Waugh In The Lion’s Den

From 1973 to 1975 Auberon Waugh wrote a regular column for the New Statesman. So unlikely was this alliance that Waugh gave the apposite title In The Lion’s Den to a 1978 book collecting fifty of his pieces. In the introduction, he described the imaginary New Statesman reader he was addressing:

My image of the New Statesman reader was that of a taut, slightly embittered female school-teacher, possibly in Coventry but certainly in one of the less well-favoured areas of the country, struggling valiantly against the inherited and environmental disabilities of her charges to preserve some quasi-theological Hope in the socialist future. She was a convinced atheist and a convinced progressive in sexual matters although her own experiences in that field had seldom been encouraging. In foreign affairs she was endlessly progressive but in home affairs subject to strange disciplinarian urges which might suddenly demand unspeakable punishments not only for racists, rapists and male chauvinists, but also for litter-louts, cigarette-smokers and males generally. She approved of homosexuality and unmarried mothers, disapproved of drink and drugs, approved of education, disapproved of anyone excelling in it, approved, rather nervously, of the working class in most of its manifestations except football hooliganism and represented, in fact, the only surviving bastion of middle class values.

3 thoughts on “Waugh In The Lion’s Den

  1. Dear Mr Waugh could have been describing me,apart from the female and living in Coventry bits,but I LOVED his work.A savage and hilarious jester,sadly missed.

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