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Sir Ian Bowler, MP for Belmsford, has been variously described as “a fat-headed oaf”, “pestilential”, and “a credit to the Conservative party”. Since entering Parliament in 2004, this outspoken backbencher has been a constant fixture in television studios, private members’ clubs, and occasionally the House of Commons.
For years he has promised a tell-all memoir, and now, out of a duty to his public and the fact that he didn’t get a contract with LBC that would have paid his tax bill for next year, it’s here. DISHONOURABLE MEMBER is the shocking insider account of Parliament that literally the Committee on Standards in Public Life have been waiting for.
Let the large-faced politician take you deep within the corridors of power, and take you by the hand as you’re both escorted back out of them by security and told not to come back. Thrill at the erotic charge of his encounters with Michael Gove! Gasp at his audacious flouting of societal norms when it comes to the treatment of women and animals! Feel the excitement of his campaign to be elected to Parliament, his campaign to be Mayor of London, and his campaign to stop his local village idiot being shut down and replaced with a large, out-of-town super-dunce near Chisholm.
These scandalous diaries don’t hold back, and Ian knows where all of the bodies are buried, as well as where the newts he stole from Ken Livingstone are buried (It’s all right, he left them air holes).
Charting Sir Ian’s dizzying career from humble backbencher to slightly-less-humble backbencher, these diaries pull no punches. They’re like John Prescott, only bound in book form and having fewer cars.
Edited by Nathaniel Tapley, DISHONOURABLE MEMBER is the final word on a man who is known to all as a political hurricane: destructive, often found in the Caribbean, and who sometimes knocks over chairs.
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Nathaniel Tapley is an award-winning comedy writer-performer on shows like Have I Got News For You, The Revolution Will Be Televised, and Gigglebiz. He's been on the writing teams of two BAFTA-winning comedy shows, and has been performing Sir Ian Bowler on stage and on television since he first appeared on Tonightly with Jason Manford in 2008. He won the Parsec Award for Best New Podcaster in 2010 for his anthology series of horror-comedy plays: In The Gloaming, and was a finalist in the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year, the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year, and various other comedy competitions no one has heard of. He has an enormous collection of political autobiographies, which this project finally justifies.
In the aftermath of my disastrous campaign to stand for London Mayor, during the course of which my wife had died and my staff had all left me, I found myself at something of a turning point. But everything was not as black as it was painted, as I found that rather than having lost a wife, I’d gained a lot of free time.
At times like this many people turn to family for comfort. I can only assume that those people are not related to my family. That said, at this point my father and I became very close, sometimes even being in the same county.
The mistresses at Una’s boarding school were most understanding, and they agreed that telling her her mother had died could only upset her. To save her from the grief and anguish that the news wold obviously cause, we instead constructed an elaborate cover-story about how her mother didn’t love her, and never wanted to communicate with her again. It seemed like the best way to soften the blow, and to this day I photoshop Brenda into photographs of myself on holiday before sending them to Una. She bore the news of a distant, uncommunicative mother well, and seems to be following in her footsteps. Brenda would have been so proud, if pride was one of the emotions she was capable of feeling.
It’s times like these when you discover who your real friends are. In my case, this was a relatively quick process, and the resultant knowledge that I was devoid of real friends was a rock of knowledge in an otherwise turbulent sea of emotion.
So I threw myself into my work. Not my constituency work, nor even my nugatory parliamentary duties, but any other work I could find. I became what they call a “blogger” for MSN. This turned out to stand for Microsoft Networks, rather than - as I had assumed - being an abbreviation of “The Masons”. Still, I can’t help but assume that, as I stood in their offices with my trousers around my ankles, my shirtsleeve rolled up, proferring an intensely complicated handshake, they must have felt rather foolish.
It was a long, drizzly summer full of excitement. We had the Olympic Games, the Jubilee, and that lady who did the monkey Jesus painting in Spain. Commenting on these events for a major web news outlet helped me regain my confidence, earn up to £150 per 500 words, and find - and then lose - love…
Thursday, May 31st, 2012
A bit down. Feels like the house is full of ghosts. Well, one ghost.
Went for a walk in town. I got a lot of stick during the campaign for not knowing much about London, but I think it’s raised my profile. People seem to know my constituency’s in Kent, because everywhere I go now I hear people behind me shouting: “Kent! Kent! You’re such an awful Kent!”
Went to St Paul’s because it’s a place of great spiritual comfort, and you can sit out of the rain for free for a bit.
Walking around the outside I was stunned to realise that it’s not even been six months since they bulldozed the Occupy Camp here. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be able to walk around the building without being pestered by hairy weirdoes who want me to share everything. Bishops, I think they’re called.
Had a think about possible hobbies I could take up: canoeing, jive dancing, hate preaching, astronautics, sudoku, nude sudoku (nudoku?), hill walking, hill wanking, writing sexy novels set in Parliament, consultancy at a company that deals with extruded plastic containers, ham.
Friday, June 1st, 2012
It was Brenda’s funeral today. Everyone said it was a lovely service. Can’t help but think that I really should have been invited.
After the ceremony Simon came round to ask when I’d have all of my stuff out of the house. I accused him of trying to get his hands on Brenda’s things before her body was even cold. He (rightly) pointed out that her body had been cold ever since a botched depilatory operation in 1992.
I said that Brenda’s will said the house was to be held in trust until Una comes of age. He said he wouldn’t trust me to wipe my own arse without smearing shit all over the walls. I said that should make him feel right at home. He said he couldn’t wait to feel at home here, because this was actually his home. I curled into a defensive ball until he got tired of shouting and left.
- 11th April 2018 Officially half-arsed!
Right. This book's half-way funded, which means if each of you physically coerces just one other person to buy a copy, then we're done. Just imagine you're a part-time debt collector or a Norman Tebbit of limited scope. I've also decided to do an audio book and to give away a copy to everyone who pledges, because that way I can claim my throat (and the many, lovely liquids I pour down it to keep…15th February 2018 From Ian's desk*
Well, I've been beavering away, getting these diaries written. Who'd have thought so many things would look so awful in retrospect. Or that so many people with whom I've lunched would now be persons of interest to Operation Yewtree.
Still, I'm hard at it. My wrists haven't been this sore since I did A-levels. Still, if I'd done some revision I wouldn't have had to wank off all those teachers.…
These people are helping to fund Dishonourable Member.
E R Andrew Davis