The Curmudgeon


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Honourable Pairings

By one of those charming little accidents that seem so often to smooth the snouts and slick the trotters at the Parliamentary trough, a Conservative expenses claimant had a lapse of memory in a tight vote, and unintentionally if conveniently breached his agreement with a Deputy Conservative counterpart who was unable to attend the session. The squeals of righteous indignation might sound a little more convincing were it not for the Deputy Conservatives' own relaxed approach, even with regard to the sole party policy which they failed to stay in office long enough to abandon. Opposition to Brexit has now replaced proportional representation and tuition fees as the hill on which the Deputy Conservatives will surrender if thrown a red box in a minor government department; but that didn't stop two former party leaders having better things to do than make life more difficult for Tumbledown Tessie. George Osborne's former Minister for Mates' Rates had an Important Meeting, and the Reverend Tim Farron was delivering a sermon about the challenges of serving his Big Constituent, the great heterosexual sky-daddy, while posturing as a liberal politician. Still, it is reassuring that, despite five years on the receiving end of the Bullingdon Club's sniggering thugliness, the Deputy Conservatives are still capable of registering surprise, and even annoyance, when their fellow austerity fanatics toddle a cleated brogue or two casually over their faces.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Jolly Good Wheeze

British expendables are being detrimented in record numbers by increasingly severe and increasingly prevalent asthma, and this in the very midst of such brilliant incumbencies as those of Owen Patterson, Andrea Leadsom, Michael Gove and Jeremy C Hunt. Over the past decade, the annual number of deaths from asthma has risen by more than twenty-five per cent, despite the improving effects of all that talk about leading the world, to say nothing of all those efficiency savings at the NHS. Indeed, mere experts are already seeking to pin the blame on a combination of deteriorating public healthcare and Britain's proudly illegal levels of air pollution. Doubtless they hope thereby to resurrect the long-discredited, borderline-antisemitic idea that the Government bears some sort of responsibility for the health of the country's citizens, and that deserving and undeserving alike should be entitled to endless, economically unsustainable non-contributory privileges of respiration.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Plumbing Depths

Only a citizen of nowhere could fail to be moved by the undiluted Britishness of this: the water company which has just ordered a hosepipe ban in the Northern Poorhouse has the second-worst record in the country for leaking pipes; only Thames Water is more abject. United Utilities (a corporatonym on which even the founder of National Consolidated Solutions would be hard-put to improve) loses almost exactly as much water from leakage as it spares for its moisture consumption client base. The company takes the loss just seriously enough to meet the rigorous targets set by the Government, whose fondness for all things infrastructural is such that its own advisers have hinted at toddling towards some sort of leakage reduction thingy by about the middle of the century. Reduction has largely stalled in the past decade, despite the Conservatives being in office for most of the time; and the National Infrastructure Commission has demonstrated a commendable degree of realism by advising the Government to favour the taxpayers rather than the water companies with its constructive criticism, thereby keeping future directorships nice and dry for later.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Gove Talks Turkey

Although the plebs have only one will, which they exercised two years ago and for all eternity, there are certain special people who are allowed to change their minds. Among this élite is apparently the jabbering homunculus Michael Gove who, with the Government floundering and the Imperial Haystack returned to his chickenfeed, has been stroking what passes for his chin in what he presumably intends to pass for a display of intellectual adequacy. Specifically, the jabbering homunculus has been pontificating upon the errors of his wogs-out campaign, which with the benefit of hindsight he would now manage slightly differently; apparently because he believes that the country has become slightly more migrant-friendly and egalitarian as a result. Should the jabbering homunculus have his time over again, there would be slightly less squealing about an invasion from Turkey and perhaps a slight hint that, in the event of our remaining part of the EU, the resulting apocalyptic deluge of Islamic terrorists might number slightly less than seventy-seven million. Perhaps the jabbering homunculus would even prefer some slightly smaller echt-Nazi posters than his allies chose to display, depicting slightly fewer swarthy young males preparing slightly less ghastly fates for virtuous white women and Sarah Vine. It is all frightfully statesmanlike.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Bad Theology

Text for today: Matthew 6 i-iv

During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus orders His disciples not to publicise their gifts to the needy, because their Father in Heaven will only reward them if their giving is done in secret and does not attract praise from other people.

Although Jesus advocated healing the sick and casting out devils as a useful means of announcing the coming of His kingdom, He did not consider helping one's fellow human beings a virtuous end in itself. His attitude towards the widow's gift amply demonstrates His satisfaction at the idea that those with very little should to no earthly purpose give away even what they have; and in any case He famously regarded the vast majority of the human race as merely chaff to be burned and forgotten when the Father imposes His régime of religious cleansing.

Human beings are essentially social and conformist: in a society where generosity was genuinely practised and praised, more generosity would probably be forthcoming, to the moral and practical benefit of everyone. However, Jesus had not the slightest interest in bettering conditions on earth, and arguably no real interest in bettering human behaviour. Given that those who are to be saved have been arbitrarily chosen by God, presumably since the beginning of time, there can hardly be much point in wasting time and energy trying to cure the tares of those faults which their Father has seen fit to bestow upon them.

Rather, Jesus required dedication at all costs to Himself and to His Father. Almsgiving in His view was merely a convenient way in which to purify one's life by divesting it of worldly wealth; in other words, giving to the poor was an act to be undertaken for the benefit of one's own soul and not for the good of the recipient. Accordingly, in the interests of focusing His disciples' attention on the things of God and not of humanity, where helping the poor is concerned Jesus forbids the elect to lead by example.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

As We Forgive Those That Trespass Against Others

Where survivors of abuse are spiritually unprepared to forgive their abusers, the Christian churches are commendably willing to step in and perform that holy office on their behalf. Catholic policy, before the scandal broke and the Vatican resorted to blaming Judaeo-leftist conspiracies of journalism, was to exact a religious penitence and then shunt the culprit into a new position where he could wrestle temptation anew. The Church of England, as befits its moral position as whining hypocrite to the Vatican's bargain-basement Machiavelli, takes a more nuanced approach, temporarily suspending those responsible for covering up the abuses and later inviting them back to officiate without, apparently a stain on their reputation. Such is the case with Lord Carey of Blathering-in-the-Dotage, who stepped down last year at the "request" of the Archbishop of Canterbury after criticism of his role in covering for a sexually abusive bishop. As with the Vatican's policy, it is possible that, left to itself over the Biblically-prescribed seventy times seven repetitions, this might bring about the most touching and penetrating results.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Knell

No pleas for the pardon of those who were lost;
No hint of the lessons we learned at their cost;
No scorn for the fools who thought war was ended
While businessmen prudently had it suspended.
Instead let us march! Let us strut and parade
Past compassionate stone, in our hearts' image made:
With all jubilation and thanks let us plod
Our nation's salute to the Englishman, God.

Trenchard Clanger

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Not Quite Real People After All

Britain's patriotic rejoicing at the Britishness of the British divers involved in the rescue of the Wild Boars football team will be somewhat diluted by the revelation that the coach and three of the players are authentic citizens of nowhere. They come from an unsettled border region and are not recognised as Thai citizens; the authorities may condescend to exalt their status depending on that of their parents, but many who are eligible for Thai citizenship fail to obtain it thanks to the considerable Britishness of the system. If only Her Majesty's Government had been aware of the situation earlier, the dead-eyed warden's boot-boys would undoubtedly have made short work of the cave; most likely by declaring it a detention centre and the residents not trapped but "being processed". It would have saved everybody so much bother.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

It's Potty Time Again

Various uncharitable commentators, including your now duly chastened correspondent, have found it rather easy to mock at the latest flounce from the front bench by David Davis; however, it now appears that the squealing prima donna may have had the makings of that rare thing in the modern Conservative Party: a grievance that is more or less comprehensible to the average graduate from intermediate-level toilet-training and above. Paper, after all, is the one thing that defines the squealing prima donna's tenure as Minister for Britannic Independence, from the famous fictitious impact studies to the committee copy-and-pastes to what was arguably the apex of his career: that iconic portrait of Davis seated behind a paperless desk, facing down an axis of binder-toting Eurocrats with no more than an arf-arf grin. Yet, even with that record of statesmanship behind him, the first time he managed to hand something in before the deadline his nasty old headmistress not only failed to cough up the gold star, but refused even to regurgitate the jewels of his wisdom for the edification of the other infants. Fortunately, several of the noisier ones are indignant at their deprivation and have incontinently begun the usual protests from all the expectable orifices.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Certain Alienable Rights

One of the few aspects of their predecessor's legacy which the Trumpster and his hydrophobic head-tribble have not sought to vandalise is, unsurprisingly enough, the continued existence of the Guantánamo Bay prison camp. Used by Obama's chimpanzee predecessor as a human landfill for selected detritus of the War Agin Turr, the site doubtless holds some sentimental value for Obama's baboon successor as one more place where brown people can be arbitrarily kept from their families. Nevertheless, the forces of liberal snowflakery continue to undermine democracy with appeals to, of all things, laws instead of men: eleven inmates are to be allowed to submit a petition of habeas corpus to the Washington district court. In defence of America's greatness, the petitioners will not be allowed to hear the arguments at their hearing because the prison lacks a room large enough to chain them all up as required by local health and safety regulations.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Fury as Nothing Much Changes

Turmoil at sudden stupidity deficit

Markets were disturbed today as the British government lost first its stupidest minister after Chris Graybeing and then, only a few hours later, its silliest minister after Chris Graybeing.

The departure of blathering prima donna David Davis, a blustering lightweight with the intellectual gravitas of a Sun editorial, resulted in a brief but traumatic upward blip in the Cabinet's collective IQ.

Order was rapidly restored with the appointment of Dominic Raab, a blustering lightweight with the intellectual gravitas of an editorial in The Sun, but the pound lost value as sellers panicked at the thought of a possible decrease in Her Majesty's Government's negative intelligence.

The last time Davis flounced off a front bench, he took precautions against possible backbencher headline levels by following up with a vanity by-election, but it remains as yet unclear whether there are any plans for similar entertainments this time around.

Davis' resignation was followed by that of the joke Foreign Secretary, which caused further turmoil as the negative seriousness of Her Majesty's Government attained the least predictable levels since the appointment of the joke Foreign Secretary.

The vole-brained former Minister for Werritty, who once shared a house with both Davis and the Imperial Haystack and whose appointment was considered almost as prudent and statesmanlike as theirs, is believed to be ready to step into any pair of shoes that will accommodate his head.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Bad Theology

Text for today: Matthew 9 ix-xiii

Jesus recruits a tax collector and dines at his house, where they are joined by other pariahs. The Pharisees ask the disciples why their teacher dines with sinners, and Jesus replies that, just as the sick and not the healthy require a physician, He has come to call sinners and not the righteous.

Although superficially sensible, Jesus' words are at best disingenuous. Since by His reckoning none save God is good (Mark 10 xviii), He cannot have believed that any human being was righteous, and He certainly did not believe it of the Pharisees. Throughout His ministry, Jesus specified belief in Himself as the sole prerequisite for salvation, and He repeatedly proclaimed that all who failed to hear Him would be condemned and damned; therefore, no matter to whom He preached, He would have been addressing sinners.

In any case, Jesus held earthly virtues generally in very low regard: the parable of the prodigal son makes clear that a lifetime of work in God's service counts for little in the kingdom of heaven, particularly when compared with a life of degradation followed by humiliating penitence and submission. His choice of tax collectors and other social outcasts for His ministry was dictated less by medicinal considerations than by psychological ones: people of degraded and humiliated social stature would be more easily led by promises of heavenly reward for themselves and eternal torment for their persecutors.

Rebuked by the Pharisees, Jesus quotes Hosea 6 vi: I desired mercy and not sacrifice. Since Jesus eventually gave Himself up as a blood offering, He cannot have had much objection to sacrifice in principle; nor is the appeal to mercy very convincing from someone whose ministry, from beginning to end, consisted almost entirely of genocidal threats. Indeed, the context of Hosea's words is a series of denunciations and threats against breakers of the covenant: the phrase which Jesus quotes is immediately preceded by the sanguinary boast I have hewn them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth, and my judgement goes forth as the light. It is is as common for génocidaires and their operatives to proclaim their frustrated desire for peace as it is for them to justify their crimes in terms of sterilisation, amputation and other medical procedures. Clearly, God is no exception.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Must Try Harder

Such is the strength and stability of Her Majesty's Government these days that it cannot co-ordinate with itself, let alone with others, even in the all-important area of precipitating migrant crises. A review of Britain's capacity for wog-bombing was due next week, when our NATO allies expect to be told what's what and to receive their instructions on looking after Britain's interests. Unfortunately, our pubescent Minister for Wog-Bombing has failed to hand in his essay on time, apparently because of a disagreement with his elders over toys and pocket-money. The problem is all the more pressing because the Trumpster's Secretary of State for the Apocalypse is making noises about a special relationship with France instead, despite that country's inexplicable predilection for remaining in the EU. It is not as yet clear precisely how the Farage Falange faction in the War Cabinet views this glorious opportunity for Britain to play the Great Game alone; or whether any Leaver has suggested the obvious financial solution of asking Vladimir Putin for a handout.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Freedom of the Seas

In an encouraging sign of economic stability for these uncertain times, pledges by the Tumbledown Tessie régime - specifically, to revitalise fishing communities and help the humble harbour-plebs do their bit towards making Britain great again - have turned out to be worth just about as much as any other pledges made by the Tumbledown Tessie régime. Despite quantities of rah-rah from the jabbering homunculus Michael Gove, all about taking back control of what we already control and at last being able to do what nobody was preventing us from doing, the Government has no plans for any major changes in fishing quotas: large companies will continue to crowd out smaller operators, and no particular interest will be taken in such minor matters as trying to keep the stocks from running out. In the face of such patriotic determination, it is all the more regrettable that mere experts are once more seeking to pollute the clear blue waters of Brexit with the disreputable discharge of factuality.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

A Worthier Patron

Now that an England team has won a couple of football matches, the time is self-evidently ripe for yet another round of owlish musing about what constitutes Englishness and whether flying the flag is right-on or far-right or both. Since the said flag was stolen from the Genovese and represents a native of Turkey who is also the patron saint of various lesser breeds, perhaps our newly-independent land, freshly purged of foreigners, might consider flying a new one. The usual expedient of rushing back in time, however, may not be advisable in this case. George's predecessor as England's favourite saint was Edward the Confessor, whose major contribution to the national history was to squabble with the country's most powerful family, thereby precipitating a war over his succession and thence the Norman conquest. Not even our post-1966 World Cup record seems to merit such a patron as that.

Since we must have national patrons from the world of fiction, perhaps I might humbly suggest that we mine our famous literary heritage? There is a thoroughly representative candidate whose two-hundredth birthday, conveniently enough, falls in this very year. He was patched together from diverse human material by a sexually neurotic failed god; he couldn't get a girlfriend, bore a grudge against the world and ended up alone. As to his flag, once we have restored the rights of Genoa we may perhaps reclaim from Hollywood the image of that fine English actor William Henry Pratt, whose performances added to the character those fine English virtues, uncanonically omitted by Mary Shelley, of block-headed lumbering and inarticulate noise.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Fight WInd with Wind

Several of the Recrudescent Imperium's Caribbean jewels were slightly vandalised last year by some uppity foreign weather, so this year the Imperial Haystack has decreed an even stronger response than the one which enabled Hurricanes Irma and Maria to cause damage that is still being cleared up. "One aim is to co-ordinate better with America, Canada, the Netherlands and France, so that each other’s assets are commonly available," the Haystack blustered; it certainly sounds like a jolly good idea, although it remains as yet unclear how far the Recrudescent Imperium's sovereignty will be compromised. Meanwhile, a Royal Navy ship is sitting in the Caribbean loaded with emergency supplies, just in case the Imperial Haystack's diplomacy works out the way it normally does and results in our going it gloriously alone.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

We're Not Like Those Vulgar Colonists

Given the dead-eyed warden's righteous tut-tutting over the American policy of separating junior job-stealers from their parents, it should come as no surprise that Her Majesty's Government operates precisely the same policy. A certain James Cleverly did some solemn huffing and puffing last month: "We don't do this in the UK," Cleverly proclaimed. "We have a very family-focused detention régime." Alas, it appears that Cleverly - evidently, like the vole-brained former Minister for Werritty, not the most aptly-surnamed tool in the box - has said the thing that is not. Official numbers are not available, because the two previous incumbents at the Ministry for Wog Control neither knew nor cared, while the present incumbent is a little preoccupied sharpening knives for his boss's back; but in the last six months a charity that offers legal representation to the victims has represented over a hundred and fifty parents who were separated from their children while guests of the British wog warehousing industry. The charity's usual caseload is about a hundred and seventy a year; so, as one would expect in light of Whitehall's famous moral independence from the White House, the family-focused régime may well be expanding.

Monday, July 02, 2018

What's in a Name

A glooming peace the judgement with it brings,
While scholars their confusion do repent,
And all bewail the writing of such things
As Capulet where Montague is meant.
Into the learning of the greatest nation.
Some error must inevitably creep
When that which bears the name of education
Is shovelled in by rote and on the cheap.
Let questions hence be set, from this sad day,
By persons who've perused the poxy play.

Edward de Vere

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Bad Theology

Text for today: Mark 7 i-xxiii

The scribes and Pharisees ask Jesus why His disciples eat with unwashed hands, thereby failing to keep the traditions of their elders. Jesus responds by denouncing His questioners as hypocrites because the commandments of Moses call for anyone who insults their father and mother to be executed, and the Pharisees have instituted a milder penalty. Jesus goes on to preach that people are defiled by what comes out of them, and not by what goes in.

According to Jesus, people are defiled by what they do and not by what is done to them; thus, when a child becomes disobedient in response to its parent's abuse, neurotic jealousy and extreme violence, all blame and punishment should fall upon the child. Defilement and moral uncleanliness occur when the child misbehaves, not with the arbitrary punishment which preceded the misbehaviour; and a person's emotions and actions have no connection with exterior circumstances which, according to the Saviour's sublime formulation, can be thrown off as easily as going to the privy. Rather, people's misdeeds result from an interior impurity, for which only they, and not the Creator who made them, are to blame, and for which they are justly chastised.

Called out for permitting His disciples to disobey a law that is sensible and hygienic, Jesus scolds His accusers for failing to obey a law that is authoritarian and murderous. This is entirely consistent with His teaching that otherworldly considerations outweigh all humane concerns; equally, His insistence on the absolute authority of parents over their children is entirely natural and logical given His constant gloating over His Father's approaching punishment of all who fail to obey.