The Curmudgeon


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mug and the Dream

A Tale

Waking suddenly in the dark of her room, Mug saw a dream preparing itself to enter her mind. She caught it in mid-step between the wardrobe and the bed, where it had halted the instant she opened her eyes. The dream tried to remain absolutely still, but its posture was all wrong and after a few moments it collapsed to the floor looking most embarrassed.

Mug and the dream stared at one another. The dream squatted like a glowing transparent toad, mumbling liplessly about the games it wanted to play when it got inside Mug's mind. From its fingers and toes and horns came threadlike tubes through which lights flashed feebly in time with the mumbling, but now the lights couldn't go anywhere because the dream had failed to reach Mug's brain in time.

"Caught you," Mug whispered from the bed. The dream's huge eyes were closed, moving rapidly behind their lashless lids. When Mug spoke, the lids twitched but did not open.

"Caught you, you bad dream," Mug whispered. She sat up in bed, holding the quilt up as far as her eyes. "Don't you move, you bad dream, or I'll bottle you." Without taking her eyes from the dream, she put out one hand for the lamp on the table. "Bottle and drown you and give you to the fishes. How would you like that? Fish dream is all you'll be. A shoal of little nightmares, all about worms with metal in their guts."

The dream squeezed its eyelids shut, so tightly that they sank into its head and left only dimples behind them. At the same time its mouth became wider and its mumbling louder, and Mug could make out fragments of what it mumbled: "knifecaps whistling soft metal daisy toilet bearding carpfunnel," and so forth.

"Don't you move, you bad dream," Mug whispered. "Or I'll drown and dissolve you to yawning and morning. I'll put you in a glass with my Aunt Weevil's teeth."

Her fingers fumbled up and down the stem of the lamp, and the dream's mouth opened wider still, revealing its seven tangled tongues all writhing and flopping over each other, while behind them in the dream's throat a feeble light glowed and faded. The light was grey, stolen from the moon's face in which, millions of years ago, the dream's giant ancestors had eaten hundreds of dark holes.

"Crystal fangbeam rivenglass living-room tuffets," mumbled the mouth. Behind the mouth, the rest of the dream was changing shape. Its limbs flexed and floundered, and those at the rear stretched fearfully towards the wardrobe and melted together in a fish-tail that slapped the floor. On the dream's back Mug saw patches and stripes appear and disappear, as though the dream were fleeing through a night forest. "Clotting moonblot plankwallow," it wailed.

At last Mug's fingers stumbled across the switch. Keeping her eyes open wide and fixed upon the dream, she turned the lamp on. The walls, the wardrobe and the bookshelves all leapt from their shadows, and their corners stabbed the dream and their colours scalded it. Mug's eyes were stinging, but she didn't blink and the dream let out a hoarse shriek that boiled in its throat as the stolen moonlight dissolved in electric yellow. The dream went dull and folded in on itself, and the threadlike tubes in its horns and fingers and toes let out delicate threads of vapour, which rose to the ceiling and made Plotty-the-cob stir in her web.

When nothing was left of the dream but a small black pile like a collapsed tar-toad, Mug jumped out of bed and prodded it with her foot, taking care to put her slippers on first. The tar-toad made no response, but after a moment the door opened and Aunt Weevil stood there, yawning in nightmare-pink flannel and rubbing the small of her back. "What's going on in here?" she demanded.

"Nothing, auntie," Mug said. "Just a bad dream, that's all."

Aunt Weevil squinted at Mug, then at the floor in front of Mug's blue furry slippers, where shreds and cinders of steam were still breaking and fading. "That's my girl," Aunt Weevil said, and she and Mug grinned at each other, showing all their teeth.

Read more about Mug in paperback or PDF

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Will They Never Learn?

Barely more than a week before the seventieth anniversary of Winston Churchill's victory over the forces of darkness, Germany has disgraced itself by implicitly denying the holocaust threatening Britain's way of life. Germany and Sweden between them handle nearly half of all asylum claims in the EU, and apparently lack the vision and statesmanship to imprison the perpetrators in concentration camps run by those nice people at Serco and G4S. Now that the let-'em-drown policy in the Mediterranean has failed to stem the flow, Italy, Greece and Malta are also complaining. The Germans have suggested a quota system; so Britain's Head Boy, whose wog-bombing of Libya was badly misinterpreted by many Africans as an invitation not to stay in their place, has been forced to give the lesser nations a bit of a ticking-off.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Vote For Us In Case We Vote Against Ourselves

Labour's wog-bombing spokesman, the Dickensian-monickered Vernon Coaker, has accused the Conservatives of playing politics because some of them still refuse to admit to the two parties' basic lack of difference. Michael Fallon - the same decent honest chap who put his name to a Crosbyite smear about Labour's leader having fought an election against his brother and therefore being presumably willing to sell the country out to Vladimir Putin - was unable to say whether the Conservatives would join Labour to vanquish the fiend Sturgeon and protect Britain's weapons of mass destruction. Asked why the Conservatives couldn't support a minority government on the issue, Fallon blathered that the country needed to follow his own shining example and avoid the question. "We can't have this confusion or uncertainty," he said, having made everything as clear as Grant Shapps' second-best set of excuses. As of this writing, it remains unclear whether the Real Conservatives would vote with the Wannabe Conservatives on the numerous other policy areas where they remain more or less indistinguishable.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fear and Trembling

The foreign fanatic, who hates as he prays,
Kills people at random in horrible ways,
And chokes us with grief at the barbarous sight
Of History lost to the terrorist fight.

His holy Creator, the Ancient of Days,
Kills people at random in horrible ways
And shocks us with awe at His heavenly might
By levelling many a world-renowned site.

The madman and vandal, all sane men must curse;
But God must be thanked that He didn't do worse.
Though the evil of men may be hard to refute,
When God does the same - well, it's really quite cute.

Rev. Sorbus Malbarb

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Political Earthquakes

Fury at tragic terror horror

Both wings and the tail of the British Neoliberal Party have been trying to steady their voters in the wake of the earthquake in Nepal.

Downing Street called the earthquake "terrible", but defended the aftershock decision to send experts to the shaken country at the taxpayers' expense. A spokesbeing said that people thinking of voting UKIP should "keep in mind that Nepal is a very long way away".

Potential migrants would have "quite a walk" to reach Dover, and the experts sent by the prime minister would in no way be providing transport to non-British nationals, the spokesbeing said.

Instead, British resources would be targeted towards wealth creation and effective reintegration of Nepal into the international financial community. Aid for those squashed under ruins would be conditional upon their being hard-working families.

A Labour spokesbeing called the earthquake "tragic", but criticised the government's response for being too fast and too deep. "At a time of hardship for hard-working families, Britain's hard-working families need to know that their money is being spent at the epicentre of Britain's hard-working families," the spokesbeing said.

A Liberal Democrat spokesbeing called the earthquake "a terrible tragedy" and said that the Conservatives' response was too intelligent and the Labour response too compassionate.

The latest opinion polls remain so far unmoved by these interventions, to the consternation of many.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Good On You, Mates

A hundred years ago today
They landed, so's the story,
To brush the darkies out the way
For Churchill's greater glory.

Conditions, true, were passing bad;
For history makes clear
That Britain's greatest Briton had
To risk his whole career.

Their sacrifice was not in vain,
For out that solemn morn,
Australia rose in blood and pain -
And I, John Key, was born!

Zack Anchovy

Friday, April 24, 2015

Chuka and Hezza

Yet further indications of the precise extent of Labour's leftward lurch under the Milibeing have emerged in the revelation that the shadow Minister for Profiteering, Chuka Umunna, has been quietly sucking up to the former President of the Board of Trade, Deputy Prime Minister, First Secretary of State and Lord High Everything Else, Michael Heseltine. "Just because he is a Tory should not stand in the way of us working with him in the future and I very much hope to do that," gabbled Umunna commalessly. It appears that Labour hopes to revive the "big tent" approach which worked so well for the Reverend Blair, always provided that the tent's extensions were never to the left. "Michael was a visionary, there’s no doubt about that and he fought battles with the right of his party like Michael Portillo against active government and I believe in active government, which is different from intervention," gushed Umunna with pre-orgasmic near-commalessness. Active government is different from intervention in that it means "working in partnership with the private sector", which is no doubt different from privatisation, although not so different that Michael Heseltine, Vince Cable, Peter Mandelson and Chuka Umunna can't be intensely relaxed about it.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Helpful As Ever

Some of the collateral damage from the coalition's sole successful wog-bombing received a public funeral in Malta today, despite the risk that such publicity might constitute an unintended pull factor for further waves of migrants. There were wails from the African community which, as so often, seems incapable of taking a balanced view of the issue. The ceremony was attended by the president and prime minister of Malta, the Italian interior minister and the EU's migration commissioner. The liberators of Libya had more important things to do, although with typical generosity of spirit Britain's Head Boy proclaimed that Britain, as ever, would help to prevent further embarrassments provided "that people that we pick up are taken to the nearest safe country, most likely Italy, and do not have immediate recourse to claim asylum in the UK."

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Statesmanlike Solutions

With his usual salesman's perspicacity, Britain's Head Boy has noticed that protecting British jobs by letting Africans drown has proven a bit of a PR disaster. Creating refugees on Europe's border is a very different proposition from creating them in the Middle East, where the perils of migrant absorption are confined to countries like Iran and Syria, which lack the incomparable yet fragile glory of Britishness and are not quite full up.

Britain's Head Boy's little orange poodle, whose principled opposition to the wog-bombing of Libya was so courageously outspoken that it made no difference at all, agrees with Dave. Two weeks from a general election is a time for statesmanlike, decisive action on all fronts. Britain's Head Boy did his best to blame the ghastly Euro-wogs, and the poodle wrote an article for the Guardian, expressing deep concern about the desperate conditions into which Libya has somehow descended in spite of the coalition's best efforts. Meanwhile the London Haystack, as the Head Boy's touted successor, took his usual stance of common-sense populism and advocated more war in Libya.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Aping Justice

Chimpanzees have more rights than Guantánamo Bay detainees or African-Americans who look at a peace officer wrong, according to the ruling of a Manhattan supreme court judge. Two chimps have been granted a writ of habeas corpus against their alleged illegal detention by Stony Brook University. According to lawyers for the Non-human Rights Project, which brought the case, the writ implicitly recognises the apes as persons; but it is as yet unclear whether the USA intends to add court cases against violent, larcenous or otherwise nefarious animals to its already impressive repertoire of mediaeval customs. There is also likely to be controversy over how the ruling will affect the case of George W Bush, should the International Criminal Court ever decide that non-Africans can be war criminals.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Another British Job Saved

While remembering our brave boys who aren't out on the high seas fishing scroungers out of the Mediterranean, it's important not to forget the nice people at Serco, who have bagged another detainee in the Yarl's Wood centre for wog disposal. The Home Office has expressed its condolences to the family, some of which remains in detention at the Home Office's sniggering pleasure. A full investigation by the police and the probation ombudsman has been promised, since the Bullingdon Club has not yet had time to sell the police and the probation ombudsman to Serco. For its own part, Serco has just about managed to determine that the demise did in fact take place, so there is at least a small chance that the company will not be charging the taxpayer for tracking this particular victim in the community.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Evidential Managerialism

Well, here's a thing: a Deputy Conservative in the House of Donors has proclaimed that his party's coalition masters tried to distort the findings of a Whitehall investigation and delay publishing the report. The subject of the investigation was the powers of the European Union: a topic on which the Real Conservatives have a long and fragrant history of truth-telling allied to cool rationality. In this case, the evidence of backstabbing Putinites such as the Chamber of Commerce, the CBI and the Japanese government was decisively against the Conservative-UKIP policy of withdrawing from the EU and turning the country into an off-shore tax haven. Accordingly, special advisers to the mad old cat lady at the Home Office did their best to excise these lunatic ramblings in favour of quotations from respected national organisations such as Migration Watch, whose view of the world is more in line with the faith-based policies favoured by the Conservatives and, until a month or two ago, by their Deputy Conservative enablers.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Natural Health and Beauty

Michael Gove, the chief whip of the Pricks and Schoolboys Club, has ruled out getting into bed with Nigel Farage on the grounds that such an encounter would fail to meet rigorous new standards for cheap and sordid power transactions. Gove said he would be "perfectly civil with any Member of Parliament" except possibly the Speaker of the House of Commons, but predicted that the Farage Falange would emerge from the election insufficiently rampant to merit inclusion in any official far-right circle jerk. The Conservatives are known to have had several quick and nasty knee-tremblers with the Farage Falange in stationery cupboards, and Labour are thought to have tentatively touched its bum at the office Christmas bash, but neither main party will admit to going steady or exchanging bodily fluids. A spokesbeing said that getting into bed would be a relic of the "free and easy, 1960s Stalinism of the last Labour government", and that future relations would have to be negotiated on uncarpeted floors in cold rooms over the faces of hard-working families.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Feline Fiction

David O'Brien, an occasional commenter and long-term lurker in good standing on the present weblog, has used my latest novella's review space to post some very generous remarks about my fiction in general. Although some of his comments will undoubtedly prove controversial in the cat community, I'm very grateful to David for his time, his trouble and his kind words.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

They Really Don't Deserve Us

Next month sees the centenary of that glorious day in the Great War when the Kingdom of Italy, the Nick Clegg of the Triple Alliance, finally pitched in with Team Good Guys and declared war on its erstwhile ally Austria-Hungary. It is as yet unclear what celebrations are planned; possibly because of some lasting reservations about Italian moral fibre. Only this week, for example, nearly five hundred British jobs have been saved in the Mediterranean; yet the Italian navy persists in perpetuating the unintended pull factor which invariably results when brown people are not properly incentivised with buccaneering British pluck. The British Government, of course, contributed enormously to rescue operations in the Mediterranean by wog-bombing Libya and thoroughly demoting the Reverend Tony's chum Colonel Gaddafi so that the Big Society could take over. Unfortunately, it appears that too many natives still lack the entrepreneurial gumption to prefer their new, free and happy lives to the risk of death by drowning.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

No Sign of Nick

I am in receipt of a rather sad piece of electioneering from a Deputy Conservative councillor, Jonathan Davies, who is running for Parliament in Finchley and Golders Green despite lacking the advantages of incumbency, a defensible record or a party with any remaining purpose other than to hang onto its leadership's little red boxes.

Predictably enough, the leaflet reads like part of a local campaign with a few national references thrown in, apparently on the assumption that even someone innocent enough to vote Liberal Democrat this year will be vaguely aware that the election is a general one. Equally predictably, there is no hint of the grand visions of 2010: the Deputy Conservatives have no further intention of changing the terms of debate on Europe or immigration, and their commitment to electoral reform is now about as detectable as that of the Real Conservatives and the Wannabe Conservatives.

There is a page of "guarantees" - tax cuts, pension rises, protection for the NHS and schools budget, and continued commitment to "balancing the books" - which are entirely indistinguishable from the anodyne guff being peddled by the two main branches of the British Neoliberal Party. There is a section of white-on-black text where Jonathan Davies names three Real Conservative policies which were blocked by the Liberal Democrats, in between supporting such minor peccadilloes as Twizzler Lansley's anti-NHS bill, Graybeing's vandalism of the justice system, and the Spare Room Subsidy Withdrawal. "Without the Liberal Democrats to stop them, the Tories would have cut public services deeper and faster, making the poorest bear the heaviest burden," proclaims Jonathan Davies; who, like the sitting expenses claimant, somehow fails to make clear his pride in the local food bank which has done so much extra business while his party has been giving heart to the Conservatives.

Most touching of all is the part in which Jonathan Davies drums up quotes from supportive locals. The equivalent section on the Labour candidate's leaflet is headed "Why we are backing Sarah Sackman" and includes four blurbs from four different people: an academic, a school governor, an actor and a student. Jonathan Davies has managed to find one single person who will admit to backing him and even campaigning alongside him. That person is another Deputy Conservative councillor.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hussein Obama is No Jack Kennedy

Fury at appeasement horror

US citizens may soon receive official permission not to be terrified of Cuba, as President Obama has indicated his intention to normalise relations.

Cuba has been a source of terror to Americans since 1959, when the Castro régime overthrew the island's fragile democracy and imposed a functioning national health service on its unhappy citizens.

In 1962 the Soviets stationed nuclear missiles on the island, bringing the world to the brink of destruction through their failure to realise that only the Americans are allowed to point missiles at people.

The US responded with the purely defensive Bay of Pigs invasion which took place the previous year and ended in one of America's most glorious victories prior to the advent of George W Bush.

Since the end of the Cold War the régime has been largely downgraded from its long-standing Ultimate Evil rating, and Obama's initiative to normalise relations could mean an official classification of Populist before the decade is out.

The island will also be exonerated from mention in any future remakes of the film Red Dawn, sources said today.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Who Would Jesus Damn?

Despite the glittering example of the Reverend Blair, an international survey has found the UK one of the least religious countries in the world, being more pious only than the Dutch, Swedes, Czechs, Japanese, the people of Hong Kong and the Heathen Chinee. Although only thirteen per cent of Britons said they were atheists, a further forty per cent said they were not religious but didn't know how to define themselves; which presumably accounts for the agnostics, the vaguely-spirituals and most of the Anglicans.

Meanwhile, with exquisite timing, the Catholic newspaper The Tablet has chosen to celebrate its hundred and seventy-fifth year of uninterrupted publication by throwing open its archives and exposing the depths of brotherly love that Britons could attain when religion was more prominent in public life. In 1842 a priest was denied access to the death-bed of a servant girl, whose employer abused him as a Satanist and an idolater. Many working-class Catholics were denied employment by Protestant families, and according to one writer, "One was told … as to the Catholic Chapel, she must not even look towards it." The Member of Parliament for Lambeth in 1846 felt obliged to inform all the daily papers that his family had converted to Catholicism; in fact there was a Popish apostate in the nest, which pained the Christian gentleman deeply, but the rest of the family remained staunch Protestants. Protestant or Popish, rich or idle, they are all equal now, and were all duly rewarded when the sky-daddy permitted the country to fall into its present secular Gehenna.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Basically Human

Having played the Red Peril card, the Weak Geek card, and last week, in desperation, the Sex Beast card and the Dolchstoßlegende, the Real Conservatives are now reduced to trying things that once worked against Gordon Brown. Valiantly attempting to broaden his party's appeal among the common folk, the Chancellor has announced that the next Conservative administration will remove inheritance tax from family homes worth less than a million pounds. This will support the "basic human instinct", shared by all hard-working families and the Bullingdon Club, of viewing parents primarily as people who leave you something when they die. The proles of Generation Rent, and those who have been kicked out of their houses because of the Spare Room Subsidy Withdrawal, are self-evidently lacking in such finer feelings, and therefore deserve no better than the tender mercies of their landlords and the latest reboot of the Big Society thingy.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Very Delicate

Rumour has it that, after a few supposedly conciliatory words from Pope Francis, the Vatican is slipping back into its comfort zone with regard to the objectively disordered. There has been some delay in approving the new French ambassador to Mussolini's joke state, which has prompted speculation that the candidate will be rejected because he is gay. Since Vatican citizenship is confined to celibate males who share a highly disapproving invisible friend, the presence of a homosexual would necessarily result in extreme spiritual peril. The Pope himself has implied that he is not one to judge others; which of course is far from implying that Christ's beloved enemies should not instead be condemned, ostracised, anathematised and, with all due humility, handed over to the secular arm.

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Dubious Record

Surprisingly enough given the achievements of the greenest government ever, the pollutive particle known as Matthew Hancock has been taking money from a climate change denier in the City of London. Neil Record is on the board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the crank-tank chaired by Nigel Lawson which regularly tells mere climatology experts where to get off. Record has given Hancock £18,000, including £4000 after the latter succeeded the brilliant Owen Paterson as Minister for Flooding and Fracking; Hancock himself is so brilliant that he needs to be ferried about by private jet in order to protect regular airline passengers from the awesomeness of his presence. For his part, Record blathered that “current popular political choices for carbon reduction (wind; solar in high latitudes) are woefully inefficient and unsustainable (because they require subsidies to exist at all)”; by which brilliant logic the entire banking industry should presumably have been wound up circa 2009. Nevertheless, the payments are purely sentimental; Record has never discussed climate change with Hancock, and their conversations tend to centre around their mutual good old days as Bank of England witch-doctors. It would certainly be remarkable if a City philanthropist were to throw money at a Government minister merely for the sake of influencing policy.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Look, Chaps! Shiny Thing!

A fat, purple-faced bully has intervened in a dramatic intervention over the dramatic intervention by another fat, purple-faced bully who claimed that the Milibeing's decision to run against his brother for the Labour leadership made him too tough not to be a pawn of Putin. Michael Fallon, the Minister for Wog-Bombing, blathered that Labour would give away the country's weapons of mass destruction, which have done such a wonderful job of deterring Putin in the Crimea, as part of a dirty deal with the fiend Sturgeon. "Ed Miliband stabbed his own brother in the back to become Labour leader," Fallon foamed in the Murdoch Times. Now he is willing to stab the United Kingdom in the back to become prime minister." In response, Britain's Head Boy burbled that "we should try to be respectful in the way we conduct our political debate, but" when some geeky little second-generation immigrant has put non-domiciled tax dodgers all over the front pages, it is sometimes necessary to throw a hissy-fit "in a pretty frank way" in order to effect an appropriate re-targeting of journalistic attention.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The Story

"Tell me a story," said Mug to her Aunt Weevil; and Aunt Weevil started telling her one of the stories of Awful Short, the fat witch who fed children bricks from her house under the pretence that they were lumps of carrot cake; and who, when the children were too heavy to move, turned into Long Terrible, the witch as tall as a lamp-post who was always thin and always hungry. But just at the point when the crafty heroine was about to outwit Awful Short, and trap her in the cellar with nothing to eat but rats and caskets, Aunt Weevil fell asleep, and Mug knew she could not wake her because of her disease. So the story followed Mug up to her room, and because it was incomplete it whispered under the door, and rustled along the bookshelves, and mumbled beneath her bed; and the fat witch Awful Short filled all the space until Mug could not find breath to whisper The End, and the hungry witch Long Terrible towered above her and grinned at her all through the night.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Firm But Fair

Just because the Home Office is now being run by a mad old cat lady rather than the more routine species of thuggish incompetent, we would of course be quite wrong to assume that New Labour values were entirely dead. It will be remembered that the previous administration, in its zealous concern over British jobs for British workers, did everything it could to avoid protecting those Afghan and Iraqi natives who were ingenuous enough to work for the forces of decency; the present administration, which has demonstrated no concern whatever for the jobs of British workers, is nonetheless resolved to carry on that noble tradition. An Afghan man who worked with British troops has been refused asylum on the grounds that he cannot prove his life is in danger from the Taliban; and indeed his claim is somewhat vitiated by the fact that Britain's Head Boy has himself declared Mission Afghanistan accomplished, with all the peace, freedom and profitability this implies. Since the mad mullahs are notoriously unacquainted with the principles of open government and do not share their blacklists even with the Guardian, any proof of danger may be difficult to procure except at the minor cost of the failed asylum seeker's life; by which time, of course, there will be no further need for anyone to worry.

Monday, April 06, 2015

All Things Wise and Wonderful

Organisms evolve; bacteria are organisms; bacteria evolve. Since their numbers are great and their generations short, the evolution of bacteria takes place rather rapidly in human terms. These elementary truths, which have been self-evident to most thinking human beings for decades, and were expounded with exemplary clarity in a noted horror novel sixty years ago, have now apparently begun to dawn even upon the Cabinet Office. Allowances must be made, of course: being the Cabinet Office, they probably thought evolution was something that mostly happened millions of years ago, had its entire aim and culmination in Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, and has been going downhill ever since. Even so, vague worries are starting to dawn about the possibility of antibiotics failing even those who will still be able to afford an operation or an organ transplant twenty years from now; and a spokesbeing for the Department of Health and News Corporation quoted the chief medical officer for England to the effect that nothing can be done until the foreigners get their act together.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Real People Have Problems Too, You Know

As the Nietzschean universe in its eternal recurrence comes back ever and again to the same moment; as the planet on its journey round the sun passes the same point in space; as Hollywood producers remake stale sentiment and as dogs return to their vomit, so the entourage of Britain's Head Boy goes back, ever and anon, to waving dead children about. Since the National Health Service has become a matter of some concern, and since the coalition's promise to avoid chaotic reorganisations and cuts to front-line services has not entirely disappeared into the electronic memory hole, Daveybloke has on this occasion wheeled out his trophy wife to do the dirty work for him. Samantha Cameron, the working mum with the good honest job, has been plugging Little Ivan™ in the Rothermere Stürmer on Sunday, to the effect that looking after a disabled child is quite a burden - especially, no doubt, when one is working too hard to live an easy life on benefits. She described the infantine resource as "one of the great gifts of our lives", and Little Ivan™ has certainly kept on giving since his father's handlers heard the joyous tidings of his politically-timely demise fifteen months before the 2010 election. Meanwhile, now that Gordon Brown is retiring to spend more time with his self-pity, the call for photogenic bereavement will doubtless be echoing through Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

They Come Over Here, Take Our Patients

Well, here's a thing: it appears that the coalition's efficient, democratically mandated and utterly non-chaotic mugging of the National Health Service has had the unintended consequence of handing it over to the beastly migrants. Since the Government refuses to fund training for nurses at home, hospital trusts are having to recruit from abroad, with the result that a quarter of last year's new nurses were deficient in Britishness. "Instead of training the nurses we need to care for our sick and our old, we go from famine to feast every few years by trying to plug staffing gaps from abroad when care becomes unsafe," complained the general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing. "Then once things are under control, the NHS cuts back again and the cycle repeats." The party that gave us the PFI boondoggle has promised to rectify matters, as have all the other parties; so whether we efficientise further or just kick 'em out, doubtless the problem will soon be solved.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Available Now

Seven weeks to the day since I started it (on a Friday the thirteenth), my variation on the Easter myth is now available as paperback and as PDF. It comes complete with title stolen from John Osborne by way of Ralph Fiennes' film Coriolanus, and plot stolen from the Gospels with one or two minor alterations. As always, I recommend that you buy with alacrity, read with attention and review and/or star-rate with enthusiasm.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Excessive Generosity

Today, of course, is Maundy Thursday, when the monarch traditionally makes a brief annual show of being concerned about poor people; and that plump purple relative of Mrs Battenberg's who serves as Britain's Head Boy has apparently marked the occasion by protesting his moral compass to the very same church that called in the City of London police to hose protesters for social justice off the steps of St Paul's. Meanwhile, despite Her Majesty's Government's eminently successful wog-bombing exercise in Libya, asylum seekers continue to show their ingratitude by drowning in ever-larger numbers. Thanks to the moral compass of Britain's Head Boy and his chums, the UK withdrew support for rescue operations last year, on the grounds that the prospect of being rescued provided an unintended "pull factor" similar to the attractions of the British benefits system and the luxury hotel at Yarl's Wood. In the first quarter of this year, the number of people who have died trying to get across the Mediterranean is already approaching the estimated totals from 2012 and 2013. As so often with poor and brown people, they just don't seem to appreciate the charity of their betters.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Informed Consent

The Christian state of Arizona has become the fifteenth to ban insurers from covering abortions under the Affordable Care Act, on the grounds that the American taxpayer should only pay for baby-killing when it's done by properly qualified drone operators in countries made of brown people. The Christian state of Arizona has added an extra bit of faith-based fun to its legislation by ordering doctors to advise women that abortions carried out using prescribed drugs are reversible, and that should the noise from campaigners for mediaeval attitudes to the womb become inconvenient, "it may not be too late!" Mere medical personnel have denounced the idea as quackery, citing that well-known tool of the devil, "available research".