I see that Edwina Currie has been on about her “liason” (her words) with John Major again in the Daily Mail in an article that argues women are better about concealing affairs than men. Wasn’t it EC who spilled the beans about the fling rather than the grey one himself though? We are treated in the Mail to snippets like “Yet between the years of 1984 and 1988, John and I would meet regularly for fulfilling, fiery – yet utterly discreet – sex. ” Pur-lease.

Have been disinterring some stuff about Major lately in my quest to write/research about the suburbs. He nade much of his Brixton connection but was born and brought up in Worcester Park and schooled in Merton – a true suburbanite. Remember his whimsy about bycycling maidens off to communion and invincible suburbs? It was lifted from George Orwell and Stanley Baldwin in a malapropistic way. Geoffrey Wheatcroft’s The Strange Death of Tory England  (2005) has proved quite an amusing read. The title is not original. It has been applied to the Liberals after their 1906 triumphs evaporated and Labour post 1992 but Wheatcroft has a nice style. He describes Micheal Howard as an “old Estonian” and Major as “too fond of a late night Currie” even though he warbled on about back to basics.

Wheatcroft’s conclusion is most rousing for Labourites. He points out that a swathe of suburbs including Thatcher’s Finchley did prove ultimately vincible. He says that the Conservatives who ruled for most of a century have become out of touch and don’t care having elected a succession of nonentities for leader (IDS in particular) and look set to be in the wilderness for the forseeable future. On the evidence of his CiF piece yesterday though he’s changed his tune since.