The novel is set in Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm II, and tells the story of Dietrich Hesseling, a provincial bigwig in a small town who is a member of a board of trustees of a local orphanage. In his royalist and patriotic fervour, driven by a desire to curry favour with his betters, our hero persuades the trustees that the orphanage funds would be much better spent on a large equestrian statue of the Kaiser's grandfather. Disaster ensues, both for the central character personally, but also of course for Germany itself (the novel was published in 1918).
The other day David Jones, Secretary of State for Wales, took to Twitter to say,
As a North Walian, I'm massively pleased by the interest the whole world is showing in the birth of a baby to an Anglesey couple
Not to be outdone in the royal grovelling stakes, Carmarthenshire County Council decided to use its very tenuous connections with the baby (his grandfather has owned a holiday home near Llandovery since 2007) to send the couple a special real nappy trial pack, as explained by Cllr Colin Evans (Lab) here.
Unfortunately the county council has broken up for two months of summer holidays, and so Cllr Andrew James (Ind) will have to wait until September to make a loyal address congratulating the grandparents who spend a few days a year at their modest cottage in his ward.
Dietrich Hesseling may be a grotesque character from the distant past in Germany, but his fawning British cousins are alive and well.
|"Pam would have been here, Sire, but she objects to Camilla muscling in."