From Decca Aitkenhead in today’s Drainaug –
“If all the Lib Dem banners in Liverpool this week had been stripped away, I wonder how long it would have taken a visitor to work out why so many people were there, or who they might be. A very long time, would be my guess. I kept studying the crowds in the conference centre, searching for distinguishing characteristics, or clues to a unifying theme – but you would probably have about as much luck trying to read a bus queue in Northampton, so utterly ordinary did these Lib Dems look.”
This suggests to me either that Decca Aitkenhead has spent a lot less time in Northampton bus station than I have or that the Liberal Democrats are a much odder lot than I’d imagined.
But Decca, though – Decca? An intriguing name. The prosaic explanation would be that it’s a diminutive of Jessica (a la Mitford), but I prefer to think that she comes from a family of Wombles who had their burrow in a second-hand record shop and took their names from old record labels rather than an atlas. I like to picture the whiskery patriarch H.M.V. Aitkenhead, the eccentric Uncle Regal Zonophone, houseproud Aunt Parlophone, greedy younger brother Pye, zany cousin Charisma – not to mention unruly nephews Stiff, Rough Trade and Small Wonder.
Perhaps I should write in and ask for confirmation.
(“What’s a record shop, Grandad? What’s a record label?” – the Voice of Youth).