A moment of rare drunken self reflection hit me at half past ten last night, and I mused about parallel universes. There I was just cracking on to the second bottle of port and puffing at a cigar in the Smoking Room of the National Liberal Club, thumbing through Hansard after an immense club grill and cheeseboard. It was the feeling that
a) this type of thing was not meant for the likes of me
b) and this is where the compromises start.

Would it be great to be a member of a “club”. It always sounded great in Wodehouse, but what I saw last night (stately rooms notwithstanding) was miles away from the fun and frivolity of the Drones. Instead we had old fogeys, and worse still, young fogeys in small numbers patronising a very big bar. The food was okay, and reasonably priced, and you could not knock the surroundings. But the only real thing a club has going for it is the exclusivity, and my presence there was not questioned for one second. But to be recomended to the committee, to pay my ‘200, to feel nurtured – well its within these walls that politicians get insulated from a real world they should be doing something about. Not for me.

Then the moment passed and we got back tot he conversation about pubs in new towns (a good fifteen page discussion on which can be found in the 1951 Hansard).