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

Opilio Recruitment: Product Owner

£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...

Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...

Recruitment Genius: Business Support Administrator - Part Time

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the South West'...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - OTE £40,000

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding business based in ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The Top Ten: Words In Christmas Carols That Ought To Be Revived

John Rentoul
Polish minister Rafal Trazaskowski (second from right)  

Poland is open to dialogue but EU benefits restrictions are illegal and unfair

Rafal Trzaskowski
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas