How to Get Busted Down to the Back Benches

The Londoner’s Diary of last night’s Evening Standard included this gem:

The current Tory Chief Whip, Sir George Young, has so far made a good fist of his post, but his political future did not always look so bright. When he was a junior minister under Thatcher over 30 years ago, he met The Iron Lady and tried to make small talk. She was at the time having a bust of herself carved by the well-known sculptor Oscar Nemon, which Young knew about because Nemon is his father-in-law, so he asked the PM:

“How is your bust getting on?”

He was sacked at the next cabinet re-shuffle.

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over thirteen thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.

2 thoughts on “How to Get Busted Down to the Back Benches”

  1. I bet Young was sacked because he was an unsound one-nation bleeding-heart Tory, not because of one social gaffe.

    1. My dear chap: One could certainly make this argument. One could as well upon hearing about the chicken who crossed the road mount an attack on poor planning laws that do not provide sufficient sidewalks for chickenkind, or react to a joke about a horse who walks into a bar by indicting the government’s appalling record of supplying equine citizens with good jobs that will keep them away from drink.

      However, an alternative approach, offered with respect, is to react to blog posts in the “humor” category that contain jokes by laughing, smiling and having a better day than you were having only moments before. There is a place for sustained, passionate political argument to be sure…but a place for everything and everything in its place…it’s just a joke.

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