Party Lines

Daisy Waugh finds the Big Society is catching on in smart circles

No man is an island.

You reap what you sow.

Ask not what your country can do for you…

What goes up must come down

And all that.

I’m all for it!

Lul, I think it’s the most exciting idea to come out of this country for a generation.

Can’t think of many others.

Mind you, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Martin says — and I agree — they should all be doing National Service. Get these kids into smart uniforms and all that. Up at dawn, making things shipshape…

Do them the world of good.

But we can’t say that nowadays.


Somehow these kids have got to learn about pulling their weight. In society.

They’ve got to learn life isn’t just about handouts. 

It’s about putting something back. That’s how you feel good about yourself. 

They do…

Rather than spending all day lounging around “down the leisure centre”.

“Down the Leisure Centre”. Very funny. “Down the shopping mall.” Oh My God.

It’s not like they’re even buying anything.

Well they can’t, can they?

Lesson number one in the new Big Society. Thank you very much. If you don’t work, you don’t get any money.

Plus…you know. The volunteering…

Whatever you want to call it, Lul. It’s about showing these good-for-nothing layabouts — pardon me — that the days of getting something for nothing are gone. Finito.


Teach them that, we’ve taught them a lesson for life.

On a more prosaic note…What are your lot up to? 

Goodness, that’s a question-and-a-half. Just keeping tabs is a full time job…Lily’s in New York, doing one of those Summer Drama School thingies. Which is super. 

Good for her.

Archie’s starting his A-levels any minute. So as a sort of reward, he’s been out in Nassau. “Helping out”, ha, ha, with the er…well, his godfather’s got this gorgeous little diving school. Being waited on hand and foot. Having the time of his life, I should think.

Shame he couldn’t do it over Christmas. Very hot, Nassau, this time of year.

And I text him, three times a day, Lul. One word: “SUNSCREEN”. But you know, once they get beyond a certain age…

And Ollie?

Ollie was meant to be in London over the summer. Working at Martin’s office. But can I get him back from Ibiza? Nope. He’s got his best friend out there — super rich.

What FUN… 

But as I said to Martin — so long as we don’t get hit with a sodding great bill for it…I couldn’t give a monkey’s. Frankly.

Hear, hear!

Just so long as he’s having fun. 

Oh, bless.

You’re only young once, after all.

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"