The Curmudgeon


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mental Recovery

Thanks, no doubt, to the coalition's efficientisation of the NHS, a sixteen-year-old girl with mental health problems has been held in a police cell after causing a breach of the peace at Torbay hospital. She was sectioned on Friday, but Devon and Cornwall police were told that no beds were available anywhere in the UK, so there was nowhere else to put her. The local assistant chief constable expressed his indignation on Twitter - whereupon, mirabile dictu, a bed was found; hopefully not in the same dubious orifice from which the Chancellor has plucked his latest promise of NHS rah-rah tomorrow. Although the shadow health minister cavilled that the situation was worryingly common, this episode in fact epitomises the sort of no-nonsense right-wing solution favoured by the Government: services are free at the point of use, and are available to anyone who can get the local assistant chief constable to speak out for them.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tebbit Test for White Wogs

And all through the match she kept referring to the Indians as niggers. No no no no no, I said. The niggers are the West Indians. These people are wogs.
The Major, Fawlty Towers

Lord Tebbit, who served as Chingford Skinhead prior to the emergence of the brilliant Iain Duncan Smith, has been pontificating upon the possible nature of a practical race law for the United Kingdom. A quarter of a century ago he proclaimed that too many British Asians were forfeiting their honorary status by cheering for the wrong cricket team, although he now has the grace to admit that some British Asian cricketers, having developed a "style of play which the crowds are willing to pay to watch", are acceptable because they make money.

Nobody could accuse Lord Tebbit of refusing to move with the times, and he has taken due note of the fresh waves of ghastly foreigners coming over from Europe. “One test I would use is to ask them on which side their fathers or grandfathers or whatever fought in the second world war,” he said; this would indicate a rudimentary susceptibility to civilisation in Poles, Czechs and Slovaks. Presumably we should reject out of hand people whose relatives were in occupied countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Poland, Greece, Croatia, Serbia, France etc.) and either did not fight or were forced to switch sides in order to keep themselves alive; or perhaps his lordship meant to give a subtle indication of his agreement with present policy, which vacillates between Kicking 'em All Out and Letting the Good Chaps In.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Not A Terrorist

A twenty-year-old has been jailed for two years for assembling a nail bomb in his bedroom. Doubtless Chris Graybeing will do everything in his power to deprive him of education, company and meaningful activity, in order to ensure that the sentence is not a soft option and that he re-emerges as a useful and responsible citizen. His family has been in the army for five generations and his mother gave him English Defence League regalia for his eighteenth birthday, so self-evidently family values are not the problem. He is not a member of the EDL, but is interested in them and other far-right groups because he disapproves of "mass immigration", a position shared by the entire mainstream of British politics; so self-evidently the mainstream of British politics is not the problem, although mass immigration may well be part of it. He was a loner, a serving soldier and a non-Muslim, so the prosecution accepted his plea that he never intended to let off his bomb, since self-evidently he is not a terrorist.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Blue and Red Together Make Purple

Someone with a foreign name has infiltrated Oxford University and is accusing the Government of lying in order to pander to racists. This will certainly be shocking news for those who believe that, whatever else the coalition may lie about, its commitment to wog-bashing remains sincere and absolute. Nevertheless, it appears that the mad old cat lady in the Home Office, whose meaningless and self-defeating targets on limiting net immigration have now been officially missed, may indeed have known all along that the Government's no-ifs-no-buts pledge to the UKIP vote was a bit if-and-but after all. Britain's Head Boy will be having a burble about the whole business soon, in which he is expected to blame the Euro-wogs for their lack of consideration in coming over here to help the economy grow. Britain's Head Boy will call for EU migrants to be punished for their misdeeds by forefeiting their tax credits; a policy which Rachel "Kick 'em Harder" Reeves, the shadow minister for workfare and privation, has already announced for the manifesto of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Argue the Detail, Pander to the Spirit

One of the Milibeing's advisers has risked summary sacking by arguing with the Daily Express, which printed a front-page squeal about "hidden migrant millions". Apparently it was referring to the children of those immigrants who are sneaky enough to come over here and breed nominally British citizens; but as Lord Wood helpfully pointed out, many children of immigrants result from a British parent marrying a Decent Foreigner, so that it is inaccurate and offensive to suggest that the hereditary taint is absolute. As Lord Wood further pointed out, the Express risked labelling even the Caudillo of the Farage Falange as a breeder of hidden migrants; which certainly is not a constructive attitude to take, and certainly will not help in addressing the many legitimate concerns about wogs stealing our country which are shared with equal intensity by UKIP, the scumbag-press-reading public, the Conservatives and Labour.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Of Such is the Kingdom of Heaven

Malicious and backsliding persons on the staff of Save the Children are protesting the charity's presentation of its global legacy award to the Ascended Incarnation of the Reverend Blair, who by pure coincidence has a couple of chums on the board. The presentation was made by the US arm of the charity, presumably because the American sense of humour is more developed than the British; the pretext was a couple of summits which Tony hosted during his ministry, focusing on debt relief for those countries too poor to be bombed into freedom. At one of the summits, at Gleneagles in 2005, world leaders pledged to "Make Poverty History" which, as we all know, has turned out nearly as well as Tony's evolutionist approach to democratising Kazakhstan and his seven years' envoying of peace in the Middle East. "Throughout all human history, never has been extinguished that relentless, unquenchable desire to do good. To act not only in self-interest and sometimes to even to act in defiance of it," proclaimed his reverence, evidently in autobiographical mode; while the children of Iraq who gave their lives in the crusade for democracy looked down from heaven with pride and joy at their earthly brothers and sisters relentlessly, unquenchably seeking virtuous employment with Islamic State.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Cross of Carl

A self-avowed allegory published in 1931, The Cross of Carl was written by one Walter Owen. The author is described in General Ian Hamilton's preface as "a man of business in the Argentine", so presumably he was the Scots translator and stockbroker who "transvernacularised" the South American epics into English. The translator was born in Glasgow, and the book refers at one point to a "Balclutha of the soul", Balclutha being derived from the Scots Gaelic for "town on the Clyde". According to his own prefatory note, Owen was prevented from taking part in the Great War by a painful illness, the symptoms of which he attempted to alleviate with opium. Under the drug's influence, in July 1917 he had a form of out-of-body experience in which he simultaneously experienced and observed the events described in the story.

The story's four sections are titled after stages in the passion and resurrection of Christ. Carl, an overweight rookie whose nationality is never specified, goes over the top in a dawn attack on Hill 50: "you'll never get there," his sergeant says laconically. "Might as well be Hell 50." Although Owen's prose, especially at its most allegorical, is occasionally somewhat convoluted, it can also be inventively poetic, and the advance on the hill is a tour de force of horror:

He is treading on bodies on which his feet slip and blunder. It is like walking on bolsters full of stones. Bones pop underfoot. He looks down and sees a face give under his boot, then slides and comes down. A gnashing mouth closes on his leg; he frees himself and is up again. A lane crashes through the crowd, missing him narrowly, and a welter of fragments whirls around him. A man in front goes down on his knees and, shrieking, grabbles blindly at a stringy mass that pours downward from the lower part of his body...

Carl survives the attack, but falls unconscious from his wounds and is mistaken for a corpse. The empire for which he fights does not waste its dead; they are neatly trussed up and sent to a Factory, which renders them into "pig-food, fats, glycerine and manure". Carl's experiences at the Factory drive him insane; he wanders the countryside and eventually digs himself a grave, from which he is resurrected by the Emperor and Marshal on whose orders the slaughter is occurring. Now possessed by a prophetic voice, Carl denounces these minions of Mammon at some length before being put in his place; nevertheless, the Emperor condescends to observe that "he did his bit" and the customary metal trinket is dispatched to his wife.

Presumably it was the Factory scenes that led Karl Edward Wagner to list The Cross of Carl among the thirteen best science-fictional, as opposed to supernatural or non-supernatural, horror novels; given the ending, and depending on one's religious beliefs, a case could just as easily be made for placing it in either of the non-SF categories. The Factory reminded me of the industrialised nightmares in Peake's Titus Alone, to say nothing of the more recent enterprises of a certain supermarket chain. In fact, the latter comparison is unfair: Satanic evil is easily outdone by British bad taste, and whatever else it may be, the Factory is not pretty. The book ends on a note of approaching and proportionate doom for the villains; but for the moment they seem, as usual, to be doing very well.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Multiple Offences

For those of us who struggle to produce one or two pieces of fiction a year, there are few people more annoying than those who churn the stuff out day after day, especially if there is no corresponding diminution in quality. One such is Justin McKeating, formerly of Chicken Yoghurt, who returned to regular bloggery eighty-something days ago and has produced eighty-something short fictions since. Some are satirical, some are poignant, surprisingly few are last-line killers and some are just plain daft. The fact that Justin's is one of the comparatively sole weblogs on the internet to quote me in its strapline is hardly enough to redeem it; I can only recommend that you start visiting daily and hope that it will jinx him before he gets the century.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Real Story

The Kippers are here, the Kippers are there,
The whole of our system is up in the air!

The Kippers are swimming the populist tide,
With working-class bankers along for the ride!

The Kippers have policies, or perhaps not;
But they are so funny, who cares what they've got!

The smell of the Kippers hangs over our news;
The fragrance of fine, forthright scapegoat abuse!

The Kippers have triumphed, the Kippers have won,
They're ugly and racist; but gee, aren't they fun!

(In other news: During these jubilant scenes,
A governing party got beat by the Greens.)

Randy Pressman

Friday, November 21, 2014

We Will Not Tolerate Bigotry Against the Flag-Waving Community

One thing is clear from the Rochester fiasco, namely that the Milibeing's defiance of the scumbag press is somewhat watered down when his own family members are not involved. The shadow attorney general, Emily Thornberry, tweeted without comment a picture of a house in the constituency. The house was festooned with England flags and had a white van parked outside; since Emily Thornberry represents Islington South and Finsbury, this was clearly a deadly insult to the flag-waving, van-driving, scumbag-press-reading white working class on whose votes the Milibeing hopes to sneak into Downing Street without having to rely on any dangerous leftists, and Thornberry was unceremoniously sacked before the night was out. Even the ridiculous Brooks Newmark, who proclaimed that charities should get on with their knitting and leave the important stuff to the grown-ups, lasted a bit longer after a tabloid set him up; and of course grotesque incompetents like Duncan Smith, Gove and Graybeing have been allowed to hang on for years. Even by the standards one would expect of Gordon Brown's former environment secretary, it was an abject performance.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Reckless Assertions

Britain's Head Boy's new ticks and squits monitor has followed up his recent triumph at the big breweries' benefit vote with a bit of a blather on the prospect of more defections to the Farage Falange. Mark Reckless, the Falange's candidate in today's by-election, has claimed that at least two further back-bench baboons are poised to line up and inflate their purple buttocks for the Caudillo; but then Reckless, like Britain's Head Boy, is not above lying to, through and about his own party when prompted by his conscience and the expediency of the moment. Britain's Head Boy's new ticks and squits monitor, by contrast, is one Michael Gove, whose previous achievements in truth-telling are so legendary as to verge upon the purely mythical.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Equal Before the Law

While Chris Graybeing has been working to deprive the undeserving of legal aid, the Chancellor has invested some of the Treasury's ever-diminishing tax receipts in another, equally worthy enterprise. The Euro-wogs have conceived some sort of delusional foreign idea that bankers and other real people should take on some of the financial burden which Osborne is trying to restrict to the broad and shirking shoulders of those who do not habitually vote Conservative. There are even whispers that the size of a person's take-home pay packet might, in a rationally operating economy, be somehow related to whether or not that person has recently helped to engineer a global recession. Bankers have dodged the bonus cap by increasing their salaries, leading the governor of the Bank of England to suggest "some form of clawback", provided it wasn't the nasty, left-wing form of clawback known as tax, and provided it was used to pay fines so that governments would have more money to throw at corporations, rather than being used to give the proles free schools and hospitals at real people's expense.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Slightly Disconnected

Economics, of course, is no more an exact science than similar vocations like theology, astrology and quack medicine; and thus it frequently happens that certain actions in the economic sphere can appear to have unfortunate results even when the actual results are wholly benign. At the beginning of the present Parliament, for example, the coalition dispensed with several thousand nursing posts on the grounds that they constituted needless red tape; now, somehow or other, the NHS has all sorts of problems with patient care, but of course there is no connection. Similarly, the coalition has spent the last four and a half years taking money away from people who barely had enough to start with; somehow or other this has coincided with a massive upsurge in poverty, malnutrition and suicide, but it would be quite unscientific to imply any causal link.

For its own part, the Home Office has paid out nineteen million taxpayers' pounds in redundancy packages so as to save money at the Passport Office; only to discover that, somehow or other, there are now fewer staff to cope with a workload which has not always been obliging enough to diminish according to the Government's convenience. You would, of course, be a fool and a terrorist to believe that there is any real connection between the Passport Office sacking lots of people and last summer's backlog fiasco; nevertheless, the Passport Office has now launched a hurried recruitment drive, because the economic wisdom of inconveniencing thousands of potential Farage Falange voters during an election year is dubious even to the the mad old cat lady at the Home Office.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Why Can't She Get A Proper Job?

Hilary Mantel, the evil non-Bagshavian fiction writer who broke the Duchess of Cambridge's heart and virtually assassinated the sainted Thatcher, has been up to no good again, comparing the coalition unfavourably to the man whom the noted historian Boris Johnson probably thinks chopped off Charles I's head. In 1536 Thomas Cromwell tried to introduce a law to provide financial aid to people who were unable to work, and also to employ the idle able-bodied in public works. Parliament threw it out, partly no doubt because of an entrepreneurial British antipathy to the thought of meddling with the free market just to bring down unemployment, but mostly because it would have meant raising taxes to subsidise elderly, sick and disabled scroungers. Not content with this level of iniquity, Cromwell also drew up an anti-enclosure act limiting the number of sheep which a single person could own. Fortunately, Rupert Murdoch was quite young in the sixteenth century and thus managed to ride out the Socialist storm until Cromwell expired by royal appointment some years later.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I Have Another Cunning Plan

Lord Dannatt, the former army chieftain whose activities in the Blair Crusade did so much to help bring the Middle East to its present enviable state, has been pontificating about the next escalation in our nice new Iraq war. Nothing will be done for a while because there is an election in the offing, and Britain's Head Boy is much more concerned with maintaining the uneasy coalition of thieves, morons, freaks and baboons known as the Parliamentary Conservative Party than with putting boots on the ground to stamp out Islamic State. Nevertheless, Lord Dannatt has a plan: bomb the bastards, build up local forces, keep all options on the table, have a wider discussion, work out what may or may not be important and, should it become necessary, think the unthinkable in order to do the undoable - not at all like last time.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Stealth Versus Stupidity - But Which is Which?

Labour has placed the Caudillo of the Farage Falange under what passes for pressure these days over his attitude to privatising the NHS. The Caudillo was caught on video a couple of years ago blathering about the kind of corporate insurance-based system that has been working so well in the United States. The Caudillo said he was uncomfortable about his money returning due value if he had to pay it in taxes to the state rather than into the all-wise benevolent fund that is the free market. Doubtless the Caudillo only made the statement because it seemed to be expedient at the time; and now that the statement seems expedient in some constituencies though not in others, the Caudillo has decided that he has neither dropped it nor accepted it. Labour, by glittering contrast, is merely the party that caused the Conservatives' lunatic PFI boondoggle to metastasize throughout the NHS.

Friday, November 14, 2014

An Inefficient Method of Disposal

Fury at prison horror

The Ministry of Human Warehousing is thought to be considering harsh new restrictions on suicide privileges in the light of a new report on conditions in British jails.

The Labour peer heading a review of prison suicides has already undercut the impartiality of his own report by proclaiming that some people should not be in prison even if there are profits to be made.

Minister of Justice and Tory Renaissance man Chris Graybeing, who knows nearly as much about mental illness as he does about the law, has not yet commented on the Labour peer's comments owing to an acute attack of moral indigestion.

However, the chief executive officer of the National Offender Management Service has said that reducing suicides in prison is a top priority for the Government.

"Inmates who succeed in committing suicide are, on the whole, less likely to re-offend and therefore less likely to remain a sustainable source of bucks for the bang-up industry," a spokesbeing said.

"The Government also believes that suicide is morally unacceptable in human resources who have used free health services or committed other moral derelictions and still owe something to the law-abiding community of hard-working, war-winning non-migrant families."

The Government has not yet specified what physical restraints it would consider necessary to prevent malicious self-vandalism by prisoners, but the measures have already been condemned twice as too expensive, and five times as too soft, by the shadow minister for profitable incarceration.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

For the Fallen in Price

Some died for what is Right, and some for what is not;
Their glory shines our goods, whence goodness can be got.

Age shall not wither them, and they will not grow old;
We will remember them; their epitaph is "Sold!"

Trencher Minyon

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Every Day is Poppy Day

Lest we forget, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has reported the latest results of Victory in Afghanistan, the mission accomplished by Britain's brave boys in the crusade to eradicate from the world the scourge of the drug-sponsored Taliban. As one would expect, opium production has increased, possibly by as much as seventeen per cent, and money from the sales continues to finance Taliban operations. No doubt Britain's Head Boy will be ordering Nick Clegg to write a nice, obsequious thank-you note to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime for waiting until 12 November to announce that Helmand, where Britain's brave boys did most of the sterling work of state-building, remains the liberated country's most poppy-friendly province.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


There is an unfortunate mental condition called knurd, which Terry Pratchett has defined as being as far from normal sobriety as one is when completely drunk, but in the opposite direction. I would like to suggest an artistic and cultural attribute on the same principle; it might perhaps be called the superlime, an achievement so far beneath normal mediocrity as to make the banal look brilliant. Naturally, a prime candidate for the title would be this year's centennial Armistice Day, the first of four such anniversaries which will doubtless climax in opiated orgasm on the hundredth anniversary of the victory itself. This year's occasion was marked by the completion of Paul Cummins' notorious Gesamtkitschwerk of ceramic poppies, each flower commemorating one of the Great War's 888,246 more or less significant deaths. Of course, the piece in itself is merely tasteless, brainless, insular and hypocritical, epitomising those timeless British values for which our boys fought and died; but at ten minutes to eleven, amid much pious blather about Never Letting it Happen Again, the last chunk of glazed mud was stuck in place by a thirteen-year-old child wearing the uniform of the Reverend Tony's Petroleum Crusaders. I humbly submit that, assuming it wasn't merely filthy (a subtle distinction, I grant you), that little stunt was superlime.

Monday, November 10, 2014

No More Mr Nice Guy

I am sure we all note with due sympathy the difficulties of those deserving people at Serco, which has issued a fourth profit warning this year and has lost a third of the value of its shares. The picture might have been even bleaker, were it not for such life-saving economies as running concentration camps for the Keep Australia White party and defrauding the British taxpayer by tagging non-existent criminals. Serco's chief executive, a descendant of the well-known law-and-order enthusiast Winston Churchill, has advocated a "more cautious view" of the next year or so; in Standard English, this means that Serco will be asking its shareholders for a £550 million subsidy until it's safe for Westminster to slip the company a few more contracts. In addition, no doubt, there will be targeted and proportionate cutbacks in the various little luxuries which Serco is wont to bestow upon the refugees, poor people and other prison merchandise in which it deals.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

We Happy Breed

In Flanders field a happy rat
Dined well upon a soldier's face,
Minced fine from helping save the place
For Freedom, Empire, King and Fat.

Our hero flourished as he fed
(So many tender morsels here!)
And married well; and year on year
His dynasty grinned, gnawed and bred.

Thus, on this anniversary,
His tribe pause their directorships
To bow their heads, and lick their lips
For all the banquets yet to be.

Victor Eatwell

Saturday, November 08, 2014

A Bandwagon Jumped is a Bandwagon Owned

Britain's Head Boy has decreed that at least some of the war kitsch festooning the Tower of London should be preserved at the Imperial War Museum for the edification of future cannon fodder. The display of ceramic poppies was to have been dismantled on 12 November; but with only a few months remaining before the general election, permitting that to happen would have been almost as careless as letting Little Ivan rest in peace or failing to try buying votes from lonely war widows. Instead, parts of the display called the Weeping Willow and the Wave will be sent on a tour of the country until 2018, the centenary year of the Armistice, Victory in Flanders, the Spanish influenza pandemic, etc. The ceramic flowers have already been sold at £25 a pop, with the proceeds going to the Royal British Legion in accordance with those British values which dictate that commerce is holier than charity; the tour will be funded with £500,000 of crooked bankers' fines which the beneficiaries of the Royal British Legion can apparently afford to do without.

Friday, November 07, 2014

I Am Not Making This Up

Another glorious episode in the fight to protect hard-working Britons from unauthorised wogs is well under way, as the Home Office tries to deport a Lebanese man who has cunningly evaded detection by living in Twickenham for seventeen years. The man has Down's syndrome, and according to his brother would be unable to look after himself in Lebanon even if the nice people at G4S exercised their usual exemplary standards of care during the process of disposal. The man receives no state benefits and works by helping his brothers in their bakery, so it is self-evident that the British taxpayer cannot afford to put up with this sort of thing any longer. Perhaps even more importantly, when the need arises to get a snigger at the next Conservative Party conference, even a pet cat may count for very little compared with a Middle Eastern mongoloid.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Opium of the Cannon Fodder

The death of a British soldier is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world.
Edgar Alan Clark

The horrendous tide of war-kitsch which has infected the Tower of London's moat is to be removed on schedule, despite brays of protest from the London Haystack and Nick Clegg, both of whom share the perpetrator's view that the piece speaks to something jolly profound in the simple folk. The display consists of 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for every significant death in the First World War; as the Guardian's art critic pointed out, the idea turns one of history's filthiest global fiascos into a pretty little British tear-jerker. Doubtless this explains its popularity with the Haystack, who fancies himself the latest incarnation of Winston of Gallipoli, and with the leader of the Deputy Conservatives, who knows all about charging suicidally through mud on behalf of thick-headed fat men who barely remember his name. It is eminently worthy of them both.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Not A War Thing At All

One of the numerous good reasons for blowing up Parliament has been bragging about the latest glorious escalation in Daveybloke's nice new Iraq war. Military officers have been dispatched to fulfil a "training and advisory role", in preference to having Johnny Arab over-sexed and over here. The British military is particularly well qualified for the task, having been "part of the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 that overthrew Saddam Hussein, and later took responsibility for Basra and the south of the country", as Britain's leading liberal newspaper puts it, leaving to less reputable sources such minor matters as illegality, torture and civilian casualties. In tribute to Britain's ability to punch above its weight in the international mugging racket, the training centre where the officers perform their paedagogical duties will be run by the United States. Appropriately enough given the Government's idea of a proper education, the announcement of this latest bit of mission creep was made not by the Minister for Wog-Bombing but by the Bullingdons' token filly at the Department of Scholastic Profitability.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Lying By Numbers

Mere experts are carping and criticising at the Bullingdon Club over its tax transparency statements, which are transparently designed to inform hard-working families how much of their hard-earned cash is being spent upon shirkers and scroungers, rather than on the worthier likes of G4S and Serco. In order to emphasise their point, the Bullingdons have employed much the same variety of creative accounting that allows the brilliant Iain Duncan Smith to say that Universal Credit is plop on schedule, no matter what state of affairs actually pertains on the planet most of us occupy. Notably, in order to support the claim that "welfare" eats up nearly a quarter of the tax money paid over by all the poor mugs who are too poor to dodge their bills, the Bullingdons have lumped in the pensions of retired nurses, soldiers, civil servants and even such major-league scroungers as ministers of state. This raises a number of questions, of which perhaps the most uncomfortable is this: were we correct in believing that the brilliant Duncan Smith could not have thought up his "telling blatant fibs" policy without some help from his masters, or must we face the infinitely more disturbing possibility that the brilliant Duncan Smith has imposed his own idiosyncratic counting methods on the Treasury by sheer force of intellect?

Monday, November 03, 2014

Perfectly Legal

Investigations into fraudulent expenses claims by certain public-sector employees have been brought to an abrupt halt because the House of Claimants has fed all the relevant documents to its dog. The HoC authorities were acting in strict accordance with the law, which can indeed be very tolerant of destroying evidence against the right sort of people. The only unredacted copies of expenses claims from before 2010 are now in the possession of the Torygraph, and the Barclay brothers will no doubt respect the right to be forgotten of selected fraudsters, depending on the latter's attitude and degree of demonstrated remorse.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Business As Usual

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued another of its bizarre reports, this time proclaiming that halting climate change is affordable and could also help to prevent poverty. Since governments and their sponsors do not care about what is affordable for the rest of us, but only about what is profitable for them, it is difficult to see what the IPCC hoped to achieve by pointing this out. The IPCC also takes note of the achievements of the past few years, observing that carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels are rising and not falling; doubtless this accounts for the deletion of a statement that politicians are biased towards the status quo. Obviously it would be unjust to accuse (to take a purely random example) the greenest government ever of standing still, when in fact it has devoted so much effort to going backwards.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

At the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior

In the middle of the ceremony, the stone cracked right across and startled the Prime Minister from his dreams of the commemorative banquet. A great fissure had been struck through the words FOR LOVED ONES HOME AND EMPIRE, and a greyish mist was rising from the crack. Faced with this novel bit of vandalism, the Prime Minister wondered where would be the most statesmanlike place to put the blame.

Slowly the greyish mist formed itself into a human figure. As it gained definition, the belches of boredom which had echoed around the Abbey gave way to gasps of disgust; for the figure was far from glorious. Its face was greenish and bloated, so that its neck ballooned over its collar; the Prime Minister became conscious of his own incipient dewlap, and raised his chin to stop the media drawing unflattering comparisons.

Cries of loathing filled the Abbey as the misty figure resolved itself yet further. Its hands were as bloated and shapeless as its face, and its intestines were hanging out of its belly. Its mouth was wide as if in agony, and its eye sockets were black and empty. In its tattered uniform there was not a hint of khaki; what remained looked as if it had once been grey. On its head was a mouldy helmet topped by a rusted spike; and it wore no poppy.

At last the Prime Minister knew exactly what to do. He pointed and yelled. Enraged, the congregation flung itself upon the invader, while the Archbishop of Canterbury looked a bit concerned.