The Curmudgeon


Thursday, July 24, 2014

What's Excruciating

Following on from recent research in Ohio and Oklahoma, the Christian state of Arizona has carried out another human experiment, with results that are just and humane according to the state governor. The object of the exercise was injected with drugs so humane that the Christian state of Arizona won't tell anybody where they came from, and took just under two hours to die, gasping for breath the while. At least one American jurist has argued that the lethal-injection method as a whole is "doomed to failure" and that people should accept brutal methods for a brutal process: “I personally think we should go to the guillotine, but shooting is probably the right way to go,” he said. The guillotine, of course, has unfortunate political connotations, being bound up with notions of liberté, egalité, fraternité to which most of the United States has long ago stopped pretending to subscribe. Shooting, on the other hand, has the virtue of simplicity (any high-school kid can do it), and the advantage that America is not as yet a net importer of guns and ammo.

“What I saw today with him being executed, it is nothing compared to what happened on August 7, 1989,” said the sister of one of those whose murder was expiated in today's experiment in payback. “What's excruciating is seeing your father lying there in a pool of blood, seeing your sister lying in a pool of blood.” As long as America is committed to the Christian values of blood vengeance and a life for a life, perhaps the way to go is simply to take Big Government out of the equation altogether, and give surviving relatives the chance to polish off the condemned for themselves.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Another Slant on British Values

As an island nation with a world-famous culture, an imperial history and a writing system which can be mastered only by native speakers and masochists, Japan is of course different in every significant way from the United Kingdom of Westminster, London and the Other Bits. Doubtless this explains how some Japanese people managed to misinterpret the Gove History idea of pride in one's island story. A public monument dedicated to Koreans who were brought to Japan as forced labour was erected by a friendly society ten years ago; the inscription reads, in part: "We hereby express our determination not to repeat the same mistake by remembering and reflecting on the historical fact that our country inflicted tremendous damage and suffering on Koreans in the past." This sort of lefty breast-beating has no place under the revisionist government of Shinzo Abe, who has about as much time for regrets about racism and "comfort women" as the Gove-Ferguson™ model of history has for qualms over Nagasaki or the Third Battle of Ypres; and the local authority has ordered the offending monument removed. It is certainly a great pity that the lesser breeds never seem to learn the proper lessons from history. Meanwhile, the deplorable situation in the Middle East continues to be entirely the fault of selected local residents.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

They're Just Not Like Normal Human Beings

Although several hundred human shields have been rendered permanently inoperable to the terrorists of Hamas, a complication has arisen which may cause a cease-fire to be delayed. One of the Righteous State's defenders has gone missing and may have been captured; this of course does not happen in normal war zones, but only in those where a nuclear-armed occupying power faces an existential threat from small-arms and hand-made rockets. Similarly, unlike normal humane military powers of the kind that use nail-bombs against civilians, the genocidal fanatics of Gaza are prone to using captured soldiers in prisoner exchanges. The Righteous State has already lost several dozen lives through this latest escalation of the peace process; if the terrorists cannot observe even the most basic rules and usages of war, what possible hope remains of the master race not being unduly inconvenienced far into the future?

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Anthropocene Stratum

Those tribes who hunted mammoth on great plains,
And those whose game now runs on little screens,
And those beyond our own oblivion
Are gathered unto this memorial stone,
Outlasting their small horrors and small hopes:
Brief pyramids or long-lived isotopes.
Humanity, for what it's worth, is here
Become this stripe of sediment, this smear.

Cliff Chipper

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Doing a Bang-Up Job

The Minister for Profitable Incarceration, Chris Graybeing, has discovered, much to his surprise, that if you close lots of prisons and fire the staff while continuing to imprison people, certain problems may result. Two thousand prison officers who were made redundant have been invited back on nine-month contracts to help the Government with its warehousing difficulties. The invitation refers to "particular short-term pressures" such as, presumably, the need to avoid too many major riots between now and the election, a little more than nine months away; and states: "Your previous governor has indicated that, in their opinion and based on your past service, we would be happy for you to join the Reserve." It is very considerate of prison governors to indicate what Chris Graybeing and his part-time, unpaid and not very bright flunkey in charge of prisons would be happy about, although the governors themselves seem to have forgotten making the assertion. For his own part, Sadiq Khan for Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition said that the Government had brought the crisis on itself by implementing New Labour policy too fast.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Congratulations on Your Recent Promotion

One beneficiary of Daveybloke's reshuffle thingy was Mark Harper, the former Home Office thug who was in charge of the squalid and idiotic Powellite Pantechnicon Programme. Harper contributed further to the gaiety of the nation when it was discovered that his own cleaner had not been given leave to remain in the country. Harper resigned, but has now been given a post in the brilliant Iain Duncan Smith's Department of Workfare and Privation, where his compassion, competence and expenses claims will doubtless come in handy.

Meanwhile, the illegal Britishness-diluter herself has been carted away from her daughter's wedding by fifteen Home Office henchmen and "a small number of regular police". Perhaps they were afraid that a wheelchair user would ambush them; but be that as it may, this particular skirmish in the crusade for British values is interestingly timed: not only in the petty Home Office vindictiveness of invading the wedding ceremony, but in its coming so soon after the promotion of Mark Harper. Are some old, fond colleagues marking his return to government with the Conservative Party's equivalent of a congratulatory strippergram?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Serious Enough

Britain's Head Boy has been doing the statesmanship thingy over the disaster in Ukraine. He has chaired an emergency committee meeting, wherein he was evidently informed that the incident was serious enough for a quick strut on the international stage, and he has come out huffing and puffing with moral indignation. The air crash is "absolutely shocking" and has brought about an "absolutely dreadful loss of life", and if a missile was indeed involved, "those responsible must be held to account". Britain's Head Boy has even rescheduled a meeting with all the shiny new drones and fillies in his cabinet, in order that he may instruct his fellow prefects in global Big School as to what must be done.

Two things, even at this early stage, are self-evident. Firstly, the air crash in Ukraine was not self-defence, nor a security overreaction, nor even a regrettably disproportionate response to an existential threat; and secondly, as one would expect from the foregoing, the dead are not from Gaza.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stability, Actually

The British government, whose dedication to stability and certainty is particularly noticeable in its attitude towards Europe, has dispatched a minor flunkey to lecture the Australians upon their lack of business acumen. The Australian government has just repealed its carbon tax, and also keeps its asylum seekers in a concentration camp run by G4S; so to a certain extent it resembles the way the Conservative right see themselves in their dreams, often, no doubt, before waking up in a dank little puddle of foetid public-school pleasure. Still, the minister for trade and investment had a finger or two to wag at the uppity colonials, while using the word actually a good deal and presumably winning hearts and minds all the way from Darwin to Tasmania. Contrary to British government policy, which mostly consists in sweeping reforms enacted by people who know nothing and care less about the sectors they are reforming, the minister actually argued for "a framework that will actually go beyond the next election so people know if they are actually going to make this investment, that the goalposts won’t change." As a representative of the greenest government ever, the minister also criticised "governments doing handbrake turns", thereby warning future Australian administrations against bringing back any of that nasty green crap.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Female Trouble Again

All three branches of the British Neoliberal Party have been criticised for rushing the snoopers' charter into law under the pretext of emergency legislation. The UN high commissioner for human rights has followed in the disreputable footsteps of Raquel Rolnik and Radisha Manjoo by presuming to tell the British government what may or may not constitute legally sound policy. Navi Pillay is a woman and looks like an immigrant, which no doubt explains her self-evident desire for plucky little Westminster to be swamped by terrorists, criminals and paedophiles even more than it already is. Daveybloke's Minister for Beer, Bingo and Slapping Down Uppity Foreign Females, Michael Green, has so far had nothing to say on the matter; perhaps because the powers which helped him survive the reshuffle have yet to remove the precautionary ball gag.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Toughest Decision

When looms the democratic fight
The wise man lurches to the right;
And when the Party fortune's poor,
And ratings bump along the floor,
And every kind of evil thrives,
Why, then 'tis time we take the knives -
So long, so shiny - from the rack,
To stick in many a colleague's back.
In general, and in the main,
This rule of thumb serves to explain
Why Ministers must come and go
Whether or not they will it so.
The brainy ones are glad to leave;
The badger-busters get the heave.

There comes a point, to some surprise,
When even Tories realise
That somebody (it pains to note)
Has gone and given girls the vote.
Nor are they swayed by waving willies;
So we have need of token fillies.
Now Paterson, his game is bust;
Let's have the green crap tied and Trussed.
To keep our schools at present peak,
There's Morgan the religious freak;
Esther McVey we can't avoid,
So let her kick the unemployed;
The Treasury can have Patel,
Who ticks the darky-box as well.

Preliminaries out the way,
Now to the business of the day.
Clarke, Hague and Willetts to their cars,
And let the door not bruise their arse.
The legal specialists may leave,
So Grayling has no need to Grieve.
To FCO the Hammond flunkey,
And in his place the Fallon monkey.
Penning had charge of cripples' beds,
So he can help the Met crack heads;
The Racist Van Man's thuggery
Is suited to DWP;
And Letwin will not fuss or squeal
If he can have the Privy Seal.

Well, that was simple; there remains
The one to really tax the brains.
It's quite a cunning task indeed,
To neutralise a poison weed;
And find some work that may behove
A Tessie-baiting turd like Gove.
Respected not, yet hardly loved,
Where can the little oik be shoved?
There is temptation, it is true,
To flush him down the peerage flue -
But wait, that's it! A sewage pipe!
The epitome of Tory type!
If ever gutter needed shit,
The Bullingdons' Chief Whip is it!

Crosby Pannick