The Curmudgeon


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Safe Amid the Shake-Ups

England's main public health watchdog has bought itself a bit of time before the inevitable sell-off, by publishing a more or less favourable report on shale-fracking. The report has met with the approval of Cuadrilla, whose entrepreneurial activities caused a couple of earthquakes in Lancashire, but which did not see fit to mention the fact either to the regulator or to its chums in the Government. Cuadrilla claims that it had no legal obligation to report a few northerners being shaken up; if true, this presumably accounts for the claim by the energy minister, Michael Fallon, that "the UK has the most robust regulatory regime in the world for shale gas", just as it has the most robust regulatory regime for tax-dodging, executive rake-offs, corporate lobbying and so forth. Anyway, the report by Public Health England says that shale-fracking is fine as long as operations are "well-regulated and well-run"; so with the famously rigorous employers of Serco, G4S and Atos Healthcare in charge, what could possibly go wrong?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On the Money

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a lady satirist of solid literary merit, who has been hustled onto a grateful nation's banknotes as the token female, must be in want of prettying up. A biographer of Jane Austen has protested the Bank of England's choice of image, a doe-eyed Victorian blandness irresistibly suggestive of the fantasy S&M sex life of Iain Duncan Smith. The picture dates from half a century after Austen's death, and is a family-values version of the only known contemporary portrait, an acidulous sketch by Austen's sister Cassandra which was evidently too strong for Threadneedle Street. Given that the country's finances are even now in the chubby hands of some dewlap-rippling Regency fatheads straight out of a Cruikshank print, the use of a Victorian image for a Georgian writer has a particularly delicate irony.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chemical Warfare

Some of the Gulf's most decent Arabs are facing criticism over their forthright stance on law and order. The government of Bahrain has ordered 1.6 million tear-gas canisters, which amounts to one canister per head of population with four hundred thousand to spare. The government of Bahrain has also ordered 235,000 grenades of various types, just in case anyone should fail to take the hint. The suppliers are DaeKwang Chemical of Seoul, and it is by no means clear that their products are clearly marked Not to be Used for Internal Repression, as any weapons shilled by Daveybloke and his chums are marked as a matter of course. Indeed, Human Rights Watch accuses the Bahraini government of using tear-gas "disproportionately and sometimes unlawfully", and claims that security forces like to bestow it upon residential areas even when there are no protests. No doubt such measures, which include shooting canisters into houses and at people's heads, are intended purely as a preventive measure against something worse, like the Liberal Democrats clobbering the British poor. According to Physicians for Human Rights, thirty-nine deaths in Bahrain have been attributed to tear-gas; and the US has stopped exporting it there, presumably pending a gentlemen's agreement on the use of drones against uppity Shia. Aside from weapons sales, Britain has made its usual constructive contribution by doing a bit of urging.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Enemies Within

Now that the economy is only slightly worse than when he took office, Britain's Head Boy has had a bit of a burble about what still needs to be done. Visiting a car factory in Oxford, which is safely within the southern zone where Britain still manufactures things, Daveybloke deplored the apparent fact that there are some factories where half the workforce comes from Poland, Latvia or Lithuania. Not that he blames the workforce; no indeed. Unlike the lazy scroungers of non-trust-fund Britain, "they want to work, they see the jobs, they come over and they do them." Rather, the fault lies with teachers, some of whom are still defying Michael Gove by claiming that children are best taught under decent conditions by those qualified to do so. The key, Daveybloke burbled, was "linking education, welfare reform and immigration", so that an appropriate attitude towards shirkers and foreigners can be bred into native human resources at an early age. Daveybloke also burbled something about seeing the economy recover and seeing jobs coming, which I am sure he does.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

They'll Thank Us One Day

The Allies step up to the crease,
With warnings and missiles and grease:
The enemy cowers,
Morality towers;
Petroleum flows without cease!

Our boys in their Britishness bled
To help these poor souls get ahead:
Freedoms did they strew,
So Democracy grew
Among the collateral dead.

There have been some glitches, it's true,
In shaping this failed state anew;
But with terrorists fled
And the Decent well-led,
What matters a car-bomb or two?

Rah rah for these statesmen of ours
In their grey suits and red paper flowers!
Just look at this peace
They have helped to release!
Rah rah for the wog-bombing Powers!

Anthony Allenby Hoon

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Above Their Weight

The Government's chums in the food industry, who did so much to make Twizzler Lansley's vision of the NHS a roaring success, have signed a responsibility pledge thingy about saturated fats. A cardiologist has asserted in the British Medical Journal that sugar is a bigger problem than saturated fats; other mere scientists have argued that the fashion for low-fat food may have done more harm than good because manufacturers tend to add yet more sugar to low-fat products in order to make them more interesting, rather like a minister padding out a thin policy with a rush to the rivers of blood.

Accordingly, the Government's chums in the food industry have pledged to cut the levels of saturated fats and not the levels of sugar: after all, why treat cancer with dangerous radiation and elaborate chemical concoctions when aspirin is so much simpler and cheaper? In open defiance of the prevailing theology, the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges has recommended a ban on fast-food outlets near Gove fast-practice outlets, and even went so far as to suggest interfering in the free market by taxing sugary drinks and restricting advertising. Presumably, in reaching a necessary compromise between an effective public health policy and a friendly climate for profiteers, the present sub-Liberal Democrat pledge was the best next-to-nothing that could be achieved.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Heating versus Eating: Problem Solved

We are all aware that, thanks to the Osborne economic miracle and the charitable restraint of the energy cartel, no hard-working family will be forced to choose between heating and eating this winter. Nevertheless, the Government has felt it necessary to supplement Ed Davey's recent helpful hint - "wear a jumper" - with a few precious nuggets of more detailed advice. The dilemma between heating and eating is dispensed with in short order: apparently, it is best to do both. Between trips to the food bank, people should also insulate their lofts and draught-proof their windows and doors. Radiators should not be obstructed with furniture or curtains, particularly in cases where residents can afford to switch the radiators on. A flunkey at the Ministry for NewsCorp and Privatised Healthcare urged NHS staff to get themselves a flu jab, in case this had not occurred to them; and instructed everybody else to find time to check on those who may be vulnerable. The NHS won't be able to do much, but it may at least be possible to spot a few health tourists and other scroungers, and report them to the proper authorities.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Greener Than Some

Eight American states have signed a memorandum of understanding to secede from the Union by intefering in the automobile market. The ultimate intention of the heresy is to get more than three million zero-emission vehicles onto the roads in the next twelve years. "This agreement is a major step forward to reducing the emissions that are causing our climate to change and unleashing the extreme weather that we are experiencing with increased frequency," proclaimed the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, in open defiance of Republican values, the Founding Fathers and Britain's badger-busting environment secretary. Presumably it is the prevalence of such attitudes, as well as America's ongoing hegemonic shrinkage, which has caused the greenest government ever to start fluttering those flirtatious Osborne chins at the Heathen Chinee.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stolen By G...

Irish police have handed back one of the children taken from Roma families over the last couple of days. DNA samples were taken from both the child and the family, although it is as yet unclear whether the samples were used in determining that the child was non-Aryan enough to be returned. The family of a seven-year-old girl removed on Monday are still awaiting results; the girl has blonde hair and blue eyes, which no doubt explains the family's residency in a "quiet suburban street with nearly kept gardens", rather than the usual wooden crate on four piles of bricks. Although the family home has apparently suffered spontaneous pre-emptive reprisals from concerned locals, it is to be hoped that the case will not result in a whole community being held responsible: I'm sure not every garda is a child-snatcher.

Update And now they've handed back the girl as well. Apparently they believed she was in danger because she was Aryan and had Roma parents; fortunately, they believed it in good faith.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Possibly Ahead of its Time

Remarkably enough, it seems there are instruments so blunt that even the British Home Office won't use them against immigrants; at least, not for very long. The Powellite Pantechnicon Programme, which involved driving vans with a wogs-go-home message and some duncansmithian figures around racially mixed areas of London, has been scrapped; either because it is not subtle enough for Theresa May, or because Tim Farron and Norman Baker persuaded her against it by sheer force of personality, depending on whom one believes. The Conservatives claim that, contrary to the faith-based habits of her Cabinet colleagues, May took the decision on the strength of an "evaluation", which showed that the programme had not been effective in persuading illegal immigrants or their cats to depart our shores. One of May's flunkeys had earlier justified the campaign on the grounds that it was cheap financially as well as morally: if a single wog left the country as a result, the flunkey said, then the cost of the advertising would be recouped. Apparently one single wog did in fact come forward; not because he saw the vans, but because he read about them in the Guardian, whose national security credentials have doubtless been well and truly restored by a grateful government. In any case, the Home Office has now begun sending threatening text messages to people who appear to have been chosen more or less at random, in the hope that this will provide an even more glorious bulwark against the foreign tide.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Glowing Achievement

Britain's Head Boy has been having a bit of a burble about how jolly it is to be building radioactive white elephants just when everyone else, with the possible exceptions of Iran and North Korea, has decided to stop. Surprisingly enough, the Deputy Conservative doormat at the Ministry for Freezing Energy Consumers, Ed Davey, was in agreement, proclaiming that bills would fall by more than £75 over the next seventeen years and that the lights would be kept on despite the Milibeing's fiendish efforts. Naturally, the taxpayer will have to invest a certain amount in order for this dream to materialise, and the greenest government ever has kindly agreed to tear up one of the few remaining fragments of the coalition agreement in order to let the taxpayer subsidise some foreign companies for the next few decades. It is true that a few small details remain to be ironed out, like where the toxic waste is going to go; but the reactor itself will be the requisite safe distance from Westminster, and Lynton Crosby's chums in the shale-fracking industry will soon be digging holes all over the provinces, so doubtless something convenient will suggest itself once the Bristol Channel is full up.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Language of Love

O love! Your grammar includes
Much conjugal declension;
Some gender, lots of moods,
And post-imperfect tension.

Otto Rottick

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The People Versus

As if the war on judicial drugs were not enough, the Christian state of Missouri must now contend with the Satanic moralising of a notorious pornographer. Missouri is all lubed up to kill Joseph Paul Franklin, a racist bandit, bomber and multiple murderer who killed perhaps twenty people out of a deluded sense of what really constitutes social inferiority in the United States. One of Franklin's victims was Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler magazine and convicted defiler of the Stars and Stripes, who was shot and paralysed by the prospective martyr almost thirty-five years ago. Flynt opposes the execution on the grounds that "vengeance is wrong", although he also expressed some doubt as to whether a life sentence in an American penitentiary - which Franklin has, in effect, already served - would be much more fun than the lethal injection. Meanwhile, it remains uncertain whether the Christian state of Missouri has enough drugs in stock to redeem Franklin's debt to society without incurring legal challenges about the fitness for human consumption of the poison they use to kill him.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Reinvigorating the Social Contract

The energy cartel's winter price hikes have prompted the Minister for NewsCorp and Profitable Healthcare, Jeremy C Hunt, to issue a timely reminder that the Government is no more interested in the welfare of the non-wealthy elderly than are Centrica or its corporate chums. Hunt has taken his admiration of Rupert Murdoch so far as to marry his own Wendi Deng, and has evidently received a postcard from George Osborne permitting him to remind us of the fact as a means of pushing Asian family values. The idea, if idea is the word I want, is that Britain's proles need to stop complaining about the likes of Southern Cross and start mucking in with the incontinence pads. Grown-up siblings living at separate addresses need to reunite, set up home together and, after a relaxing day contributing towards the Osborne economic miracle, look after Granny and/or Grandpa for themselves. While they're working and commuting, of course, Granny and/or Grandpa can be looked after by a workfarer from Serco, or some equally reliable corporate citizen; and every so often Jeremy C Hunt's rigorous inspection régime will knock at the door and make sure everything is going well. Rupert Murdoch is eighty-two.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

British Values Catching On

France's government, which appears to be Socialist after the style of Theresa May, has provoked protests from students by deporting a fifteen-year-old girl to Kosovo. Her family are Roma and left the country five years ago under the delusion that the rest of Europe would be more welcoming; and their expulsion has given rise to accusations of tarnishing France's image as a champion of human rights - an image that is nearly as impressive as Britain's own. With a degree of tact that must have gladdened the hearts of those who originated our Powellite Pantechnicon programme, the girl was arrested in front of her classmates while on a field trip. Her fellow students' reaction may possibly explain why these matters are, for preference, generally settled in the beneficiary's home at around three in the morning.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fat Isn't Funny

A crypto-public organisation going by the ominously non-Conservative acronym NICE has issued draft guidelines instructing doctors to treat obese patients with respect and not to blame them for being overweight. It is unlikely that Jeremy C Hunt's Ministry for NewsCorp and Profitable Healthcare will have many objections to this; over a quarter of the population is obese and, as with many other human imperfections, the Conservative Party blames people for being overweight only when they are also poor. Less likely to find favour among the puddle-deep minds of the Bullingdon Club and its environs is the claim that "quick fixes do not work", and that people who lose weight should change their behaviour for the long term. Twizzler Lansley's chums in the junk-food industry helped him to save the NHS from the ravages of overpaid nurses and insufficient red tape. Where will they be if the proles start paying attention to their diet?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Greene Stamps

Now that good old Vince Cable has successfully stiffed the taxpayer for a decent chunk of Royal Mail's cash value, the company boss has been setting out her priorities for the race to the bottom. Predictably, given the privatised company's likely treatment of its workers, Moya Greene was mainly concerned with finding ways of curtailing their ability to take industrial action. Green told ITV News, "I just think we need to look at alternative ways to resolve disputes," since job security, reasonable conditions and a decent wage are self-evidently out of the question. The fiendish Communication Workers Union has already balloted for a strike, and is apparently hoping to disrupt deliveries in the run-up to Christmas. Since it will affect people other than those who will lose their postal service altogether when Greene and her chums get around to closing offices and raising prices, this is clearly unacceptable.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Proliferating Piccaninnies

I am sure we all remember the London Haystack's populist, straight-talking pledge that, whatever the extent of his party's prole-kicking, there would be no Kosovo-style social cleansing on his watch. Nevertheless, an east London council is preparing for a moral fumigation of Britain's largest hostel for homeless young people by sending twenty-nine fallen women to places with comparatively few Conservative voters. Perhaps it's because the London Haystack is busy helping the Chancellor teach the Heathen Chinee a thing or two about housing bubbles and the surveillance state; perhaps the Government hopes that hard-working families and the Red Cross will step in and pick up the pieces. Then again, perhaps it's just that the Osborne economic miracle means we can't afford the small-arms ammunition for a Kosovo on the Thames.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

But Some Are More Martyred Than Others

Five hundred "martyrs of the faith" have had their immigration rights to Paradise recognised by the Catholic church, and will now be expected to intercede on behalf of those faithful who grovel in their name. The five hundred were martyred during the Spanish Civil War, when the Catholic church was firmly on the side of the "nationalist" (Fascist, in Oldspeak) forces of General Franco. Despite various pressure groups having written to the Pope, the far greater number of non-Fascists who were murdered by the church's chums did not receive a mention during the ceremony. It is all very well to offer dialogue with the forces of atheistic republicanism, but they cannot be allowed to interfere with the Vatican's heavenly border patrols.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Skilled Peasants Ready for Export

The Government's famously happy relationship with information and computer technology is set to receive another shot in the dark from the Chancellor's visit to China. It appears that the Chinese economy is evolving in a slightly different direction from our own: according to Osborne, "Those who think it is just a low-wage, low-tech economy are making a mistake", and no doubt the Chancellor and his chums will have much useful advice to offer, not least because Osborne has done his prep for once and has learned the word tech for the occasion. Britain has also evolved a "skilled workforce and entrepreneurial environment", which will come as a pleasant surprise to the few million of us who are unemployed, underemployed or otherwise tarred with the lazy-brush.

A further purpose of the visit is to smoothe Beijing's ruffled feathers over Daveybloke's photo-opportunity with the Dalai Lama last year; presumably by reassuring our new Chinese chums that the whole business was entirely for show, the sort of irritating social occasion which is sometimes forced upon great men by the exigencies of pretend democracy, and that the British Government has no more interest in the human rights of Tibetans than it does in those of Britons below a certain income bracket.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Disaster Area

In lieu of the Nobel Peace Prize, which has somehow eluded them once more, Daveybloke and his cuddly chums may rejoice in a different distinction. The British Red Cross, which usually intervenes in the event of wars, earthquakes and famines, has now added British Conservative governments to its list of concerns. The charity is launching a campaign this winter to distribute food to those whose budgets can no longer hold out under the Osborne economic miracle; which means that the Conservatives and their little orange fags are arguably Britain's greatest disaster since the glorious victory over the forces of European unification in 1945. Doubtless it will not be long before the Government, on behalf of the wealth-creating community, voices its indignation at the inability of the Red Cross to help hard-working trust fund beneficiaries minimise their tax burden.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Roasting Horsemeat on the Bonfire of the Quangos

Surprisingly enough, it appears that deregulation and swingeing budget cuts can occasionally lead to a lowering of standards, despite the steady competence for which the Bullingdon Club and its little orange fags are justly notorious. In its sterling efforts to remove red tape, the Government cut down the Food Standards Agency and gave some of its remit to Defra and some to the Department for Profitable Healthcare. At the time, the latter department was being run by Twizzler Lansley, noted for soliciting the junk food industry's advice on breaking up the NHS; but presumably this was merely a benign coincidence. In any case, what had been the preserve of a single agency was now split between the said agency and two large ministries, with all the clarity of purpose and interdepartmental collaborativity that implies; in short, an exponential increase in the red tape which the Bullingdon Club and its little orange fags claimed to be removing. The Government has also managed to lose a quarter of the public analysts capable of detecting adulteration in food, and over the last two years a third of the necessary laboratories have also been mislaid. Astoundingly, this has resulted in a dramatic lowering of standards in food quality and an equally dramatic inability to test for and prevent adulteration; in large part, no doubt, because the proles are too lazy to shoot their own grouse.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Owen Goal

Daveybloke's badger-busting environment secretary - the chap who thinks global warming might be rather jolly because it will mean white people can grow their own bananas - has run into one or two little problems in his war against bovine tuberculosis. Owen Paterson decided to attack the problem in the fashion most favoured by the traditional Tory, namely by shooting large numbers of animals. Unfortunately, the animals in question have violated every standard of British sportsmanship: they have been hiding, and running around, and moving goalposts, and indulging in breeding patterns which are beyond the comprehension of the National Farmers Union. Hunters in Somerset have been forced to employ cage-traps so that the badgers will stand still long enough to be shot. It has been pointed out that vaccinating a caged animal is just as easy and probably cheaper than shooting it; but Paterson has already rejected vaccination as being all socialist and scientific.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Teething Challenges of the Titans

Putting people in prison is as much a favourite activity with Britain's Head Boy and his chums as it was with New Labour; and it is encouraging to note that the New Labour meaning of "flagship policy" (viz. an even bigger cock-up than usual) remains essentially unchanged under the present régime. Those nice people at G4S have again been a tremendous help, running the Oakwood titan prison in such Olympic style that it's easier to obtain illegal drugs than it is to find a bar of soap, and the staff are trained and supported with so much fiscal conservatism that the place virtually runs itself. The chief inspector of prisons made an unannounced visit in the summer and found high levels of drug use, assault, victimisation and bullying, with use of force to restrain inmates at twice the level of similar palaces of correction. The reception process was found to be ATOS-like in its rigour: "One prisoner had been noted in his secondary screening on arrival as having 'no disabilities'. In reality, he was unable to walk without a Zimmer frame and was partially sighted and deaf." Perhaps worst of all, despite the best efforts of the Minister for Incarceration and Heterosexual Hostelry, Chris Graybeing, the forty-hour working week for inmates has not been properly introduced; which may well mean that the prison system could rival the workfare programme as an efficient source of taxpayer-funded forced labour. Of course, lessons are being learned even as I write, and no doubt it will all be sorted out once the inspectorate of prisons has also been made the responsibility of those nice people at G4S.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Better Than Being A Banknote

Modern readers, it appears, are too thick-headed to understand that the world was not always as we now behold it. In order that such literati should not miss out, a project has been set up to produce garbled versions of Jane Austen's novels "with a contemporary twist". This kind of thing has been done before, notably with the "colorising" of black-and-white films (monochrome is so dull, and the real world is in colour anyway) and the more recent updating of Enid Blyton's books for the benefit of children who might go into shock at the idea that people once spoke and thought differently from the way they do now.

In Austen's case, apparently, the idea is to go through the texts replacing outmoded things with modern things: worries about draughts with worries about vitamins, for instance. Such artistic accomplishment is worthy of Microsoft Word's search-and-replace facility, but has instead been farmed out to some hustling contemporary writers: "This is a project which requires consummate respect above all else," gushed the grave-robber who defiled Sense and Sensibility, which presumably indicates that appropriate use has been made of single-clause sentences and words of two syllables or less.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Why Can't They Just Shale-Frack Like Responsible People?

A British company has started aerial surveys over Africa's oldest national park, the Virunga, with a view to increasing yet further our wherewithal to accelerate climate change. Soco International has said that its actions are governed and monitored by the environment ministry of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is no doubt a byword for environmental rigour. Soco's competitor, Total, agreed to respect the park's integrity, for which it will presumably be punished by its shareholders given that this act of fiscal irresponsibility has simply left its rival squatting on the prize. The Virunga has been invaded by poachers, refugees and militias during the Congo civil war and the Rwandan catastrophe; but according to the World Wildlife Fund's regional manager for East Africa there have recently been reports of rebels and poachers giving up their vocation and making money by posing as tour guides. Since Soco International has shown itself slightly less responsible than certain members of the militia in one of the world's least happy regions, the greenest government ever has done a bit of urging.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

A Plague's Afoot

A plague's afoot. At first
It only took the worst,
And left in blackened, unmourned piles
Our rotten crooks and paedophiles.

It spread to others then:
Disturbing; but again,
They certainly were not among our best,
And numbered more than one unwelcome guest.

A cleaner, purer land
No doubt will be the end.
We did not need them; all are carried off
And cleaned up. Who will be the next to cough?

Britney Trueblood

Friday, October 04, 2013

It Just Goes to Show What Can Happen When You Don't Bomb People

About sixty Syrian refugees are demanding entry to the UK, having somehow travelled through Turkey and the Balkans without noticing that Britain is Full Up. At the moment they are stuck in Calais where, in the absence of ATMs to rob, they are making an eyesore of themselves and harrassing riot police with hunger strikes and threats to jump off buildings. "We demand one person from the UK Home Office comes here to speak with us, and to see our situation," they proclaimed; apparently the Home Office's continuing triangulation between New Labour and Planet Farage has somehow escaped their notice. In the absence of a Lampedusa solution, the UK Home Office has been happy to sit back with a quiet smirk: "The responsibility for legal and illegal migration in France is the responsibility of the French authorities," said a spokesbeing for Border Force (the hint is in the name). Doubtless, should the threats to our way of life take to the sea on their own initiative, an Astute submarine or two will be deployed to ensure that appropriate controls are maintained.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Not Racist But

Well, here's a thing: despite the party's famous non-racism, almost sixty per cent of UKIP supporters would be uncomfortable at the prospect of a prime minister from an ethnic minority; while forty-tive per cent would be very uncomfortable. A lesser proportion of Conservatives have similar problems, presumably because Daveybloke's puce-to-purple premiership has helped resign them to the non-white. Labour and Deputy Conservative supporters manifested fewer qualms, although they are doubtless prepared to take a flexible attitude to the question should the rigours of dog-whistling demand it.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Glowing Reports

Mere scientists are once more making a nuisance of themselves by calling for, of all things, regulation of the shale-fracking industry. Shale-frackers are exempt from America's Clean Water Act, and the industry has pledged to self-regulate its waste production with, it appears, the usual splendid results. A team from Duke University in North Carolina has published a study of Blacklick Creek, which feeds into a water source for cities in western Pennsylvania. The wastewater from shale-fracking was found to contain radium levels two hundred times greater than normal: a level which "would normally be seen at licensed radioactive disposal facilities". The scientists have warned of "bio-accumulation" once the pollution gets into the food chain, and have recommended that Britain's greenest government ever impose "environmental regulation" to prevent it. Fortunately, Britain's minister for the environment is no ivory-tower theorist but a positive thinker who will, no doubt, soon be telling us that increased consumption of radium will help Britons to see one another better during the long winter nights.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Maintaining Just Enough Grip on Reality to Sell it Off Later

Rah rah! Let us don our best togs
And hasten to Manchester's fogs
And pray to Saint Thatcher
For fibre to match her
In kicking the poor and the wogs!

Our targets? Well, those we'll postpone.
Just see how we've cut to the bone!
We've made our attack
While Nick held us back -
Just think what we'd do on our own!

Our blather and burble and blah
No prole or protestor shall mar,
While tubby tax-dodgers
Wave Bullingdon todgers:
It's conference season, rah rah!

Gideon Fatwick