LOOK BACK IN TIME: October 19th 1918

The Isle of Wight Observer of October 19th, 1918, had a spoof column from the illiterate but opinionated ‘office boy’ which amused us with his observations about the local council and his belief that he could do a better job than the Prime Minister. Lord Northcliffe owned many newspapers including the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail, which Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, described as “written by office boys for office boys”.


By the Office Boy

1 wonder wether the Town Kounsil is goin to re-erlekt the Mayer agen this yere, an give Mister Barton annothur yere of orfise. I finks as ow they awte to, cawse e as ad all the wurk connekted wiv the warr, an now that peepel is tawkin abowt peece, seems to me that its onli rite that Mister Barton shud ave annothur turn. E is the rite man in the rite playse an you cudden git a betrer Mayer not if you serched the Hiland rite thru. You see e gott plenty of time an e’s gott the dibbs, too, an e aint afrayde of noboddi, aint Mister Barton, so yer wants a feller like that fer Mayer. An e can, wot the Bloke wud kall, uphold the dignerti of the persishun, an thats wot is wanted. Lumme, sum of the fellers wots on the Kounsil haint got no more dignerti than a worn out dishcloth, an cudden be Mayer ani more than I cud be Pryme Minnister; nott so wel, cawse I finks I cud do that ere job bettern sum ov em wot ave ockerpied that persishun, an I shudden want no bloomin £5,000 a yere fer the jobb — two quid a weke an mi grubb an lodjins wud sute me orl rite, an I wudden lett no bloomin noosepapper or Lord Norfkliff runn me — nott I. If they tryed that ere dodge on wiv me I shud say “Look ere Mister Bally Norfkliff you look arter yer noosepappers an I’ll look arter mi own jobb wivout yer interferense, an if you trys to kum hani of your bloomin hanky-panky wiv me I shall jist put mi littel DORA on yer track, an if she beggins to kuddle you youill bally soon shrivvel up like yer silli ole papper did wen they burnt it on the Stok Exchange — see?” Butt to return to the Kounsillers. Sum uv em finks theyreselfs mitey fine fellers, butt they kant old a kandel to Jack — I mene Mister Barton, an theyre yer har, dont yer kno, as the kat sed to the mouse wen she’d swallered en.