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Laurence Inman’s Blog

BEYOND OUR KEN

03-09-2009

1963 …oh what a night…what a year in fact, as Laurence Inman faced up to the reality of nuclear meltdown. He still hasn’t forgiven the man who almost led us into apocalypse – or a recently departed member of the same clan come to that.

1963 was a great year.

I felt lucky to have made it so far at all, because the previous autumn some nutter, some spoiled playboy, some randy-as-a-goat toerag whose father had arranged for him to be president....yes, him....had nearly managed to get me vapourised in a nuclear holocaust. Luckily, great-powers-that-be had him removed towards the end of the year and also managed to make what must have been the most public murder-scene in history completely clean of clues within minutes. Only in America

The year started with the worst winter of the century. Everything at a standstill. Drifts four feet deep – and that was in cities. Schools today would have been closed for months, but we went in every single day! Games periods were spent clearing snow from the steep driveway, so that teachers could get in of a morning.

Kids today don’t know they’re born!

During 1963 The Beatles went from being a fairly well-known group with one single behind them, to world-wide mega-stars ready to change the whole idea of rock music.

In August a gang of chancers held up a train, beat up the driver and stole a load of money. The press soon began the process of transforming them into swashbuckling daring adventurers. But they were just crooks.

The summer was also taken up with the Profumo Scandal.

John Profumo, Secretary of State for War, met Christine Keeler, (a ‘model’ a ‘show-girl’ a ‘hostess’) at a posh country-house party. They formed a relationship. She had formed a previous relationship with another bloke who might have been a Russian spy. Big trouble. Profumo was asked about it in the House and denied everything. Even bigger trouble. Once exposed, he resigned immediately. He then took up charitable work in the East End, for which he was eventually awarded a CBE. He died quite recently, having lived a useful, anonymous life in the service of others, when he could very easily have made a lot of money exploiting his story.

John Profumo provides an instructive contrast with Edward Kennedy, who was given a big state-ish funeral last week. (Well, it’s August; the papers have to be filled with something.)

In 1969 he drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquidick Island. A young campaign worker, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned. Kennedy got himself out, but did nothing for nine hours. He called his political managers before the emergency services. His explanations later were rambling nonsense. They amounted to nothing more than ‘I forget what happened. I was upset.’

In a sickening TV address later he pleaded for ‘understanding,’ even invoking the possibility of ‘a Kennedy curse’ to account for the frequent family disasters.

No, Ted. It was the Kopechne family that was cursed that year. One of them was unlucky enough to know a Kennedy.

We’ve all been cursed with that family’s dishonesty and ambition for decades.

Let’s hope we’ve seen the last of them.

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