Anthony Steen MP is obsessed with coffee. He could talk about it until you felt he really didn’t need to talk about it anymore.
I feel for Anthony Steen, the Tory MP who, according to media reports, will shortly step down over his expenses. He charged for his leaking pipes, a wrought iron fence and some lights. I feel for him because I like him and he reminds me of Michael Winner. In a likeable way.
A couple of years ago I was performing a thing called Façade at a nearby theatre – which if you haven’t heard of is a kind of white rap written by Edith Sitwell in the 1920s with music by William Walton.
Steen was kind enough to come and he invited me to swim in his pool the next day. He lives in a lovely house off one of those crazy high-hedged Devon lanes that go only where you don’t want to go and always lead you to where you don’t want to be.
I finally got there and was greeted by his pretty daughter Xanthe at which point her father introduced me to his coffee machine.
Anthony Steen is obsessed with coffee. He could talk about it until you felt he really didn’t need to talk about it anymore.
His coffee machine (beneath a large neon sign advertising ‘coffee’) is the kind of coffee machine you get a Lavazza café. In fact I think it was one of them. And he did point out that he had registered it as a gift – which it was. Which immediately led me to think that here was a man of probity. Hence my sadness that his exes for some leaky pipes should lead to his resigning as an MP.
‘How much froth do you want?’ he asked after I suggested he make me a latte.
He then spent quite a lot of time nursing his machine before it arrived. Next, with great enthusiasm, he explained to me what makes the perfect cup of coffee.
Except I can’t quite remember what he said. I was too busy looking interested. But it had something to do with the milk, or was it the coffee?
Anyway, if you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods and he offers you a cup of coffee (which I should point out is now unlikely as a) he’ll probably move from this remote constituency and b) you’ll get lost trying to find it) you must ask for a cup.
It would be unfair of you to say, ‘I’m sorry but could I have a cup of tea?’ His crestfallen look would be too much to bear. When people have passions it’s only fair that you let them indulge in them – providing they aren’t against the law.
Anyway, having drunk my cup of coffee, Steen then cooked me scrambled eggs and offered me his pool to swim in.
I’d vote for him. And not for that horrendous opportunist Esther Rantzen whose attempt to capitalise on the unfortunate political scandal is the most vulgar part of the whole story.
A man who offers you coffee, scrambled eggs and a swim should be revered, regardless of what the taxpayer had to fork out for his wrought iron gates.