His true story, being an inimitable account of life as a red-blooded MP

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Today we are starting a brand new feature in this space - Alan Clark's Diaries! Yes, we bring you the day-to-day chronicles of a man about Westminster, with all the spice, verve, wit and mischief that we associate with the name of Alan Clark! And we start with a bang at the very start of this week!

MONDAY JAN 19 1998

This wretched case drags on. I cannot believe how cumbersome and expensive the British legal system is. If it had any competition, it would be driven out of business in months. As a way of settling disputes it is about as advanced as a steam tram. These damned fool lawyers prattle on and on ... The only consolation is that one of the opposing legal team has rather nice legs. I catch a glimpse of her fascinating thighs every now and again, and I promptly have the most unlegal thoughts. Odd how even more attractive women are when dressed up severely in black, or in uniform. I wonder if women find judges attractive...? No, the idea is so ludicrous, I am surprised I even wrote it down.

TUESDAY JAN 20 1998

People are somewhat in danger of forgetting that I am also a serious historian as well as a popular diarist and failed politician. I have devoted the best writing years of my life to penning serious and well-researched histories, which have never attracted popular attention. Britain is an irremediably frivolous country, which explains why nobody has ever attempted to run a parody of my historical works, only of my diaries. If someone wrote a parody of my histories, I would not sue them - I would write them a letter of gratitude. As it is, this piffling pastiche in the Standard has had unforeseen results. I have several times in the past few days been rung up by correspondents asking if letters I had written them really were from me.

"Why should they not be?" I ask.

"Oh, well, not everything signed by you is really by you these days," they say evasively, "and besides, it didn't seem as witty as usual, so we thought it might be a parody."

Bastards.

I had to go to Bond Street today to get a new blank monthly diary for February. My wife said that it seemed a long way to go to get a diary, especially from Kent. I said they were the only people who did monthly diaries. I didn't mention the lovely Yvette who works there.

WEDNESDAY JAN 21 1998

Hurrah! We have won the court case! Sorry though I was to see the last of the opposition's lovely thighs, I am even happier to have won damages from the evening tabloid! As my lawyer said, I have been paid more for not writing these pieces than the wretched Bradshaw himself has for writing them! He then added meaningfully, "We can work out how much I get later ..." Still, the crucial thing is that when Alan Clark's Diaries appear anywhere in future, people will know they are by me. It is a victory against the mangy curs of Fleet Street ...

A lawyer writes: Dear Mr Kington, I am instructed by my client, Mr Alan Clark, to put a restraining order on your imitation of his diary and to warn you that if you breach this and print any more words purporting to be by the lovely Mr Clark, we will come down on you good and heavy.

Miles Kington writes: Dear Mr Lawyer, But I am halfway through a column and I have no other way of finishing it!

A lawyer writes: Dear Mr Kington, My client instructs me to say, 'Tough titty. You'll just have to think of something, won't you?'

Dear reader, today we bring you the start of a brand new feature, namely the Diary of Rupert Allason! Yes, the fascinating Tory MP with the alter ego of Nigel West the thriller writer has been "keeping" a diary of his daily doings for some time, and we now bring you a glimpse into that fascinating world!

MONDAY JAN 19 1998

This wretched case drags on. I cannot believe how cumbersome and expensive the British legal system is. If it had any competition, it would be driven out of business in months. As a way of settling disputes it is about as advanced as a steam tram ...

TUESDAY JAN 20 1998

People are somewhat in danger of forgetting that I am also a serious thriller writer as well as a popular journalist and failed politician. I have devoted the best writing years of my life to penning serious and well-researched novels, which have never attracted as much popular attention as they deserved. Britain is an irremediably frivolous country, which explains why nobody has ever attempted to run a parody of my thrillers ...

WEDNESDAY JAN 21 1998

We have lost the case. I am gutted. It is a victory for the mangy curs of Fleet Street ...

A lawyer writes: Dear Mr Kington, I am instructed by my client, Mr Rupert Allason ...

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