I was interested to read that Jacob Rees-Mogg has managed to raise Pounds Sterling 5000 for the Brexit campaign by auctioning off “Tea with Nanny”. Ms Veronica Crook was nanny to the Conservative MP for North East Somerset and his siblings. Now, she is employed as nanny to Rees-Mogg’s own five children. According to Rees-Mogg, “Whoever comes must remember to eat their bread and butter before they can have any cake.”
….and therein dear reader, in a nutshell, lies the present Conservative Party’s attitude towards political governance. It is fair to suggest that 99% of children born on the British Isles have not been raised by a nanny yet our current policies are determined by the 1% that were. From the likes of Iain Macleod, who first coined the term in The Spectator in 1963, to Cameron, Osborne and Rees-Mogg “nanny” represents that slightly annoying, irksome figure of authority who insists her uppity charges eat their bread and butter before they can have any cake. No doubt BoJo petulantly shouted at nanny “I want my cake and eat it,” long before he quoted it to a journalist. Judging by his corpulent frame this is just what little greedy-guts has been up to. One can only imagine the look on nanny’s face when she did catch him stuffing trifle down his snout at midnight.
The concept of “nanny” – be she a real figure or a figurative expression of government regulation – is an affront to the Tory inner-child who wants to do what they want, when they want, how they want whilst ensuring their own interests are not trampled upon along the way. The young milord wants to skip bread and butter and head straight for the tantalising sticky cream cake sitting in an off-shore trust fund – and who the hell is anyone, let alone nanny, to stop him from doing so?
Lady Nancy Astor is reputed to have said, “I like it when children scream. Nanny takes them away.” Quite. Let nanny instil the dull middle-class virtues of good manners and correct behaviour. Let nanny scold the screaming brat in the nursery at the top of the sprawling estate. Let nanny admonish the errant child for a public display of flatulence. Let nanny insist all metallic, over-boiled Brussels sprouts are eaten-up before the jam rolly-polly is rolled out and let nanny wipe the snotty noses of the heir and a spare.
Winston Churchill said of his glamorous, socialite mother, “She shone for me like the evening star. I loved her dearly – but at a distance.” Raising children – at a distance – does, indeed, do wonders for a mother’s legacy and looks. Any mother could shine like a star if they have the time to apply make-up at leisure, sleep well at night, never change sheets at 3.45 a.m. fouled by a night-time vomiting bug, breeze off to work in the morning and skip through the door just in time to give her little darling a kiss on the forehead before sitting down to supper. What a relief for the shining star that nanny is around to shower them with all that tough love and drag them out of the drawing room when they start to scream and shout.
For the likes of Rees-Mogg it is grounded in long-standing British tradition that Mama should glow in the night sky. Nanny, however, must resemble a no-nonsense functioning work-horse, preferably with a face like Nanny McPhee not an aristocratic socialite.
Only a fool would hire a hot, steamy sex-kitten from Belarus to potty-train their off-spring. This could explain why the Norlan Nannies are so popular with Britain’s landed gentry and the filthy rich from abroad. The Norlan Nanny uniform hasn’t changed much since the 1950’s. It remains a sensible dull beige and brown that even Anna Chapman would find challenging to look hot and steamy in.
At the recent royal christening of Princess Charlotte, everyone looked picture perfect with the exception of Miss Turrion Borrallo, the children’s nanny who stood out for looking plain and frumpy in her Norlan uniform with thick nylon stockings and granny-shoes.
It is a pity that so many of these tory toffs are currently in government. Their upbringing and views on nanny just get in the way of taking the business of governance seriously. Any regulation – be it banking, finance, tax avoidance, child support for working parents or improved environmental controls – is an affront to their upbringing. It brings back shameful, awkward moments of the day nanny caught them eating their cake before they had eaten their bread and butter. Boo-hooing serious governmental regulation is their own juvenile way of rebelling and creating an environment free from any tedious rules which may prevent them from heading straight for the tuck box sitting in Panama.