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19th June 2024 6:30 am

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

They did all that to save us from tyranny, and we still end up with a fool.

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A very jolly evening ended a week full of many pains, memories, dashed hopes, and random acts of kindness and self-sacrifice. The evening was a local fund-raiser for a small village church, which involved a wine-tasting competition. Already, I can sense your heart sinking, as did mine, at the thought of the arrayed ranks of Berkshire Pomposos, giving it large on the “Notes of wood-funghi and bee spit with a dash of anchovy.” However, it was a beautifully arranged game of Call My Bluff, with us tasting three Whites and then three Reds, each wine described by one of the three assembled experts – two of which were nonsense and one of which was spot on. Given our huge lack of knowledge, we then had to say which experts we believed. We got four out of the six, having outvoted one of the guests who was spot-on every time. It was simple, friendly stuff, with lots of gossip and banter, and overall, a delightful evening.

Most of Thursday had of course, been spent in the company of people who, thank God, ensured we never had to learn German; who stopped every Jew in Europe from being exterminated, who died in their tens of thousands doing their duty, so that we could watch a Prime Minister of this country fail to understand his.

Every time one changed the channel or followed up on another news story, another member of The Royal Family was also working hard… to lead, to thank, to listen. Every one of them doing their duty. The Princess Royal seemed to have been at The National Arboretum the night before, then Portsmouth and then Chelsea Hospital, for Founders Day. The Duke of Edinburgh was dashing around; The King – despite his ongoing cancer treatment – was unceasing in his work. Why does the Prime Minister think a TV interview is more important?

Rishi manages to get a ride home in time for Coronation Street

Following the brouhaha over Sunak’s D-Day interview, I thought it expedient to contact my old chum, Lord (Ronnie) Dunroamin, who has been one of the key advisers to the PM and to offer some help. As I sent off my note, ITV’s Paul Brand confirmed that the Prime Minister had returned from Normandy to do the interview. He said ITV was interviewing all the party leaders and had been working to secure a date with Sunak for some time. ‘Today was the slot they offered us,’ he said. ‘We don’t know why.’

The following is the email exchange with Ronnie:

From: Cornelius Kneesup <>

Sent: Friday, June 7, 2024 11:16 AM

To: Lord Dunroamin, Cabinet Office Personal Envoy<>

Subject: Before it gets worse.

Dear Ronnie,

Can I please do your Communications? Do I have the necessary Qualifications? Yes Sir, I believe I do.  Unlike whoever is advising the PM at the moment, I have an IQ slightly higher than a bowl of custard. Based on my age, I understand the importance of national celebrations and the simultaneous opportunity to meet with world leaders and chat with The King, French President, and POTUS. Plus, I own an umbrella.

Pip Pip


From: Lord Dunroamin, Cabinet Office Personal Envoy<>

Sent: Friday, June 7, 2024 11:55 AM

To: Cornelius Kneesup <>

Subject: Re: Before it gets worse.

Dear CK

Your timing is impeccable. Thank you for your application.   I didn’t understand the Custard. I have been advising him – did he mention custard?

Meantime, please take the test below.

In November, ITV want to do a short interview with The PM about tax thresholds. You can choose the date:

  1. November 4th. – but clashes with Pride Month planning
  2. November 7 – but clashes with COP 26 planning
  3. November 10 10-12. It’s a Sunday, so nothing in the diary and helpfully says “Remembrance” at the top.

Should you choose C so as not to let anyone down?



On 7 Jun 2024, at 16:42, Cornelius Kneesup wrote:

November 7th, Obs! When else can he announce my suggested tax breaks for people using Gas for cooking and petrol for driving and a new tax allowance based on the use of Avios?

You won’t get me falling for that old Sunday memory trick, either. This year, I suggest reminding the PM to wear his oldest car coat at The Cenotaph to show his solidarity with ordinary people. The Mink collar will have to come off – but I can replace that cheaply with Astrakhan.

When do I start?

Pip Pip


From: Lord Dunroamin, Cabinet Office Personal Envoy<>

Sent: Friday, June 7, 2024 17:55 AM

To: Cornelius Kneesup <>

Subject: Re: Before it gets worse.

Dear CK

The PM is delighted with this fresh thinking. He does ask if you can avoid using too many technical terms or at least provide him with a glossary of unfamiliar words—e.g., ‘Cenotaph’ (?). The PM would like you to start ASAP and will send you a written Service Agreement, which you should receive tomorrow unless he misses the Last Post … as he did in Normandy.

The PM particularly likes the idea of tax breaks for gas use. He’s keen to move on from his ‘Net Zero’ image. He wants to know if we could do something with Great British Bake-off. (Enhancing his ‘British’ brand and looking like he’s doing something suburban and ‘ordinary – the hard-working  family’ sort of thing.)

In the final, he’d love to be seen pulling out a Battenburg from a gas oven. Is this doable? We do have his appearance at the commemorations of the liberation of Auschwitz coming up, and with this whole Gaza thing, I’m guessing we have to be a bit sensitive. With the tight budget, is there a workaround where he can sensitively combine both? Also, he is keen to turn around his election announcement in the rain into some sort of gag. Any thoughts? Somewhere with showers that don’t actually work, perhaps? It needs thinking through, but there’s something there, yes?

Leaving it to you – delighted you’re on board.


On 7 Jun 2024, at 19:37, Cornelius Kneesup wrote:

Dear Ronnie

Sadly, I have just been contacted by Penny Mordaunt’s team, at the same time as I watched her on the debate. She is right. He was wrong.

My strong advice is please do not help the PM anymore. You are in grave danger of starting a war with Israel.

Pip Pip


Talking of an impending sense of doom at the stupidity of our fellow travellers, here are my brief thoughts on a rather dull day’s racing.

1:50 HAYDOCK Betfred Passionate About Sport Achilles Stakes Cl1 (3yo+) 5f 8 run


2:05 BEVERLEY Hilary Needler Trophy EBF Fillies’ Conditions Stakes Cl2 (2yo) 5f 15 run

MAW LAM 4 pts Win

2:25 HAYDOCK Betfred ‘Play Fred’s £5 Million’ HCap Cl2 (4yo+ 0-105) 1m4f 8 run


2:40 BEVERLEY bet365 Two Year Old Trophy Conditions Stakes (Colts & Geldings) Cl2 (2yo) 5f 6 run

RAJETERIAT 2 pts e/w

3:00 HAYDOCK Pinnacle Stakes (G3) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m4f 14 run

SEA THEME 6 pts Win

3:15 BEVERLEY bet365 HCap Cl4 (4yo+ 0-80) 7½f 16 run


3:35 HAYDOCK Betfred John Of Gaunt Stakes (G3) Cl1 (4yo+) 7f 12 run

 TIBER FLOW 4 pts e/w – POINT LINAS 3 pts e/w


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