The Curmudgeon


Friday, December 14, 2018

Polite Insistence on Truth

Any freedom fighter who achieves canonisation by the greatest oppressor of their time should arguably be treated with caution, and the University of Ghana has accordingly taken down a statue of the revered mediaeval preacher Mohandas K Gandhi. Unveiled two years ago, the graven image has caused some controversy because of the views expressed by its subject during the South African phase of his career: Gandhi's problem with the British régime was not that non-whites were being mistreated, but that Indians were being treated like blacks. This may not put Gandhi in quite the same league of African heroism as Cecil Rhodes, but the students and faculty at the University of Ghana have expressed discontent, and the management has applied a healthy dose of post-colonial discretion by sneaking out to the plinth and removing the statue in the middle of the night.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Help Wanted for Reasonable Scenario

About ten thousand people have been hired and a thousand million pounds spent in a concerted push by Her Majesty's Government to frighten MPs into voting for Tumbledown Tessie's ludicrous deal, according to the First Flunkey at the Cabinet Office. After a mere two years of squealing from the private sector, the Government has achieved some sort of vague awareness that stability might be a bit of a thing; so the Department for Flooding and Fracking has set up a call centre just in case of emergencies, and is advertising for civil servants to work shifts assuring people that nothing has changed and our precious Union is safe and it's just going to be the easiest thing in the world ever from now on, or anyway as soon as the last saboteur has been extirpated and the last citizen of nowhere run into the Irish Sea. Since the ministry in question is nominally run by the jabbering homunculus Michael Gove, staff will be expected to "see through the fog" which will inevitably be created by mere experts trying to do down Britain's success, and to focus on the more rah-rah aspects such as the miraculously-expanded Marmite trade with Tasmania. There are also vacancies for liaison staff who will be required to "react quickly to obtain the facts and delegate the immediate and next-day agenda" by correctly interpreting the shrieks, roars and grunts which will inevitably start to emanate from the Government's bunker at the Civil Contingencies Secretariat. Fifty new staff are being recruited for the Secretariat, on the sensible grounds that the Cabinet Office now considers Tumbledown Tessie's administration to be much the same category of event as a terrorist attack, a flood or an epidemic.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Two Eligible Gentlemen

Political necessity is the mother of reinstatement, so it should come as no surprise that when Tumbledown Tessie promised to fight the confidence vote with everything she had, this by no means excluded throwing a couple of suspected sex pests into the fray. Two honourable members who had been deprived of the Conservative whip while under investigation for bullying and sexually inappropriate conduct have been welcomed back into the fleshy, fragrant fold, just in time to take part in the ballot. Doubtless by benign coincidence, at least one of them has expressed the intention of supporting the Prime Minister. Whatever the result may be, we can at least be reassured that even the Conservative Party occasionally sees some point in the now largely treasonous and un-British idea of the presumption of innocence.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

New Broom Has Limp Bristles

Last week the compliant Sajid Javid dispatched his hapless henchbeing Caroline Nokes, who has apparently just about cobbled her face back together after Yvette Cooper walked across it in her Windrush-cleated boots, to announce a sweeping crackdown on financial crime. Coming from the Conservative Party, of course, this sounds about as convincing as a sweeping crackdown on poverty, climate change, slum landlords, arms sales to aggressor states, contempt of Parliament, sexual harassment or racism; and inevitably, so it has proved. Five days ago the Ministry for Wog Control issued five hundred words proclaiming that it would suspend its programme of selling visas to wealthy foreigners; today, after being prompted like a sullen brat in the forced-confession stage of a well-deserved trip to Whacksville, the Ministry for Wog Control issued thirty words to the effect that, of course, the proclamation has not been implemented. Doubtless, with a sudden defenestration from the Conservative Party's battiest belfry looming ever further into the realms of possibility, the compliant Sajid Javid has taken advantage of his department's characteristic efficiency to sneak in a bit of foreign policy on the side.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Not Our Way of Doing Things

A notoriously corrupt and inefficient country with a decrepit judiciary and a loathed political class is lagging considerably behind Peru in its search for strength and stability. A referendum in Peru has asked whether the system for appointing judges and prosecutors should be changed; under our own enlightened system access to justice is being closed off to the many, while the few blithely ignore the law on the grounds that it contains too many experts. Public disapproval of politicians in Peru has led to a referendum question on the structure of the legislature; public disapproval of our own enlightened system has manifested itself in a referendum the dubious result of which has been hijacked to entrench corruption even further. Four former Peruvian presidents are under investigation for corruption, but there is no realistic possibility of justice overtaking the various torturers, war criminals and thieves of public assets who have ruled our own aspiring Third World nation for the past twenty years. It is doubtless to the Peruvians' lasting chagrin that they lack the exalted patriotic perspective of a nation such as our own.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Bad Theology

Text for today: Matthew 9 xxxv-xxxviii

Wandering among the cities and villages, Jesus sees the crowds and feels compassion because they are helpless. He compares them to a harvest with too few labourers to gather it, and instructs His disciples to pray earnestly for more labourers.

Assuming that the human and fallible evangelist's assessment of the Son of God's state of mind is correct, Jesus has compassion for the crowds because they are like sheep without a shepherd; in other words, because they have no master to shear their coats and prepare them for slaughter. As always, the Saviour's concern for His fellow man is a matter of ownership: as the Son and heir of the Father, Jesus does not want His presumed inheritance damaged or diminished. Anyone refusing to submit to this master-and-sheep relationship is destined for the usual compassionate helpings of eternal fire, outer darkness, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

As in the famous parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus likens humanity to a harvest; and here He extends the metaphor to instruct His disciples to pray for a larger supply of priests. Superficially this order is puzzling: since the Father knows everything, He must know who will be saved and who damned. Therefore the destiny of every human soul has been fixed from the beginning of time, as has the deafening silence which, whether the petitioner hears it or not, is the answer to every prayer.

Since the fate of every human soul is foreordained, no amount of praying for an extra bushel of evangelists can make the slightest difference; but of course the Saviour's meaning is more sophisticated than a mere requirement to petition the Father. When dealing with an all-powerful and murderous tyrant, the most prudent policy is always to beg the tyrant to do what he intended to do in the first place; which of course is also the purpose of the Son's last desperate gambit in Gethsemane: "not my will but yours".

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Bedrock Britishness

In the terror-blighted Middle East, there are certain violent factions who go around blowing up ancient historical monuments; which, along with incentivising thousands to commit the sin of migrancy, just goes to show what bad people they are. In the civilised West, of course, we do things rather differently: engineers for Highways England have apparently managed to vandalise a structure dating back six thousand years thanks to sheer Britishness. While constructing a tunnel near Stonehenge, Highways England had agreed to monitor the water table, which evidently distracted their gaze from such minor details as excavated artificial platforms imprinted by the hoofs of giant prehistoric cows. Archaeologists are livid, but a spokesbeing has been extruded to proclaim that Highways England doesn't understand what the fuss is about. After all, a few flints and animal bones don't exactly amount to a statue of Winston Churchill, or even Cecil Rhodes; and archaeologists have been known to claim that Britain's earliest inhabitants may themselves have sneaked in as migrants, so their artifacts would necessarily be less than authentic.

Friday, December 07, 2018

An Amicable Parting

To Dacre in his bunker came Lord Haw-Haw Rothermere:
"Here's two point six eight million; go spend it in good cheer."
Said Dacre to Lord Rothermere: "Now that's a bit of luck.
About time too, you penny-pinching fucking cunting fuck."
Said Rothermere to Dacre: "You're polite beyond your league,
So just clear out your desk and make it nice for Geordie Grieg."
Said Dacre to Lord Rothermere: "You're giving me the punt?
You cunting fucking cunting fucking cunting fucking cunt."

D A Crapule

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Low Blow from High Court

Once again the enemies of the people have refused to put Britain first, preferring to consider the interests of a swarming asylum seeker above the sacred vocation of the Ministry for Wog Disposal. A child at the time of deportation, the menace to Britishness in question is an Afghan who seems suspiciously reluctant to go back home to the horde, despite the ever more accomplished state of our civilising mission there. The High Court has ruled that the Home Office acted illegally in separating him from his family and kicking him out without the pettifogging legalism of five working days' holiday at the taxpayers' expense. With typical foreign cunning, the environmental hostility recipient and his family had provided the Ministry's boot-boys with proof that he was under eighteen, so naturally the Ministry's boot-boys sought a second opinion which was more to their taste. In spite of such precautions the Home Office accepted that the rules had been broken, but demanded to be let off as they would have found other grounds to deport the boy in any case. Rather brilliantly, the Ministry also argued that having already been deported the boy was outside the High Court's jurisdiction and that therefore the court could not order him to be returned. Owing to that inflexible disregard for plucky little amateurs which so taints the attitude of many a mere expert, the judge disagreed.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Basking Comfortably in the Business Climate

Given that the disastrous consequences of climate change became apparent some twenty years ago, and that we have spent those twenty years being ruled by various factions of the British Neoliberal Party, it should come as no surprise that our precious United Kingdom remains at the very forefront of the nothing and worse-than-nothing that is being done. In a year when global carbon emissions broke new records, ninety per cent of Britain's business community has no interest in reduction targets and seventy per cent of executives for sustainable corporativity are quite satisfied with their CEO's opinion that sufficient dynamism is being applied and that no staff changes in the department of corporate sustainability will be necessary for a little while yet. A few companies have carried out "consultations", some of which, it is to be hoped, adequately served the usual purpose of such exercises by drawing out potential troublemakers and making them ripe for the next round of human resource efficiency savings. In a pleasingly postmodern twist, the second most popular idea in response to the invitation to provide ideas was that companies should invite staff to provide ideas. It is, of course, precisely this barnstorming spirit of buccaneering entrepreneurialism that has brought our great nation to the enviable position we occupy today.