The Hated Peter Hitchens, woken by the screaming of the peacocks on the terrace of his moated Jacobean manor-house, brusquely orders his servants to prepare his usual breakfast – a large whale steak accompanied by a generous slice of pâté de foie gras.
He is seriously hungover, having spent the previous evening drinking bumpers of best Cognac, while composing an article denouncing cannabis.
But he cures himself by a brisk walk, during which he shoots a number of badgers. Then it is time to have the Bentley brought round, so that he may drive it rather aggressively into London. There, after a large luncheon in a club that bans women, he composes his column, in which he once again denounces the poor and needy.
Well, not exactly. The ‘Hated Peter Hitchens’ is a character invented by my family, who are amused by the caricature of me that is common on Twitter and elsewhere. Once a person has been officially classified as ‘Right Wing’, very large numbers of people will immediately have readymade and unalterable opinions about him or her.
The ‘Hated Peter Hitchens’ is a character invented by my family, who are amused by the caricature of me on social media
The same is true of anyone who writes for Associated Newspapers (inaccurately known as ‘The Mail’ by many who never read our papers because they already know they won’t like them – but don’t let that stop them having very strong opinions on the subject).
As it happens, I live in a semi-detached suburban house. I have no servants, and wouldn’t dream of eating whales or the livers of tortured geese (indeed, I am too tenderhearted even to eat lobster). On the contrary, I eat organic as far as possible because I think it good for its own sake and because I think it leads to more humane treatment of animals and better stewardship of the countryside.