The Curmudgeon


Thursday, September 17, 2020


Fourteen per cent of English rivers have a small enough sewage content to be of good ecological standard, and none are of good chemical status: an improvement of nil or less since the Environment Agency's last publication of the data four years ago. Treacherously, the devolved governments in Wales and Scotland have acceptably clean waterways in over sixty per cent of cases, doubtless as a result of emulating the Nazi-Soviet bureaucracy of the beastly Euro-wogs. Since the Secretary of State for the Environment self-evidently has better things to do than worry about the environment, his ministry extruded a filly who admitted that the data did not make her comfortable and said that somebody ought to do something about it. During less unsettled times the Government did allow that it might get around to the problem by 2027, but as people aren't praising it enough the deadline has been blurred into the more comfortable "as soon as possible."

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Plymouth Woe

Our great and glorious global realm has touted its continuing relevance to the modern world with some squeaking about its status as the birthplace of America. Four hundred years ago, the Mayflower sailed off in a sulk from Plymouth, England owing to some differences of opinion about the pronouncements of an imaginary Middle Eastern tyrant and His heir. Appropriately enough given that the voyage led directly to a pullulant market in smallpox blankets, indigenous Americans were not present at the ceremony; and many real Americans also stayed away in case God offered the same protection to celebrations of the Special Relationship as He habitually bestows upon Trumpster rallies and crowded churches. The tattered remnants of the rah-rah were mumbled over by dignitaries, wheezed over by a band (a military one, in acknowledgement of the peaceable nature of the pilgrimage) and fluttered over by the flags of the United Kingdom and the United States, neither of which existed in the seventeenth century; although the latter would eventually emerge thanks to God, Manifest Destiny and a healthily Johnsonian attitude towards the keeping of treaties.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Journal of the Plague Year

continued, by a Gentleman

Great Tidings this Weeke, to the Effect that deſpite the Machinations of the beaſtlie French no Limits ſhall be placed by Her Majeſty's Government upon the Liberty of the Nation to continue its great ſporting Traditions of Hare-courſing, Bear-baiting, Badger-ſuffocating and Grouſe-perforating, to ſay nothing of the ſacred High Church myſteries of Caſsock-lifting and advanced Clapper-pulling. So profound and laſting was my Relief, that I ſummoned my remaining Coachman and ordered inſtant Preparation for a Journey to the Moors. Although the Poſtilion was not to be found I ſojourned ſeverall pleaſant Days with my Lord Pynke-Swynefryte and his famous Collection of modern Blunderbuſses, though not much Game was to be had becauſe my Lord hath loſt ſuch Quantities of Beaters to the Woo Han Peſtilence, that thoſe remaining are ſcarce able to diſcover the Pheaſants in their Burrows, let alone catch and hold them ſteady before the Guns. The glad News of our continuing Britiſhneſs was alſo ſomething tempered by the ſurpriſing and unmerited Permiſsion for the lower Orders to congregate in Herds of half a Dozen or leſs, for alack! it is but a ſhort Step from the Herd to the Stampede, and after the recent Unreſt among the Slaves who can preſume to ſay what ſlippery Slope may not be lighting the Fuſe upon a ſudden and dretful Ocean Wave of Anarchy? When I expreſsed theſe Sentiments to my Lord Pynke-Swynefryte he preſcribed a Courſe of Lobſter and Cheeſe, to be taken at Bed-time in the Orifice of greateſt Convenience, an Inſtruction which I find paſsing vague.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Healthy Outdoor Activities

There have recently been rumours that, despite Government exhortations to defy the pandemic by eating in restaurants and sending children back to school, certain foolhardy members of the public have been eating in restaurants and sending children back to school. Naturally this has resulted in the virus beginning to spread once more; and since our test, trace and thingummy is so world-beating that nobody can see it run, the Government has instituted yet another set of rules about how many plebs are allowed to herd together before some curtain-twitching busybody can waste police time about them with a sufficiently clear conscience. Alas, the new regulations could potentially have inconvenienced those paragons of British fair play and kindness to animals whose idea of a good time is to fire metal pellets into whichever birds seem sufficiently harmless and slow-moving to merit the honour. The arguments over whether to apply the restrictions to these sporting types apparently went on long enough to delay any announcement as to how the more expendable classes might be affected; so if the Cummings administration's front-man seems a little distracted during the parliamentary debate over the Law-breakers' Legalisation Bill, it's probably because the Cummings administration has been dealing with something far more important than the pedantic misgivings of a few enemies of the people.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Bad Theology

Text for today: II Samuel 11-12

King David is attracted to another man's wife and, since she has conveniently purified herself of her uncleanliness, sleeps with her and impregnates her. Her husband, Uriah the Hittite, is away massacring the Ammonites, so David summons him and tries to induce him to go home and sleep with his wife; but Uriah refuses out of respect for the hardships being suffered by his comrades and by the Ark of the Covenant, though not necessarily in that order. Even after David gets him drunk Uriah does not return home, so David orders his commander to place Uriah where the fighting is heaviest and let him be killed. God is displeased and sends the prophet Nathan to announce David's punishment. For despising God and disobeying His orders, David's penalty is that the sword will never depart his house; and because David has scorned the Lord, his child from the adulterous union dies after a week of illness.

As in the case of Pharaoh during the Exodus, God punishes the sinner through the suffering of others, although in this instance He does not go quite so far as to boast Himself the source of the sin. Although He did not intervene to save the life of the virtuous Uriah, He is content to punish the entirety of His chosen people for Uriah's murder. God's anger at David's disobedience means that thousands will suffer and die in the kingdom's civil wars, while His annoyance at being slighted leads Him to torment a new-born for seven days before killing it. Eventually Bathsheba gives birth to Solomon, whose later sins of tolerance and their unfortunate consequences, long after David's death, must clearly be ascribed to God's chastisement of David rather than to any fault of Solomon's own.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Journal of the Plague Year

continued, by a Gentleman

I am much pained to note, that owing to the Applauſe-luſting Poltroonery of the medical Profeſsion, and to the Self-indulging Fooliſhneſs of the Food-conſuming Publick which flocks to Eating-places deſpite the moſt aſsiduous official Encouragement, and above all to the undemocratick Obedience of our School-greedy Youth, it appeareth the Woo Han Peſtilence ſtill holds our glorious Realm in the taloned Gripe of its hideous heathen Scimitar-nayled Migrant Chineſe Hands. I hear from my more ephebophiliack Acquaintances, that the Archbiſhop is much grieved over the Incapacity of our Citizens at proving worthy of his many Petitions and Prayers to the Moſt High, that He ſhould improve the Efficacy of His moſt juſt Chaſtiſement by applying it onlie according to His Will. Now the Hope of the Nation muſt reſt upon our magnificent Peſtilential Marſhalls, whom our noble Prime Miniſter hath formally empowered to enforce Whatever, as they ſhould ſee fit according to their own Britiſh good Senſe of all that is true and decent, their daily Pay being nothing leſs than the eternal Goodwill of a grateful Populace and the laſting Gratitude of Her Majeſty's Government. It is to be hoped that the Appliauſe lately forfeited by the traytorous Surgeons and idle Nurſes may now have found Recipients both worthier and more miniſterially approved.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Britain Helps Those Who Help Themselves

Given the Conservative leadership's charming insouciance over its promises to international trading partners, Conservative voters and the master race, there will be little surprise that Her Majesty's Government is now breaking its word to some foreign female piccaninnies. It's true that the Cummings administration's front-man once had a bit of a blather about giving girls a quality education, but anyone with a robust Johnsonian sense of entendre ought to know what that means. As Global Britain re-conquers the international stage, its spanking new Ministry for Wogs, Beads and Trinkets will be far too busy taming the Russian Bear, and teaching the Heathen Chinee a thing or two about international law, to bother with giving African children the kind of schooling which the Conservative Party probably considers too good for British ones.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Notwithstanding Godwin

It would of course be wrong and unfair to compare Adolf Hitler with Boris Johnson, not least because Johnson has twice as many testicles and Hitler had considerably more physical courage and was far less lazy. Nevertheless, Churchill's great contemporary and his tiny little groupie do have points in common, including silly hair, a penchant for racism and a touchingly starry-eyed relationship with the sound of their own voices. As has recently become clear even to one or two free and fearless journalists, they also share a certain insouciance on the subject of international treaty obligations; and it was doubtless this particular elective affinity which prompted the beastly Huns to begin preparations for the ticklish business of living encircled by the rogue states of Russia in the east and the United Kingdom somewhere in orbit around Planet Westminster. Typically for so methodical and humourless a race, the German government made efforts to inform schools, care centres and even asylum-seeker shelters in advance, rather than relying on G4S and the Blitz spirit to see the country through.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Journal of the Plague Year

continued, by a Gentleman

Thoſe ſupreme and perennial Exemplificators to Mankind of medicinal Expertiſe, perſonal Cleanlineſs and Sweetneſs of boddily Odour, who conſtitute Her Majeſty's Government, have been compelled to iſsue yet further Warnings upon the Perils of exceſsive Proximity, for clearly the dreaded Woo Han Peſtilence is no Reſpecter of entrepreneurial Pluck, World-beating Gumption, nor any other prophylactick Manifeſtation of homæopathick Britiſhneſs. The horrid Depredations of this Peril from the Eaſt have been much exacerbated by the traytorous Collaboration and fractious Diſobedience of the Young, who have diſregarded the wiſe Advice of their Elders and perſiſted in their Schooling, in blaſphemous Defiance of the democratick Imperative to ignore the Government. Such alſo is the Opinion of my Lord Splyce-Chyldebryde, who told me in Savile Row yeſter Eve, that the Quantity of Deaths among Parents and Governeſses hath led even the better Houſeholds unto a diſaſtrous Sparing of the Rod, the monſtrous Conſequence of which may be obſerved in Fear and Trembling when the unruly uncaned Mob deſtroys a thouſand Yeares of hard-earned Liberty, by interfering with the Delivery to a Truth-ſtarved Populace of ſundry enlightening religious Tracts and Pamphlets.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Limited and Specific Justice

New charges are to be brought against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has the bad luck to hold dual citizenship in a nuclear-armed state with a long and brutal record of violence against other countries and a government run by xenophobic bigots, and also in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested four years ago on charges of espionage and criminal tuition of journalism, the latter of which was blithely confirmed by Britain's joke Foreign Secretary, a certain Boris Johnson. Iran denies using the affair as leverage to induce the master race to pay its debts; and given that the former party of law and order has just formally announced that it does not consider itself bound by international treaties, the Iranians' logic is difficult to fault. In any case, according to the rogue state's national religion a woman who can't make up her mind whether she is a lesser breed can hardly be worth a full ransom; so anyone who imagines that Her Majesty's Government cares what happens to Zaghari-Ratcliffe would be a very mad mullah indeed.