Sex, ridicule and Mr Prescott

The popular poet, Pam Ayres, described by the Daily Telegraph as “supplier of comic verse to Middle England for almost three decades”, has written an ode for the Deputy Prime Minister.

Entitled I am ready, Mr Prescott, it begins:

I am ready Mr Prescott
You can take me in your arms
All these years I’ve waited,
To experience your charms,
So fling aside those trousers,
I hope they’re quick release,
For all that hanky panky’s
Made you clinically obese.

What Prescott has discovered (and Blair is about to) is that there is nothing so corrosive as ridicule for a minister (or indeed any other authority figure).

A case in point is the speed with which the moral authority of the Irish bishops dissolved after it was revealed that Eamon Casey, the Bishop of Galway, had sired a son with his lover, Annie Murphy, many years earlier. But it wasn’t the fact of his paternity that did for Casey, but the revelation that he and Annie had done it in the back of a Lancia! There is something irresistibly comic about the thought of a Prince of the Church humping on the rear seat of an Italian saloon.

Much the same happened to the South African racist thug Eugene Terreblanche, who never recovered from transmission of the video footage of his hairy bum rising and falling in an erotic rhythm. Mae West said that “sex is very bad for one, but great for two”, which is true. But if anyone else gets in on the act, then there’s usually trouble. The problem with it, as the Earl of Chesterfield famously observed — and the Deputy Prime Minister is now discovering — is that “the pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable”.