Saturday, December 16, 2006

Frank Johnson 1943 - 2006

In the Final Budget debate last Wednesday, Leanne Wood, who has something of the smiling assassin about her, made a rather good intervention on Nick Bourne. Leanne recited an extract from one of my blog posts which was based on one of my favourite forms of humour, 'irony'. I had posted that I was upset about Ieuan's 'wobble' and refusal to lead a 'caretaker' government because it removed my potential access to a ministerial car. I wasn't sure what to do because I wanted to laugh - but I wasn't sure how Nick would take it (very well as it happens). Since then, I had been considering abandoning irony as an 'unsafe' form of writing. I don't think the Welsh do 'irony' very well and prefer 'sarcasm' which, in general, I do not like. And then I read today that Frank Johnson has died.

Frank Johnson died of cancer aged 63 and kept me entertained up until last week. He was one of wittiest sketchwriters that I have ever read and has been a Spectator contributer for 20 years. Irony was his trademark - although I read that Charles Moore, another wonderful writer, describes his skill as 'inversion'. I wish that I had met Frank Johnson because in life he created in me a sometimes quirky way of looking at things. And in death he's done the same. To hell with the tiny minds who can't cope with irony. Long live the memory of Frank Johnson.

No comments: