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ashokbhatia

In Plumsville, we get to meet quite a few characters who happen to nurse political ambitions. Some happen to be born crusaders and revolutionaries. Others appear to have gravitated towards politics by chance. Yet others have a career in politics thrust upon them by a ruthless fiancée.

The name of Sir Roderick Spode readily springs to our minds. Comrade Bingo’s revolutionary pals, the Heralds of the Red Dawn, pop up in our consciousness. Our grey cells remind us of the Hon’ble A. B. Filmer, the Cabinet Minister who gets readily intimidated by an angry swan.

The morally dubious Conservative and Unionist candidate Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe is another person whom we cannot afford to ignore. When not busy pinching sow-keepers and the Empress of Blandings, he plans to stand in a by-election in the Bridgeford and Shifley Parliamentary Division of Shropshire.

The candidature of John Bickersdyke, who has the singular misfortune…

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The romantic saga of Ginger and Sally has many dimensions. Here is the second in a series of three blog posts courtesy Jon Brierly, reblogged by Honoria Plum.

Enjoy!

(Related Post:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/the-great-wodehouse-romances-the-adventures-of-sally-by-jon-brierley)

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In Plumsville, we get to meet quite a few characters who happen to nurse political ambitions. Some happen to be born crusaders and revolutionaries. Others appear to have gravitated towards politics by chance. Yet others have a career in politics thrust upon them by a ruthless fiancée.

The name of Sir Roderick Spode readily springs to our minds. Comrade Bingo’s revolutionary pals, the Heralds of the Red Dawn, pop up in our consciousness. Our grey cells remind us of the Hon’ble A. B. Filmer, the Cabinet Minister who gets readily intimidated by an angry swan.

The morally dubious Conservative and Unionist candidate Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe is another person whom we cannot afford to ignore. When not busy pinching sow-keepers and the Empress of Blandings, he plans to stand in a by-election in the Bridgeford and Shifley Parliamentary Division of Shropshire.

The candidature of John Bickersdyke, who has the singular misfortune of having the immaculate and loquacious Psmith working under his supervision at the London branch of the New Asiatic Bank, deserves a mention.

The list of honourable mentions cannot be complete without the hapless Ginger who endeavours to take up a political career merely to please his fiancée. In another narrative, the same fiancée aspires to influence the career of Stilton Cheesewright, who is otherwise content being a vigilant guardian of peace at Steeple Bumpleigh.

Here are some of the select specimens we come across.

Misinterpreting the Voice of the People

Sir Roderick Spode and his nationalist Black Shorts gang happen to be shining examples of dictatorship, a form of CodeOfTheWoostersgovernance which does not depend upon the approval of the lay citizen. This is how Bertie Wooster expresses himself on the subject (The Code of the Woosters):

“The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you’re someone. You hear them shouting “Heil, Spode!” and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: “Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?”

In the television series Jeeves and Wooster, Spode makes loud, dramatic speeches in which he announces bizarre statements of policy, such as giving each citizen at birth a British–made bicycle and umbrella, widening the rails of the entire British railway network, so sheep may stand sideways on trains, the banning of the import of foreign root-vegetables and the compulsory, scientific measurement of all male knees.

The perils of being affianced to a perfectionist

Then we have the curious case of Harold Winship, or Ginger, who is an old chum of Bertie’s. (Much Obliged, Jeeves)

When at school, he used to play a Damon to Bertie’s Pythias. He has been persuaded by his fiancée to stand for Parliament in the bye-election at Market Snodsbury.

‘But I was telling you about this business of standing for Parliament. First, of course, you have to get the nomination.’
‘How did you manage that?’
‘My fiancée fixed it. She knows one of the Cabinet ministers, and he pulled strings. A man named Filmer.’
‘Not A. B. Filmer?’
‘That’s right. Is he a friend of yours?’
‘I wouldn’t say exactly a friend. I came to know him slightly owing to being chased with him on to the roof of a sort of summer-house by an angry swan. This drew us rather close together for the moment, but we never became really chummy.’
‘Where was this?’
‘On an island on the lake at my Aunt Agatha’s place at Steeple Bumpleigh. Living at Steeple Bumpleigh, you’ve PGW MuchObligedJeevesprobably been there.’
He looked at me with a wild surmise, much as those soldiers Jeeves has told me about looked on each other when on a peak in Darien, wherever that is.
‘Is Lady Worpledon your aunt?’
‘And how.’
‘She’s never mentioned it.’
‘She wouldn’t. Her impulse would be to hush it up.’
‘Then, good Lord, she must be your cousin.’
‘No, my aunt. You can’t be both.’
‘I mean Florence. Florence Craye, my fiancée.’
It was a shock.

Florence, as we all know, is a perfectionist. She has no use for a loser. To keep her esteem you have to be a winner. Bertie and Jeeves must therefore pull out all stops to ensure that Ginger contests the election successfully.

We learn that besides securing a nomination, the work for a candidate is rather tough. He has to be a model of respectability; his past should bear the strictest investigation. He has to listen to addresses of welcome in stuffy halls through the better part of a night. He has to continue making speeches. He must kiss babies, even if they happen to be dribbling by the sides of their mouths.

(To be continued)

(Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/politicos-in-plumsville-part-2)

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