Mention Tony Blair and he will appear

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The Independent Online
It's time to ask the big question again. Where are they now?

Yes, it's time for another look at people and things who were once all over the headlines and have since totally vanished from our consciousness. People such as Graham Taylor and Terry Christian.

Things like the Irish peace process and, um, lots of other things I can't remember.

Here we go then, as we look back through the yellowing cuttings of yesteryear to look at what has happened to:

Salman Rushdie

Salman has, for obvious reasons, spent a lot of time in the company of policemen in the last few years. He has become very impressed with their fortitude and patience, and, often, skill, and the more familiar he has become with police work, the more interested he has become in it. Finally, nine months ago, he took the plunge and actually joined the police. Normally they do not take people who are under threat of death, but it seemed that Rushdie would be ideal for undercover and plainclothes operations, as he would be more likely to preserve his cover than most people.

The clinching argument, for the police at any rate, was that if Rushdie joined the police and became PC Rushdie, he would no longer need expensive full-time protection, as he would now be deemed able to look after himself. PC Rushdie is at present stationed somewhere in Kent. Punch

The first "new" issue of the "new" Punch magazine came out a few days ago. Since then, nothing. Nobody has been talking about it. Nobody has said anything about it. What has happened? Has it gone into dentists' waiting rooms all over the country and carried on as before?

Not quite. What has happened is that people all over the country are waiting for the second issue to come out so that they can buy it, have a look through it and say, "Hmmm - not as good as it used to be!"

Robert Runcie

Runcie is praying for the strength to forgive Humphrey Carpenter.

Humphrey Carpenter

Humphrey is getting used to the same joke being told by everyone. Carpenter, you see, has just written another book called The Envy of the World, which is a history of the first 50 years of the Third Programme (and Radio 3), and people keep saying to him, "This book The Envy of the World, is that all about what Robert Runcie suffers from, then?", or words to that effect. Carpenter does not laugh, mainly because it is not a funny joke, but it is driving him up the wall.

Lord St John of Fawlty

Lord St John of Fawlty (the former Miss Norma St John Stevas) has been trapped inside his house for several weeks now by a huge crowd of paparazzi, all shouting through his letter box and saying things like, "Would you call yourself the Sir Walter Bagehot de nos jours?"; "So do you think a future Queen Camilla is on the cards, then, Norm?"; "Are you the git who inflicted the dreadful gate in Hyde Park on us, you tasteless berk?" and, "Show us a flash of ankle for the Sunday Sport, darling!"

Linford Christie

Linford is at a sports meeting somewhere in Denmark which ended three weeks ago. He was given two false starts and refused to leave the track. He is still on it. He is getting very thin and cold.

Princess Diana

Diana is waiting to see if the Royal Family can possibly survive without her.

Ross Perot

Ross is betting enormous sums of money on himself to lose the next US presidential election. Although the odds are not good, he can't lose. If he loses the election, he collects. If he wins, he won't need to collect.

Tony Blair

Tony is pondering on the significance of the fact that "Tony Blair MP" is an anagram of "I am Tory - Plan B!"

The Irish Peace Process

There is no such thing as the Irish peace process. There never was. John Major was simply trying to apply marketing techniques to Ireland as he has done to the Labour Party. He thought that if you called Blair a devilish danger, he would become one, and he thought that if you said there was a peace process in Ireland, there would be one. None of them has come true yet.

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