Thursday 24 November 2011

Primoridial slime somehow turned into Bertrand Russell?

Malcom Muggeridge once asked "Wouldn't it be a dreary story if all there was to existence was that primoridial slime somehow turned into Bertrand Russell?"

The modern equivalent would be to substitute Richard Dawkins for Bertrand Russell.

Bertrand Russell of course
 inherited the earldom bestowed on his grandfather, Lord John Russell, the Liberal Prime Minister, who met Napoleon en route to St. Helena and presided unperturbed over the Irish Famine. I remember passing Bertrand Russell's son each morning sleeping on the red leather benches of the House of Lords behind the throne when I made my way carrier bag in hand  to my first job in the Victoria Tower, when my life was just beginning and, in a sense, certainly as I thought, ending. The fourth Earl Russell  attended daily and slept in the House of Lords but only once spoke in the House, an occasion on which he suggested inter alia that the peers leave London for the south seas and take hallucinogenic drugs. The speech lasted for several hours till the Lords, which has, or had in those days,  no speaker and no closure, finally got him to sit down by barracking. This had been in the 1960s and the speech had been published by a hippy publishing house and enjoyed some success. 

The fourth Earl, whose beard reached to his torso and who dressed like a tramp (but was I was told a man of some means), lived in a squalid caravan in, I think, St. Austell. What a terrible shame the Labour Party reformed the Lords.

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