I don't regularly stumble onto Iain Dale's Diary. If he links to me, I do. And when I finally stop disappearing up my own exhaust pipe at work I will no doubt have an extravagance of time sufficient to read it occasionally again.
So many thanks to A Lanson Boy for flagging up a priceless moment from the life in the political twilight zone that is the life of the great Dalester.
He (the Dalester) was being interviewed in Tunbridge Wells.
I recently visited Tunbridge Wells for a very enjoyable mini-break. Marvellous place. But I would have thought that the idea of being interviewed there in the open air is only slightly more ridiculous than being interviewed in the bar of the Clocktower pub in Newbury at 10.55pm on a Friday (think of your worst nightmare.....).
Anyway, this interview in the middle of Tunbridge Wells rapidly descended into something approaching chaos as various grouplets of variously aged teenagers zeroed in on the Dalester and his BBC interviewer. THIS NEEDS TO GET ONTO YOU TUBE QUICKLY! (It's not yet - I've checked)
There was a sort of burping competition to which the BBC interviewer responded somewhat stupidly by demanding the names of the burpers. This was met with an escalation into a swearing contest.
But never fear! Our intrepid Dalester knew how to extract himself from this imbroglio:
HE TURNED TO THE RINGLEADER AND SAID HE LOOKED A "BIT GAY" IN HIS WHITE TRACKSUIT!!!!!
(Or to quote properly from Iain: "Only when I turned to the ringleader and told him he looked ridiculous in his white tracksuit and that "it looked a bit gay"...")
Collapse of stout party.
Oh how we laughed!
Those teenagers aren't very good at repartee in Tunbridge Wells. Burping. Yes - tick. Swearing. Yes - tick. Repartee - No - cross.
Update: Iain has left a comment on Alex (A Lanson Boy)'s post. I think a point may have been missed. Specifically that, yes, on the Chris Moyles Show and elswhere "gay" sometimes means cr*p (particularly when someone is trying to wriggle out of complaints to Ofcom), but more widely "gay" still primarily means homosexual. At the least, there is a danger of confusion which, as Alex suggests, would preclude its use to 13 year olds by someone wanting to be taken seriously in political circles. But then again, we're talking about the Dalester here so that doesn't apply. Meoww Meoww Scratch Scratch