Lord Downer of Adelaide Hills has made another incursion into public debate, this time holding forth at length on the current racial tensions evident in the USA.
In a note hand delivered yesterday to local newsrooms by a strapping barechested young under-footman, His Lordship issued an invitation to media representatives to attend on him today at his family seat, the magnificent Pout House.
The invitation, penned in ink on vellum by an unknown hand, promised those who attended “a discourse of global significance” from His Lordship.
Speaking from an acceptable socially distant position atop a ladder behind one of Pout House’s garden hedges bordering its moat (main picture), Lord Downer began by declaring he would make a statement but would entertain no questions.
His Lordship went on to outline at length his family’s history of public service and its central role in creating “one of the most successful dominions of our Empire that we know and love today”.
He then admitted to a diversion on his part, explaining he would preface his remarks on the American situation by expressing his views on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, describing the virus as a “damned impudent invader from the Far East” that dared to lay low “people of good British stock”.
“Just a few centuries ago we had the sense and fortitude to banish the Chinese from the goldfields for far less,” His Lordship declared. “What has happened to that sort of public spirited response? Can anyone tell me?”
When one of the assembled media representatives took him at his word and began to respond to the challenge, His Lordship cut him a look and fell silent.
He disappeared from view for a few moments, descending the ladder behind the hedge, and only returning to view after several Pout House gardeners escorted the offending reporter from the estate while using pitchforks to adhere to social distancing requirements.
Resuming his address, His Lordship progressed to the civil unrest and the Black Lives Matter demonstrations evident in the United States following the death of George Floyd.
At this point we draw a polite veil over Lord Downer’s remarks which consisted entirely of a series of what can at best be described as racially charged three-word slogans mimicking “Black Lives Matter” but ending with substitute words such as “batter”, “fatter”, “chatter”, “natter”, and even “Bob Katter”.
While this portion of his address was not lengthy, it did take considerable time to deliver as His Lordship repeatedly stopped to giggle girlishly at his own words while using a kerchief drawn from his cuffed wrist to wipe tears from his eyes.
His Lordship’s remarks were greeted by a stony silence at which he visibly sneered and speedily disappeared from view once again.
This time, although media representatives waited for some minutes, he did not return to his position above the hedge.
Reporters departed the grounds soon after when a Pout House butler arrived on foot and advised that the hounds had been released.