Rod Liddle

Remnant of a remnant

Remnant of a remnant
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There is a letter in the latest edition of the magazine scolding my good friend James Delingpole for being rude about Prince Charles. The letter concludes like so: “The wording is intemperate and cowardly and shames The Spectator.” As I remember, James, with a certain flair, had simply pointed out that Prince Charles was a bit of a dingbat, all things considered. I thought this was a view shared by everyone, including Charles’s mum. But anyway, that’s not why I bring the matter up.

The letter is signed: Lord Remnant, Henley-on-Thames.

Lord what? Lord Remnant? I immediately assumed that this was someone playing a joke on James, someone who had read too much Wodehouse. But now I am beginning to have my doubts, because I found a Lord Remnant online, in Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Remnant,_1st_Baron_Remnant]. James Farquharson Remnant, 1st Baron Remnant, CBE, Conservative politician. I assumed this was made up as well, but then I found entries for him in the Hansard of the day. He really existed, it would seem – but died in 1933. So who is this current Lord Remnant? A remnant of a Remnant, I assume. Or even a remnant of a remnant of a Remnant.

What worries me is that this will hurt James, because as a right wing middle-class chap he rather adores toffs and will thus take this chiding to heart. Whereas I either don’t like them at all, or prefer to believe that they do not exist and have been made up by humorous right wing novelists out of spite. I am sure I remember reading of a Lord Remnant in some early novel of Waugh’s, or maybe it was Cyril Connoly or the unspeakably awful Anthony Powell. Ah well, all of no import. Just thought I’d share my surprise with you.