This week we were given copies of "Private Eye" of thirty years ago. Looking through the pages I thought it would be a different world. Although names have changed a good deal has not. Some of them are still all too much with us and were on the politics page, titled HP Sauce, from long ago.
There are a couple of items about the Tories. One deals with the Tory Action group at the time, alleged to be linked to the then National Front. Another is about Michael Fallon, now an elder statesman (cough) of the Conservatives and thought by some to have been a choice as successor to Cameron.
It is a rude piece about his personal life and I will not dwell on it, in the next edition one is longer and even riper. Was he a model for Rik Myall's "Alan Beresford B'stard" of the TV series? Then as now the backbench Tories were fighting like rats in a sack, but among themselves rather than with the opposition.
The largest item is one about the Labour Party and features Diane Abbott then in line to be elected to Parliament. It is about her political connections and is quoted below. The central views of her particular Hard Left group entail dethroning the Monarchy and replacing Parliament by a truly Socialist form of government.
What the article does not say is who would be The Great Leader if all this came to be, so we can only guess. Looking at the options then it is difficult to resist the idea that Jeremy Corbyn might have been the man. So when Jeremy became Labour Leader last year he had in fact been a Pretender in waiting, The King Across The Regent's Canal perhaps.
In 1984 to 1985 on the Trade Union side, Arthur Scargill in launching a Miner's Strike had made his bid for greater power as the Leader of the Trade Unions. Other possible choices were Ray Buckton and Rodney Bickerstaffe, but they were compromised by Scargill's bungling, clearing the way for the London intellectuals (a chronic bout of coughing) which includes Jeremy.
If Jeremy seems careless and dismissive about his duties in Parliament, it is not surprising if he thinks it is an antique due for the dustbin, if a Hard Left Labour government was elected in 2020, given that he would replace the monarch and might be effective Head of State.
Hence the word "Pretender"; so in short his election as Labour Leader was neither an accident nor an aberration of politics, it was always possible if the Left for once got their act together and the others fell out. A question now is that if Jeremy is the Old Pretender who could be The Young Pretender?
In the quote below the SDP was the Social Democratic Party that split off from Labour and later became what we know as the Liberal Democrats.
"Private Eye", Issue 644, Friday, 22nd August, 1986, page 7.
With election in the safe Labour seat of Hackney South under her belt, Diane Abbott is looking forward to becoming Britain's first black woman MP.
Ms Abbott is currently a press officer for the loony South London Borough of Lambeth. But she seems less eager to publicise some of her own political views, which are slightly at odds with the soft-left platitudes she propounds on such vehicles as "Question Time" and "Any Questions".
In reality the seductive Diane is convenor of Target Labour Government, a cretinous far-left clique which makes Militant look like the SDP.
An internal document penned by Ms Abbott promises trouble ahead for Kinnock & Co.
"The Parliamentary Labour Party is the citadel of the clique of traitors who have controlled our movement for the past half century or more. TLG exists specifically to tackle this citadel." she threatens.
The TLG gang wants to see the Queen In Parliament replaced by an emergency joint Labour/TUC special conference as the legislative body. The monarchy itself will be abolished.
Soldiers, sailors and airmen will be organised into TUC affiliated unions and given the power to arrest senior officers suspected of anti-government activity.
And the present police force will be disbanded and replaced by a force "reflecting the gender and ethnic composition of society", with every member required to join a TUC affiliated closed shop.
While she waits for the forces of historical inevitability to do their bit, Ms. Abbott is doing her best to sympathise on a tiny £20,000 a year salary.
Twenty grand was a handsome pay packet in those far off days.
The Platters from 1955 might sooth the nerves.