Now we know why David Cameron walked away from the table – and where he was going…
I was in my 20s and nervously making my way to the front door of Enoch Powell’s house in Belgravia.
I was going to conduct an interview for BBC Radio. I had already interviewed Lord Annan and Claire Tomalin; I was making a talk about a private library in London of which they (and I) were all members. I was definitely not a political journalist. I was a young playwright.
Powell, the fierce and uncompromising Tory notorious for his anti-immigration speech “Rivers of Blood” was as intimidating in the flesh as on the television screen.
We set up the microphones in his office. He told me to take his phone off the hook. I suppose I didn’t dare. When it rang I found out this was a mistake – not because of the microphones but because of the way Mr Powell fixed me with a terrifying glare and told me off.
During the interview he let slip a gem – that when trying to muster maximum focus during a public speech, he preferred to keep a full bladder.
The anecdote didn’t make it into the interview – the London Library had very comfortable lavatories as well as a rule of silence – but it came in handy when my friend Michael Cockerell, the political journalist, was setting up a television film about Powell some few years ago. I’d mentioned the story and he called to see if I would confirm it.
Today The Guardian tells us that the Cameron veto may be due to our PM adopting the no-pee trick after seeing the Cockerell film.
In my last post I explained how my wife inadvertently launched Mrs Thatcher’s political career as a national leader. Today I am able to inform you that my tyro journalistic skills led directly to our new isolation in Europe.
There is much more of this to come. I’ve been failing to keep my mouth shut for a long time now.
Strip joint-owner Jack Ruby, the Dallas Mob, the CIA and the assassination of JFK.
Starring Danny Aiello and Sherilyn Fenn.
Directed by John MacKenzie.
Screenplay by Stephen Davis from his play Love Field.
See Ruby at the IMDB
Tommy Lee Jones stars as CIA officer Steve Daley trying to unravel the riddle of high-level KGB defector Yuri Nosenko (Oleg Rudnik).
The real-life espionage case that started a secret war inside the CIA.
Screenplay by Stephen Davis.
View the details for the film at the IMDB