Mingus eyes

Menzies Campbell

I’ve always voted Liberal Democrat — at election time I’ve always been places where the Lib Dems had the best candidates and the best policies (as far as I could see): David Steel, Simon Hughes, Charles Kennedy.

I’m also a big Richard Thompson fan. By which I mean that I’m a big fan of Richard Thompson — not a fan of “Big” Richard Thompson.

So when I heard that Sir Menzies “Ming” Campbell, CBE QC (who is also Chancellor of the University of St Andrews) stepped down from the leadership of the Lib Dems I’ve had this song going around my head:

What a fool I was. What a thin disguise.
Brando mumble, Mingus eyes

Was a time she fell, but then she got wise
Brando mumble, Mingus eyes

I never had the squint of James Dean, or the Stanislavsky tears
Or the rebel hunch that kills, or the smile that slowly disappears

What a fool I was. What a thin disguise.
Brando mumble, Mingus eyes
Brando mumble, Mingus eyes

(Richard Thompson, “Mingus eyes” from Mirror Blue, 1994)

What can it possibly all mean? Is there a message in there?

Do the Lib Dems need to elect a new leader who has the squint of James Dean, or the Stanislavsky tears? Would they even be allowed to use their killing rebel hunch in the House of Commons? What will it take to make their smile slowly disappear?

I for one am keen to find out …

3 thoughts on “Mingus eyes”

  1. Given that you claim to be 6’4 you couldn’t be a small Richard Thompson fan! I myself am a small Richard Thompson fan (5’0) and can be heard singing “I want to see the bright lights tonight” on occasion.

  2. You see!

    I knew there was something we had in common apart from our Christianity, our male-pattern baldness and knowledge of the Lawson.

    A fan of the Richard Thompson no less!

    Well done you!

    Now, how does that square with the love of death metal?

    I am genuinely interested.

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