I am off shopping later today, (Oxford Street, naturally). As well as looking for some new strides (Oxford bags, naturally) I thought I might treat myself to a new umbrella. However, this presents somewhat of a dilemma as I have to be very careful to avoid conflicts of interest and be seen to favour buying one brolly over another. The way I usually get round this problem is simply to get people to send me bumbershoots for free. So if anyone feels generous let me know and I will provide details of my drop off point for such things.
All of which reminds me of a story I read last week involving that lovable sexist, boorish, drunken, racist Tory MP Alan Clark. The recent death of Gabon’s President Bongo has led Tory Peter Bottomley to reveal how he had to take fellow Trade Minister Clark’s place on a trip to Gabon after Clark said immigrants should be "sent to bongo bongo land".
Bottomley returned with an umbrella with ‘President Bongo’ emblazoned on it for Clark. Later, when a heckler branded Clark a "bongo racist", he unfurled the brolly, saying: "How dare you. This was a personal gift from President Bongo."
Once again, all too sadly an example of how innocent brollies get exploited and dragged into bigger debates.