The Curmudgeon


Friday, January 31, 2014

Telling the Frogs What's What

Since he cannot keep the juniors in his own house in order, Britain's Head Boy has been doing the international diplomacy thingy again and lording it over the garlic-eating socialist François Hollande. The meeting got off to a fine start thanks to some squealing by Downing Street over the peculiar French idea of a free and informed press; and also thanks to that master of subtle diplomacy, the Conservative chair Michael Green, who took it upon himself to proclaim that Hollande's policies were driving the French economy into the sand. Possibly prompted by his History Monitor, Michael Gove, Britain's Head Boy piled on the tact by suggesting Blenheim Palace as a venue; eventually they settled on an RAF base with a pub lunch "to symbolise Anglo-French military co-operation", because war is what counts. Hollande talked about the European Union; Daveybloke had a bit of a burble about getting the European Union to do as Britain tells it; and the free and informed British press talked about Hollande's private life.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

There Are More Tears Shed Over Answered Prayers

Some boorish materialists from the Basque country have been persecuting humble Christians with impertinent questions about their mystical insights. The Spanish employment minister has praised the Virgin of El Rocío, a mediaeval graven image, for helping the country recover from its economic difficulties; a recovery which has so far left only one in four adults out of work and only one in three children at risk of poverty. The interior minister has proclaimed that Teresa of Ávila, who was posthumously a personal chum of General Franco, is interceding in Spain's affairs; given that Teresa in her days of nature was apparently something of a poverty fetishist, this might well be the case. A pesky, literal-minded Basque left-winger has written to the government asking for further details of these supernatural interventions, and inquiring whether further miracles are expected.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dredging Up

Here is how the hallowed private sector is contributing towards making Britain safe from floods: it isn't much. As with other instances of the deadly public spending sin, the Government has imposed massive savings on flood defences without troubling to consider what real-world efficiencies might result. Market forces would sort it all out; and even if there were problems, the deserving middle classes could simply do what Britain's Head Boy would have done, and move into whatever spare homes they had put by for a rainy day. In fact, the private sector's contribution to flood defences has been much the same as its contribution to the Great Osbornomic Recovery. Under the usual rubric of "partnership", the Government has raised £148 million in funding and has vague hopes of spending about £2,300 million between 2011 and 2015. The private sector will contribute about £37 million of this; the rest will be raised by yet further mugging of local authorities. Meanwhile, Britain's Head Boy has called another prefects' meeting in the Cobra room, presumably in order to thrash out how much G4S should get in return for incentivising workfarers to hand-dredge the rivers of Somerset.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

We've Thrown It, But We Own It

Police have arrested three men for taking food out of dustbins behind an Iceland store in north London. The items included tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese and corporate stodge; the boys in blue dutifully returned all this to the shop where, having been thrown out comparatively recently, it was doubtless greeted with much rejoicing. Instructively enough given the prevalence in the present government of overweight Regency bullies, the food-snatchers were charged under the Vagrancy Act of 1824, which was passed during the reign of George IV, an obese aristocratic vulgarian whom the public were in the habit of pelting with dung at any convenient opportunity. The Crown Prosecution Service feels that the arrest, trial and punishment of people for taking things nobody wants carries "significant public interest", possibly because magistrates will be required to scrutinise corporate waste and public hardship, but more likely because allowing people to avoid starvation without paying for it would be an unacceptable workfare disincentive and could lead directly to the punitive privatisation of the CPS. Lawyers for the accused had called for the case to be dropped; the fact that people who eat out of dustbins can have lawyers being, of course, one of the primary motivations behind Chris Graybeing's war on legal aid.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Helping British Business Win the War for Peace and Freedom

From 2003 to 2009, during the most glorious phase of the recent Crusade against Terror, it appears that the faith-based community in Whitehall was helping to sell fake bomb detectors. A wealth creator named Gary Bolton paid the Government to use serving soldiers and the British embassy in Manila to promote the devices, without troubling to check such minor details as whether they worked or not. As it later turned out, the devices "are not effective … have either no working parts or no power source", and their dissemination "materially increased the risk of personal injury and death"; so it's easy enough to see why the faith-based community in Whitehall found them so attractive. The Reverend Blair's curia had in fact been warned about the scam as early as 2001, but chose to ignore the advice because it came from a mere scientist, rather than from a wealth creator or from George W Bush. Campaigners have called for the relevant officials to be held to account; but the devices have so far been involved only in some convictions of innocent people and a couple of deaths. We can hardly expect the present administration to take against a piece of machinery which gets results like those.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Building a Modern State

More than half of Afghanistan's children are physically and mentally stunted because of malnutrition; and this despite the many benefits of the late Crusade against Terror. A third of all citizens don't always know where their next meal is coming from, and the majority cannot afford the minimum diet necessary to remain healthy. According to Britain's leading liberal newspaper, "international studies show that children who are properly fed can earn between a third and a half more as adults than those who did not get a proper diet"; although of course the statistical value of individual junior economic units can be deceptive when considered against the petroleum-fuelled Big Picture. Still, we who are lucky enough to reside in Food Bank Britain can take comfort in the knowledge that this magnificent vista, with all its efficiency savings and incentives for hard-working families, constitutes our own Head Boy's idea of "mission accomplished".

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saving Little Syria

Final victory in the glorious crusade against terror appears ever closer, assuming it has disguised itself as war in order to confuse the enemy. Tens of thousands of civilians are expected to evacuate those paradisiac monuments to liberal interventionism, Falluja and Ramadi, as the Iraqi government prepares one more push to mop up the remnants of al-Qaida. The Iraqi government has issued pleas for help from the United States in defeating the resurgence of the insurgency which the United States and its poodle did so much to prevent between 2003 and 2011; and the US has responded by sending in heavy weapons and surveillance drones, because we can all afford it. Meanwhile, there are signs that al-Qaida has reacted to the accomplishment of our mission in Iraq and Afghanistan by moving into Syria, which is a jolly ungentlemanly thing for al-Qaida to do.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Floating Voters

Despite the Government's increased spending on flood defences, marred only by the minor discrepancy that was the real-world decrease in spending on flood defences, the Somerset Levels have been so careless as to get themselves rained on again. A month after the original flooding, seventeen thousand acres of land are still underwater; the Government is presumably waiting for market forces to step in and start fracking, but in the meantime the residents are suffering some small inconvenience. One of the local MPs, a Conservative, has laid into the Environment Agency while decorously omitting to mention the Whitehall faith community which has been slashing the agency's funds. The Deputy Conservative Jeremy Browne proclaimed that people have been failing to get to work or get their children to school; doubtless Browne will be consulting the Department of Workfare and Privation to help arrange suitable penalties. The disposition of the region's badgers remains a sinister mystery.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Monetarised Incarcerations and Oxygenated Magnifications

Those reliable people at G4S continue to deliver their accustomed Olympian standards of efficiency in the profitable-incarceration boondoggle. G4S, which did such sterling service at the Games that the troops had to be called in, and which is under investigation for taking public money to monitor the activities of dead criminals, ran into a spot of bother three weeks ago at its Oakwood mega-jail. Oakwood is considered a model for the prison system, because it's cheap; and G4S are clearly determined to ensure that the standards of service suit the price. A "concerted incidence of indiscipline," apparently involving actually existing inmates, broke out on 5 January, and according to the company's initial statement lasted for about five hours. This later turned out to be about nine hours, or possibly a few days; but the incidence of indiscipline was not a riot, although it was, according to the company's Chief of Jail Sales, a significant event, although in the spectrum of significant events it was at the lower end; which doubtless explains why it took G4S only a few days, or possibly ten, to clear the matter up. Another significant problem, according to the Chief of Jail Sales, was that G4S is "operating in the oxygen of the media highlight", which means that "everything becomes magnified". Presumably it was this highlighting effect of oxygen upon his eyeballs which caused the chief inspector of prisons to denounce Oakwood last October, because the inexperienced staff who make the place such a model of economy were unable to run it properly. If no-one had been looking, the whole nasty business of the lower-spectrum semi-significant event might only have taken five hours after all.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Not Quite the Cuts We Had in Mind

Britain's greenest government ever has failed to prevent the Euro-wogs imposing a binding target for use of renewable energy. Despite the best efforts of the Deputy Conservative doormat at the Department for Enhancing Climate Change, the EU voted to cut its emissions by forty per cent over the next seventeen years, and to produce twenty-seven per cent of its energy from renewable sources within the same time-frame. The doormat in question, Ed Davey (not to be confused with Ed or Davey), grudgingly called the measures "a step in the right direction", evidently because they constitute somewhat less of a backward canter than he had worked for. Davey "remains concerned about any renewables target", owing to the likely deleterious effects on his masters' chums in the nuclear and shale-fracking industries if the great British public should fail to deliver a referendum vote in favour of non-Balkanised high streets and properly curved bananas.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Our Fingers Belong in Pies, Not Dikes

Mere bureaucrats are once more seeking to undermine the benevolent efficiency of the faith-based community at Westminster. The Committee on Climate Change, which ought to be advising Owen Paterson how best to keep badgers from causing hosepipe bans at the Daily Mail, has instead expended its energies upon the recent minor discrepancy in flood defence spending. The Government's own scientists have identified floods as the most damaging likely impact of global warming on the UK, so it was only to be expected that cutbacks would be made; and the CCC has calculated that the efficiency savings so far achieved amount to all of £750 million, at a likely cost of only £3000 million in future damages. Still, shale-frackers use water, so we can rejoice that there'll be plenty of it.

As may be imagined, the previous rabble would have done no better. If, as Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, the Bullingdon Club proposed to let something rot, the Reverend Tony's Glorious Successor would have had that same something demolished by terror suspects dressed in orange day-glo before the month was out, for fear of looking soft on environmentalists. Anyway, a spokesbeing was duly extruded to proclaim that the present rabble is spending more than ever before on flood defences, provided that money which hasn't been spent yet is taken into account; the spokesbeing then let fly with an unnerving rant about what might be spent under the second and third Bullingdon administrations assuming that Owen Paterson and his chums can amass enough fingers on which to count it all.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Bullingdon Family Values

Having nothing more important to do at the moment, Britain's Head Boy has been discussing his chillaxing habits with the Mail on Sunday. Evidently Lynton Crosby has decreed that it might be a good time to start cranking out a repeat of that Bloke of the People routine which seemed to be working so well during the years before 2010. Daveybloke the commoner had a bit of a burble about bands and children and channel-hopping, and said that he regards the Bible as a "sort of handy guide" on morality; although fortunately, as a "classic Church of England member", he does not go so far as to feel bound by it, any more than he feels bound by the scruples of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Since hugging a husky at this stage might upset the climate-change deniers, Crosby has evidently advised leaning on the bereavement button good and hard; so Daveybloke had a bit of a more serious burble about his disabled son Ivan, who died in 2009 and who was waved about at every opportunity as a token of his father's tender wishes towards the National Health Service. It seems there is no silver lining to the possession of such a propaganda weapon; as a classic Church of England member, Daveybloke no more believes in a Heaven for innocents than, as Bloke of the People and common liar, he believed his own guff about the NHS.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

War on Terror: The Victory Continues

The Anglo-American crusade for peace in the Middle East continues in glorious Mission Accomplished mode. Backed by "tribesmen" and the prayers of the Reverend Blair, Iraq's government has launched an attack on Ramadi, which along with Falluja has somehow failed to retain appropriate Western values since certain foreign fighters withdrew. The Iraqi prime minister blamed "diabolical and treacherous countries", by which he apparently meant Qatar and Saudi Arabia, even though the latter's government is a favoured Western ally and therefore staunchly rather than fanatically fundamentalist. On the bright side, the World Cop by the grace of God has been providing missiles, and is preparing to ship several thousand assault rifles and ammunition, which should help to sort things out. White phosphorous is apparently not on the shopping list, despite all the good it did last time.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The End of All Flesh is Come Before Me

A Conservative defector to UKIP has given some indication as to the calibre of people Britain's Head Boy wants to chivvy back into the blue corner. David Silvester, a Bible-bashing councillor at the London Haystack's old blathering-ground of Henley-on-Thames, has fired off a green-ink missive to the local press blaming Daveybloke for the recent floods. And this is not because Daveybloke's idea of the greenest government ever is a government that blackmails local councils into accepting shale-frackers; nor yet because of Daveybloke's war on the poor, for which the Old Testament prophets might have called down retribution even if the Saviour probably would not. No; the reason for all those soggy proles is the law on equal marriage, which Daveybloke passed despite the objections of six hundred thousand of the nation's holiest citizens. "He has arrogantly acted against the Gospel that once made Britain 'great' and the lesson surely to be learned is that no man or men, however powerful, can mess with Almighty God with impunity and get away with it (sic) for everything a nation does is weighed on the scales of divine approval or disapproval," burbled Silvester, who seems to believe either that the British Empire was an evangelical exercise or that the Gospels were Made in England. Silvester's Conservative replacement had a bit of a gloat; while his new chums have shrugged the matter off with a statement that any councillor can use his position to get his opinions into print no matter how deranged or objectionable those opinions may be, and that this is what makes the United Kingdom such a wonderful, proud, diverse and free country of wog-bashers, gay-baiters and Jesus-freaks. It is as yet unclear whether Silvester is building an ark in his back garden.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Efficiency Savings

Amazingly enough, the greenest government ever has been saying the thing that was not about its spending on flood defences. Both Britain's Head Boy and his badger-busting environment minister, Owen Paterson, have been grandstanding about increased spending, historic levels of spending, unprecedented levels of spending, in response to the recent floods which caused so many voters in the south of England to feel they were being treated as northerners. As one would expect, the figures had been calculated according to the Duncan Smith formula, and outside the faith-based community spending on flood defences has, in fact, slightly decreased. Owen Paterson has far better things to do than explain himself (Thursday evenings are when he attends his phrenology class); so a Deputy Conservative flunkey by the testosterone-rich name of Dan Rogerson was delegated to dismiss the falsehood as a minor discrepancy caused by the ministry's inability to understand its own figures. In contrast to the fiscal irresponsibility of the last Labour government, the higher reckoning included money which the coalition vaguely hoped to screw out of local councils later on.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Going All Out to Fail

Left-wing extremists are once again attempting to undermine the greenest government ever. Some of George Osborne's more communistic City chums have proclaimed that shale-fracking is "unlikely to produce commercial volumes of gas until the end of this decade and ... unlikely to have a meaningful impact on gas prices", because instead of lowering prices to compete, companies will simply export the gas. Meanwhile, in defiance of the accepted doctrine as laid down by the faith-based community in Whitehall, no less an authority than BP has admitted that greenhouse gases will rise by almost a third over the next couple of decades, and that shale-fracking will make no difference whatever. Although the use of shale gas has lowered prices in the USA, emissions have continued to rise because the use of coal has continued to rise. It is just possible that BP, which specialises mainly in keeping the Gulf of Mexico clean, may have an ulterior motive in denouncing the effects of coal and shale; but it still comes to something when a supposedly national government can be more dishonest than a fossil fuel corporation about the harmful effects of fossil fuels.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Martyr of Science

The Christian state of Ohio is preparing to carry out an interesting scientific experiment on a human subject. Having botched an execution last week (not an altogether unprecedented occurrence), the Christian state of Ohio intends using a new combination of drugs in an attempt to get around the manufacturer's boycott which has deprived America's finest of their weapon of preference. (The Republican senator from the Christian state of Wyoming has been touting the economic virtues of the cheap and cheery firing squad.) It is possible that the injections may cause the executee several minutes of agony, from the kind of slow suffocation that used to be one of the more enjoyable features of an old-fashioned hanging; but a judge has ruled that there is as yet insufficient proof, and the settling of the question must be left to the experimenters. The attorney general's office of the Christian state of Ohio admitted the possibility of guinea-pig discomfort, but contended that a pain-free execution was not among the state's obligations towards its more wayward children.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The British Way of Doing Business

To compensate for its tardiness in declassifying papers from a century and a half ago, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has chosen to release some rather sensitive documents from 1984. Correspondence between the Foreign Office and the Home Office (then headed respectively by a bumbling nasty called Geoffrey Howe and by one Leon Brittan, who with Kenneth Baker accounted for almost seventy per cent of the Thatcher administration's capacity for slime production) indicates that Britain connived at Indira Gandhi's disastrous attack on the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar. The Indian government puts the death toll at four hundred; others say it ran into thousands, even before Gandhi's subsequent assassination and the attacks on Sikhs which followed. One letter proclaims Howe's "favourable" response to an Indian request for assistance in planning a raid, and the dispatch of an SAS officer to India; another, from Thatcher's own secretary, conveyed the old bag's blessings and decreed that Brittan should be warned in advance of any fun and games.

The whole business is a bit embarrassing for Daveybloke, who visited India last year and had a bit of a simper about the Amritsar massacre of 1919, during which British troops fired for ten minutes into a crowd of civilians in a most uncivilised fashion, without the use of drones or water-cannon or anything; although it is arguable that Brigadier Dyer's order to block the exits represented a pioneering effort at kettling. The British government put the death toll at three hundred and seventy-nine; others said it ran to well over a thousand, and Michael Gove presumably blames the Germans. Mindful of the sensitivities of Britain's Sikhs, Daveybloke has ordered his senior ink monitor, Sir Jeremy Heywood, to conduct an urgent investigation into how best to spin the matter and why the papers in question were not held back for a more opportune time.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Holes in Our Island Story

Academics at those hotbeds of left revisionism, Oxford and Cambridge, are considering legal action against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Despite three and a half years of open government, free speech and rolling back the state, the Ministry of Wogs, Frogs and Huns is hoarding over a million files, some of which date back to the 1840s. Possibly the Government fears embarrassment over the Irish famine, the Anglo-Sikh wars or the extinction of the Great Auk; nevertheless, the FCO's continued concealment of the files is illegal even by the rigorously undemanding standards of British democracy. In fact, the thirty-year limit for declassification is being gradually relaxed into a twenty-year limit; fortunately, the FCO has the perfect excuse for failing to meet its legal obligations under the new rule, namely that it is far too busy dealing with the backlog from its failure to meet its legal obligations under the previous rule.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Ariel Sharon Dies

World's only non-racist Jewish state mourns founding father

Controversial Israeli warrior-king Ariel Sharon has died after eight years in a coma without claiming benefits in the UK, prompting British prime minister David Cameron to pay him a glowing tribute.

Sharon was one of the last survivors among those who fought in Israel's war of independence, and could thus be said to be as much a father of his nation as Bismarck, Nasser or P W Botha.

Though frequently controversial, he retained the respect of statesmen such as George W Bush and Tony Blair. He managed to avoid the anti-capitalist megalomania which disfigured the career of the evil Venezuelan pineapple god Hugo Chávez, and shunned the brand of terrorism for which the British Conservative Party recently forgave Nelson Mandela.

Among Sharon's more controversial actions was the evacuation of settlers from Gaza, which gained him the opprobrium of the Israeli right for shifting the nation's gangster status from the batshit to the merely brutal.

While Sharon will be reviled in the Arab world as the victor of Qibya and Sabra and Shatila, more nuanced commentators are giving due credit to his political flexibility while recalling his human virtues as raconteur and trencherman.

He is survived by several Palestinians and some of Lebanon.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tackling the Housing Crisis

The well-known mathematical abilities of the Department for Workfare and Privation are causing yet more hilarity, with the emergence of a loophole which means that not all the proles who should be eligible are being appropriately kicked by the Spare Room Subsidy Withdrawal. One of those to escape was a Solihull woman named Stephanie Bottrill, who would have been entitled to a refund of several hundred pounds had she not killed herself last year. The Government, of course, does not comment on individual cases except when it does; but there are plans to close the loophole so that further suicides over the issue will not be wasted. As to refunds, the brilliant Iain Duncan Smith is no doubt preparing the necessary retroactive legislation for Labour to abstain over, while the Deputy Conservatives rest on their morals and contemplate just how much worse off Britain's Bottrills would be without them.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Gove's Cunning Plan

Well, here's a thing: it seems that, contrary to what was originally believed, Michael Gove's recent Daily Mail barrage was actually intended as a coded stab in the back to a Cabinet colleague and not as a broadside against Kraut-loving left-wing historians like Alan Clark after all. As anyone might have guessed whose mind could encompass the subtleties of the Gove intellect, the real target of the attack was the Department for Cultchah, Murdoch and Batting Collapses, which supposedly intended to whitewash the role of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps in favour of commemorating a lot of Indians, Caribbeans and Africans. A spokesbeing for Britain's Head Boy has duly been extruded to assure all and sundry that memory of the wogs will be kept in its place. Speaking with understandable anonymity to the scumbag press, one Gove apparatchik stated that the Cultchah Minister, Maria "Show us yer price tag" Miller, was "way out of her depth". Of course, to fans like myself this is scarcely news: Maria Miller would be out of her depth in a toddler's paddling pool during an August hosepipe ban. By contrast, the profundities of Gove and his minions are so measureless as to be virtually undetectable.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

De Menezes, Tomlinson, Duggan

Protecting London's tens of millions
From dusky immigrant Brazilians,
If there be problems, be they noted
Before the culprits are promoted.

Should any breach of law occur
With old news-vendors here and there,
Let none be charged with the assault
Because it was nobody's fault.

Though shooting's bad and killing's awful,
For some at least, they're always lawful.
The lesson: if you're caught some day,
Young man, cast not your gun away.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Damping Down the Great Unwashed

Thanks presumably to the recent improvement in the economic situation, the Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club has put in a request for some new toys. Water cannon, which are frequently deployed on the Continent, have been used in the UK only against the uppity colonials of Northern Ireland; but since London's relatively narrow streets would make them inefficient, indiscriminate and vulnerable to unauthorised removal, the Met and the London Haystack are bubbling over with enthusiasm. The Home Secretary has refused to release public funds for the purchase, doubtless because she needs the money for more essential matters; but it looks as if the London Haystack is prepared to buy the weapons himself, as a bit of Dickensian largesse to stand with his famous transformation of London's bus and cable car services. There will be the usual token "public engagement process", consisting of a few letters in the London Evening Bozza and some helpful reminders of the riots of 2011, which clearly would never have happened if the Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club had been properly equipped at the time. According to the Club chairman, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howitzer, the water cannon will be "rarely used and rarely seen", and according to the London Haystack's office they will be used only when "the most extreme circumstances" are suspected to be more or less possibly imminent and there aren't enough dum-dum bullets to cope.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Wog Raspberries Go Home

Daveybloke's badger-busting environment secretary - the chap who thinks climate change is rather jolly because it will keep pensioners warm so that the Government doesn't have to - appears to be growing ever more brilliant now that Britain's Head Boy has decided to ditch the green crap. Fruit and vegetable production has been in decline for the past few decades, although one would hardly guess it from the produce on display in the Houses of Parliament; and the National Farmers' Union has warned that Britain may have to rely on imports if the climate should fail to buck up its ideas following a wet summer in 2012. Owen Paterson has responded with a plea for British workers to rely on British fruit and vegetables rather than buying the immigrant stuff; this of course will create demand, to which market forces will inevitably rise by creating more supply. Naturally, in order to supply British foodstuffs for the British workers, it will be necessary for British farmers to increase British production; and for this to occur the British climate will necessarily be incentivised to co-operate, thereby reversing a trend which apparently began about thirty years ago, under the notoriously wasteful and badger-ridden Labour government of Margaret Thatcher. It is remarkable how simple certain problems can become, once the likes of Owen Paterson are involved.

Monday, January 06, 2014

A Nice Warm Glow

Parts of the energy cartel have pledged to reduce prices; or, more accurately, have condescended to make their planned increases a little less exorbitant than originally threatened. This is, of course, a hoary trick, used by thugs of all stripes from the mafia to God; the latter most famously at Nineveh, via his boy Jonah. If you wish to upgrade your protection fee for a restaurant, it is rather crude politics simply to breeze in and demand the money. If, instead, you threaten to do a Bullingdon Club special on the place, and allow yourself to be bargained down to an increase in the protection fee, this will not only gain you the money but may actually help the victims understand what a service you are doing them, and lead to more productive relations all round. In this case, Britain's warmth consumers may or may not feel better disposed towards the energy companies; but Britain's Head Boy, who ran squealing to the cartel in the wake of Labour's pledge of a price freeze, will certainly have all the more incentive to dump the green crap.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

A Pulse in the Eternal Mindlessness

Lord Kitchener told England's sons:
Your country needs you to fight Huns!
They've murdered civilians
In hundreds of millions,
And done dreadful things to the nuns!

For Belgium it's nearly too late!
She cannot be left to her fate!
Fight, boys of our nation,
For Civilisation:
Remember the Congo Free State!

Centenary blessings you'll reap;
So proudly we'll smile as we weep.
You'll not fall for nought
When your death will have bought
Political points on the cheap!

Blooper Crooke

Saturday, January 04, 2014

A Tree in the Hand...

Daveybloke's badger-busting Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, has so far overcome his climate change denial as to propose a new scheme for destroying ancient woodland. Under the rubric of "biodiversity offsetting" (a bit of jargon on which I can scarcely improve), Paterson intends to allow developers to chop down anything they please, provided they plant lots of other trees somewhere else. Assuming the Government actually bothers to enforce Paterson's BO rather than simply getting out of the way of business, this will mean that "the present generation of UK residents would lose out", but will result in an enormous increase in houses, roads, "major projects" and trees. Best of all, whenever developers started chopping down the new trees, Paterson's BO would mean they would have to plant yet more trees, and so on and so on until the entire country became a badgerless paradise of houses, roads, major projects and trees. Obviously, it is better to have a hundred new trees than one old tree, for much the same reason as a hundred toddlers are better than one adult, particularly in a crisis.

Friday, January 03, 2014

A Rising Tide

Given that various more or less expendable persons have been flooded out of their homes this winter, it's only natural that the Government should be eliminating waste and red tape; or, in Standard English, sacking people from the Environment Agency. The agency was cut by ten per cent in the Chancellor's rah-rah last June, on top of a previous cut in 2010; spending has been capped with no adjustment for inflation; and doubtless Daveybloke's anxiety to dispense with green crap will result in yet further economies. Fourteen hundred people are expected to lose their jobs, which will mean that, in the words of the agency's chief executive, "flood risk maintenance will be [further] impacted. All of our work on mapping and modelling and new developments in things like flood warning will also have to be resized. And we're looking at a proportionate reduction in the number of people in flood risk management." Britain's Head Boy did, of course, visit some of those affected by the recent flooding, to their incalculable comfort and joy; presumably others in vulnerable areas are feeling drier already.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Unknown Soldier? Who He?

In an access of good taste worthy of the most rah-rah reaches of the Bullingdon Club, the Royal Mint is to commemorate the First World War with a two-pound coin depicting the image of Lord Kitchener pointing out meat for the butcher's block. A further four monuments to the glorious victory are scheduled for the next few years, doubtless including such iconic slogans as Order of the White Feather, Hang the Kaiser, Squeeze Germany Till the Pips Squeak and A Home Fit for Heroes to Live In. There will also be a special five-pound coin to commemorate the three-hundredth anniversary of the death of Queen Anne, a pious mediocrity whose sole significant achievement was to let in those Germans whose vacant descendants remain, to this day, at the head of our hollowed-out state. It is as yet unclear whether a coin will be issued to commemorate that family's tactful changing of its name, on 17 July 1917, in order to disguise its immigrant status.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Year Out, Year In

We celebrate in divers ways,
Forgetting there are some
Three hundred sixty-five new days
Of hangover to come.

The year is dead; long live the year
Once future, now the present;
Thereby becoming, now and here,
More and yet more unpleasant.

Unlucky 'thirteen's gone; we send
It out with cordial curse.
'Fourteen comes in the other end,
Aspiring to be worse.