The Curmudgeon


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Another Hysterectomy for the Mother of Democracies

Despite the obvious advantages of a system that can deliver an overall majority from a third of the vote, Britain is still too democratic for the Bullingdon Club. So robust is the Conservative Party's faith in the public's good sense that its chief salesman is already plotting to pack the upper chamber as well as the lower. Britain's Head Boy is anxious to ensure that the House of Donors "more accurately reflects the situation" in the House of Claimants: "That's been the position with prime ministers for a very, very long time and for very good and fair reason", namely that there isn't much point in having the lower house farctate with fat cats, placemen, time-servers and crooks if the upper house is just going to sit there and interfere. The Bullingdon Club has already been defeated on several of its more faith-based policies, and Britain's Head Boy wishes to ensure a more reliable system of checks and balances which will have more the character of a good, solid rubber stamp than anything so flighty and corruptible as a democratic legislature. It certainly says a good deal for the dignity and resilience of the British Conservative Party that it needs to gerrymander even the more blatantly unelected part of our nominal democracy.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Welcome to the Free World

Despite the increasing openness of their country to American profiteering, it appears that some uppity Africans still have much to learn about the meaning of the word democracy. The Ethiopian government was elected with a hundred per cent of parliamentary seats, much as the two right wings of the US business party tend to do fairly well in the fledgling Dynastic Republic's quadrennial balloon-fests. Although the US registered concern during the election about restrictions on civil libertes and free speech, President Obama has now officially legitimised the Ethiopian government by conferring upon it the World Cop's merit badge, to the disgust of various far-left and backsliding persons who seem to think democracy has something to do with representation of the great unwashed or, worse yet, the numerous impecunious. Speaking at the palace of that great freedom fighter, Haile Selassie, the Ethiopian prime minister settled the matter by referring to his country as a "fledgling democracy", the term favoured by the Reagan administration for its pet death-squad polities in Central America.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Fundamentally Decent

Some Islamic fundamentalist chums of the British Government have called a ceasefire in their ongoing attack on Yemen, with an option to resume bombing anything and everything should anyone suspected of being an evil terrorist put an eyebrow wrong. As with the British Government's other fundamentalist chums in Tel Aviv, the bombers have been "increasingly killing civilians as they continue to target rebels" which, assuming the civilians do not qualify as a price worth paying, puts the campaign firmly in the category of Good Intentions Gone Awry. The British Government is happy for weapons to be sold to the Islamic fundamentalists in question, provided the weapons are appropriately marked Not to be Used for Internal Repression or Other Nefarious Purposes. Accordingly, the ceasefire is humanitarian, without the scare quotes that would accompany a similar announcement from Hamas or Tehran; and although various human rights groups, the United Nations and other foreigners have shaken their heads a bit, neither the British Government nor the Ascended Incarnation of the Reverend Blair has felt that the situation merits concern.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

On the Origin of Species Loss by Means of Unnatural Selection

The roots of the Anthropocene Extinction Event may extend somewhat further back than had previously been thought. Archaeologists working on the shores of the Sea of Galilee have discovered the remains of a settlement dating from the recent glacial blip 23,000 years ago, and have found evidence that hunter-gatherer societies were already at the point of designating certain organisms pests, weeds or otherwise unworthy of existence. Although the Neolithic revolution only began 12,000 years later, it appears that the morality of myxomatosis and badger-busting was securely embedded in the programming of Homo sapiens ipsedixit from a much earlier stage. Good Christian folk who disapprove of interfering with God's creation will be relieved that the site is in Israel and the culprits, therefore, almost certainly Jews.

Friday, July 24, 2015

What Weight Should We Be Punching Above?

A mere twelve years after the Conservative Party gave the big rah-rah to the Reverend Blair's crusade in Iraq, and only four years after the wog-bombing of Libya, it appears that doubts are startng to creep in as to the general success of the whole civilisation-clashing enterprise, and whether the country can afford any more such gloriously accomplished missions. Crispin Blunt, who is chair of the foreign affairs select committee, has launched an inquiry into whether the results of the Libyan adventure - a failed state, a migrant crisis (refugee crisis, in Oldspeak), a lot more space for Islamic State to expand into, and the Russians growling from the sidelines about Western perfidy - really do constitute what might legitimately be considered a roaring success. It is quite probable that the recently-retired Willem den Haag, who was Minister for Wogs, Frogs and Huns at the time, believes that the enterprise was a spiffing job which has left the world a cleaner, safer place; but then den Haag was never really the stuff of which global statesmen are made. His glorious career began with losing a general election on a proto-UKIP save-the-pound campaign; progressed through years of jet-set smooching with Lord Ashcroft in Belize; and wound down with failure in a petty-minded coup attempt against that world-bestriding Great Satan, the Speaker of the House of Commons. Blunt, who was dethroned by his constituency executive committee two years ago for being too honest, and then voted back in by the membership, will doubtless be highly sympathetic.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Shirker Bees

The British beehive, do you see,
Reflects our Big Society:
Alas, according to report,
The British bee's a social sort.

A monarch heads the hive and nation,
According to her proper station:
The Queen exists to breed and fatten,
Just like our Granny von Mountbatten.

And then there are the drones, who form
The mighty backbone of the swarm:
Most worthy chaps, because they do
Nothing at all but eat and screw.

Deservedly beneath all these,
There are the common shirker bees,
Who simply fly around all day
And snort some nectar on their way.

Now, no hard-working family
Would tolerate a shirker bee
Dancing around the humble home
While migrants pinched the honeycomb.

And every scrounger has, we fear,
Concealed a weapon up its rear!
And so we need our pest controls
To help us deal with stinging proles.

To those who say, "O let them fly,
Or else the hive will starve and die,"
We answer: Merely theories!
Now pull your weight, or buzz off, please.

Amber Fudd

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Propaganda Wars

Buck Theorem has posted a thoughtful and very generous review of my excursion into alternate-world film criticism, I, Mengele, and points out at least one resonance that I hadn't noticed myself.

The fact that Mr Theorem seems to be cranking up the bloggery again after several quiet months is good news for all fans of the filmic fantastic. His observations on horror, science fiction and fantasy movies (often, but by no means always, of the cheap and cheerful variety) have provided me with considerable viewing pleasure that I might otherwise have missed, as well as recalling one or two creaky but still effective spooks from the past. He also has some very talented friends; and, as with the Numinous Book of Review, his archives are well worth a trawl.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Awesome Potency of our Urges

Remarkably, even after seven years of pacificating envoyage by the Ascended Incarnation of the Reverend Blair, certain elements of the Middle East remain intractable. The Righteous State, for example, continues its programme of ethnic cleansing, inexorably booting Semites off their land in order to make way for European colonists, even when Britain and her allies in the war for peace protest with considerable assertiveness. The latest threat to a Palestinian village has been met with rumbles of disapproval from Britain, from the Euro-wogs and even from the US State Department, whose spokesbeing strongly urged the heirs of Joshua to refrain from any demolitions; possibly because one of the pretexts being used is that "the Jews were there first", which might set a dangerous precedent for Native Americans. The Euro-wogs have also strongly urged the Israelis not to destroy the village, and the British consulate-general has strongly urged that ethnic cleansing causes suffering, harms the peace process and, last and least, is contrary to international law except under certain limited circumstances possibly including a dispensation from the Reverend Blair. The urging, in fact, has been such that none of the urgers sees any necessity to pause the flow of armaments towards the Righteous State; much less impose sanctions or send a few drones to bomb Tel Aviv. So profound is the morality of the urging that, as usual, nothing so vulgar as action will be necessary.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Though Burnhams Flinch

Just as a potential governing party must agree in all major respects with the policies of the present governing party, so a potential leader of the said party must play the sheep if he expects to earn the bleating accolades of his followers. Randy Burnham, the Battenberg chafer's very 'umble and obedient servant, will not be voting against Iain Duncan Smith's new round of poor-bashing because his leader has told him not to, and the last thing any potential future leader should do is behave as if he has different ideas from the present leader. According to the 'umble Burnham, his abstention will be merely the opening collapse in a long and determined campaign of retreat, doubtless culminating gloriously in five years' time with the loss of his seat in the Commons.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

British Values Rah Rah Redux

Britain's Head Boy has been having a bit of a burble on NBC. The substance of it, if substance is the word I want, is that ISIS are a Very Bad Thing, that something needs to be done and that somebody ought to do something about it, and that Britain's Head Boy is ready to step up to the plate and stand shoulder to shoulder with the hand of history in defence of free markets and oil companies everywhere. A further outpouring of statesmanship is anticipated tomorrow, when Britain's Head Boy will inform Britain's Muslims that ISIS are a Very Bad Thing: "If you are a boy, they will brainwash you, strap bombs to your body and blow you up. If you are a girl, they will enslave and abuse you." Since Britain's Muslims are all apparently children, let's hope they are duly grateful that Britain's Head Boy is stepping up as Father of the Nation.

Britain's Head Boy will also trot out the standard lecture on British values: freedom of speech unless the Home Secretary disapproves, freedom of indoctrination if you can afford the free schools, equal rights regardless of race, sex, sexuality or faith but always taking due note of income. Britain's Head Boy will also proclaim that turning schools and NHS trusts into unpaid interns for the security forces is jolly empowering actually; and he will wag the finger at British Muslims for not doing enough to support "the British way of life" - that paradise of hard-working families which will soon be purged of such pernicious foreign imports as the National Health Service and the BBC, and has already dispensed with any pretence that the Government is accountable to Parliament should the former decide to toddle off and do a bit of wog-bombing.