Now we can all see the benefits of the Lottery

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold

Share
Related Topics
I HAVE an immense amount of time for Mr Winston Churchill, MP. Though he may not have quite the oomph, strength of character or intelligence of his grandpapa, he displays a number of his characteristics, namely two arms, two legs, a head of sorts and some suits.

I was greatly taken, too, by the snap of Young Winston printed in the newspapers this week as he posed beneath the statue of his grandparents at Chartwell, busily reading a National Trust brochure, his brow suitably furrowed. If only the photographer had alerted him that the brochure was upside-down, the full gravitas of the man might have been captured for posterity. As it is, we will have to wait.

It is thrilling news that Mr Churchill, whose most fervent dream it has always been to see his grandfather's papers preserved for the nation, has now been granted the £12.5m necessary to persuade him to make that dream come true. I trust no columnist this weekend will sink so low as to dredge up Winston's long-forgotten "relationship" (dread word!) with Mrs Soraya Khashoggi, the voluptuous ex-wife of my old friend and quashing partner Adnan. In my view, these affairs are best forgotten (even those which took place "six miles high", or so one hears!) and should be free from press intrusion years later, however fascinating the details. These days, whenever I hear Young Winston speak out on a matter of grave national importance - the perils of immigration, say, or the need for restraint - I force myself to cast away any lingering memories of his earlier improprieties with the energetic Mrs Khashoggi; in this way his message comes across loud and clear.

But today's column is not primarily concerned with Young Winston - or Young Windfall as one must learn to call him!!! I have merely used him and his rightly forgotten extra-marital affair with a dusky beauty - let us call her Mrs K - as a way of drawing the reader into a column on the rather weightier issue of the National Lottery. The lottery has now been running for 23 weeks. With Winston's cash payout (and he didn't even buy a ticket!!) we are beginning to see the immense benefit it can bring. Not only can we read the Churchill Papers without having to obtain written permission from the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wogga-Wogga (!!), but we will also be able to marvel at Mar Lodge, where generations of our noblest ancestors (mine rather than yours, I suspect!) have enjoyed potting their game, scragging their poles, foxing their badgers and thumping their partridges. All this in return for Messrs Tom, Dick and Harry climbing off their Clapham Omnibus (toot! toot!) and dipping their grubby mitts into their pockets on the comically unlikely off-chance of emerging multi- millionaires!

Which brings me to the main thrust of the issue. This week, I had a quiet word with Mr Stephen Dorrell about a magnificent collection, The Arnold Papers, which I have been urging him to preserve for the nation. It includes early school reports, in which the word "Satisfactory" appears with commendable frequency, plus early drafts of the famous speech I made when standing as a candidate at the Epping Forest by-election in 1973 ("Mr Healey talks about squeezing the rich. I prefer to talk of squeezing the lazy - the train-driver, the nurse, the coal-miner, the common-or-garden fireman. And I know in my heart that I speak for the Nation!!") together with a chitty from the Presiding Officer stating that he will be retaining my deposit.

I buttonholed Dorrell over a buffet lunch at National Heritage and asked him to put a price, give or take the odd thousand, upon the aforementioned Arnold Papers. Needless to say, he hummed and hawed (astute business sense!) before coming up with what he called a round figure: £0. "You mean to say," I riposted, "that you are willing to lose them for the Nation!" I even offered to bung in a few original drafts of my legendary Punch articles ("If it's Wednesday, It Must Be Timbuktoo!") but he remained resolute in his apathy.

Dear, oh, dear. One wonders how long this Government can keep struggling on with such second-raters. Luckily, by hook or by crook I have in my possession my own collection of Churchill Papers, all concerning the present Mr Churchill. They include school reports, first drafts of major speeches, stabs at personal philosophy, saucy love letters with full-colour photographs and so forth. If Mr Dorrell continues to neglect the needs of the nation, I shall shortly be asking my young confrre Mr Piers Morgan to help me in my bid to preserve them in any way he sees fit.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Read Next
George Osborne appearing on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, 5 July 2015  

George Osborne says benefits should be capped at £20,000 to meet average earnings – but working families take home £31,500

Ellie Mae O'Hagan
The BBC has agreed to fund the £650m annual cost of providing free television licences for the over-75s  

Osborne’s assault on the BBC is doing Murdoch’s dirty work

James Cusick James Cusick
Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high