No, really. I think it’s great that Victoria Coren gets all the hits on her article in the Guardian. And probably, in the Guardian’s Topsy-Turvy world off economics, where you steadily head into financial oblivion while advocating that the Government does the same, got paid for it.
Even though I wrote something similar two months or more ago. And used the comparison with the X-factor. And suggested a better new promise.
Just because she’s younger, more famous, better-connected and prettier than me. And put it better. But truth will out eventually.
It’s worth remembering that the line comes – as most commonly used in English – from Shakespeare. From a speech by Polonius to Laertes. And that, as Stephen Fry pointed out in – I think – a Telegraph column around 1990, Polonius is a fool. It’s worth quoting Polonius here:
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Absolutely right. Unless you’re a liar, in which case you can be false to anyone and still true to yourself. Sergeant Troy in “Far from the Madding Crowd” was true to himself. Left a trail of broken hearts, promises and lives behind.
We’re always true to ourselves. David Cameron wanting to bomb Syria is true to himself. A bad architect building a skyscraper that is unstable is being true to themself, as a bad architect. Jamie Oliver patronising poor people in a Mockney accent is true to himself. Whatever we do, that’s ourselves.