The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

All In It Together

The poor, put-upon City is feeling hard done by again. The recently revived corpse of Vincent Cable has brutally dismissed the banking sector's argument that tighter regulation should be postponed until the economy has recovered and the banking sector can argue that because the economy has recovered there is no need for tighter regulation. Should the Government fail to adopt a degree of stringency which they consider appropriate, Barclays and HSBC have hinted that they might even emigrate, so that the next time we needed a recession there'd be nobody to cause it but the chancellor.

Daveybloke, whose government has spent fifteen months throwing people out of work and sitting by with an indulgent smirk while the chums have a rah-rah on the stock exchange, has hinted that he would prefer to avoid "taking risks that put the economy at risk". As everyone knows by now, our present economic difficulties are largely the fault of the National Health Service and excessively low student fees; hence the Conservatives are content to wait until after the next election before doing anything much about the banks, and George the Progressively Regressive would be happy to leave the whole matter until 2019 or, in Standard English, until Henley freezes over. However his Liberal Democrat strategists claim (or "believe", according to the Guardian's psychic correspondent) that "significant reforms" will require extensive lip-service between now and 2015 in order to avoid accusations that the Government did nearly as little as the last one to deal with the banking problem.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Concrete Proposals for a Concrete Future

What with students who fail to realise that higher tuition fees mean they pay less; consumers who fail to spend despite rising inflation and a flexible labour market; taxpayers who fail to comprehend the sensitivities of people like Lord Ashcroft; and charities that come over all unbigsocietal just because their funding is being cut, it was no doubt sadly inevitable that the greenest government ever would run into problems when trying to sell the virtues of the new National Planning Policy Framework to the chlorophyll-oriented community. As one would expect given the name of the National Planning Policy Framework, the idea is to do away with the framework of national planning policy and leave everything up to "local communities"; which is to say, anyone who feels like building anything on the two-thirds of England which is not formally protected, at least until the protection for the remaining third can be removed. Various countryside and environment groups have registered their objections, and the Government's anti-planning spokesbeing has responded in the standard New Labour manner, by saying they are too stupid to understand the proposals. Given that some of the troublemakers are Conservative councils, this time it may even be true.

Monday, August 29, 2011


He pootled along in his swingle
With fulgurant flatulent flap;
Then pootled it into a dingle
And scuttled on out for a nap.
He dreamed of his poodles and purges,
And pongids he'd bothered before;
But when he surceased from his urges,
The swingle, alas, was no more.

Bramley Attercop

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Penny Drops

After only fifteen months of attacks on the public sector and trusting everything to markets and millionaires, some of the more Tory elements of the Labour party have suddenly discovered that Daveybloke, the Cuddly Conservative, is actually some sort of right-winger. After due analysis, a Tory turncoat named Shaun Woodward has just about perceived that Daveybloke, having attained power, is no longer interested in appearing soft on the NHS and the environment and appears more worried about the possibility of appearing to be a weakling of the Nick Clegg or Gordon Brown variety. Woodward warns, however, of "significant political risks if Labour fails to handle the change with alacrity, strength and sensitivity", or fails to persuade the public that Labour too is sufficiently right-wing to chime with the market-oriented, immigrant-bashing aspirations of the lower classes. According to Woodward's document, "the Conservatives are shifting to a distinctly right-wing strategy, in both their chosen focus on issues and their solutions", quite unlike Tony Blair or Gordon Brown. Furthermore, "Cameron clearly recognises some of the danger he faces in his repositioning. He is still seeking to separate himself out from a toxic Tory brand", quite unlike the Upper (formerly Lower) Miliband, "and has assumed a presidential role and style", quite unlike Tony Blair. As a result, and despite the efforts of Twizzler Lansley, Michael Gove, Eric Pickles, Sayeeda Warsi and News International, "Cameron himself now appears to be a recognisably right-wing prime minister". Well, really, who would have thought it?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Possible Split in Westminster Lynch Mob

Even the Party of Big Society and Water-Cannon has its dissenters, and one of them has written to the attorney general about the policy allegedly adopted by the Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club during the recent echt-Bullingdon jamborees in England's cities. James Clappison, a Conservative MP who is, no doubt coincidentally, a barrister rather than a PR man, a journalist or a psychological circus freak, has asked for assurances that Britain's feral youth should be treated according to, of all things, "normal standards of justice". Clappison is worried that the Met's "prisoner processing strategy", which appears to translate into Standard English as bang 'em all up and sort 'em out later, may "risk the appearance of two systems of justice", rather than the Daveybloke ideal of no excuses for the proles and lots of second chances for the nice people. Clappison expresses the fear that any form of blanket policy would "create the risk of persons who are eventually acquitted in effect serving a custodial sentence prior to their acquittal in circumstances where they would not otherwise have done so", a prospect which he appears to believe might bother some people. However, the Met has already issued an eloquent denial of the charge that they applied a blanket policy of refusing to issue cautions: of 1881 people arrested, seventeen were cautioned and a mere 1116 charged and locked up.

Friday, August 26, 2011

One in the Teeth for International Communism

Newly declassified documents show Britain's Official Greatest Ever Number One Greatest Briton Ever in fine statesmanlike mode, keeping America safe for democracy by intervening to destroy a Communist threat in British Guiana. During the early fifties, Britain graciously granted the natives the right to hold elections, although there was also a British-appointed governor to make sure the joke wasn't carried too far. With typical post-imperial ingratitude, the natives voted in a left-wing dentist named Cheddi Jagan, causing the Americans to view the country as an existential threat along the lines later assumed by such global menaces as Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti. Most sinister of all, MI5 concluded that Jagan's party was "not receiving any financial support from any communist organisation outside the country". Churchill blathered at the colonial secretary about getting American support "in doing all that we can to break the communist teeth in British Guiana"; but in the end Britain was just about able to re-conquer the colony on its own, in a campaign mounted during the year of Queen Elizabeth's coronation and obsequiously code-named Operation Windsor. The constitution was suspended, Jagan and his wife were arrested, and MI5's agent in Trinidad paid tribute to the ladies who provided the sandwiches; something Janet Jagan, being "uncompromising in her hatreds", had evidently never thought of doing. British Guiana was ruled for three years under the ever-useful "emergency powers"; but MI5 and, no doubt, the CIA, continued to demonstrate their characteristic coolness and clarity into the 1960s, worrying that the Jagans would conspire with Cuba to destabilise the continent and send revolutionary cadres marching into Texas. Cheddi Jagan was again elected prime minister in 1961, and both he and his wife served as president of Guyana in the 1990s. Somehow, despite its moral courage and the involvement of MI5, the USA survived them.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Policed By Consent

The Inspectorate of Police for a Contented Constabulary has ruled that tipping a disabled person out of their wheelchair and dragging them across a road constitutes an unnecessary level of force. The IPCC has also criticised the internal investigation which the Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club carried out after one of its officers was indiscreet enough to get himself filmed in the act of excessive forcefulness, saying that a charge of common assault should have been brought; fortunately for the stability of the country and the morale of hard-working families everywhere, the investigation of the incident has taken so long that the legal deadline for bringing such a charge has now expired. According to the IPCC's statement, the culprit "should be subject to management action", though presumably, since nobody was shot dead, he will not be promoted quite so high as Cressida Dick; the statement suggests "that an apology would be an appropriate way of dealing with this particular part of the incident", given the famously non-feral and non-Facebook nature of the Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Decorative Traditions

Despite the Reverend Tony's politically correct cringes over the civilising influence that was the Atlantic slave trade, the Gove-Ferguson™ model of history - manly chaps doing jolly things for money - continues to shine forth as a beacon to show lesser countries how Britain got where it is today. Even the Italian edition of Vogue has been feeling the benefits, though not without a certain post-cretinal tristezza. An article headed "Slave earrings", which blathered about "the decorative traditions of the women of colour who were brought to the southern Unites States during the slave trade", has had to be revised because of what the editor-in-chief called "really bad translation". With nuance duly restored, it turns out that the women were not really slaves but ethnics, and that they were not brought to the southern United States during the slave trade but during the late eighteenth century, apparently for the sole purpose of dynamising the local market in earrings. Nevertheless, it is clear that Vogue Italia still has a few small educational hurdles before it; no genuine graduate in the Gove-Ferguson™ model of history would refer to assertively labour-incentivised proto-immigrant resources as women of colour.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

You Can't Get the Staff These Days

Though a man cannot serve two masters, it seems that certain lower forms can manage it, provided that one master is the servant of the other. Daveybloke and his Cuddly Coulson are facing further unkind speculation about their relationship since it has emerged that Coulson may have said the thing that was not despite his long-standing status as a scumbag press editor, Murdoch employee and Conservative party infocloaca. It appears that Coulson received cash payments from News International, to the tune of several hundred thousand wholly innocent pounds, while he was working for the Conservatives. The Conservatives insist they had no knowledge of this; and, given how hard they tried to find out, it is unwontedly easy to believe them. Some party suits asked Coulson in January whether he had received payments from News International while supposedly working for them, and he said no. Obviously, given Coulson's status as a scumbag press editor, Murdoch employee and Conservative party infocloaca, his word was more than enough. Before that, in 2009, a Commons committee asked Coulson about the matter, whereupon he informed them that it was none of their business but he would be happy to discuss it privately with a Conservative MP who could be relied upon not to take unfair advantage. Still, at least we can stop worrying about why Coulson was not subjected to the usual security checks when Murdoch booted him into Downing Street to keep an eye on the help. Almost certainly, Coulson was not properly vetted because Coulson did not wish to be properly vetted; and, given Coulson's status as a scumbag press editor, Murdoch employee and Conservative party infocloaca, that was more than enough.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Walking Metaphor

Fed to the back teeth and unable to stomach its situation further, a Flesh-Eating Zombie fought its way past dozens of redneck survivalists and several battalions of cultural critics to present itself at the quarters of a Most Eminent Surgeon, who greeted it in the customary fashion by clapping a pistol to its head.

"There is no need for that," reassured the Flesh-Eating Zombie, yanking out a yard or two of bulging intestine to demonstrate its lack of immediate need for sustenance.
"You can't fool me," said the Most Eminent Surgeon; "it is well known that your kind eat because of blind instinct alone, and not from any nutritional necessity. Are you not aware that all Flesh-Eating Zombies are no more than a Metaphor for Rampant Consumerism in the Late Capitalist Era?"
"That is precisely why I am here," replied the Flesh-Eating Zombie. "This facile and inaccurate stereotyping of my kind must stop. We are not, and never have been, a Metaphor for Rampant Consumerism in the Late Capitalist Era. We do not prey on one another, and we are too honest for advertising purposes. No Flesh-Eating Zombie has ever tried to tell its victim that we were all being gnawed at together."
"My friend," said the Most Eminent Surgeon, "your plight touches my heart, as I trust your molars never shall. I feel certain I can make you better."
"Will it hurt?" asked the Flesh-Eating Zombie, remembering the cultural critics.
"Not a bit," said the Most Eminent Surgeon, taking hold of a loop of intestine and hauling away. In no time at all he had removed several dozen feet of excess tubing, and asking the Flesh-Eating Zombie to extend its arms, he wound it all into a single neat loop which he hung up carefully in case the Flesh-Eating Zombie should care to buy it back later. Then the Most Eminent Surgeon gave a firm tug on the duodenum, and sewed the end of the Flesh-Eating Zombie's remaining intestine over the Flesh-Eating Zombie's mouth.

"Now," said the Most Eminent Surgeon, as the Flesh-Eating Zombie indicated, by various motions of its remaining anatomical components, a degree of curiosity concerning the likely benefits of this procedure, "you are no longer able to consume what surrounds you, and instead must continually consume what you have already excreted, and then excrete it into yourself to be consumed again, doubtless with diminishing returns. Admittedly, your abilities as a Flesh-Eating Zombie have been somewhat curtailed, but I am sure you will concede that your talents as a Metaphor for Rampant Consumerism in the Late Capitalist Era have been greatly enhanced."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Doing One's Bit for the Poor Folk

Uncharitable and backsliding persons, including the Dickensian Home Office shadow Vernon Coaker, are accusing the Government of gimmickry, of all things, over a spiffing new plan to save some of the little folk from the scourge of idleness. The children and families minister, Tim Loughton, who evidently has too much time on his hands, has agreed to become a "family champion"; which is to say, he has signed up to a scheme whereby the middle classes can act as mentors to families which have suffered long-term employment and which are sufficiently clean and well-behaved to merit the privilege. The idea is for the middle classes to "introduce the families to their contacts, help them manage their household finances and guide them through the bureaucracy", in return for which the families presumably get to lend a helping hand in the scullery and pass around the canapés when Eric Pickles comes to tea.

This is, it appears, so utterly spiffing an idea that the Government has not deemed it necessary to inform the Cabinet's middle classes of their privilege in taking on the rich man's burden. The Minister for Bed, Breakfast and Boot Camps, Chris Graybeing, has apparently been volunteered without the annoyance of being told. If the scheme takes off, perhaps the civilian members of the middle classes will be notified of their responsibilities by the sight of a Serco van full of strategically scrubbed non-rioters pulling up outside the front door.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Very Big Mistake

The gluteal hypertrophy that is Daveybloke's Secretary of Ghettos is worrying about property values again. Eric Pickles, who shot to fame on the BBC's Question Time through charging the taxpayer for a second home in London because he considered himself too fragile for a thirty-mile commute, has been telling the Daily Torygraph how concerned he is about middle-class families. The Liberal Democrats have revived the idea of a tax on expensive properties, which was among the parts of their manifesto thrown out in order to buy Wee Nicky his dog-basket outside Daveybloke's bedroom door. The manifesto pledge was for a tax on properties worth more than two million pounds; according to Pickles, the losers would be "ordinary middle-class families", the kind of people who "put a lot into this country and don't take a lot out", possibly because they cannot afford to emulate hard-working paragons like Lord Ashcroft or the Souter and Gloag comedy duo. "People will suddenly find themselves in a mansion and they hadn't realised it was a mansion," Pickles warned. It is doubtless understandable that a member of the House of Expenses Claimants might worry about ordinary people's ability to count up to two million, but I am sure some of us can manage it. "If it is only going to be mansions, the kind of thing you and I would regard as a mansion, it ain't going to raise very much," Pickles continued, in that delightful folksy way that he must have picked up from such People's Princes as Daveybloke and Osborne; well, in difficult times every pinchable penny must of course be pinched, and I am sure Pickles of all people has not forgotten that we're all in it together. Axing the Booktrust grant would have raised a paltry thirteen million, but the Government was nothing loath; at least until the idea was discovered to have been Michael Gove's.

Me at Poetry-24
Not Our Sort of People

Friday, August 19, 2011

Undermining the Great British Deterrent

Even after all the healthy lynch-mob foaming over the recent public disorder, at least one judge has failed to get on-message when it comes to re-bigging Britain's brokenised society. A Manchester woman who slept through the riots but accepted an item of clothing stolen by her lodger was initially sentenced to five months in prison, apparently so that she could become the district judge's idea of a better role model for her children. However, the judge at her appeal has decided to make a pettifogging distinction between people who were present at the riots and did damage, and people who were not present at the riots and did not. This distinction is so insignificant as to have escaped notice in millions of mouth-hours put in over the past week by frothing moral arbiters from the scumbag press to the Home Office, who will now doubtless unite to protect the taxpayer from time-wasting procedures of this sort after future riots.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Spiritual Compensation

Despite the Catholic church's reputation for historical as well as moral backwardness, it does steal a march every so often along with all those childhoods. In the wake of the abuse scandal, the diocese of Dublin has learned the lesson to which our own religious personnel in the banking sector are still regrettably immune: namely that when moral incentives are not enough, a financial penalty may help to speed reform. Despite the sadism and sexual abuse; despite the attempts to palm off blame on the Press, the Jews or the homosexuals; despite the church's continuing prioritisation of the welfare of the human immunodeficiency virus over that of human beings, there are still a few people who are sufficiently lacking in basic moral values as to remain members of the church. Proceeding from the laudable premise that no-one is entirely irredeemable, the diocese of Dublin intends to impose a levy on Catholic families living in Dublin so that they can help to pay the costs which the church has brought on itself by permitting the abuse of children. (The diocese also proposes to cut the wages of those who work for it, which should be a painless enough exercise since they are not employees.) It is to be hoped that, taken together with the recession, the Irish government's attack on its own public sector and the Vatican's famous distaste for the material wealth of others, the levy will induce at least a few of the unfortunate parishioners to see the moral and ethical advantages of apostasy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Police Innocence Shock

Fury at waste of resources as top cop souls found white as snow

Several senior former personnel at the Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club have been cleared of all wrongdoing by the Inspectorate of Police for a Contented Constabulary.

Peter Clarke and Andy Hayman, on whose watch the original phone-hacking investigation was carried out to the satisfaction of News International, were cleared of conduct unbecoming to policemen.

A spokesbeing for the IPCC said it was concerned only with matters of "recordable conduct" and that it was no part of the Inspectorate's remit to worry about whether or not policemen did their jobs properly.

However, the former assistant commissioner, John Yates, faces a further process of exoneration after being accused of securing a job at the Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club for the daughter of Murdoch werebeast Neil Wallis.

It is thought that, as with Hayman's employment by News International, the IPCC will find that the episode constituted a tragic and unfortunate coincidence, rather than endorsing conspiracy theories about police corruption.

Former commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson was investigated for accepting hospitality worth £12,000 from a spa which, by another tragic and unfortunate coincidence, employed Neil Wallis as its public relations manager.

Stephenson criticised the IPCC for wasting its resources getting him off the hook at a time when genuine, taserable criminals were rampantly updating social media sites or stealing scoops of ice cream.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

But When He Does It It's Cuddly

The Heathen Chinee have utilised their insidious news agency, Xinhua, in drawing some specious parallels between the attempts by Daveybloke and his Cuddly Conservatives to restore order, help the police, give British youth a purpose in life, pander to the string-'em-up brigade, etc., and the obviously quite different attempts by the Heathen Chinee to stamp out legitimate dissent and hinder free speech. Daveybloke, who has done a fair amount of burbling about the potentially wondrous potential of social media in potentising the wonderosity of his Big Society thingy, has now ordered some of his little men to investigate the possibilities of turning the social media off whenever the Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club finds it expedient to do so. The Heathen Chinee have noted this latest swerve with approval, but were unable to resist a snide little dig at "western leaders [who], on the one hand, tend to indiscriminately accuse other nations of monitoring, but on the other take for granted their steps to monitor and control the internet." If one did not know better, one might almost believe that the Heathen Chinee were implying that Daveybloke, the Cuddly Conservative, who believes in collective punishment for the proles and second chances for scumbag press editors, is displaying behaviour which might be construed as hypocritical.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Necessary Expenditures

The UK's biggest growth industry after political corruption continues to do us proud, with legal bills for unlawful detention, bodily harm and being accessories to persecution rising by nearly two million pounds on last year's. A spokesbeing for the Agency for Wog Ejection ground out the old Bush/Blair favourite about believing what we believe is reasonable and legal because what we believe is legal and reasonable is what we reasonably and legally believe in; and, of course, the system is believed to be regularly and reasonably reviewed, which presumably accounts for the fact that the bills are going up and not down. Doubtless Daveybloke, who spent half of today blathering about morality and responsibility, is even now encouraging his little men to think of ways to make the culpable pay.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ecuador: The Next Threat to World Peace

The ostensibly small South American country of Ecuador could be trying to set itself up as the Western world's next Great Satan. A vast oil field has been discovered underneath the Yasuní national park, which contains a great many frogs and toads and various other uninteresting things; and the Ecuadorean oil minister Alberto Acosta claims, in defiance of Shell's efforts in Nigeria and BP's in the Gulf of Mexico, that exploitation "would lead to contamination, deforestation, extinction of cultures and destruction of social structures".

In defiance of the more enlightened practices in other Third World countries such as the United Kingdom, Acosta has also been listening to scientists and non-governmental organisations, rather than relying on the word of oil companies and the strength of his faith in money. "The reality is that oil has not brought development," he blasphemed. "It has brought us immense contamination and environmental destruction. Since the 1950s the impact on people has been dramatic. Pollution and deforestation bring problems everywhere the oil is. Oil has not solved the problems of Ecuador."

Hence, the Acosta dictatorship's solution to the Yasuní problem is potentially so fiendish as to be worthy of the evil socialist pineapple god Hugo Chávez. He has indicated Ecuador's willingness to be bribed to leave the frogs and toads alone. In return for half the theoretical value of the oil, Ecuador will "guarantee" to keep Yasuní from being developed. Such is Mullah Acosta's anti-Western megalomania that he has even threatened to spend the money on education, hospitals and other national parks rather than compensating the oil companies for artificially limiting their profits at a time of global economic crisis.

Tellingly, supporters of this plot to corrupt international relations include Mikhail Gorbachev, who did so much to deprive the West of the single most enduring and useful Great Satan of the twentieth century, forcing the free world to rely on cheap substitutes like Manuel Noriega, Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Tony Blair's chum Colonel Gadafi.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

True Blue

One would think that, of all the issues in the world, the public disorder in England's cities (or the UK riots as they're known in Scotland) would see the police and the Conservative Party warbling in happy head-cracking harmony from the same hymn sheet. Alas, the Not Particularly Bright Party's erstwhile colleagues in the News International Benevolent Society are sadly out of step with Daveybloke's plans to make senior police posts elective and to bring in an American private security contractor so that the streets of Birmingham may be made as safe as some of New York.

Accordingly, Daveybloke and the Home Secretary, Theresa May, have now caused further irritation by criticising the policing of the riots. They have also claimed credit for having put some backbone in the constabulary by coming back from holiday half-way through the trouble and gibbering a bit at meetings, although Daveybloke has done his best to grovel his way out of that one with an abject telephone call to the acting commissioner of the Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club, that famously tactful organisation whose community policing activities - shooting somebody dead and then misleading the press about it without troubling to mislead the family first - sparked the whole thing off. Sir Hugh Orde, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, has gone so far as to describe the role of the Head Boy, his Matron and the London Haystack as "an irrelevance", and to pour cold water on various ejaculations by Daveybloke and others about water-cannon. Orde has even drawn a distinction between policing and politics, which is unlikely to go down well with a Cuddly Cabinet of overgrown school bullies who regard the country as their very own toy train set (a head-on collision with lots of gore? O how super!), and has dared to behave like a doctor or a teacher by contradicting Daveybloke's cast-iron pledge that budget cuts of up to a fifth (to say nothing of privatising the forensic service) will have no noticeable impact.

It is all very bizarre. Nobody in their right mind would expect great statesmanship from a government of adolescents, advertising men and Eric Pickles; but how much Machiavellian cunning does one really need in order to realise that, from a purely practical point of view, kicking the proles and the police at the same time might not be such an awfully spiffing idea?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Safety First

Now that our towns again are quiet,
You may inspect the scenes of riot.

But, Honourable Members, please -
Some things that you must note are these:

Do not expect much gratitude;
Their values are uncouth and crude.

They've tried to recreate our joys
In trashing restaurants as boys.

Alas, the spirit isn't there
For They do not know how to share.

They'd rather grab a small amount
Than fatten an expense account.

They do not know the stress and strife
Pervading every rich man's life.

They've never had to feel the pain
Of profiting by Daddy's gain.

As conscience lets, be courteous
But don't forget: They're not like Us.

Remember that We are the Haves
And They - the Have-nots - are the Chavs.

Rt Hon Wimsey Bungo MP

Thursday, August 11, 2011

There Are Times When You Just Have to Throw Away the Law and Do What's Right

The news media are brazenly contributing to the continuing brokenisation of Britain by refusing to hand over footage of rioters without due process of law. At some point during the deafening clatter of jerking knees in Parliament today, softened but a little by the comfortable cushioning of surrounding flab and broken only by a brief but poignant rah-rah from Planet Osborne, Daveybloke was asked whether he would "encourage media organisations to immediately release footage". Daveybloke replied that he certainly would, and added a bit of blather about responsibility, which is nearly as amusing as the Reverend Tony yapping about humanitarianism or his Glorious Successor whining about courage. Even the BBC has had a rare attack of spinal fortitude and stated that no footage will be handed over without a court order; fortunately the BBC can afford to say that, because Daveybloke's chums at Sky News have said more or less the same.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Somebody Do Something

Despite the remarkable affinity of England's rioters with coalition policy - take a messy situation and turn it into a vague excuse for creating a messier one - various members of the Conservative Party, from the Home Secretary down to the leader of the Labour Party, have been holding forth on the need for a response to the rabble. The London Haystack, which never met a bandwagon it couldn't flop onto, has been urging the Government to re-think its cuts to the police force, presumably on the grounds that in the midst of so much policy disorder one more U-turn shouldn't be too much of a problem. The Government intends to impose "efficiency savings" of fifteen per cent, not counting bonuses from News International, over the next two years, while proclaiming as usual that any pain which is felt will be all in our minds. Nevertheless, the Home Secretary did indulge in a moment of dark wit on Radio Four's The World at One when she stated that the cuts would enable police "to be using the sort of resources that we have seen used in the last few days" and to such salutary effect.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I Feel Safer Already

Well, that's a relief, isn't it. There really are some kinds of criminality that even Andy Coulson's ex-employer doesn't care to put up with for too long, and after a mere three days of Bullingdon Club jamboree for the masses Daveybloke, the Cuddly Conservative, has decided that there are limits to what is acceptable even when it's just proles fighting other proles. "You are not only wrecking the lives of others, you are not only wrecking your own communities, you are potentially wrecking your own life, too," lectured the City's little chum, in full-on Head Boy mode.

In order to make some show of actual purpose in being here, Daveybloke has announced the recall of parliament so that Labour and the Conservatives can agree on everything while blaming each other as Nick Clegg agrees with them both. This is certainly constructive. On behalf of the Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club, Daveybloke promised lots more arrests and "speeded-up" court proceedings; the Government is not as yet proposing emergency legislation, probably because the legacy of legislative hysteria left over from New Labour is more than enough for present purposes. More disturbingly, Daveybloke blathered that the Government "will do everything necessary to restore order to Britain's streets and make them safe for the law-abiding". It is to be hoped that those familiar with the Government's record on sustaining the economic recovery, building the Big Society and refraining from chaotic top-down reorganisation of the NHS do not take Daveybloke too seriously on that point, otherwise we might have civil war by the weekend.

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Children's Crusade

The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library is seeking to corrupt America's youth by giving away a hundred and fifty copies of Slaughterhouse-Five. The book was banned from a Missouri school after a professor by the near-perfect name of Wesley Scroggins had a squeal about it in the local newspaper. "The 'f word' is plastered on almost every other page," observed Scroggins, who also noted that "the content ranges from naked men and women in cages together so that others can watch them having sex to God telling people that they better not mess with his loser, bum of a son, named Jesus Christ". In fact, the "others" who watch the naked but singular man and woman are not salacious sex fiends but interested (and non-humanoid) extraterrestrials, although I am not sure whether the learned Scroggins would consider this a mitigation or an aggravation of the offence. The part about Jesus being a bum and a loser is from a fictitious gospel quoted in a summary of a fictitious work by the fictitious pulp-SF writer Kilgore Trout, although presumably the learned Scroggins feared that these metafictional subtleties would be lost on the good and intelligent people of Missouri. Nevertheless, some godless pornographer sheltering behind the anonymity of anonymity has donated a hundred and fifty copies of Vonnegut's book to the Memorial Library, which has threatened to pass them on to any student who sends an email. With this sort of thing going on in the schools, it's no wonder the poor devils can't seem to win their wars any more.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Bright Young Things

Frustrated and annoyed at the lack of true Tory values in Daveybloke's privatising, prole-bashing, immigrant-imprisoning, gambler-pandering, wog-bombing government, some of the Not Particularly Bright Party's yoof wing have apparently decided that a bit of self-assertion is called for. Nothing helps to strengthen a weak administration like dissension in the ranks, as the interregnum that occupied Downing Street between Thatcher and her godson Tony could testify. Unfortunately, like Daveybloke during the New New Labour years, or the Upper (formerly Lower) Miliband during the Daveybloke years, the malcontents are caught in an awful dilemma: they want to be seen as courageous, dynamic and pushing the box outside the envelope, but since they agree with the status quo in everything except a few minor details this is no easy matter. "What is the point of being an MP if you can't put forward ideas?" blathered one evidently constituent-free contributor to the True Tory manifesto movement, which various True Tories are using to put forward ideas such as a lower-tax economy (yawn), radical ideas on immigration (uh huh), radical ideas on criminal justice (whatever), radical ideas on the future of public services (next please) and a commitment to civil liberties which will doubtless prove highly negotiable once the Liberal Democrats have been peeled off and flicked away and a few more ministries are on offer.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Britain's Response to the Present Fiscal Crisis Considered as a Routine by William S Burroughs

So George the Prepuce is lounging on Copacabana Beach when a pretty dark boy brings him his mobile phone. The boy is naked and at first blush you would take him for circumcised. In fact he is one of George's special staff and his cock is being amputated five per cent at a time year on year. George the Prepuce pickles the segments in Bulge Neck Eric's Special Brew and has them surgically added to the stubby little prick growing out of the middle of his face.

Eyelids crack open like smirking alligator rectums. "Yah what is it? Hurry up you little hispano nigrah, I am exhausted. Been kicking prole arse in my dreams the whole facking afternoon."
The boy proffers the phone in the approved manner. "Your pardon sir, but I think you better take it."
"You don't tell me what I better do. What public school dimpled your little butt cheeks?" But he takes the phone and waves the boy away. "Yah what is it?"

Squawks of panic over the line like opium queens battalion fighting over the last syringe. The phallus George uses for a nose quivers and purples with rage. Eurozone Incorporated have fucked up again. From the dead mosquito depths of his mud-puddle mind George dredges up an ejaculation and snorts it down the phone on a dry-hump gamma wave of toxic psycho radioactivity. It bounces off two microchips and a satellite and splatters itself noisily across his honoured colleagues at the other end.

"All finished now, yah? Okay then. Tell your uncle Georgie what the problem is. Pretend like your uncle Georgie is your nice Uncle Tombama from across the salty pond."

Turns out they have tried to get Uncle Tombama before calling George, but Uncle Tombama has troubles of his own trying to cadge entry to a party with a bunch of tea-throwing chimps. Uncle Tombama hopes the tea will stain sufficiently to hide his yellow dorsal stripe, dread symptom of Blair's Jaundice caught from too much elephant-humping.

The distinguished representatives of Eurozone Incorporated bleat their troubles at George the Prepuce faute de mieux. It seems the Main Line has gone through the floorboards once again, precipitating severe social turmoil and rampant uncontrolled bowel movements all across the executive elite.

The Main Line operates on psychic energy manifested through severe toilet training, which results in maximum instability and minimum predictability. One little executive wetting his pants can cause a riot, but the longer they hold it in the worse the explosions can be. There are some who consider this disadvantageous but George the Prepuce and the agencies that control his pleasure centres are not among them.

"Okay shut your yap ... Remember what I keep on telling you bastards: there are no problems only chances, no famines only sales opportunities, no leaders only markets. Keep on with present policy and if we run out of pocket money we can roll a few drunks, rob a hospital or so and blame the drug addicts. And tell the wops and dagoes to pull out the goddamn finger, yah?"

Tosses the phone back over his shoulder to be caught by the naked boy at right silly man. Alligator lids slit closed over orbs like sun-baked reptile turds and George the Prepuce dozes. Prepuce is lounging distinguished cause a riot. Remember what I keep on Georgie what the problem waves the boy away. Eric's Special Brew panic over the line rampant uncontrolled elephant-humping sales opportunities. What public school dimpled George uses for a nose are not among them. Keep on through the floorboards troubles of his own and a satellite and splatters at first blush.

Dreams of kicking proles. Toes twitch in pink tanned foreskin brogues.

Friday, August 05, 2011

An Insidious Plot

With the stock markets making such a spectacular show of the wonders of deregulation, the Heathen Chinee have rather tactlessly agreed a plan to cap their energy consumption and limit their greenhouse emissions. According to one expert, the cap will even "add certainty", rather than enhancing the competitive values of tax reduction for real people combined with fear and discipline for the lower orders which have wrought Britain's present environmental and economic miracle. There have also been mutterings about aiming for a more sustainable pace of growth; although growth is hardly a problem in Osborne's Britain, this could be taken to imply that a stable and predictable economic outlook has some sort of advantage over the grab, bubble, panic and bailout cycle which has done such wonders in the West. It is all very sinister indeed.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Intertextual Heart

A biography of Georgette Heyer is poised to shake the literary world with details of the historical romance author's accusations against the notorious Barbara Cartland. Cartland produced several metric tonnes of sub-literary matter about people with names like Vesta and (probably) Mavis, and it appears that the sanctimonious old gargoyle was not above bulking out her bodice of work with a bit of what would these days be called hommage, postmodern sophistication or Situationist daring. Heyer's character Sir Montagu Revesby, for example, had a near-namesake in Cartland's character Sir Montagu Reversby; and given the extent of Cartland's literary talent, it is quite possible that the resemblance was intended to be closer still. Heyer, who prided herself on her historical research, to the extent that she only found time to churn out fifty-six novels against Cartland's seven hundred or so, was sufficiently annoyed to instruct a solicitor, whereupon Cartland's Tarantinoisms came to an abrupt halt. However, an enterprising publisher did reissue one of the offending volumes, Knave of Hearts, under the slightly worse title The Innocent Heiress and the heading "In the tradition of Georgette Heyer". By that time, no doubt, the beneficiary of the compliment was safely dead.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A Sellafield in Every Sitting Room

A Swedish man has been arrested and charged with unauthorised possession of nuclear material, having kept several radioactive elements in his flat and played around with them on his stove. He kept a blog about his doings, which is no less than most corporate radiation emitters would have done; and he even sent a query about the legal implications to the Swedish nuclear authority. The nuclear authority sent the police, which seems rather big-governmental of them. Combining as it does the virtues of individual effort with localism and sustainable uranium, this small-scale Windscale is the sort of thing that might well pass for an energy policy if Daveybloke's Cuddly Conservatives manage to gerrymander themselves into a second term of office.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Balls to Justice

The supreme court has ruled against ministers acting swiftly in the public interest, in the words of Ed Balls; or, in Standard English, arbitrarily firing public sector workers in the heat of an auto-da-fé by the scumbag press. The case in question was that of Sharon Shoesmith, who was sacked without compensation or a chance to defend herself after a report into the death of an abused child identified failings in her department. The court made the disturbing allegation that politicians could not "ignore elementary fairness", even when offering someone's head on a plate with a view to earning good conduct marks from the Daily Mail. The Department for Training Immature Resources said it was "very disappointed" at being denied the opportunity to spend more taxpayers' money fighting for the kind of localism that allows politicians in Westminster to give the boot to council employees in Haringey. The Department also noted that the sacking was "right in principle" or, in Standard English, that the Government didn't have a leg to stand on; and that the case involved "questions of constitutional importance" or, in Standard English, that the courts have no business interpreting the law to those who are above it. Ed Balls, the minister responsible, and Haringey council, the former employers, could now be liable for up to a million pounds in compensation and legal costs, though it is unclear how much of the burden will be shouldered by those whose conduct has been found intrinsically unfair and unlawful, and how much can be transferred to Haringey's undeserving.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Syntax Error

The Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club has issued a hurried retraction of a request by Westminster police to report "any information relating to anarchists". Scotland Yard spent twenty-four hours trying to discover why City of Westminster police had been sending out leaflets equating followers of a particular political philosophy with asylum seekers, benefit scroungers, students and Muslims, but it appears that no information was forthcoming. Let us hope that the interrogation techniques were not excessively unkind. "We appreciate that the leaflet could have been worded better," said the retraction diplomatically. The intended message was "to gather information on criminal acts to help us prevent crime and bring offenders to justice", which evidently translates into Shop an anarchist and win brownie points much as "keeping the streets safe" nowadays translates into cavalry charges, tipping people out of their wheelchairs and shooting with dumdum bullets.