Wine, women and song have been the downfall of many men but Hartley Frink (1910-1979) proved particularly susceptible to all three. Elected to parliament upon his return from World War 2, the former officer cut a blistering swathe through Westminster. Fierce in his opposition to Clement Atlee's government, on several occasions the Tory MP was moved to sit upon the modest Labour leader while consuming food from his trademark hamper. Frink almost derailed the foundation of the National Health Service in this manner, but, mindful of the important vote, Atlee greased himself before leaving home on the morning in question.
Through successive administrations, Frink proved a thorn in the side for colleague and political foe alike. For much of the sixties he insisted in bringing a working mangle to Prime Minister's Questions, for reasons that were never made clear. In the seventies he became increasingly truculent and took to lolling in the corridors of the Houses of Parliament playing wth the tin toy cars of his youth.
Hartley Frink gave up his seat on the eve of the 1979 general election. He drowned in a boggy marsh on election night. Rumours that Ted Heath had been seen in the area clutching a policeman's truncheon proved unfounded. An open verdict was recorded by the coroner.
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