So, Patrick Smellie denies he’s a line-dancing enthusiast, notwithstanding his current office as President of the Horowhenua Line-Dancing Association. What can we conclude from this? Is he embarrassed? Well, as a life-long intuitive Epicurean I make no judgement on Patrick’s tastes, in line with my philosophy of each to their own.

But if I was to make a judgement on Patrick, who despite his nonsense about me asking him to write a biography of me (I’ve never met the fellow and anyone who knows me is aware of my scorn for buggers either writing autobiographies or paying hacks to write bios of them) I would say this. On the credit side, he’s a first-class commentator whose periodic offerings I enjoy and respect for their quality, not something I’d say about most journalists.

But given his high quality writing he then hugely disappoints me in denying his line-dancing affiliations. Conversely, his business colleague Brian Gaynor has risen in my estimation in his tacit acknowledgment of his own affection for this activity.

That said, note Patrick’s silent on my other revelation that like Brian Gaynor, he’s an enthusiastic Bradford Exchange collector. Once again, each to their own, but…perhaps I’ll say no more on that.

Anyway, after publication of the item, as always the truth came out. Four different line-dancing enthusiasts called and explained Patrick’s sensitivity on this matter.

It transpires he’s currently halfway though a 2 year suspension for disgraceful brawling at last year’s nationals and to rub salt into his wounds, only days before my item, had learnt his appeal to have this overturned had been declined by the national body.


They must hate old buggers like you who don’t forget anything.

I well recall Sir Bob winding up Square Dancing enthusiasts in the 1990’s via his newspaper column. There was serious talk of them sueing him for slander because he referred to their annual get-together as a competition, when apparently it was “good wholesome fun, not to be judged, but enjoyed.”

The aggrevied square dancers couldn’t explain to me just how they were going to get their legal case across the line, but now I regret not encouraging them to have a go – or even chipping in a few quid to help their bid for justice.

The entertainment value of the Court proceedings with the plaintiffs in full ceremonial square dancing gear versus Sir Bob – well, imagine the value of worldwide syndication rights for television. Morris Dancers would have had a go at him as well, presumably on the grounds of not being ridiculed, thereby having been discriminated against.

Being suspended for a brawl? That sounds like a compliment to me. How much more manly can you get? Ha.

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