The Curmudgeon


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Gove Digs Kids

Mere months into the Conservative Party's leadership campaign, the jabbering homunculus Michael Gove has found a sphincter in his tight schedule through which to perform his children's party piece. Since the insects are dying out and the Ross ice shelf is melting at ten times the rate previously imagined, the jabbering homunculus had a bit of a burble about trees and things while posturing as someone vaguely interested in the environment. He has decided not to stand in the way of peatlands being restored and technology being utilised, provided there are no deadlines and provided that none of it gets in the way of shale frackers, short-sellers, slum landlords or Saudi Arabia. Also, the economy will have to change as it is bad for young people, but regrettably there seems little chance of any improvement as long as Michael Gove and his grand visions remain hamstrung by the humility of Michael Gove's present position. Surely a former signatory to the Bible deserves better; and as soon as fairness has been restored to the all-important sector of the socio-economic continuum which constitutes Michael Gove, lots of other little fairnesses will doubtless follow as a matter of course.

Monday, April 29, 2019

What We Fought For

One of the many problems with allowing immigrants to marry normal women, even if they can afford the fine imposed by the Ministry for Wogs, Frogs and Huns, is the risk that atavistic darkie urges may compel the unfortunate creatures to follow their natural inclinations and bring their families over. Some such affliction is evidently the problem with a former beneficiary of the Reverend Blair's crusade in Iraq, who has been convicted of people-trafficking because he illegally imported his infant niece for treatment on the NHS. The child and her family were in a refugee camp at Dunkirk, having fled the successors to those terrorists whom the Reverend Blair's crusade was intended to wipe off the map, and the seven-month-old was careless or calculating enough to fall into an open fire and thereby gain medical attention for which she had paid no tax. Her subsequent unlicensed immigration into the civilised world was apparently motivated by primitive, superstitious fears of infection, although the judge who imprisoned her uncle noted the element of low cunning involved in this parodic aping of British family values. Having been jailed for two years, the callous criminal is liable for deportation back to Iraq, where it is to be hoped the values instilled in that country during the Reverend Blair's crusade will stimulate some modest moral improvement.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Father of Teeth

Text for today: I Pulp clxxix-clxxxviii

Before he could do so, however, the Father of Teeth was summoned to the equally halitotic bedside of a dying woman. She was one of the village's oldest inhabitants, with a considerable reputation for virtuous living and good advice, so naturally everyone was glad to see her go; unfortunately she was making a great deal of noise about the business, and people were beginning to worry that their chickens would stop laying.

The Father of Teeth entered the humble hut, where dangling and dented utensils resonated with the woman's annoyance. He laid the less knobbly of his hands upon her forehead, just where the veins bulged purplest; her gratitude, it seemed, was inexpressible. She had always been a great believer in the afterlife, and had always urged calm and serenity upon those about to enter into that eternal privilege; but she did not appear to appreciate receiving her own advice from the Father of Teeth, even when he quoted her word for word for paragraphs at a time.

Finally the Father of Teeth caused a glowing root canal to appear before her eyes, with a glitter of gold filling in its depths. At this the sufferer grew calm, and reached out with one hand as if trying to pull herself closer. Then her breathing ceased, her heart fell silent and her gaze froze upon a particularly resonant utensil, and several nervous chickens were spontaneously delivered of saleable produce.

The villagers buried the old woman with all necessary mumbles and threatened to put the image of the Father of Teeth at the very highest pinnacle of their ornately-carved local opinion pole. Since the love and appreciation of one's fellow human beings are without doubt a greater reward than cold hard cash, the Father of Teeth reminded them that humility is ever the wise man's lot, and departed the village burdened with purely material rewards.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Uncharitably Slanted

General Le Duc Anh, the Vietnamese commander who removed Pol Pot from power in Cambodia, has died at the age of ninety-eight and has received an expectably tight-lipped encomium in the free and fearless Press. Anh served in the Vietnam War as deputy commander of the National Liberation Front, which some Vietnamese portrayed as an indigenous movement even though it was in fact Vietnamese. At the end of 1978 Anh tarnished his record yet further, invading Cambodia and ousting Pol Pot's régime, to the immeasurable detriment of democracy, the peace process and Western values. Ironically, Vietnamese complaints of Cambodian incursions into a neighbouring country sounded very much like American complaints of Vietnamese incursions into Vietnam; which doubtless explains the squeals of moral indignation from the USA and its allies over Pol Pot's removal. Later, as president of Vietnam, Anh supposedly played some sort of role in normalising relations with Washington, although it was in fact President Clinton who established formal diplomatic ties.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Pulling Ahead of the Bad Guys

As Jeremy C Hunt, the Minister for Wogs, Frogs and Huns, struts through his role as honest broker between the Yemeni peace process and Britain's arms dealers, his preening will be augmented to the usual endearing effect by the UN's announcement of the latest phase of accomplishment in the mission to civilise Afghanistan. For the first time since the UN started keeping track, civilian casualties inflicted by the government and its chums in the international community outnumber those inflicted by the Taliban. Naturally, the methods of mission accomplishment reflect the cultural achievements of those involved: NATO-led forces attained a quarter of the total score, mostly through airstrikes, while Afghan government forces bagged a fifth, mostly via direct community involvement. It remains as yet unclear what degree of gratitude was expressed by the beneficiaries of this assertive democratisation.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Fata Murcana

The rise of the Trumpster, and of the hydrophobic orange head-tribble which defecates its philosophy into his cranial vacancy, has prompted new and interesting precautions in the world's greatest military. Not only has the perpetual war against the English language been upped another defcon, with unidentified flying objects undergoing a nomenclatural reclassificatory procedure and emerging as "unexplained aerial phenomena," but the navy brass are concerned that pilots who encounter the said phenomena feel too embarrassed to report them. There are now more sightings than ever before, presumably owing either to the head-tribble's galactic machinations or to the usual fiendish conspiracies involving Russia, Venezuela, gun control advocates, Latin American immigrants and other minions of Satan. More facile explanations, such as that present-day US Navy pilots are being recruited from the most systematically stupidised and deluded generation since the whiskey-bibbing Wisconsin witch-hunter himself, suffer the fatal flaw of being boorishly obvious and thereby render themselves unfit for the serious consideration of military intelligence.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Those Whom Parliament May Not Bind

For some strange and mysterious reason, doubtless entirely unconnected with the Government's well-documented preference for homelessness over social security, a number of landlords are refusing to rent properties to those whom the Conservative Party and its chums in the media have loudly and repeatedly denounced as scroungers, shirkers and frauds. Apparently there is some sort of stereotype in force about the fiscal reliability of people, often female or disabled, whose income may at any time be arbitrarily cut off at the whim of a race-baiting thug. What can the problem be? A few intrepid MPs on the Commons work and pensions select committee are doing their best to fathom the conundrum, and a month or so ago the minister for landlords and evictions made some pious noises; but prompt and effective action has somehow proved elusive, which is all the more remarkable when one considers how many stalwarts in the House of Expenses Claimants just happen to be landlords themselves.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Humanitarian Concerns

Another brilliant chapter in the war against extremism has been gloriously inscribed by Her Majesty's Government's favourite moderates. Albion's perennial candidates for Most Tolerable Mahometans, the head-chopping House of Saud, executed thirty-seven people, mostly from the kingdom's Shia minority, by chopping their heads off; and then had two of the corpses displayed on a pole as a warning to any others who might be thinking of doing something barbaric. As one would expect from a group of coloureds receiving favourable treatment from Whitehall, the head-chopping House of Saud is among the world's most enthusiastic practitioners of terminal assertiveness in matters of law and order, and has shown a certain buccaneering entrepreneurial verve in defying the global trend towards a decrease in executions. Doubtless Her Majesty's Government will be making the usual enlightened representations; after all, as long as the head-chopping House of Saud is benefiting from British hardware and British training in its crusade against the Yemeni threat, it hardly seems humane that its post-torture decapitations are apparently being performed without recourse to British cutlery.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Unbridled Chaos

Yet another Brexit metaphor appears to have rampaged out of control in West Yorkshire yesterday, as a group of archaic transportation devices galloped the wrong way down the fast lane of a motorway. According to one witness, the animals "were totally oblivious to the danger and romped past as if they hadn’t a care in the world," although the incident's precision as a Brexit metaphor is somewhat qualified by the fact that no shots were fired and nobody was killed. It remains to be seen whether Her Majesty's Government has any plans to enact legislation to rein in the country's Brexit metaphors, which have been running more or less riot since the referendum.

It would, of course, be both unfair and irrelevant for a metropolitan élitist and citizen of nowhere such as myself to point out that Runaway Horses is the English title of a Yukio Mishima novel whose protagonist attempts a right-wing coup d'état in defiance of all reality and ends up disembowelling himself.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Father of Teeth

Text for today: I Canines clxxiii-cxcvii

Nevertheless, the Father of Teeth had not gone very far into the wilderness before he came upon a crowd all waiting in solemn anticipation. Asked what they were waiting for, they smiled at him pleasantly and said, "The Denier of Meat;" and then they whacked his grumbling solar plexus until his lungs convulsed, so after a while the Father of Teeth stopped asking and concentrated on elbowing his way to the front. Here the forces of wind and weather had carved a huge rock into a smooth, sloping shape with a flat top, and it was upon this rough platform that the crowd's expectation was focused with increasing intensity.

At length a team of slaves appeared and began effortfully rolling something large and vaguely rounded towards the top of the rock. Progress was far from rapid, as the bulky burden possessed several irregular protrusions which caused it to bump and lurch in a most alarming fashion. All the time the people's anticipation grew. A breathy silence took possession of them, broken only by bouts of cheerful coughing from the Father of Teeth.

On reaching the platform the slaves withdrew, and with a flourish their burden unfolded itself into a rotund individual clad in a voluminous robe. At first glance the robe appeared padded, as if to cushion the wearer from the strain of his ascent; but the Father of Teeth, his bruised innards gurgling, could see that all padding and cushioning was part of the man's natural endowments.

Waddling to the edge of the platform, the rotundity harangued the crowd with rumbling rhetorical thunder. Although the Father of Teeth dozed off twice during the sermon, he was hungry enough to absorb the gist; this was that human beings are in their essence not Flesh but Spirit, not Meat but Wind, and that without the sacred breath to animate it the flesh would be just so much tripe, and of very little use to anybody. Although the Father of Teeth found his appetite hardly sated, the crowd seemed to enjoy it and signalled their appreciation with such enthusiasm that several of the more zealous members hyperventilated themselves into unconsciousness.

When the sermon was over, the slaves reappeared and rolled the Denier of Meat away to an air-conditioned tent, while the crowd dispersed, panting to themselves and mortifying one another's unnecessary flesh with their virtuous fists and feet. Having deposited the Denier of Meat onto a comfortable couch, the slaves departed with obsequious obeisances, and the Denier of Meat reached into the wardrobe where the Father of Teeth waited lurking and grinning among the silk pyjamas.

And when the crowd returned next day, the slaves could only report that the Denier of Meat had unexpectedly undergone his ultimate transfiguration: his insignificant flesh reduced to some lumpy clay-coloured stains, and his immortal wind harnessed to fuel the Father of Teeth's resounding belches.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

In the Beginning, God Cratered

Only half a century after Big Government sent the first human beings to the moon and brought them back safe, private enterprise still struggles to manage with robots. The Righteous State's billionaire-funded lander, named for the commencement of the Book of Genesis in order to dispel any nonsense about giant scientific leaps for all humanity, shut down its main engine too early and splattered itself across the lunar surface at five hundred kilometres an hour. The débâcle was witnessed by the Netanyahoo, who had turned up at Mission Control in hopes of claiming his rightful place in history as the Richard Nixon of the Middle East; and no doubt the wreckage will be cited for the next few thousand years as divine proof that Arabs have no right to the moon.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Swinging from the Trees

Given the general return to traditional values and practices such as slavery, witch-hunts and leadership by large noisy apes, it should come as no surprise that the biology of the species is progressing in similar fashion. A knee-bone thought to have been efficientised out of the human anatomy appears to be staging a comeback. Monkeys use the fabella to increase their leverage, which may help explain its renewed popularity in the present age of statesmanship; as may the fact that the fabella, like other avatars of old-fashioned values, has no apparent function other than to cause pain and discomfort.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Not Making it Up

In defiance of all indications that politics has moved on, mere experts continue to chide Her Majesty's Government as though mere facts had some sort of relevance. The latest culprit is the chair of the UK Statistics Authority, who pointed out that Tumbledown Tessie may have said the thing that is not when she boasted of an eighty-five per cent fall in rough sleeping in Southend. Since the methodology for determining the numbers had changed when the council received a fiscal sticking-plaster for the spurting social wound, the dead-eyed warden's self-congratulation might be considered premature, if only by that militant minority of pedantic pettifoggers who constitute the reality-based community. Of course, although the housing market remains as liberal as ever, it is eminently possible that the number of homeless people has in fact decreased, whether thanks to Her Majesty's Government or to the equally merciful process of natural wastage from the recent winter.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Britons Never, Never, Never Shall Free Slaves

British decency towards slavery and trafficking victims has been suspended by an enemy of the people. Provided they are not bogus, those whom the Ministry for Wog Control condescends to help are entitled to safe housing, counselling and financial support for forty-five days, after which they are free to resume their position in the gig economy and continue their free-market labour transactions with buccaneering entrepreneurs. Victims are permitted to apply for extensions, almost all of which the Ministry grants because, conveniently enough, almost ninety per cent of those facing the deadline have not been told they can appeal. A mere high court judge has ruled the policy illegal, although whether this will in any way hinder the compliant Sajid Javid's yap about his heroic escape from a life beyond the law remains as yet unclear.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Final Demand

We are all aware, because the compliant Sajid Javid has been good enough to bugle his Objectivist triumph all over the blotto voce Conservative leadership caucus, that the compliant Sajid Javid narrowly escaped a life of near-profitless petty crime and attained his present gilded gutter purely by dint of application, gumption and buccaneering pluck. Unfortunately, he seems to have imported one or two little quirks from the canaille into the higher reaches of statesmanship. A "technical issue" at the Ministry for Wog Control has caused a payment to be missed to the United States Department of Mural Paranoia and Wetback Containerment, which means that US citizens are being treated for all the world like queue-jumpers of the melanin-rich persuasion. Failing to pay one's bills on time may be a privilege of the aristocracy as well as a vice of the idle poor, but it is unlikely to foster much goodwill among the blue-rinsed wog-bashers in quest of whose votes the tarbrushed parvenu Javid has done so much strutting and posturing, especially when the special relationship is at stake. The question inevitably arises how Prime Minister Javid might behave in relation to our independent, American-owned nuclear deterrent, should genocide become a convenient option for preserving Britain's continued global pre-eminence. If he had to press the button, would he be able in good conscience to guarantee that the electricity hadn't been cut off the week before?

Monday, April 15, 2019

Notre Dame de Paris

Two ghostly figures stood contemplating the smoking ruin: one tall and upright and distinguished, the other somewhat less so.
"The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away," said Monseigneur Claude Frollo, in his best funereal baritone.
"Half-past vespers, so please your worship," said Quasimodo helpfully.
"Like all the elements, fire has many contradictory aspects," Frollo mused. "The same blaze that warms the hands and burns the witch can also heat the blacksmith's forge and turn base metal into coin or into instruments of spiritual correction. Thus fire can be comforting, virtuous or transformative - but which is it today?"
Quasimodo was silent, looking sadly at the blackened shell, which was surrounded by people in strange scanty dress holding small boxes to their eyes, apparently to contain their grief.
Frollo followed his gaze. "Yes, the tourists will always come. They will come whether the cathedral is rebuilt or not - gargoyles and glass are all very well, but there are few things more poignant than a ruin. As for a Christian ruin, struck down by an act of God in the very week before Easter - with appropriate guidance, it could keep the penitents paying for decades."
Quasimodo gazed at the smoke billowing off into the heavens, where presumably God and His angels were savouring their success. "The wind bloweth where it listeth," he said.
"So much for the material and social aspects," said Frollo. "But we cannot be satisfied with those alone. There must be something more, something to uplift the spirit, something only the Church can provide. Quasimodo," the holy man said, grasping his servant's misshapen shoulder, "Quasimodo, this is a great chance for all we poor soldiers of Christ. We can re-ignite the flame of zeal and burn all Europe with its purifying brand. We must use the opportunity to the full. It will be nothing less than a new crusade. We must gird our loins, steel our resolution, step up to the plate and hang more Gypsies."
"Eh?" said Quasimodo.

with apologies to Victor Hugo

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Father of Teeth

Text for today: Cavities xix-xxxvii

However, the Father of Teeth took the wrong road and arrived instead at the Entomological Improvement Facility, where six hundred women sat in sterilised overalls and hair-tight caps pulling the legs off flies. The operator of the franchise, a handsome gentleman with a thrusting paunch, grasped the Father of Teeth by the shoulder and then, after the Father of Teeth's hair had dusted his knuckles a bit, by the elbow, and cordially offered to show him the premises.

"We get so few visitors hereabouts," the handsome gentleman explained; "the prevalence of corpses and dog excrement in the district tends to put people off, so I find myself starved for company."
"But what about the harem?" asked the Father of Teeth, who can always adopt an urbane business demeanour when it suits him. "You are a handsome enough gentleman, after all, and in a position of some authority, surrounded by these hundreds of hard-working females with their lowered eyes and deft fingers - surely their capabilities extend to a little entertaining conversation now and then?"
"I wouldn't know," said the handsome gentleman virtuously; "their duties permit of no frivolity. There are half-hour lunch breaks and occasional resting periods for the independently wealthy, but those who cannot afford to sleep or eat must necessarily make more constructive use of their time."

So saying, the handsome gentleman conducted the Father of Teeth around the factory floor. Each of the six hundred workers sat in front of two pipes, and each pipe ended in a hatch just wide enough for one hand. The first pipe was connected to the maggot vats in which the flies were bred, and as each insect matured it was forced down the pipe. Having grabbed a fly, the worker would quickly and efficiently remove its legs, one two three down one side and one two three down the other, and then drop the legs into the foot-locker and place the improved fly in the second pipe. As soon as the hatch was closed a heated draught of air would push the fly up the chimney and out into the world.

"Very efficient," said the Father of Teeth.
"Indeed," said the handsome gentleman; "much more so than in the old days, when we were pulling the wings off instead. Our insectile customers seemed to lose all initiative, all get-up-and-go; even the ones that made it to the outside were good for almost nothing except crawling around, so they were soon eaten by predators or squashed by local pleasure-seekers. Their attitude was most unconstructive."
"While the flies without legs are more buoyant?"
"Quite noticeably so, except for the ones that try to land upside down on the ceiling; those tend to fall down rather persistently. We are developing some artificial aids: miniature springs for help with take-off, a sort of glue they can dip themselves in when they absolutely must be upside down. Unfortunately, at the moment these projects are at a rather rudimentary stage; the springs are purely a set of squiggles on some paper in my office drawer, and the glue is hardly more than a fairly brilliant idea, but I'm sure that your investment will stimulate considerable progress towards the realms of practicability."

The Father of Teeth allowed the handsome gentleman's grin of hope to hang glittering on the handsome gentleman's face for a moderately excruciating period. "Investment?" he said.
"Well, of course," said the handsome gentleman. "A reasonable sum, as between two business associates, two entrepreneurial pioneers, two fellow servants of Evolution." The grin widened. "Don't imagine you can fool an operator of my perspicacity; I wasn't awarded the franchise yesterday, you know. Your tattered clothing and defeated demeanour, your carapace-coloured gums and stylishly immoderate dishevelment, all speak loudly of a life devoted to the sacred task of thrift. Surely you have assets - a nest-egg - a mattress stuffed with cash?"
"I'm afraid not," said the Father of Teeth, "and as it happens I do not serve Evolution, nor Entropy either. I have made offerings to both, but like most extremes they tend to strain towards each other."

So saying, the Father of Teeth resumed his way, leaving the handsome gentleman in the middle of his factory floor with the maggot vats seething above the ceiling and six hundred workers all wishing he would drown in them. Some of the glitter went out of his grin, which nevertheless remained bright enough for occasional escaped flies to keep bumping against it; though not very many, as the workers really were very efficient indeed.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Secret of Our Success

One of the key factors in successfully maintaining a benignant Empire is constructive co-operation with the subject races; and the Ministry for Wog Control has made considerable progress in ensuring that fairness and decency remain as rampant as ever in the Recrudescent Imperium's treatment of juvenile threats to our national identity. Those cunningly undersized asylum seekers who manage to sneak through the Government's prophylactic network may be permitted for a brief while to carry out their racial subversions; but as soon as they reach the age of majority their status reverts automatically to the asylum seeker default of bogus. The moment this occurs, they are rounded up and deported to sunnier climes such as Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo so that whatever pluck and gumption they have picked up from the master race can be put to a stimulating test. Since local authorities in those countries tend to employ a more liberal definition of Britishness than the British Home Office, the ex-juveniles frequently end up as an encouragingly short-lived problem.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Worth Every Penny

O rah for the uplands all sunny
And flowing with Marmite and honey!
We're on our way there,
And no-one need care
About all this silly old money!

We've hired us a few little men
To help on the journey; but then,
Let's give them the sack
Till autumn is back,
And then we can hire them again!

The future won't deign to recall
These millions gone up the wall:
With light British laugh
Let's spray, splurge and spaff:
It's taxpayers' cash, after all!

Sir Sterling Standfast

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Are We Shouting Loud Enough?

Mere days after revenging itself on the Windrush generation by "accidentally" sharing the private email addresses of compensation claimants, the Ministry for Wog Control has chalked up another victory for British awkward-squaddiness by "accidentally" doing the same to EU citizens applying for permission to stay in their own homes. Presumably because the Windrush victims' Britishness would be too much trouble to deny, Monday's error merited a personal apology from the compliant Sajid Javid's chief thuggette and migrant-basher Caroline Nokes; being unworthy of any such honour, the queue-jumpers were doled out the routine regrets and claims of lessons learned from the business orifice of a ministerial spokesbeing. Of course the pleas of administrative error are purely a matter of form: in a great office of state which was formerly run by the present Prime Minister it is hardly to be believed that email communications with the great unwashed would be in the charge of people who don't know the difference between Cc and Bcc. Clearly the Ministry, in its own subtle way, is trying to send a message before it's too late: to give the wogs a friendly hint of what awaits them in the way of spontaneous demonstrations of Britishness if they indulge in any further delays to their voluntary repatriation.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Blame of Those We Bettered

This week sees the centenary of the Amritsar massacre, whereby a lesson in British restraint and decency was administered to a crowd of unarmed protesters, at a cost of only three hundred and seventy-nine lives worth counting. The officer in charge was requested to spend more time with his trophies, and Winston Churchill gave a speech in Parliament which must have taxed even his powers of insincerity, proclaiming that the Empire depended on co-operation with the local people. (In 1931, when a re-Torified Churchill attempted to unseat Stanley Baldwin with blood-and-thunder fulminations against the malevolent fanatics of the Congress Party, Baldwin efficiently slapped down the Boris Johnson of the inter-war years by quoting his 1919 speech at him.) Britain's late Head Boy called the Amritsar incident "shameful," presumably because it occurred under a Liberal government; and now Tin-Pot Tessie, gracious as ever if understandably less than sympathetic towards people protesting against deportations, has expressed regret for whatever offence may inadvertently have been caused. Even amid the malarial twitches and shrieks of its pathetic terminal phase; even choking on hothouse rhetoric and belching the diaper stench of Conservatives at bay, the Recrudescent Imperium of Westminster, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands apologises to no-one.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Legitimate and Understandable Concerns

As we are all aware, because the Conservative Party has told us at such convincing volume, there is no place in the Conservative Party for discrimination. All cripple-kicking, poor-bashing, Windrush-deporting, Europe-hating, wog-bombing Muslim-baiting slum landlords, press barons and tax-dodgers are equal in dignity and rights no matter what their racial or gender disadvantages, always provided of course that they are not queue-jumping citizens of nowhere; and the Conservative Party is shocked, simply shocked, to find that there are still a few dank orifices of the membership where less civilised attitudes prevail. Some self-proclaimed party members have been less than flattering on social media concerning the compliant Sajid Javid, although nobody so far seems to have called him an Asian paedophile. The comments have prompted a certain nostalgia for the inclusive simpering of the Daveybloke régime, during which the party was even prepared to tolerate a female Muslim chair provided she had no more brains than Sayeeda Warsi and a white male co-chair to keep an eye on her. Those of a less sentimental cast of mind will recall that the late Head Boy felt obliged to balance such cosmetic shifts into the darkie end of the spectrum by shacking up with the far-right rabble of climate-change deniers and Holocaust revisionists known as the European Conservatives and Reformists, in order to keep the party sufficiently inclusive for those contemplating desertion to the Farage Falange. Fortunately, the Conservative Party has told us once again, at the usual convincing volume, that discrimination of any kind is wrong; so doubtless the promptitude of the racists' expulsion will be surpassed, as usual, only by the rapidity of their reinstatement.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Forty Days of Temptation

As is traditional, some good Christian folks appear to have taken the deprivations of the Lenten period as a licence to wallow in the vice of self-righteousness. Having temporarily renounced their tiddlywinks, corporal punishment and other unholy pleasures, a noisy gang calling themselves 40 Days for Life are filling the moral void by staging protests outside abortion clinics. Rather than doing anything so dull as meditate on their own sins, they hammer at the mote in their neighbour's eye with threats of breast cancer and psychological trauma comparable to rape, and in some cases by brandishing cameras. A couple of local authorities have voted to introduce buffer zones to prevent harassment in the immediate vicinity of the clinics, but last autumn the compliant Sajid Javid ruled out making this a general provision. It remains as yet unclear whether his main objection was the risk of offending pious colleagues in the Democratic Unionist Party or a plucky, fair-minded British hope that the cameras might snap him some immigrants.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

The Father of Teeth

Text for today: Premolars xcvii-cxxiii

However, in a matter of minutes the Father of Teeth arrived at a place where everything was dark, and a man came up in great distress because people never noticed him and were always bumping past him as though he had no importance whatever. So the Father of Teeth emitted a bright and luminous grin, which lit up everything for miles in a ghastly sepia. The light projected upon the nearest wall a shadow ten times the man's own size, which looked as if its every movement would shake the earth. Nobody dared to jostle or bump into it, but everyone turned to look for the source of the light, and then they all began rushing towards the seductive carnivorous glow. The shadow was rapidly swamped in a growing, greying morass; and as the petitioner for significance was bumped and jostled worse than ever, and finally collapsed underfoot, his shadow crumpled into oblivion.

The Father of Teeth stopped smiling. The dark returned and the muttering mob dispersed. The seeker after noticeability picked himself up and tried to punch the Father of Teeth in the chops; but the Father of Teeth knew from long experience that unrestricted access to one's person should not be rashly granted to disillusioned petitioners, and placed his chops elsewhere.

"I hurt," the man proclaimed.
"Insignificance is often painful," the Father of Teeth replied; "the disparity between your own self-importance and what other people think of you is one of the great mysteries of existence."
"I was talking about getting trampled," said the man.
"Much the same applies," answered the Father of Teeth, "regarding the disparity between your own physical discomfort and the degree to which other people suffer. This is a lesser mystery than the first, of course, because the indifference of others to our physical discomfort is far easier to understand than the obliviousness of others to our very existence. We all know what pain is, and what fun it can be when observed in other people; but as long as we are not indifferent ourselves, the indifference of others will always be a source of discombobulation."

With that the Father of Teeth emitted another grin, this one the colour of burnt mahogany; the man took a swing at it but the grin just fell rattling to the ground and its horrid light went out. It was an old, worn-out grin, which the Father of Teeth had left behind as a decoy.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Hancock's Patented Clarificatory Dispensation

Well, here's a thing: it appears that the minister in charge of privatising the National Health Service may have said the thing that is not regarding the ongoing privatisation of the National Health Service. Under rules introduced by the Bullingdon Club and their little orange fags, all contracts in excess of £615,278 have to be put to tender; it is believed that the Conservatives wanted a round figure in order to keep things simple enough for the chancellor, but the Liberal Democrats exerted their usual transformative influence and insisted on the 8 at the end. The present minister for privatisation has blustered about being clearer than his predecessors (which arguably demonstrates rather a lack of ambition given that his predecessors were the hapless Murdoch flunkey Jeremy C Hunt and the failed Turkey Twizzler salesman Andrew Lansley) and blathered about there being no privatisation of the NHS on his watch. Since the minister made these statements, as one might expect, the NHS has invited private companies to bid for a total of nineteen contracts. Asked to comment on the apparent discrepancy, the minister extruded a spokesbeing to issue the usual clarification of the previous clarity: apparently the Tumbledown Tessie administration, which these days can barely hold the same line for two sentences running, has a Long Term Plan thingy which involves asking the NHS what can be done to remove unnecessary bureaucracy now that the medical staff have been largely weeded out, subject of course to the clarities of the religious orthodoxy which clearly forbids any injection of public money for the maintenance of merely public services.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Screened Out

Over the decades, numerous factors have incurred the wrath of moralists for causing psychological disturbance in teenagers: horror comics, rock and roll, "video nasties" and shooter games have all been accused, at one time or another, of upsetting that adamantine emotional stability which characterises a normal adolescence. Given that the life chances of today's teenagers amount for the most part to poverty followed by climate-induced demise, it is only natural that society's more responsible elements should nowadays be worrying about excessive access to little glowing screens. Although a new study has discovered little or no correlation between use of digital technology and mental health problems in teenagers, the discussion will certainly not end there; it would never do for the moral reformers to be deprived of their purpose in life until that happy day when humanity learns to dispense with such stabilising paedagogic aids as bullying, ostracism and family values.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

The Least They Could Do

Doubtless still embittered by the loss of their luxurious, pampered lives on Legal Aid, vengeful enemies of the people have taken it upon themselves to question the Government's generosity in compensating victims of the Windrush persecutions; or anyway as many victims as the Ministry for Wog Control can bestir itself to bother locating. The compliant Sajid Javid and his minions have not introduced a cap on payments, except in the sense that certain payments will be limited in order to protect the taxpayer against scroungers and the compliant Sajid Javid against the Conservative Party membership. Hence, those who were wrongly deported will receive £10,000 provided they can prove that the impact on their lives was sufficiently profound to stir the sympathies of a Home Office philanthropist; but those who were merely pestered and intimidated into departing "voluntarily" will be punished for their lack of British pluck and fortitude by having the payment cut by ninety per cent. Those who lost their jobs but cannot account for every minute they spent emulating the entrepreneurial gumption of the white man will have to content themselves with the equivalent of a year's earnings on minimum wage. Elsewhere, the price of a legal battle with the Home Office is decreed to be no more than five hundred pounds, which is also the value set on a missed university education; so we can all be reassured that the Ministry for Wog Control has lost none of the characteristic Conservative optimism, no less convenient than charming, about the cash-flow implications of living under their régime.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Let Us Reason Together

A Catholic priest in Gdansk has been rebuked and fined, and may suffer further consequences, for polluting the city with an open-air book-burning. Condemned by the spokesman for his diocese, the martyr has issued a standard non-apology, calling the whole business "unfortunate" and declaring that he has nothing against books as such; rather as the Church has for most of its history had nothing against women as such but only against witches, whores, sluts, trollops, strumpets and those who don't know their place, and nothing against Jews as such but only against those who would not recant, and so forth. The auto da fé last Sunday, in which various graven images were immolated along with some mediocre juvenile bestsellers, was intended as a warning against magic and the occult, which are a far greater danger to the faithful than those purely secular discomforts which can result from the less sublimated fires of priestly lust.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Loose Henge

Mere experts and others are still making a fuss about the proposed building of a road tunnel through the vicinity of Stonehenge. The pre-VE Day monument has a certain religious significance for those claiming allegiance to the authentic church of England rather than its unpleasant Middle Eastern supplanter; but modern-day orthodoxy demands subservience to the pushers and panderers of the automobile, which is why traffic congestion can on no account be eased by anything so heretical as a public transport system. Archaeologists and environmentalists have also expressed concern from their own limited perspectives, and Highways England, the swashbucklingly-monickered government company in charge of the enterprise, has convened a six-month rah-and-blah to show them all where they've got it wrong. To its credit, Highways England makes no pretence of running a consultation: contractors with appropriate ministerial connections are already being sought, and if the brilliant Chris Graybeing is still in post by April next year he will have the opportunity to decide on the plans, having first applied his blue crayon to any sensible parts that have survived the process.

Monday, April 01, 2019

No Rah-Rah, No Remembrance

Disagreements have arisen in the committee set up by the late Head Boy to oversee the national blubber-and-gloat for the centenary of the First World War. Apparently one or two citizens of nowhere are not inclined to content themselves with remembering who won, and have raised the question of whether certain discreditable events that followed the Armistice should also be commemorated. Menzies Campbell dared to ask whether the Treaty of Versailles humiliated Germany, which is nearly as controversial a conundrum as whether Hitler's little get-together in Foch's railway carriage humiliated France. This year also sees the centenary of colonial atrocities in Ireland and India, of race riots in Cardiff, and of the very first Remembrance Day when some servicemen were so unpatriotic as to be more concerned about their living standards than about the greater glory of the Empire. Naturally, the Government has been quick to intervene and protect the public mind from all such treasonous bolshiness, not least because the Recrudescent Imperium's relations with certain countries might suffer from too much truth and reconciliation. Should the Irish ever find out about the Black and Tans, for example, the consequences for the delicate diplomatic achievements of Boris and the Brexiteers might verge on the apocalyptic.