The Curmudgeon


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Working Together For A Safer London

The instant and utter Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Ian the Non-Resigning, faces a new challenge to his staying power. While the police anti-corruption unit was under Blair's command, it seems they received three detailed reports, from a sergeant in a different force, about Special Constable Nisha Patel-Nasri and her husband, who were running a prostitution racket and supposedly boasted of having police protection. One of the reports named a senior Scotland Yard officer who "provided confidential information about a client of the couple's escort agency, Seventh Heaven, who owed money". The anti-corruption unit did not debrief the sergeant.

A researcher named Tracy Clarke was supposed to research the sergeant's statement for the inquiry into Patel-Nasri's murder, but was unable to gain access to any of the anti-corruption files, "because it would take the Met down a corruption route it had covered up", she claims uncharitably. Last month Clarke made a formal complaint to the Metropolitan Police Authority and, for all the good it will do, to the London Haystack as well. "What happened to the senior officer?" she asked. "I would suggest absolutely nothing. While vast sums of money are spent on justifying the existence of the anti-corruption command this is just one more piece of evidence where a blind eye is turned, rather than have the Metropolitan Police Service discredited." Well, really. As if Sir Ian Blair or the Metropolitan Police would dream of trying to cover anything up.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

On Message

Since he has nothing better to do, Gordon's little Darling tries the statesman thing in a Guardian interview "conducted over two days at his family croft on the Isle of Lewis". Voters want frankness and gravitas; Gordon's little Darling can deliver. The times are "arguably the worst they've been in 60 years"; the recession is "going to be more profound and long-lasting than people thought"; people being apparently Gordon's little Darling and the Glorious Successor himself. Voters want the common touch; Gordon's little Darling can deliver that, too. "People are pissed off with us". Voters like a bit of optimism to relieve the frankness; Gordon's little Darling does optimism as well: "the next 12 months are critical. It's still there to play for." What is there to play for? Perhaps not economic recovery or a sane energy policy or a coherent education policy or a non-criminal foreign policy or suchlike small things, but at least a fourth term in office. We did, after all, win all those Olympic medals.

"We really have to make our minds up; are we ready to try and persuade this country to support us for another term?" What if we are? "We've got to rediscover that zeal which won three elections, and that is a huge problem for us at the moment." The solution? New New Labour must adopt better public relations. The Glorious Successor and his tent-mates are "partly to blame for Labour's woes because they have 'patently' failed to explain the party's central mission to the country", leaving the country face to face with the evidence of its schools, hospitals, railways, wars, databases and bills, to say nothing of a long list of non-resignations - evidence from which the ignorant public inevitably leaps to the wrong conclusion with all the cynical alacrity of an asylum seeker jumping the queue to grab a British worker's non-inflationary British job. The trouble with New New Labour, according to Gordon's little Darling, is that it just doesn't do quite enough spin-doctoring.

Gordon's little Darling apparently does not believe that the Glorious Successor is about to sack him.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Noticeable Differences

Things are looking up. The Guardian, which greeted the murderous heatwave of August 2003 with this cheery burble, has noticed that it killed several hundred Londoners. Even the London Haystack has discovered that climate change "could seriously threaten quality of life in London and the capital's position as a leading world city". Better still, he appears to consider this a Bad Thing, and has responded by launching a strategy fit to make the corrupt, inefficient, out-of-touch, anti-semitic and Stalinist administration of Ken Livingstone look like the quasi-Liverpudlian shambles it truly was. The strategy strategically strategises for "promoting less water loss" (sic) by asking the water companies nicely to reduce leakage from water mains insofar as the promotion of such reduction is not incompatible with the continuing profits of the water companies. The strategy similarly strategises for "encouraging people to use less water by promoting and aiding compulsory water metering" - jolly libertarian stuff. It is just possible, I suppose, that the metering will not be undertaken by the same water companies whose efficiency and probity are almost as famous as the political gravitas of the London Haystack; but I wouldn't bet money on it. The strategy simultaneously strategises for "raising the public awareness of flood risk", perhaps by posting Beware of the Flood signs in appropriate places; and also for "flood risk management on the Thames tributaries where properties are at significant risk of flooding". Possibly it was the thought of damaged properties, as opposed to damaged persons, which caused the Badness of climate change finally to obtrude itself upon the London Haystack's consciousness.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Blasphemous Frog

The sixteenth Daddy Goodspeak has issued a solemn moral anathema against a sculpture by a mischievous German artist named Martin Kippenberger, who went to his reward at a rather early age in 1997. The sculpture is called Zuerst die Füsse ("Feet First") and depicts a paunchy, somewhat fanged humanoid frog holding an egg in its left hand and a beer mug in its right. The frog's eyeballs are spiralled in agony and its tongue is hanging out. The moral difficulties have arisen because the frog is nailed to a cross; the egg and beer mug presumably being transformed by this context into blasphemous parodies of the two thieves. The Vatican has written that the piece "wounds the religious sentiments of so many people who see in the cross the symbol of God's love", although the sculptor apparently claimed (doubtless with a straight face) that it was "a self-portrait illustrating human angst". The president of the regional government of Alto Adige went on hunger strike to demand the frog's removal: "Surely this is not a work of art but a blasphemy and a disgusting piece of trash that upsets many people," he foamed. His hunger strike ended in a hospital visit, although regrettably it is not recorded whether he had to be force-fed.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bloody Women

Women and children can be inconvenient sometimes. I am sure we all remember how Saddam Hussein used images of children to propagandise against the sanctions regime which did so much to purge Iraq of potential terrorists in the run-up to liberation. Some women have recently allowed themselves to be forced into wearing veils, and others have forced others into allowing them to wear cassocks, to the discombobulation of many dignified persons. Now a woman, Anne Owers, who may well have displaced someone Jeremy Paxman would approve of as chief inspector of prisons, is complaining that an immigration removal centre is insufficiently luxurious for the single women idling there. Conditions for the male majority are "largely safe and respectful", while women are "marginalised and almost forgotten". Single women apparently have to share facilities with the men, perhaps so that they can be opportunified to participate in hard-working families. The prison inspectors also claimed to have witnessed "unprofessional conduct" by external contractors (dear me, how those words keep turning up). Detainees are being restrained "prematurely" and non-consensually drugged without appropriate form-filling beforehand. The chief inspector of prisons does not consider this appropriate for a "vulnerable population", even one whose vulnerable members are being returned to war zones. A spokesbeing for the UK Border Agency, in describing the paradisal state of affairs which in fact pertains, noted that: "We are determined to treat children with fairness and compassion", as opposed to actually doing so; and that the jailing of children, like murder for Patricia Highsmith's Ripley, occurs only "where it is absolutely necessary".

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Eight Balls

Daveybloke, the Cuddly Conservative, has been doing his statesman thing again. Since Churchill apparently didn't do much in any year ending in an 8, Daveybloke has roped in the Czech prime minister as co-author of a bit of Torygraph huffery-puffery about the Prague Spring. As in 1968, Russia has invaded a sovereign nation; and, as in 1968, the year ends in an 8; therefore, as always, the lessons of history must be learned. Georgia's actions in trying to crush a nascent independence movement, whatever their wisdom compared to the actions of Serbia in 1998, do not justify the invasion of a sovereign country by a powerful neighbour. The invasion of Iraq, which Daveybloke's party enthusiastically supported, is presumably justified on the grounds that the powerful countries which took part were not neighbours of Saddam Hussein, except in the Good Samaritan sense of helpers and supporters in time of need. Daveybloke and his co-author observe that the West's "morally ambivalent approach" to the crushing of socialism with a human face was countered as early as 1988 by an "inspiring message of solidarity" from General Pinochet's friend Margaret Thatcher. This is relevant today because "one cannot grant people only a part of their freedom and draw a line and forbid them to trespass across it", as when Iraqis are permitted to elect only US-approved governments; a morally ambivalent dodge to say the least, which Thatcher and Daveybloke no doubt oppose with virtually every fibre of their being.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hot House

Eland House, the headquarters of the Communities and Local Government Department, which is responsible for overseeing the carbon emissions of buildings, has been given the second worst rating for energy efficiency under the department's own rules. The rating of the Natural History Museum, which is a hundred and eighteen years older and has "single-skin brick walls, drafty single-glazed windows and exhibits that require constant heating and lighting", is one level better. The Guardian claims optimistically that "the revelation is likely to be embarrassing to ministers". Spokesbeings blamed "inefficient heating and ventilation systems and an unexpectedly high occupancy" in the building, which was built ten years ago under a less enlightened and forward-thinking administration. The heating and cooling systems are now "likely to be replaced with more efficient models"; it isn't definite, apparently.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dirty Fighters

The honest gentlemen at BAE have abandoned their plans for "ecologically sound weaponry", on the unimpeachable grounds that their profits might be adversely affected. New New Labour, the party of clean coal and sustainable uranium, is nevertheless unlikely to have many environmental qualms about its new fifteen-year contract with the company, which provides for the supply of just over two hundred million rounds of penetration and pink-mist annually. The deal will "secure supplies of ammunition to frontline troops in conflict zones such as Afghanistan", which sounds like a jolly good idea. The average restless native in Afghanistan may have a smaller carbon footprint than, say, the average Cabinet minister; but despite the best efforts of the Coalition for Civilised Values, there are still rather more of the former than the latter.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Are Deaf Aids the New Zyklon-B?

Israel has warned (it did not, of course, threaten) that a new existential threat, in the form of a couple of wooden boats laden with peacemongers, would not be permitted to complete its fiendish mission. The boats are heading for the Gaza Strip, which does not belong to Israel and which the Righteous State therefore wishes most particularly to protect from trespassers. The Israeli foreign ministry has called the voyage a "provocation", in much the way the Coalition of the Enlightenment's naval presence in the Persian Gulf isn't; and an admiral of the Righteous Navy has warned all shipping to keep clear of Gazan waters because of a "security situation".

The boats have nearly fifty people aboard, which could tip the region's delicate demographic balance against the master race; and their cargo apparently consists of two hundred hearing aids and five thousand balloons. The Righteous State, which controls only Gaza's air space, borders and water supply, and has bombed its only power station without suffering noticeably genocidal consequences, is frighteningly vulnerable to attack by aurally challenged airborne suicide bombers.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Quis Custodiet?

There is some sign of progress at the Ministry of Incarceration, Deportation and Snoopery: when it comes to losing personal data, they have upgraded from disks to memory sticks. Memory sticks, of course, are smaller, more compact and hence easier to lose. In this case, the data included the names, dates of birth and addresses of over thirty thousand people. Fortunately, they are all offenders, so Agent Smith may be able to defend herself a bit better than if they had been people with human rights. Nevertheless, Keith Vaz said that, following previous data losses, ministers had given "absolute assurances" that "lessons had been learned". He believed them, so naturally he is "deeply disappointed". David Davies, a Welsh Conservative, blathered happily on the Today programme that "Once you get into the government civil service, you're virtually unsackable no matter how incompetent you actually are"; the fact that this particular piece of incompetence was achieved by an external malefactor disposal contractor being inadmissible to members of the Other Privatisation Party.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fat Lot of Good

Don't get up, and keep right on eating that garbage, America. A team at the Harvard Medical School has discovered a protein which induces the metabolisms of mice to generate brown fat. Brown fat is a Good Fat which burns calories and generates body heat. Brown fat should not be confused with white fat, which is a Bad Fat. White fat stores energy, though not in a way that can be exploited to reduce electricity bills, and contributes to the present epidemic of obesity. The discovery of the Good Fat-producing protein means that eventually, "medical interventions to increase energy expenditure by brown fat inducing agents, such as BMP7, may provide hope to these individuals in losing weight and preventing the metabolic disorders associated with obesity", according to the team leader. The ultimate goal of this and other research, according to a commentary in Nature, is "promoting the brown fat lineage as a potential way of counteracting obesity". One day there may even be "specific drugs and techniques that could help the body make more brown fat cells or else genetically engineer white fat cells to turn brown"; dietary improvements and increased exercise being apparently beyond the cognitive capacities of twenty-first-century science.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Two Literary Notices

Firstly, as of 12 August, sales of my book Beelzebub have reached double figures. While not exactly J K Rowling territory, this is at least one figure more than I ever hoped for. Thanks to all who bought, especially if you bought it to read rather than to prop up a table with one short leg or line a budgie cage or something.

Secondly, an article of mine on Robert Aickman's story "Niemandswasser" has been published in a new journal edited by S T Joshi, Studies in the Fantastic. The first issue also includes short fiction, poetry, an overview by Joshi of the correspondence between H P Lovecraft and Robert E Howard, and a very interesting piece on attitudes to cosmopolitanism as reflected in works such as Wuthering Heights, Le Fanu's "Green Tea", and Stoker's Dracula. Avoid procrastination and throng to the checkout now.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Covering Up

Some of the funniest parts of Marjane Satrapi's delightful Persepolis concern the dress codes imposed by the Islamic moral police in Iran. People of both sexes were obliged to cover themselves more or less completely in order, the authorities claimed, to protect members of the public from the rampant sexuality of their fellow human beings. No man who was not a cleric could be trusted to control himself at the sight of a woman's hair, any more than nice girls could be expected to remain chaste if a man wore a short-sleeved shirt. Satrapi and other morally questionable persons pushed at the boundaries of these rules by pushing their head-dress back an eighth of an inch a month until they were ordered to protect themselves more thoroughly; this tactic led eventually to a magnificent put-down by Satrapi's father of a sanctimonious female teacher, which is far too good to give away here.

In Mexico City, one Reverend Sergio G Roman has echoed the mad mullahs in a disquisition on family values; though, since he is a Catholic and not a Muslim, his moral itches are limited to female attire. "When we show our body without prudence, without modesty, we are prostituting ourselves," he wrote, referring apparently to the mini-skirt rather than to the notoriously provocative outfits of altar-boys and other sources of sexual temptation. There has been a healthy press and public reaction, causing the church to trot out the perennial excuse that their servant's words have been twisted. His article was intended only to provide "moral guidance for the Catholic community", rather than having anything to do with the real world.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Never Rock A Sinking Ship

A further sign of the decline of New New Labour emerged today when a junior health service privatisation minister went off-message. The entertaining Ivan Lewis has attracted prior notice here a couple of times; first for his scintillating suggestion that pensioners should be put on work-for-food programmes in schools, and more recently for his vigorous attempt to get to the roots of teenage suicide by blaming the internet rather than, say, insane psychological pressure in the education system, lack (or, in present parlance, "reform") of adequate social facilities, or the golden prospects for personal fulfilment which have been opened up by Gordon's economic miracle. To the best of my knowledge, neither of these crude but amusing comic turns caused the slightest ripple of discontent among Lewis' masters; but his latest little jape has earned him a resounding smack. Working a slightly laboured riff on Gordon's one-size-fits-all economy comfort speech about feeling our pain and so forth, Lewis has actually been so foolish as to suggest that New New Labour, of all the corporate panders in the world, should tax the rich in order to help the poor. Since people's income has no impact on their health, Lewis has been told to "concentrate on his day job if he wants to keep it, instead of commenting on tax matters".

Sunday, August 17, 2008

All the History You Can Remember

As might be expected in a culture where "learning the lessons of history" means destroying countries which do not threaten us (it worked for Hitler, after all), historical ignorance is on the rise along with all the other kinds. A Great British History Quiz by the History Channel found that three-quarters of people under twenty-five did not connect James Watt with the steam engine and did not know which king signed Magna Carta. It is just about possible that even fewer know exactly what James Watt did or what significance the signing of Magna Carta holds. People from Scotland, who have a different education system as well as numerous historical grievances, scored higher than those from the mainland.

This relaxed attitude towards our heritage is, of course, a Good Thing. It is necessary for history, like all things, to catch up with modernity. History is not a presentational skill and does not serve to maximalise the potential of human resources to enhance the financial growth of a transforming economy in a competitive world. If people wish to learn significant facts of history, like who won the war or how nasty and evil the Russians are, there are any number of heritage sites around the country which will multimediatise the appropriate perspective. Mainstream news media can also provide handy timelines, showing in depth the history of Muslim relations with enlightenment values since 1979 in Iran, 1986 in Libya or 1990 in Iraq. Why teach history in school when children could be sitting more exams and hearing the word of God?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Daveybloke Drops In

Daveybloke, the Cuddly Conservative, is doing the statesman thing again. This time he has flown out to beleaguered little Georgia in what the Press Association kindly describes as a "show of support". It will pile up the air miles, of course; but one cannot be green all the time, and the prospect of a photo-opportunity with Mikhail Saakashvili certainly outweighs the petty priorities of a glacier or two. Apart from the inevitable "tough new visa restrictions" (the Daily Maul solution to virtually any crisis, national or international), Daveybloke has called for Russia to be expelled from the G8 and for Georgia's NATO membership to be sped up in "a bid to deter further attacks". If there is one thing guaranteed to calm the situation down, it's the prospect of yet more American missiles on Russia's doorstep. Daveybloke has yet to advocate NATO membership for Lebanon; but it is doubtless only a matter of time.

Meanwhile, the Government has pledged the cost of a CBE towards "medical and surgical aid and restoring the water supply in Tshinvali, South Ossetia's main town"; and we all know how seriously the Government takes its pledges, especially where the welfare of foreigners is concerned.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Purely Defensive Measures

A Russian general has warned that complicity in Washington's missile defence boondoggle exposes Poland to attack. General Anatoly Nogovitsyn also observed that Russian military doctrine permits use of nuclear weapons "against the allies of countries having nuclear weapons if they in some way help them", in contrast to NATO's military doctrine, which permits use of nuclear weapons whenever Washington finds it commensurate with Enlightenment values.

The missile defence system is intended to protect staunchly Catholic Poland against attacks by the mad mullahs of Iran, although Russia's recent defence of Ossetian independence against Georgian aggression is also cause for concern.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Back to Normal

The United States has expressed tentative hope that the war in Georgia may mark Russia's definitive re-emergence as the free world's Great Satan.

"If Russia does not step back from its aggressive posture and actions in Georgia, the US-Russian relationship could be adversely affected for years to come," said US missile shield spokesbeing Robert Gates.

However, Gates said there was "no prospect" of American troops being used in the region, although he said that American troops would be used in the region.

American military personnel will be used to deliver humanitarian aid, in contrast to Russian "peacekeepers" operating in inverted commas.

The situation is thought to signal Russia's successful comeback as a menace to freedom and world peace after almost twenty years in the wilderness.

The US and its allies have been forced into several embarrassing climbdowns over previous Great Satans, including France, North Korea, Iran and, despite considerable comedy value, Libya.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is Pooty-Poot the New Stalin?

The leader of the free world, whose administration did such a bang-up job of delivering humanitarian aid to its own civilians in New Orleans, is threatening brave little Georgia with the same treatment. This may be because Bush believes the country is named after one of the United States, or named after himself; or it may be because he and his puppet-masters want to go out with a bang that will drown out the whimpers of Iraq, Afghanistan, the American economy and all the rest of their delightful legacy. After eight years in office and five years in Iraq, the provisions of international law have obtruded themselves on Bush's consciousness, causing him to sanctimonialise that "all forces, including Russian forces, have an obligation to protect innocent civilians"; while his fellow Harvard graduate and military incompetent Mikhail Saakashvili urged the World Cop "from words to deeds". Accordingly, Bush has sent Condoleezza Rice to Tbilisi where she is apparently supposed to "rally a free world in defence of a free Georgia" after rebuking Nicolas Sarkozy for brokering a ceasefire which the international community had made quite clear it did not want. We're in for a jolly ride here, and no mistake.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Affordable Housing

As Daily Mule readers and other hard-working families know, low house prices are a Very Bad Thing; certainly worse than high food prices (profitable comestibility), high energy prices (British Petroleum a going concern) or low wages (keeping the rabble in line). Falling house prices are a sign of approaching recession, stagflation, sure and certain doom, and the possible nonexistence of Santa Claus. Accordingly, Boris Johnson, or at least the minion he has delegated to take the rap for such matters, has done his bit to ensure that any affordable housing in the Conservative borough of Hammersmith and Fulham remains affordable only for the right sort of people. Those who can afford to buy their own homes may do so at "intermediate" prices; the custom of those who can only afford to rent is not required. Hammersmith and Fulham's "cabinet member for strategy" - apparently mere borough councillors are no longer good enough - denied "any suggestion that a political deal has been done. It just wasn't like that at all", which so convinced the Guardian's Dave Hill that he forgot the difference between a denial and a refutation.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Saving Little Georgia

Daveybloke, the Cuddly Conservative, has been doing the statesman thing by huffing and puffing about the Russian Bear's apparent attempt at regime change in Georgia. Daveybloke observed that Russia has used massive and disproportionate force, breached international law, violated the territory of a sovereign state and is acting as a "massive and dangerous bully"; quite unlike, say, the United States and its little helper in Iraq or the Righteous State in Lebanon and the occupied territories. Daveybloke also called for Georgia to be allowed to join NATO sooner than planned; not out of any particular regard for the rights of Georgians, but because other NATO members (for which read the United States and its little helper) would have "greater leverage" over what happened there.

Two hours after Daveybloke did his statesman thing, the Glorious Successor had gathered sufficient courage to triangulate between the Cuddly Conservative's echt-Churchillian blather and the UN call for a general ceasefire which Gordon's government helped to block three days ago. As befits a New New Labour leader, Gordon expressed concern about Russia's faulty public relations strategy, noting that its present actions "will only serve to damage Russia's international reputation and its relations with countries across the globe".

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Depends What You Mean By Human

An all-party Committee on Human Rights has proposed that all Britons should be given a legal guarantee of "a decent standard of living, health and housing", for the benefit of any future government which may happen to care about its legal obligations. Such rights could be enshrined under the Bill of Rights which the Glorious Successor no doubt has in mind for the next parliament, along with universal childcare for those who can afford it, parliamentary reform within reasonable limits and bringing home the boys from Iraq the minute Washington gives permission - all those nice things which a decade of economic growth and the size of New New Labour's majority have thus far prevented his accomplishing. It is possible that the Glorious Successor will accept a watered-down version of the committee's proposals, much as New New Labour was eventually forced to accept a watered-down version of ninety-day internment; certainly, on past form he is unlikely to accept any implication that hoodies, terror suspects and those of suspect Britishness have the same human rights as rich people and hard-working families.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Constitutional Vandalism

A proposal by the Liberal Democrat spokesman for gridlock and pollution has elicited a foaming response from Lord Tebbit, and has been called "uncomprehending constitutional vandalism" by one of Daveybloke's cuddly chums. As might be expected, the proposal has nothing to do with selling our sovereignty to Washington or our soldiers to Halliburton; instead, the idea is that members of parliament should swear allegiance "to their constituents and the nation", and should promise to uphold the law rather than to serve the reigning chinlessness.

Lord Tebbit called the proposal "an attack on the state itself"; apparently he has repented the days when he thugged for Thatcher in a government which prided itself on rolling back the state, or else he is conflating state and monarch with all the Britishness of Louis XIV. Still, the disadvantages are doubtless fairly evident. Any hint that MPs should uphold the law, or should have the interests of their constituents at heart, would have obvious and unpleasant implications for those aspiring to Cabinet office. It could mean the end of parliamentary representation as a family business, and might even inhibit one or two members from supporting the wars, kidnappings, torture and bribery which are such a necessary and laudable component of the Generational Crusade Against the Abstract Noun.

Friday, August 08, 2008


Boris Johnson continues in his bid to ensure that the smog quality at the London Olympics will rival, if not surpass, that of Beijing. Faithfully adhering to the Daveybloke policy of talking green while increasing pollution, Boris has spent his first hundred days in office pandering to motorists, cancelling orders for hydrogen vehicles, and deciding that the London Development Agency can do without advice from environmental experts, thank you very much. According to Friends of the Earth, Boris is even "endorsing a 50% increase in flights from London city airport and considering a new airport in the Thames estuary" so that those nice, clean, honest, efficient people in the airline industry do not suffer overmuch.

A spokesbeing for the Greater London Authority diagnosed all this as a desire to "tackle crime, deliver value for money and improve the quality of life for all Londoners". Of course, the Daveybloke policy on environmental matters has the advantage of being tried and tested, notably by the Vicar of Downing Street and his Glorious Successor; so it does have the virtue of continuity.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A Minor Indiscretion

Two defenders of the Righteous State have been charged with unworthy conduct - a minor matter in the Righteous Army, according to the local media - after allowing themselves to be caught on video shooting a man in the foot with a rubber bullet. The man was bound and blindfolded, but still had to be held by the arm because the two defenders of the Righteous State were not in an armoured vehicle at the time. The Righteous Army has decided that the incident "reflects a severe moral failure of command", rather than the necessary act of racial self-preservation against an existential threat which it would have constituted had the two defenders used a tank, a helicopter or even a bulldozer to attain their glorious purpose.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

News 2012

The only cheap thing about the London Olympics

Tensions mount as US leader speaks out on human rights

Pre-Olympic tensions are growing after the US Commander in Chief congratulated Britain on its human rights record.

"America stands waist to shoulder with Britain in its detention of terrorist suspects, anti-law-and-order agitators and freedom-haters whether Islamic or secular," he said.

"We speak out to encouragise and energify freedom of assembly within reasonable limits, labour rights which do not impinge on profits and a press that is free with the truth and only the truth," the US leader continued.

"By trusting its people with greater freedom, Britain has developed its full potential and has earned itself a place alongside South Korea and Saudi Arabia in the coalition of free and law-abiding nations."

The Commander in Chief spoke as armed riot police engaged in vigorous rioter-positive demotivation activities.

The Government has designated zones for protest in parks around London, where malcontents can be protected from the wrath of patriotic citizens or foreigners with a less extensive libertarian tradition than the United Kingdom.

Human rights campaigners claim that some people have been deterrented from partaking due to reprisals. However, London mayor Boris Johnson said last week that, because of the previous Labour government's "quasi-Leninist authoritarianism and bendy bus obsession", there might not be enough prison places to grant protective custody to everyone in need.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

All Men Are Brothers, But Some Brothers Are More Manly Than Others

The Archbishop of Canterbury has finally made his choice and, a large congregation being better than a loving one, has plumped for Biblical homophobia over British hypocrisy. Homosexuals, like women, are welcome to come to church; the day may even come, as it has for some women, when a member of the true faith can accept a cup of tea from one without feeling unduly tainted; but as long as gay clergy continue to be ordained, and as long as gay Christians are having their sodomitic unions blessed by Anglican clergy, the church continues in "grave peril". The Archbishop hopes that the peril will be averted in a "covenanted future", in which the great moral question of who sleeps with whom will be dealt with by a "global church of interdependent communities", each of which, no doubt, will be right in its own little way. A meeting of all Anglican primates, including the neanderthals, will take place next year, so that those who boycotted the Lambeth mumble can "be involved in policy shaping". There can rarely have been a better time than the present in which to be a schismatic. If the misogynists truly wish to keep the pulpits clean of female bishops, they know now how to go about it.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Policy of Appeasement

That paragon of reason and tolerance, the Daily Maul, has reached a deal with the Polish Federation of Great Britain after that organisation lodged a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission, citing fifty headlines as examples of anti-Polish sentiment. The Maul rejected the accusation that its articles fostered "negative emotions and tensions between the new EU immigrants and local communities", and has thus "amended some online articles and removed others" which were no doubt equally harmless. "If you take the balance of articles published by us the Polish migrant has not been identified as a hate figure," a spokesbeing said. "The headline on a major feature by one of our top writers read: 'Poles apart – Hard-working, reliable, honest. Meet the Polish builders, plumbers, and decorators putting work-shy Britons to shame'." Of course, it wouldn't be a Maul story without the word shame appearing somewhere; but it does seem to be the case that "the Polish migrant" has been identified as a hate figure only when other hate figures have not been considered appropriate.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Still, Small Phish

Date: Sun Aug 03 2008 1:00pm Europe/London
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: B | G man fukced in office

Daerly Bevoled

As you know i continue to vbe 100% precent supppotive of Grodon Brons Govermnent. Grodon Bron is 20th centuty Greteast Chancellor of the Exchecquer ever adn Grodon Boron is Idael nam anm man to laed my Praty and contry itno into 21st centuty. i am 10000%% 00 surpotive of Godon Bron govment. however nontheles Grodon Bron has sufred the SIN OF PRIDE he has dissed our own Record of Paece public srevice & gneneral effffficincey he has Junked the Plolicy of Tony but has nohthing to Putt in ists Plaice. like dr David kelly and a few ohters i cuold mention Grodon Bron is giulty of Hubris and Vacuity wichch Tony did not do. Grodon Bron has playd exaxctly the same game the media wnated but never the game thatt gives Us the only chance of a 4th Trem T3rem Term. Like David Milibloke i am 1000000000%%%%%%%%%% supopopotive Grodon Bron Gomnt.

Pax vobscum et pecunia nobscum



Saturday, August 02, 2008

Wrong Numbers

Perfidious malcontents at the Stockholm Environment Institute, which is based, as one would expect, at the University of York, claim that the Government is underestimating Britain's carbon emissions. Since the Government does not count emissions from shipping, aviation or imported goods, perhaps on the grounds that these things tend to produce emissions which the Government would prefer not to count, the claim appears eminently plausible.

One report by the Institute, soon to be published by WWF, carries the dastardly implication that the country's total greenhouse emissions are forty-nine per cent higher than the Government claims. Given that the Government's claims about such matters as weapons of mass destruction and kidnap-and-torture flights have turned out somewhat more than forty-nine per cent inaccurate, perhaps it would be churlish to complain. Another report, made for the Department of Environmental Fraudulence, Recalcitrance and Asininity and duly buried so as to avoid unpleasantness, says that carbon emissions went up by eighteen per cent between 1992 and 2004, rather than going down by five per cent as ministers had - doubtless in all good faith - previously stated.

The environment minister Phil Woolas, late of the Ministry for Muslim Control, astutely pointed out why the Institute's figures do not challenge the Government's: "they are a different calculation altogether". Despite recent difficulties, New New Labour is still a big tent; there is room for all sorts of calculations, but we can't have people challenging Government figures simply because other figures take into account factors with which the Government does not care to concern itself.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Teenage Suicide - Don't Do It

The New New Labour method of curing the common cold by making it illegal to cough is to be applied to the internet. Ministers are urging service providers to refuse to host sites which incite suicide and are "harmful or distasteful"; harmless and tasteful sites which encourage suicide among the elderly, the unemployed and other expendables will presumably be left unmolested. Ivan Lewis, a health minister who, as Minister for Non-Outlivable Utilisability, proposed that pensioners should be used as unpaid teaching assistants, claimed to "share growing public concern at the impact of the internet on vulnerable people". In Oldspeak, of course, a minister's sharing of public concern generally translates as a healthy crack of the whip for press hysteria; it is particularly well-timed in this case as Lewis' own department has announced that the suicide rate in England has been declining steadily since the last triumph of market forces during the mid-1980s. The suicide rate among prisoners has risen by fifteen per cent on last year; but even if this were a matter of public concern, it seems unlikely that Ivan Lewis would share it.