The Daily Telegraph, Front page 21.05.2009
The Daily Telegraph, Front page 21.05.2009

Scanning through the front pages of the newspapers today, I came across something refreshing and extraordinary – a gorgeous picture of a duck’s head on the front page of The Daily Telegraph.

Now apparently this is all about the ‘revelation’ that an MP claimed expenses concerning a ‘duck house’. Of course this whole expenses row is quite hilarious and a wonderful example of schadenfreude. The amounts of money are petty especially compared to the money lost to the country when our prime minister sold much of our gold at an all time low. But it’s the principle of it!  We are horrified – horrified! – to discover that members of the house are not the creatures of pure altruism we expect them to be – nay thought them to be.

So looking again at this picture in quiet contemplation, I came to realise that members of parliament can now be classified as follows:

A) Non-fiddlers of expenses
B) Fiddlers of expenses.
i) Trivial fiddlers: they were always there – no need to act on them
ii) Moderate fiddlers: White goods and furniture – punish them!
iii) Bigger fiddlers: Mortgages, second homes, moat cleaning etc. * – crucify them!
C) Ducks

Biiis are also known as Major Scapegoats. So yesterday was Scapegoat Day (bad news for Michael Martin) but today is Duck Day!

I’m sure that if the public were forced to choose a prime minister from one of the three faces on the front page of today’s Telegraph, the duck would win with an unprecedented majority. His face is honest, magnificent and regal. He brought a smile to my face and I may even buy the Telegraph today – just because of him.

The newspapers bring so many faces to us, but how often do they make us smile? Sometimes I read the business pages just to look at the faces there and ask myself: ‘Is particular this billionaire happy or only almost happy?’

It was Roger Waters of Pink Floyd who wrote a lovely couple of lines on the subject of photographs in the papers in the song Brain Damage on their blockbuster album Dark Side of The Moon of 1973 (Buy it if you are not one of the millions who own it).

The lunatic is in the hall.
The lunatics are in my hall.
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more.

Until next time then.

Quack! Quack!