", I am filled with the kind of excitement and dread I have not encountered since I last visited Haddington. There is an element of disorientation: this is a place I should not be. And yet, I cannot deny that there is an electrical charge to the enterprise. At last, I am experiencing the white heat of Mr Wilson's technological revolution; forty years too late. The sage of Huddersfield, our last pipe-smoking Prime Minister, the late Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, made his speech about technology in 1963, which is also the year in which sexual intercourse was invented by Mr Philip Larkin. I trust my belated introduction to the 1960s will not be too abrupt. There is only so much excitement a man can take. My threshold is dangerously low.
Nevertheless, here I am, typing in rubber-soled shoes on a borrowed computer. I was enrolled in the Silver Surfers' Club after my attempts to give blood went awry, and I ended up unconscious and in need of an emergency application of hot tea and Chocolate Hob-nobs. As I waited for my fragile sense of wellbeing to return, the matronly commissar, Mrs Bella Wetherspoon, mistook me for a computer enthusiast and frogmarched me to the annexe - more of a hut, really - where she gave me rudimentary instructions in mouse control. I had not felt so dominated since I was given an "MOT" by the District Nurse at the age of 13. I still shudder at the thought of it every time I cough.
But, like Ronnie Corbett, trapped in the baby-seat of a wonky trolley at Fine Fare, I digress.


Anonymous said...

Harold, the last of the pipe smoking PM's?

Although not well documented, in fact not documented at all, I feel sure that the Baroness Thatcher would relax of an evening with a Meerschaum, feet up on a well upholstered Rifkind, contemplating affairs of State.

Learson said...

The gentleman in charge of Wilson's 'white heat of technology' guff was, of course Anthony Wedgewood Benn,(the proletarianized truncation of his name having not then been effected). One is entitled to wonder how many technological targets would have been met by employing Benn's Marxoid methodology, in which the State is the measure of all things and the individual must conform.

Learson said...

I seem to have done Mr Benn the discourtesy of mis-spelling his middle-name. It probably doesnt matter as this blog's commonsense content is probably too salient for such a Utopian as Tony.