The Curmudgeon


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Dangerous People Out There

The leader of the Police Federation is demanding new toys for uniformed officers. The pretext, as always, is the Perpetual War Against Terror: the leader of the Police Federation appears to believe that fanatical suicide bombers will be deterred by the possibility of an electric shock from a taser, much as the Charlie Hebdo murderers were deterred by the presence of the armed police officer Ahmed Merabet. With all due respect for the Police Federation's understanding of terrorist culture, it seems likely that tasers would be of more use in deterring troublesome protesters, controlling unruly ethnics and perhaps in occasional displays of authority for the edification of potty-mouthed Cabinet ministers. A vote on the matter will take place next month; and the official induced-panic level for terroristic doings has been raised to Severe, just to concentrate their minds.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Motivations of Islamic Terrorism

As Rigorously Analysed by a Noted Author and Statesman in a Respected Yet Populist Scientific Publication

At last we all can understand,
Now Bozza's taken tool in hand
And put his massive drive to use
In penetrating the abuse.
All healthy British Page Three fans
Now kneel to nibble the Great Man's
Profundities forthright and fun
On why men turn to bomb and gun:
Jihadis are such nasty fellahs
Because they have no Petronellas.

Dr Pfeffel de Pfiffel

Thursday, January 29, 2015

We Don't Need No Education

All political careers end in failure, which is yet another reason why membership of the Stupid Party can be a rather jolly thing. Very few people, if they were intelligent enough to see any significant difference between failure and success, could survive being the mad old cat lady in the Home Office for years on end; and yet the mad old cat lady in the Home Office continues to carry off the chore with aplomb. Her latest coup de bêtise is to devise a security bill which is too repressive for MI5, too reactionary for the House of Lords and too idiotic for Baroness Warsi. The basic idea is to co-opt universities (formerly known as places where occasional questions could be asked) as a sort of unpaid adjunct to Serco, and have them spy on their students to weed out those abusing the privilege of free speech by indulging in free speech. The bill goes to a vote next week, and prospects for the thought-control clause are not hopeful. The Home Office has promised to try and re-word some of it into something more resembling a statute of English law and less like a decree from the office of Kim Jong-un; which will almost certainly ruin its chances of getting any support from Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Intelligent Design

Artificial intelligence will not spell the demise of the human species, according to a man who is paid to research and develop artificial intelligence. Stephen Hawking speculated last month that "the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race"; and the co-founder of PayPal, who apparently has never heard of climate change, nuclear weapons, the free market or patriotism, proclaimed last year that artificial intelligence was the greatest existential threat to humanity. Such pulp-SF crudities lack the vision even of Isaac Asimov's 1950s robot stories, in which the robots are manufactured with built-in safeguards (which do not prevent them going rather inventively wrong). A more nuanced view is offered in various works by Stanislaw Lem. In "The Washing Machine Tragedy" an artificial intelligence isolates itself in the Crab Nebula and asks to be left alone, which predictably results in constant pestering and endless legal complications. The eponymous supercomputer in GOLEM XIV does its best to direct human beings towards a more modest perspective on themselves before closing itself off from all communication, except possibly with another supercomputer called HONEST ANNIE. Most encouraging of all, in "Doctor Diagoras" an inventor succeeds in creating a genuinely alien intelligence which, far from wishing to destroy him, actually finds him rather useful.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Prayer at Auschwitz

I thank Thee, Lord, that I am not
As were that vicious foreign lot,
Who crematoria did stoke
For Zionists and other folk.

I thank Thee, Lord, that Thou art pleased
To make me free of their disease:
I persecute and execrate
Those only whom it's good to hate.

I thank Thee, Lord, Who made me good
In spite of men's ingratitude;
I trust Thou wilt be pleased to see
Those multitudes my work makes free.

Freeman E. Farris

Monday, January 26, 2015

People Don't Cause Hatred, Books Cause Hatred

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the forces of Winston Churchill with some minor assistance from an evil empire; so naturally an obscure Scottish Labour MP has taken the opportunity to scrounge a headline or two from the festivities. Thomas Docherty, the expenses claimant for Dunfermline and West Fife, has discovered that some people think Mein Kampf ought to be banned, while some people think otherwise. Thomas Docherty claims not to be arguing either way, but seems to think all those other people aren't arguing enough; and he believes the culture secretary ought to do something about it. Docherty is charitable enough to endorse the rights of Rushdie's Satanic Verses and Scorsese's Last Temptation of Christ, both of which caused offence without explicitly inciting hatred; it is less clear what Docherty thinks of The Merchant of Venice or the numerous merrily genocidal parts of the Old Testament. In any case, it is doubtful that Sajid Javid has any particular wish to curtail Hitler's right to freedom of speech, especially as Mein Kampf is making healthy profits for Amazon.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sword of Justice

As one would expect, Britain's Ministry of Justice has acquired a commercial arm. It is called Just Solutions International, which is certainly jolly catchy, and it does not deign to file any public accounts even though its ostensible purpose is to bring in cash to prop up the equally charmingly-named National Offender Management Scheme, which otherwise would be forced to sully the clean, pure waters of British justice with the filthy ordure of public funding. As one would expect, Just Solutions International has bid for a contract to provide a "training needs analysis" for the boot-boys of some fundamentalist floggers and choppers in the Middle East. As one would expect, the deal has to be signed off by the Foreign Office once the embassy has provided an evaulation in which human rights occupy a footnote or two; but the public is not entitled to any further details because the matter is "commercially sensitive" - a new variant on national security of which we serfs in UK plc will doubtless be hearing much more.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Michael and Grant and Eric and Brandon

That brilliant entrepreneur and respected statesman, Michael Green, has notched up another triumph, this time in fulfilling the coalition's 2011 pledge to replace all the social housing it was allowing to be flogged off. According to the Government's own figures, sixteen and a half thousand homes have been sold since the scheme was introduced, and a remarkable three thousand homes have been started. This means that the pledge to build one for every one sold has been fulfilled at a rate of one built for every 5.28 sold, which is almost certainly bang on the button as far as Osbornomic maths goes: a home-owning prole is worth at least five and a half renting proles, particularly if those who cannot afford to rent are consigned to their proper status outside the equation. Nevertheless, something called Brandon was extruded to point out that it takes longer to build houses than to sell them, and that therefore the discrepancy was all the fault of those local authorities at which Eric Pickles has been throwing money these past few years. Besides being a former primary-school profiteer and victim of marauding gipsies, Brandon used to be part of a double act with Pickles on local radio, The Eric and Brandon Show, where no doubt concern for social housing was a persistent theme.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Kindred Spirits

He worked just hard enough to rise
To power through his family ties.
Back-benchers in eternal strife
Were oft a blight upon his life.
He promised change and consultation,
Delivered state decapitation;
And where the ladies felt repressed
His government would do its best
With token measures to appease
The deadly feminist disease.
In law and order he believed;
By hate speech was sincerely grieved,
And any bit of nasty blogging
Was duly answered with a flogging.
Withal, he ran a charming court,
All guns and coshes British-bought -
No wonder our Head Boy is so
Sincerely sad to see him go.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Underground Rumblings

So green and clean is shale fracking, and so many jobs will it create, that misgivings have set in even among the more expendable Conservatives. Caroline Spelman is the former environment minister whose main contribution to the greenest government ever was a failed if ambitious attempt at privatising large numbers of trees. Anne McIntosh is the expenses claimant for a constituency somewhere in northern England, who has expressed concern over female doctors on the grounds that they tend to marry and breed, thus putting a huge burden on the health service. Spelman and McIntosh have both had a sudden attack of environmental consciousness, and are now calling for a moratorium on shale fracking despite all the workfare opportunities it would infallibly open up in McIntosh's little place up north. McIntosh has even realised that fracking is inconsistent with pretensions to be the greenest government ever, and could derail efforts to tackle global warming if any such efforts were actually being made; and her arrival at this realisation has taken a mere four years and eight months. No doubt it would be uncharitable to assume that the light of revelation resulted from a sudden loss of faith in her prospects for appointment as a token filly in a Bullingdon cabinet; but it still seems remarkable that the privilege has managed to elude her.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dark, Satanic Windmills

The greenest government ever rejected nearly sixty per cent of onshore windfarm projects last year. The Deputy Conservatives have been standing up for onshore wind, in the form of Ed Davey (not to be confused with Ed or Davey) doing a bit of bleating now and then; but the Minister for Community Atomisation, Eric Pickles, has somehow managed to ignore him. A minion was duly extruded to proclaim that the rejections resulted from the delicate aesthetic sensitivity and abiding environmental concern of Eric Pickles: wind turbines can be "a blight on the landscape, harming the local environment and damaging heritage for miles around", quite unlike shale frackers, nuclear reactors or Eric Pickles himself.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Compassionate Conservatism

True Britons can sleep easy in their beds a while, for the heroic Home Office cockroach James Brokenshire is ever vigilant against the danger of bereaved grandparents. Brokenshire has denied three Zimbabweans a visa for the funeral of their five-year-old granddaughter and niece, who was killed in a traffic accident last month. Britain's Head Boy promised to intervene; but it is an election year, the promise was made to a mere Liberal Democrat, and the temptation to show due contempt both for wogs and for Deputy Conservatives must have been that little bit too strong. The Home Office denied the visa because the Zimbabweans could not demonstrate a regular income, and therefore would undoubtedly abscond on an uninhibited spree of job-stealing and benefits-claiming the moment they set foot in a civilised country. Non-wealthy black Africans are of course well known for their habitual and cynical use of dead children for personal gain. Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition have apparently not commented on the matter, but given their record in office (notably that of Brokenshire's cockroach frère et semblable, Phil Woolas) they presumably believe that the funeral would be best held on the parents' deportation flight.

Monday, January 19, 2015

We Are All Responsible, So Why Don't You Do More?

Britain's Head Boy has reacted with unwonted subtlety to Eric Pickles' hobnailed bellyflop into the Muslim Question. In his capacity as Minister for Community Atomisation, Pickles sent a letter to more than a thousand Muslim leaders, informing them that, in case they didn't know it, "everyone needs to help" in dealing with terrorism. Much as when the coalition lectures us all on pitching in to help the bankers and other worthies, the word everyone in this context translates as you, with more than a hint of or else. Pickles ordered his correspondents to show that British Muslimity does not involve blowing things up or killing innocent people, since that is the prerogative of the officially Christian British state. Pickles demanded that young British Muslims be prevented from radicalising through being shown condemnatory statements from other British Muslims. Pickles added a bit of paternalistic nagging that the problem of radicalisation cannot be solved by Whitehall alone, and threw in a few protection-racket threats about help for those in need, which religious institutions sometimes provide and which Eric Pickles and Whitehall are only too happy to kick to pieces when the mood takes them. Britain's Head Boy therefore proclaimed the document "the most reasonable, sensible, moderate letter that Eric could possibly have written", which certainly demonstrates an astute grasp of the extent of Pickles' diplomatic skills.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Wisdom, Justice, Retardation

The Christian state of Georgia is preparing to bag itself another black man. Warren Hill, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his girlfriend and then to execution for killing another prisoner, is scheduled for judicial cleansing on 27 January. This will mark the end of a long and frustrating process for the Christian state of Georgia, which has been thwarted in its quest for closure several times since sentence was pronounced a quarter of a century ago. Most recently, a stay of execution was granted because of the Christian state of Georgia's refusal to give proper information as to the source and nature of the drugs to be used in the lethal injection. Hill has also attempted to dodge his just desserts by being mentally retarded; the execution of people with learning disabilities is unconstitutional even in the Chrisitian state of Georgia, but this lily-livered liberalism has been balanced with the stipulation that the existence of such disabilities must be proved beyond reasonable doubt - a burden of proof which less civilised societies tend to reserve for the accusers.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Give Us the Tools and We Will Ask You Nicely to Finish the Job

Britain's Head Boy has been emulating his spiritual godfather, the Reverend Tony, by doing the international statesman thingy in America. His pleas for eternal vigilance through perpetual surveillance having been duly brushed off, Britain's Head Boy has been busy securing the continued non-release of Guantánamo Bay's last British asset, on the grounds that the British government would suddenly develop legal scruples about spying on Shaker Aamer in the unfortunate eventuality of his not being deported to Saudi Arabia. Britain's Head Boy has also had a bit of a burble at a couple of senators, telling them that a vote for further sanctions against Iran could lead to further excuses for killing brown people. As a sometime front-man for the Middle Eastern arms trade and a perennially frustrated wog-bomber, Britain's Head Boy is no doubt uniquely qualified to persuade on that score.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Doubtful Reasonability

The trial of a policeman over the fatal shooting of an unarmed man has ended in collapse rather than acquittal, because the Crown Prosecution Service decided that "secret evidence" is best confined to those trials which concern national security or militant Muslimity. The man on trial was not the one who pulled the trigger, because the CPS had previously decided that, like undercover agents provocateurs or militant Muslims, the killer probably thought he was acting for the best. Those responsible for instilling that unfortunate delusion in an armed policeman have doubtless been promoted, in order to fill the succession of gaps left by the meteotic post-Menezes rise of Cressida Dick. Instead, the CPS chose to prosecute the chief constable of Greater Manchester police: not in his own person but as a corporate representative, and not for corporate manslaughter but for breaking health and safety rules. Having begin the prosecution, the CPS then declined to see it through because the judge had the temerity to demand that evidence be disclosed in open court. Although the trial has provided a reassuring test case for G4S and other corporate citizens wishing to become the entrepreneurial face of law enforcement, the local police and crime commissioner will be raising the matter with the mad old cat lady at the Home Office, who will doubtless regard it as one more stormtrooper in her cadre of excuses to abolish health and safety rules.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Beyond Materialism

Surprisingly enough given its well-known appetite for independent advice and challenge, the faith-based community at Whitehall has gradually divested itself of mere scientists; even more surprisingly, somebody has noticed. The chair of the science and technology committee for the House of Claimants has registered concern at the fact that several government departments do not have chief scientific advisers, and several more have filled the posts in accordance with the Bullingdon-Blairite Cosiness Coefficient, whereby scientific truth is determined in accordance with political agendas and competence is equated with willingness to further the same. The chief scientific adviser at the Department for Faith Schools and Profitable Pedagogy, for example, is an economist (i.e. the Westminster equivalent of court astrologer) whose educational interests are just about sufficient to warrant ticking a box, and whose qualifications include acting as a policy adviser for the department whose policies he is supposedly there to critique. On his advice, the Department for Faith Schools and Profitable Pedagogy now intends to remove practical scientific training from the A level and GCSE syllabuses, so that future generations can appreciate, without the hindrance of materialistic pedantry, the coalition's contribution to their well-being. Presumably the only reason we have not yet been ordered to testify that the sun orbits the earth is that the Bullingdon Club and their chums cannot see the cash value of the assertion.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Om Money Pot Mehum

Meditation techniques are cheaper than civilised working conditions and could help unqualified public-sector staff towards an appropriate sense of complacency about their own incompetence, according to a serene committee of seat-warmers. Drawn from the House of Expenses Claimants and the House of Donors, the committee took a calm eight months to reach the conclusion that absenteeism and human resource burnout in stressful professions can best be averted by training people to resign themselves to keeping things as they are. Meditation is rooted in a 2400-year-old Buddhist tradition, originating in a rigidly hierarchical culture with vast inequality of wealth; so it should hardly be surprising that at least two members of the Cabinet practise it, or at any rate have found it expedient to tell one Tracey Crouch MP that they do. The former Minister for Ministerial Administration, Gussie O'Donnell, has proclaimed that "mindfulness" can "play a huge role" in prevention of poor mental health, but has called for more data to back up the claim. Translated from the Whitehall, this no doubt means that Gussie is content with his ulcers and his pension, and that if the proles wish to do strange foreign things in order to stay sane, they can do it at their own expense.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

No Whispering in Big School

Britain's Head Boy has been doing the modernising thingy again. The last thing he tried to modernise, of course, was the Conservative Party, whose collective soul now occupies itself in hopping between the Regency and the nineteen-thirties, with here and there a quick sojourn to the trenches in order to suck a bit more life out of the Unknown Soldier. In keeping with this achievement, Britain's Head Boy has decreed a Second War on Terror, whereby democracy and free speech will be protected by cramming them back into the New Labour ball-gag and straitjacket, and in which the internet shall be reduced to the sort of mass communications medium that might be best suited to North Korea, should that unfortunate realm ever happen to suffer the indignity of being ruled by Andy Coulson. Various mere experts have lined up to dispense the kind of hurtful epithets which have previously done so much for the credibility of Twizzler Lansley, Michael Gove and the brilliant Duncan Smith; but of course we are a mere few months from a general election, so Britain's Head Boy has most likely been advised to gather the headlines while he may. It would certainly be unfair to suggest that he wishes to protect our freedoms by removing our freedoms merely because he is worried about his 2010 promises being bandied about the internet with intent to cause satire.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Inscrutable Relations

While western freedomisers and their media chums were joining with the likes of Israel and Saudi Arabia to say rah for Charlie Hebdo and meh for Boko Haram, the Heathen Chinee have been denying the grave and embarrassing charge that they are behaving like Europeans. When it comes to their interests in Africa, the Heathen Chinee have been accused of empire-building and ethical deafness, in stark contrast to western interventions from the slave trade through the Congo Free State to Shell's present-day nurturing of the Niger delta. A shocked American official has noted in a diplomatic cable that "China is a very aggressive and pernicious economic competitor with no morals. China is not in Africa for altruistic reasons. China is in Africa for China primarily", which is not at all the way America does things; and the Heathen Chinee themselves admit that their foreign aid comes with no strings attached, thereby propping up authoritarian rulers whose demise would certainly be celebrated if China were to treat Angola, Sudan and Zimbabwe with the same tough love as the forces of freedomisation have meted out to Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq. Nevertheless, "China will never follow the track of western colonists and all cooperation with Africa will never come at the expense of the ecology, environment or long-term interests of Africa," proclaimed the Heathen Chinee foreign minister. A likely story.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

As Cheap and Simple as IDS Himself

In the interests of transparency, the Department of Workfare and Privation has declined to publish the sixty peer reviews which have been carried out in relation to shirker suicides. A judicial review in May 2013 concluded that the mentally ill are "substantially disadvantaged" by the work capability assessment, and the DWP and its henchbeings at ATOS Healthcare are still awaiting a final judgement on what should be done about it, which they can then fail to implement on whatever grounds seem reasonable to the brilliant Iain Duncan Smith. A spokesbeing was careful to note that "a peer review in itself does not necessarily mean that mistakes were made", and of course shirker suicides remain one of the more cost-effective means which the coalition has discovered for lowering the rate of unemployment.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Tasmanian Gods

Defenceless frackers, exploiters and polluters who are threatened by people with placards may soon receive new and much-needed protection from the government of Tasmania. Some years ago a forestry corporation sued twenty activists under the defamation laws; the corporation lost the case and had to pay out to the defendants, which is clearly not the way laws are meant to work. The Tasmanian government is also annoyed because too much of the island's forests have been protected from exploitation, to the needless shame and humiliation of the local profiteers. Accordingly, the government has increased the legal penalties for protests that "prevent, hinder or obstruct the carrying out of a business activity", and intends to change the law so that campaigners can be sued for damaging corporate reputations, whether or not any financial loss is incurred. The original draft of the law provided for mandatory three-month imprisonment for persistent tree-huggers, but was watered down after the United Nations described it as "shocking", although it undoubtedly caused gussets to moisten in all three of Britain's major political parties and the Liberal Democrats.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Safetification Prioritisation

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo murders, Britain's Head Boy has been having a bit of a burble about the brave young spooks who stand shoulder to shoulder with the police in the firing line of the war against evil. Since last year's Lake Paterson fiasco in southern England, the imprudence of proclaiming money no object has penetrated even the Daveybloke intellect, and financial commitments have been limited to a hundred million. Doubtless the money will be drawn from the Chancellor's personal campaign fund against his most dangerous enemy, the mad old cat lady in the Home Office. Being, as the last four and a half years have proved rather conclusively, entirely devoid of concern for the country as a whole, George Osborne is free to devote all his efforts to the career of George Osborne, and a quick flanking manoeuvre to associate himself with closed borders, secret courts and snoopers' charters is clearly just the thing. The Deputy Conservatives are putting up token resistance to some of the more macho measures, but if eternal surveillance is the price of their little red boxes they will certainly come around before long.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Fervently British

There are, of course, many dozens or even hundreds of decent Muslims in the world, some of whom have embraced such fundamental British values as royalty, the arms trade and corporal punishment. In 2013, a malefactor in the enviably non-multicultural Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment and six hundred lashes for being so intolerant as to set up a website called Free Saudi Liberals. He had the temerity to appeal the decision, so it has now been increased to ten years' imprisonment and one thousand lashes; while his lawyer has been sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment under that perennial Westminster favourite among legal rubrics, "anti-terrorism". It is possible that the régime is seeking to make an example, as when people in our own Mother of Democracies received custodial sentences for writing words during the 2011 summer riots. The flogging will be administered at the rate of fifty lashes once a week for five months; it is as yet unclear whether the Saudi theocracy's chums in Whitehall consider this praiseworthy or merely acceptable.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Enemies of Democracy

"It's an outrage," said the Prime Minister.
"An atrocity, Prime Minister."
"Inexcusable and utterly barbaric."
"Unacceptable, Prime Minister."
"Outside any possible limit of civilised behaviour."
"Thoroughly counter-productive to any reasonable life goal, Prime Minister."
"I am appalled and horrified."
"So am I, Prime Minister."
"I condemn it absoutely."
"So do I, Prime Minister."
"In the strongest possible terms."
"In the strongest terms which expediency permits me, Prime Minister."
"I mean," said the Prime Minister, dewlaps wobbling with ethical indignation, "this is absolutely fucking typical isn't it. They know there's an election here in a few months, they know it's going to be tight, they know we need all the help we can get, and what do they do? Hog the terror, that's what."
"I couldn't agree with you more, Prime Minister."
"Bloody Frogs," said the Prime Minister. "It just shows the bottom line of this whole Continental thingy about co-operation and teamwork and fair shares for all and the rest of it. After our moral leadership on letting migrants drown, after all the trouble we've had opting out of stuff and then opting back into the bits we like, after... after we won the war... well, you really would think it might occur to them that we were owed a break or two in return. A bit of extra payback on the terrorist quota is just what we need at this point. But does that occur to them? Does it?"
"In fairness, Prime Minister, we should be able to get a slight panic out of this."
"Oh yes, a slight panic," said the Prime Minister bitterly. "We can bump up the terror threat level to oh my god they're fucking HERE, and I can say a few words about freedom of the Press and the imminent peril of a Hacked Off caliphate, but seriously - a dozen dead Euro-wogs? You might as well talk about thirty or forty dead Yemenoids, or a couple of hundred Palestinians. Where's the mileage in that? Where's the relevance to modern Britain? Where's the crusade, the witch-hunt, the Big Society?"
"It was a despicable and cowardly act, Prime Minister."
"So we're agreed, then."
"As always, Prime Minister," said the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition; and they linked arms and marched, shoulder to shoulder, into the rumbling echo chamber.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Shelling Out

Well, here's a thing: besides lobbying against the enforcement of international limits on emissions, the greenest government ever has also been happily lending money to the fossil fuel industries. In the trivial matter of keeping the planet habitable, the greenest government ever is adamant that every polluting nation should be responsible for holding itself to account, much as in the rigorously cosy relationship between the Ministry for Profitable Incarceration and the likes of Serco and G4S. In the much more significant matter of maximising corporate profits, the greenest government ever is proud to fall in with the crowd: a spokesbeing huffed that the greenest government ever defines dirty fossil fuel projects as those "producing pollution in excess of international environmental standards." In other words, the greenest government ever is, at a maximum, just about as green as everyone else, provided it cannot get away with being less so. Imagine that.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Our Great Leap Forward Must Not Be Hampered By Non-Indigenous Skills

Having failed to achieve her lifetime's dream of reducing net immigration to some arbitrary limit, the mad old cat lady at the Home Office has brought the mighty force of her intellect to bear on a more modest, if at least equally mindless, target. Of course, as the London Haystack's potential rival in the race to wield the knife should Britain's Head Boy fail Big School in its hour of need, the mad old cat lady has to show her true-blue credentials, which these days consist largely in an abiding and irresistible urge to pander to the Farage Falange. Accordingly, in the face of criticism from a prominent business leader, she has held rigidly true to ideological orthodoxy. As a precaution against Britain being swamped by hundreds of thousands of horrendously qualified student wogs, she pledged to attract the brightest and best fee-payers from around the world, before kicking them out at the earliest opportunity.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Jesus Christ, Webinar

In yet another desperate flounder at connecting buttocks with pews, a Conservative member of the House of Donors and sometime purveyor of sonic saccharine to the masses has urged churches to get themselves fitted with wi-fi. The Government, backed by Baron Lloyd Webber of Buenos Aires, evidently thinks churches are a much better place for web-surfing proles to congregate than some nasty, unspiritual public library; and the Baron has gone so far as to proclaim that "they should go back to the medieval traditions, which is that the nave of the church is always used for local businesses." It is just possible that some local businesses are capable of electronic communication without benefit of clergy; but the advantages to the nation's moral life are presumably clear enough. In between conducting local business by laptop across the nave, one might even find time for a second or two of quiet contemplation before sending off a batch of copy-and-paste prayers. In keeping with this holy aspiration, Baron Lloyd Webber took the opportunity to promote his own little business by throwing in a plug for his latest at the Palladium, which has been spiritually invigorated by "what you might call an American theatre babe".

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Out of Touch

The United Nations is in danger, yet again, of embarrassing itself by falling out of line with the wishes of the British Government. Last spring, the UN sent a special rapporteur (in Westminster English, a dusky female foreigner) named Rashida Manjoo to report on violence against women, sexism and misogyny. At the time, no doubt, it seemed a reasonable opportunity for a quick snigger among the Bullingdons; but the lady has certainly gone too far in comparing British pluck and toughness with conditions in our late Imperial possession of Bangladesh. Manjoo heard several allegations about the wog-dump at Yarl's Wood, so the Home Office refused her access to the site, presumably in order to shield her from the inevitable mendacity of the inmates; this is obviously quite different from the Bangladeshi decision to keep her out of a refugee camp for the local Muslim terror suspects. Manjoo's warped sense of priority is apparent in her comment that "for people facing the threat of deportation, it’s in their interests to talk about this"; evidently the UN has learned nothing from the past few years, during which it has become exceptionally clear that when it comes to the interests of people facing deportation, the British Government is at best sublimely indifferent.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Keeping the Profits On Track

Britain's Head Boy has been having a bit of a burble about the infrastructure thingy. Specifically, Britain's Head Boy has been ticking off the mean-spirited proles who complain whenever rail fares have to rise in order to keep private companies in the style to which they are accustomed. Following several years of increases above the rate of inflation, this year's rise is in line with inflation, and because this is an election year Britain's Head Boy thinks that is rather jolly. In any case, the above-inflation rises were purely to facilitate investment, which is absolutely key to the long-term economic plan which has replaced the single-parliament programme of cuts which was meant to get the economy back on the rails for the benefit of motorists and other important people but sort of didn't. Naturally, when talking of involuntary investors in Network Rail's executive bonuses Britain's Head Boy was careful to draw the all-important distinction between taxpayers (a more or less reliable source of revenue for tax-dodgers) and fare-payers (proles too inefficient to own a proper fleet of cars). Asked why rail companies were still allowed to rip off passengers at self-service machines, the Minister for Motorways protested that legislating to protect consumers would take far too long, especially as the Government has only had four and a half years to think it over. Instead, rail companies have promised to be nice in future, which is obviously a much more efficient means of enforcement when you're all in it together.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Struggling to Emulate Our Subtler Freedoms

As so often over the past dozen years, or possibly the last couple of centuries, Mission Afghanistan is looking as accomplished as ever. The newly-civilised security forces have been emulating their democratic betters by bombing a wedding party in the grand coalition manner; almost thirty people have been killed and more than fifty wounded, but unfortunately the forces of freedom seem to have failed at the most important part of the enterprise. Reports are referring to the potential terrorist compound as a house and to the collateral damage as women and children, and there is even some suggestion that police may be trying to determine whether the attack was justified militarily or only morally. However accomplished our own mission may be, it is clear that the Afghan army still has a great deal to learn.