Call me a hypochondriac if you will, but I fear I have succumbed to a highly dangerous syndrome so baffling to medical science it has not yet been given a proper name. Boffins in their underground labs have taken to calling it “bonkers”, for the chief â€“ and so far only â€“ symptom is that victims finds themselves agreeing with Peter Hitchens. The terrifying thing is that it can be a progressive illness, where at first one nods in perplexity that the columnist’s words match one’s own thoughts, almost anomalously, until towards the end the patient has to be carted away, raving. Yesterday I had a definite twitch of the early stage condition, when I read this:
Stephen Fry, in an interminable article in a London lifestyle magazine, complains that he doesnâ€™t like being called a â€˜Quintessential Englishmanâ€™.
Glad to hear it. No danger of that happening to him here. In this column, heÂ is regarded as a Quintessential Left-wing Luvvie, swollen by years of fashionable flattery into absurd prominence.
Iâ€™d also like to popularise the description once given of him in The Dictionary Of National Celebrity: â€˜A stupid personâ€™s idea of what an intelligent person is like.â€™
Iâ€™ve been longing to say this since he (an educated man with a duty to take the side of the civilisation that sustains him) rallied to the defence of the coarse barbarian oaf Jonathan Ross.