In the golden age of British politics, it was considered the height of vulgarity to discuss affairs of state from the beginning of June to the end of November.
Summer meant "the season" -- Ascot, Henley, Wimbledon and Glyndebourne, plus a delightful round of stately-home house parties, with all the muff-diving one's heart could desire.
Therefore, when on 4 July Andrew Dilnot announced the findings of his Commission on the Care of the Extremely Decrepit, my first reaction was one of disgust, for it is clear that, once again, lefties like Dildo were trying to undermine one of our nation's fundamental principles - family is sacred and we take care of our own.
I understand that George Osborne is wary of agreeing to Doughnut's proposals and he is right to be so. Readers of this rag may avow that £35,000
is a small price to pay to avoid funding one's parents' long-term needs, but how many of you junior polytechnic lecturers have any idea what £35,000 even smells like?
Let me tell you, I do not intend to waste the price of a first-class, round-the-world air ticket on my mother's selfish needs.
When the time comes, as soon it must, when she loses the will to live -- perhaps when her car fails its MOT or that damp patch in her wine cellar resists treatment -- then I'll help her to face the end of days serenely in Switzerland, where I have a financial interest in a chain of "drive in, get carried out" centres. But should the journey to Zurich prove too arduous, I know a man who will drop a hundredweight slab of concrete on to a sleeper's cranium for the price of a pair of bench-made brogues.
Sadly, many elderly folk don't have children like me, prepared to be cruel to be kind. Most people feel it is more civilised to warehouse their incontinent and confused progenitors in what are laughably termed “care homes".
Though I disapprove of such ghastly places, I'm as able as the next man to spot a hole in the market, so I must now declare my interest in the care-home sector.
This is quite a recent venture for me but with Southern Cross going the way of Northern Rock, there were just too many tempting bargains. So far,
I've found the new trade most agreeable. Basically, I charge some oldster or his family up to a grand a week in exchange for a single bed, a black-and-white telly, the occasional Findus savoury pancake and clean linen every third Tuesday. How anyone failed to make money at this game defeats me.
The bottom line is, whether it's the state or the inmate that's paying, care homes are my kind of business.
So, if you wish to turn your old dad's final years into a living hell at the hands of an untrained Serbian illegal, the highlight of whose CV is three years as a junior torturer under Radovan Karadzic, drop me a line.