The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Crossed Wires, Cross Windbags

As often seems to happen when the Daveybloke administration announces a change of energy policy, the Daveybloke administration has found it necessary to announce that there will be no change of energy policy. Daveybloke's enforcer at the Department of Energy Cartel Convenience has been following in his Head Boy's footsteps and making policy without bothering to tell anyone first. Given that the department is nominally run by a Liberal Democrat, John Hayes evidently thought nobody would notice; unfortunately, the wrong sort of nobody did. Ed Davey (not to be confused with Ed or Davey) extruded an anonymous source to countermand Hayes' proclamation that British energy policy is too renewable for its own good, and to state into the bargain that Hayes had been "very silly". Hayes had blathered that the Government's "long-term goal is to enable renewables to compete against other forms of low-carbon generation without subsidy", which translates into Standard English as a call for even bigger cuts than the Chancellor has already imposed; and he also quoted that eternal champion of mill-owners, polluters and profiteers, William Blake. Nevertheless, it remains unclear whether Hayes has been quite so silly as the party which helped to drive a coach and horses through the coalition agreement in order to force competition on the NHS, while decorously standing back to let private monopolies keep their prices high.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Straight Talking Money

One of Daveybloke's little men has resigned his post to work as a lobbyist for the loan shark firm Wonga, prompting a Labour MP ask some impudent questions about the chaps-and-chums mode of government which was so embarrassingly exposed by the hacking scandal. The little man in question was just staff, not an actual fag or retainer, so Downing Street felt it safe to refrain from comment; in any case, there can be little doubt that the whole affair is as clean as Kelvin MacKenzie and as innocent as a ride on Rebekah Wade's horse. Even if contact should continue between Daveybloke's little man and his former masters, there is certainly no reason to suspect any impropriety. Anyone who has known the hardship and insecurity that goes with being heir to a rich tax-dodger will appreciate Daveybloke's need for the reassuring availability of a conveniently greased payday loan, and the reassuring convenience of a greasily available chum to keep the transaction smooth.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Nuclear Emergency

After only two and a half years of serial humiliation, Nick Clegg has evidently realised the political necessity, in the absence of any better tactic, of throwing a hissy-fit now and then before rolling over and wetting himself. In this case, Wee Nicky was reacting to the announcement by the Minister of Peace Through Wog-Bombing, Porker Hammond, that the Government will be driving another coach and horses through the coalition agreement and ignoring any alternative to renewing Britain's weapons of mass destruction. A report on the possibilities for such an alternative is due next year and is being overseen by Danny Alexander, which doubtless explains why Hammond thought it safe to ignore.

Still, amusing as it may be to ram the Deputy Conservatives' collective head down the U-bend every couple of days, Hammond's announcement also had the deadly serious purpose of undermining the fiend Salmond's quest for an independent Caledonistan. Hammond trotted out the standard Gove History™ about Britain's weapons of mass destruction securing peace in our time, since certainly that radioactively poisonous European community had nothing to do with it. He also implied that a victory for the fiend Salmond could cost several thousand jobs; which goes to show the magnitude of the perceived threat from the Demon of the North. Even in an administration as routinely panic-stricken as this one, it takes an awful lot to make a Conservative government worry about sacking Scots.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pop Goes the Weasel

Wee Nicky, who prudently avoided the public gaze during Daveybloke's characteristically smooth handling of the latest series of blunders, has now crawled out again to do a bit of finger-wagging. Clegg lectured his masters over their triumph at having somehow failed to turn the Olympic bounce in the economy into the same sort of trough as everything else: the recovery, it seems, is going to be "fitful", apparently because the poor, poor City of London can no longer afford to pay Liverpool's taxes.

Appropriately for the protagonist of a cautionary tale for children, Nicky the schoolmarm also mangled a couple of nursery rhymes into a convoluted economic metaphor, in order to explain to the infant public why the Bullingdon Club has to keep on kicking the vulnerable. It seems that a goose was laying a golden egg, but the goose came crashing to a halt when a merry-go-round stopped and broken Britain is now a sort of Humpty Dumpty who cannot be put back together. Therefore, "we need to fix the banks and all sorts of things", but what is actually required is a rebalancing of the whole economy, presumably because it was the economy that brought down the banks rather than vice versa. By golly, it is just such a rebalancing which Wee Nicky now hopes to achieve, instead of electoral reform, Lords reform, protecting the NHS, keeping us at the centre of Europe, keeping tuition fees down and so forth. His latest ambition is that the Bullingdon Club will leave behind a "radically decentralised country" in which, whenever the Chancellor wields the axe, local authorities will have the power to decide for themselves which groups of undeserving poor are most in need of chastisement.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

La Speculazione Edilizia

One does not, of course, attain a Third World economic paradise simply by asset-stripping the state: there must also be oodles of self-regulation, of the sort which worked so well in restraining parliamentary expenses claims and keeping the minions of Murdoch from doing anything unpleasant. Accordingly, the Government has ordered a review (or, in Standard English, a demolition) of building regulations, on the generally accepted theological assumption that the construction industry has been prevented from taking advantage of the Osborne economic boom largely by such gratuitous inconveniences as wheelchair access and fire safety. It is no doubt indicative that the review has supporters of the calibre of Oliver Letwin, while being greeted with trepidation by at least two large members of the sector it is supposedly intended to benefit; clearly Twizzler Lansley's anti-NHS act, universally renowned for its reasonable aims, sensible scope and smooth passage, was no mere one-off.

Post title expropriated from Italo Calvino, via the building site of Tiso the technomnemologist

Friday, October 26, 2012

Economic News in Brief

Who's a good little chancellor, then?
Who's the smuggest of Davey's wee men?
Though he doubled the dip,
His moist, chubby grip
Has got us flatlining again!

The recovery Davey would like
Will not be some vulgar quick spike,
But a slow, sullen grind
For the lower-class mind,
And body, and granny, and tyke.

Our leaders are working to forge
A nation where nice people gorge,
While hard-working proles
Pursue modest goals -
So rah-rah for Triple-Dip George!

Gideon Fatwick

Thursday, October 25, 2012

We Can Shoot Our Own Plebs, Thank You

In our present political climate, where a policy isn't a policy unless it involves kicking someone in the teeth, a choice between two mutually exclusive modes of tough must be an exquisite dilemma. An American martial arts instructor, Tim Larkin, has imposed just such a cruelty on Daveybloke's mad old cat lady, by forcing her to choose between two of the Conservative Party's most treasured totems: the British guard dog which keeps foreigners at bay, and the British attack dog which likes to do the Big Society thingy and make up for cuts in the police force by potting a burglar now and then. Larkin was banned from the country last year, on the urging of a Labour MP who claimed that his teaching amounted to inciting people to vigilantism. It is a little hard to see what problem the party of Chris Graybeing and Liam Fox may have had with this; but the Ministry of Deportation claimed that Larkin advocates a "kill or be killed" form of self-defence, and a Home Office flunkey was duly dispatched to Las Vegas to show him the true meaning of tough. Larkin himself claims to have taught the British police, whose most famous recent killings qualify as self-defence in much the same way as Labour's enforcement of international law in Iraq.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

International Statesmen

After an unfortunate few days, which were kept from outright calamity only by Labour's disinclination to oppose the Government on any issue of substance and by the obliging ineptitude of the One Nation Milibeing, Daveybloke has reasserted his leadership after the time-honoured fashion, by grabbing the nearest dog-whistle and blowing it until he turned puce. The instrument in this case was the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that prisoners should be allowed to vote; the melody, as one would expect, was No No No. The sort of criminals who vote Conservative do not constitute a significant portion of the prison demographic, which tends to consist largely of plebs and has quite a few wogs besides. Since Daveybloke has proclaimed that his mind is made up, his spokesbeings have proclaimed that Daveybloke has not yet made up his mind. Meanwhile, the Reverend Blair's party has reacted with horror to the idea of violent criminals having a say in who runs the country, and has criticised the Government for not ignoring its international obligations hard enough.

In defying the Euro-wogs on this matter, Daveybloke has also done his bit for consensus in government by blithely trashing his own attorney general. Admittedly, Dominic Grieve's testimony to the justice committee included a bizarre mention of "our strict adherence to human rights laws", which may well be a symptom of that other-worldly streak which got the poodle's poodle, Peter Goldsmith, into such trouble over the Iraq adventure. On a more realistic note, Grieve also said that while international obligations certainly matter, they do not matter enough to avoid being voted down by the House of Claimants whenever it should prove expedient. The consequences of ignoring the ECHR's ruling could include fines and legal claims; but that, after all, is why God gave the Bullingdon Club all those taxpayers.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Badger Badger Badger Moron Moron

Daveybloke's new environment secretary, who was recently shuffled in to replace the moderately disastrous token female Caroline Spelman, has postponed a scheduled badger cull. There has been a rise in bovine tuberculosis, and the Conservative Party's instinct in such circumstances is usually to kill something: it gives the rural constituencies a nice warm feeling and helps to keep the chinless vote onside. Badgers are far too numerous and apparently spread disease, much like the sort of people who habitually use the National Health Service; unlike the plebs, however, it seems that badger numbers cannot be properly controlled if left entirely to market forces and the Big Society. Owen Paterson explained the postponement by extensive referral to George Osborne's list of excuses: the weather, the Olympics and various meddling members of the aforementioned Big Society. One rarely expects much from a Conservative environment secretary, but Paterson seems rather far from the brightest and the best even by Bullingdon standards: a man of such brilliant acumen that he can't even formulate a straight denial that he's a climate change crank. Paterson stressed that the Government remains committed to the slaughter, in full conformity with Owen Paterson's understanding of the science involved: thirty-two scientists have recommended reconsidering the whole idea, but the demands of faith-based evidence take precedence as always.

Monday, October 22, 2012

And Yet It Moved

An Italian judge has put the evidence-based community firmly in its place by sentencing seven members of the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks to six years in prison for manslaughter, on the grounds that they offered an unjustifiably optimistic risk assessment a week before the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake. More than three hundred people died, tens of thousands were left homeless, Silvio Berlusconi and a peddler of eternal verities did a bit of posturing, and it must have been somebody's fault, although it is unclear whether anyone has suggested imprisoning the sixteenth Daddy Goodspeak for having neglected to pray the disaster away. To make it absolutely clear where the blame really lies, in addition to the prison sentences (higher than the prosecution demanded) the judge imposed a compensation payment of six and a half million pounds and a lifetime ban on each defendant holding public office. Several international bodies have apparently warned that a guilty verdict might deter scientists from advising governments; given the present orthodoxy, which dictates that faith makes policy and policy makes evidence, governments will find all this rather encouraging.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Reasonable Expenses

Well, here's a thing: the House of Claimants appears to be incubating a few more parasitic scourges besides the inevitable George Osborne. A hundred and eighty-five MPs have claimed for first-class train tickets: most of them Labour, since presumably the majority of Conservatives either pay for standard-class while travelling in first, or else remain unaware of the existence of the iron horse save as an unjustifiable tax burden. First-class train tickets can cost up to £300, which is five times the cheapest standard fare and considerably more than a week's income for the average welfare parasite. The official guidelines for MPs' expenses are full of friendly advice about what you can do if you care to travel among the plebs; but, as with the Government's friendly advice to the banks, it appears that among the right sort of people a discreet nudge here and there can be disregarded almost as freely as an election promise or the law of the land.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Plucky Little Israel

The forces of the Middle East's only nuclear-armed power have intercepted an existential threat comprising thirty activists on a boat with some deadly cement and children's books. The Estelle is the latest of several vessels to attempt a breach of the Righteous State's blockade of Gaza, which was imposed after Hamas won the 2006 elections there, or "after Hamas seized power in 2007" as Britain's leading liberal newspaper hath it. The most notorious such incident was the boarding of a flotilla by the Righteous Commandos two and a half years ago, when nine Turks maliciously self-neutralised in order to make the Jewish people look bad. Fortunately, the people aboard the Estelle seem to have taken a less Islamic view of things.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Peace is Our Profession

Britain's Head Boy has taken a quick break from reminding our European partners who won the war in order to exhort them to think of the little chaps. Having lost the Nobel Peace Prize to the bureaucrats in Brussels, and with a long and fragrant history of using children for political capital, Daveybloke has proposed that infant resources from each of the EU's member states should be sent to Oslo to accept the prize. Assuming one child per country, this would mean a total of twenty-seven children, who could be looked after on the cheap by a couple of harassed primary school teachers or Nick Clegg. Daveybloke was also careful to use the occasion as a means of plugging NATO, which has done so much over the past sixty years to keep the peace in Europe by, in the Tory-warming words of its first secretary general, keeping the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


The charming old gentleman on whose behalf Daveybloke hopes soon to be ignoring the Leveson conclusions has had another humbling experience. Rupert Murdoch persists in using Twitter to embarrass his minions, despite the rival network set up by one of his cheerleaders, the former part-time Member of Parliament for Corby and virtually embarrassment-proof Louise Mensch publicist Louise Mensch. Three days ago Murdoch complained about "scumbag celebrities" who were conspiring with Daveybloke behind the scenes of the recent Conservative rah-rah, instead of lobbying openly and democratically the way Rupert does himself. "Trust the toffs!" Murdoch gibbered; which may qualify as the most excruciating attempt at a common touch since Daveybloke's flurried yo niggaz just before the election. Murdoch then dug himself even deeper with the claim (phrased and spelled in a manner which would do credit to some guttersnipe pamphleteer circa 1892) that one of the celebrities, Hugh Grant, had abandoned his child. Murdoch has withdrawn the accusation against Grant and apologised to "any who misunderstood" his original gibber. For the benefit of these unfortunate semi-literates, Rupert has made it plain that he "did not say all celebrities were scumbags", only the kind who met with Daveybloke. This, of course, is simply guilt by association - a proud and long-crawling tradition of both the right-wing press and our neoliberal political class. It still remains to be seen whether this latest humbling will induce Murdoch to forsake Twitter for Menshn, which would have the distinct advantage of enabling him to blather out his remaining years without so many people noticing.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Asking for Trouble

The Innocent Policepersons' Consolation Commission has been called upon to determine what degree of blamelessness is compatible with shooting fifty thousand volts into a blind man's back. Police in Chorley had received reports of someone walking around with a samurai sword (such a person was in fact arrested later on), and officers apparently mistook the blind man's white cane for the weapon. Once they'd sat on him for a while, it became evident that he was not the man they were looking for, and Lancashire police have issued an apology. The Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club, of course, would have handled the matter rather differently, especially given their new-found powers of legal unlawful death over the citizenry: by this time, five days after the event, we would have been told that the blind man was a drunken oaf who had no business on a public pavement, that he had been attacked by anarchists and saved by police, that he was a dusky drug addict, illegal immigrant and rapist who had leaped over barriers and ignored repeated warnings, and that nobody in the force had ever laid eyes on him. The Lancashire force has launched an urgent investigation into the lessons of the incident; clearly, it has a great deal to learn.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Purple Ink, Blue Pencil

The attorney general has blocked publication of some correspondence by a relative of the Prime Minister, on the grounds that the letters are "particularly frank" and contain the "most deeply held personal views and beliefs" of the heir to the throne. Dominic Grieve is a Conservative apparatchik and a lawyer to boot, so it is perhaps understandable that he should be concerned at a frank display of personal views. His pretext for suppressing the letters is that disclosure "could damage the Prince of Wales's ability to perform his duties when he becomes king", presumably because the embarrassment would cause his hands to tremble when he cuts a ribbon, or interfere with the monotone when he reads out the Government's corporate brochure at the opening of Parliament. Grieve also proclaimed that "it is a matter of the highest importance within our constitutional framework that the monarch is a politically neutral figure able to engage in confidence with the government of the day" or, in Standard English, that there is no higher priority in our Mother of Parliaments than the secret and unfettered lobbying of ministers by rich people.

Me at Poetry-24
The Cleansing of the Temple

Monday, October 15, 2012

Muddied Oafs

Now that Daveybloke, George Osborne, Willem den Haag and even Twizzler Lansley have all had a turn dunking Wee Nicky's head in the toilet bowl, it is only fair that the holder of the remaining great office of state should have a bit of fun as well. Daveybloke's mad old cat lady is minded, if that is the word I want, to build upon the young master's recent veto of the Continent by opting out of a hundred and thirty measures of judicial co-operation with the rest of Europe. Having thus asserted British sovereignty and triangulated yet further towards the siren gibbering of the Save the Pound, Keep Britain Motoring, Two World Wars and One World Cup brigade, the Minister for Deportation may be minded, if that is the word I want, to opt part of the way back in.

Britain's Head Boy is himself attending a summit at Brussels this week, during which he will be informing the foreigners of their obligations towards Britain's bankers; but it is as yet unclear precisely what degree of enthusiastic co-operation with the whims of Nigel Farage may be expected from the lesser breeds. Accordingly, it is possible that the Government may seek memoranda of understanding, such as New Labour arranged with its chum Colonel Gadafi, in order to ensure that the rights and freedoms of British crooks and spooks are not unduly infringed.

For his own part, Wee Nicky regards the whole business as an "open goal" for the Deputy Conservatives. Fans of triple tuition fees, lovers of the anti-NHS act and admirers of the Lords reform abortion will be waiting and watching to see how Wee Nicky and his chums make this goal yet another of their own.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mainlining Money

Ignorant and backsliding persons, who still subscribe to the heresy that railway services have something to do with getting people from place to place as quickly and conveniently as possible, are criticising the Department for Transport over the ongoing west coast disaster. Having saved the taxpayer a million pounds in audit costs, the Government is now suffering hard words and unpleasant gestures because a few tens of millions will have to be spent alleviating the bargain. The Department for Transport has responded with unwonted promptness: it has fired a couple of civil servants and appointed one of its own board members (who just happens to be a corporate fat cat in his spare time) to carry out the appearance of an inquiry. Whatever the misgivings of passengers, unions and other bigsocietal inessentials, it is difficult to see what more could be expected.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Green Stuff

The weird little spiv who recently replaced the token female BNP Muslim as chair of the Daveybloke slash-and-crash club looks set to provide yet further distraction from the Osborne economic miracle. Grant Shapps, an apparently fictional character who was written out of EastEnders on the grounds of chronic implausibility, spent some of his time on the back benches squiring his business chums around the Houses of Parliament - doubtless always with his constituents' interests uppermost in mind. As salesbeing for an internet product which fraudulently inflated website revenue, Shapps (or Michael Green, as he sometimes found it convenient to be known) invited three "internet entrepreneurs" for a meal and a tour, about which one of the three later emitted a toe-curling schoolgirl squeal: "Last week I was given an exclusive night-time tour, amidst high level security, at one of the most famous places in London - the Houses of Parliament. Accompanied by three top internet marketers. With no one else present. Apart from a watching policeman. But as he watched us I too was watching and observing my colleagues - to work out what made them so successful." Perhaps the literary style of James Patterson had something to do with it. Another of the entrepreneurs apparently used a large portion of his profits funding charitable work in India, something Michael Green was kind enough to mention in his book How to Profit From Your Diary. So clear is Shapps' conscience over the whole affair that the Green identity has now been foisted off on his wife, Belinda, who may or may not be as genuine as he.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Keeping the Rabble in Line

Daveybloke's monitor in charge of rah-rah, Andrew "The Patrician" Mitchell, has once again failed to deal effectively with the servants. A meeting intended to clear the air resulted in "an impasse on the integrity issue" or, in Standard English, in each side calling the other a liar. The police wanted a signed confession, an abject apology and a commitment to keep the peace in future; the Patrician, presumably on Daveybloke's orders, wanted the police to assist him in denying any hint of privileged posh-boy nastiness. The Patrician has admitted swearing at officers, but has also effectively called the same officers liars by denying that he used the words they claim he used; specifically the word "pleb" which would imply that police personnel are no better than nurses, single mothers, the disabled and other low-paid enemies of the people. The chair of the West Mercia Police Federation opined that Mitchell's position is now untenable; given that Daveybloke's cabinet includes the likes of Nick Clegg, Michael Gove, Maria Miller and David Laws, this may be a trifle optimistic. Certainly, it is scarcely the old feudal spirit.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cutting In the Middleman

Atos Healthcare, the private company which Iain Duncan Smith pays to deprive people of benefits, has subcontracted its assessments in Scotland to the National Health Service: a move so surreal as to cause a certain dim disquiet even among Members of Parliament. Lanarkshire NHS will be helping Atos to assess the workshy for a new and reduced disability benefit which the Government hopes to start denying people from next year. The agenda behind the move seems to be twofold: first, "it means that consultations will take place where people feel most comfortable", which will provide a much-needed façade of cosiness to the business of squeezing the disabled for profit; second, the consultations "will be conducted by health practitioners that have first-class expertise in dealing with the needs of disabled people", something Atos Healthcare and Iain Duncan Smith have apparently not considered necessary until now. The chair of the BMA's Scottish general practitioners' committee expressed the public-relations nature of the exercise with the hope that NHS involvement would mean "a reduction in the number of patients who feel that an unjust decision has been made", since obviously a reduction in the mere number of unjust decisions would undermine the Department of Work and Pensions' entire theological basis.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Land Fit For Heroes

Now that the economy is a basket case, and the Cuddly Conservative mask has dissolved into the adipose ooze from whence it first emerged, what more natural than that Daveybloke should turn to nostalgia porn as a means of arousing the kingdom? The First World War helped precipitate the Russian Revolution, thus paving the way for the Cold War, Trident and other nice things; and of course it also led indirectly to the rise of Hitler, without whom genuine British nostalgia porn would barely exist today. Most importantly as far as Daveybloke is concerned, the war could not have achieved these remarkable successes without the contribution of large numbers of hard-working families, who endured conditions of unimaginable misery on the orders of a few well-fed posh boys. Indeed, by the time Britain triumphed over the forces of European integration (with the help of its Atlantic ally and a few coolies), conditions were much as Daveybloke means to make them: a lot of hard-faced men had done very well, and there was no national health service to taint the glorious memory.

Me at Poetry-24
Posthumous Collaboration

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

An Unholy Threesome

That gifted entertainer, Lord Carey of Blathering-in-the-Dotage, has been holding forth from the fringes of the Conservative conference about how he treasures his Christian heritage and thinks everybody else should be made to treasure it too. Opponents of gay marriage, among whom Lord Carey is one of the most amusing, have been described as bigots; though not by Wee Nicky who meekly censored the word out of a speech last month. Nevertheless, Lord Carey took exception, and so far forgot his treasured heritage as to compare the situation of Christian gay-bashers to that of the Jews in Nazi Germany. "What started against them was when they started to be called names. And that was the first stage towards that totalitarian state" which, in its persecution of Jews, heretics and homosexuals, made such a regrettable break with two millennia of Christian tough love. Ann Widdecombe, who appeared alongside Lord Carey with the back-bench god-botherer David Burrowes, said that the three of them were "defending marriage", apparently on the eminently sane grounds that the extension of a right to some people equals the cancellation of that same right for everyone else. Lord Carey also claimed that in some countries where gay marriage has been made legal, there have been unforeseen consequences such as marriages involving more than two people. Obviously, this Solomonic depravity is too awful, although Lord Carey of Blathering-in-the-Dotage might be comforted to know that nobody, not even the gays, is likely to compel him to marry both Ann Widdecombe and David Burrowes unless it should prove absolutely necessary.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Up To A Point

News Corporation's little man in Downing Street has burbled out a generic non-responsive response to an open letter from the victims of entrepreneurial striving by various minions of his chums, Rebekah Wade and Andy Coulson. In keeping with present-day religious orthodoxy, Daveybloke believes that the state has no business doing anything to protect its citizens, and there have been reports that he intends to treat Lord Leveson's recommendations according to the faith and reject outright any statutory regulation of the scumbag press. Daveybloke has now said that he will implement Leveson's recommendations provided he thinks they are sensible. This is jolly comforting, no doubt: Daveybloke supports Twizzler Lansley's anti-NHS bill and George Osborne's mugging of the economy, and promoted Chris Graybeing to the Ministry of Justice and Jeremy C Hunt to the Department of Health, presumably on the grounds that he thought they were sensible too.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Slightly More Than Forty-Five Minutes From Doom

Adam Werritty's successor in the Ministry of War has been having a bit of a foam about Iran. Insisting that he wished no harm to the Iranian people, Philip Hammond promptly announced his intention to increase the harm being done to the Iranian people. The present sanctions are to be made even harsher, in the hope that dissent on the streets of Tehran will persuade the mad mullahs to change direction; evidently Philip Hammond believes the régime in Iran is a bit more sensitive to public opinion than his riot-defying colleagues in the Cabinet. Speaking at a blather-in at Birmingham, Hammond observed that the Iranian government's "professed position is that they're enriching uranium for peaceful purposes. Nobody believes them", except for notorious multiculturalist milksops like the American intelligence services and one or two Israeli military commanders, among others. Still, Hammond did make clear that the aim so far is not régime change; the Bullingdon Club is almost certainly stupid enough to start a war with Iran, but in these austere days even so basic and instinctive a Conservative activity as wog-bombing must await its proper time.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Thrusting Young Chap

Now Rupert, that charming old thief,
Has fenced me this yummy new brief,
My little brain whirls
With a thing for the girls:
I'm Coathanger Salesman in Chief!

Dick Streyns

Friday, October 05, 2012

White Man's Burden

The high court has ruled that three former suspected terrorists can sue the British government for their rendition and assertive interrogation during the Mau Mau insurgency. The Government acknowledges that the detention and torture took place, but has already amply compensated the victims with various helpful suggestions, such as the idea that they instead sue the Kenyan government, which did not exist when the crimes occurred. The British government has also been concerned over the fact that most of the officials and functionaries of the empire for which we should stop apologising are now dead, and therefore unable to inform us to what extent they were doing a necessary job under difficult circumstances. It was doubtless in the interests of fair play towards these people that the Foreign and Colonial Office did its best to conceal the existence of an archive of colonial files, by lying to its own staff about which department the files belonged to. The archive was eventually discovered by lawyers for the victims, and the high court has now ruled that a fair trial is possible. Naturally, the Government plans to appeal the ruling, since matters need only be delayed a few more years for the remaining beneficiaries of our civilising influence to die off and cease from troubling us.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Why Are You Twittering When You Don't Have A Job?

From the governmental perspective, new technologies always have two essential purposes into which all others can be reduced or subsumed, namely war and snooping; and social media are no exception. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook are to be given a chance to atone for their unfortunate role in last year's riots, thanks to a new scheme by the Ministry of Ministerial Administrativity. The Ministry, which is run by the famously up-to-date Francis Maude, intends to allow people to apply for benefits, tax credits and other public services using their social media log-in details. The social media sites will be required to confirm individuals' identities, and no doubt the information thus acquired will be treated with that degree of competence, care and respect which is characteristic of Whitehall's relationship with information technology and the proles who use it. A spokesbeing was at pains to stress that the scheme is not yet compulsory, and the Government has denied that it is sneaking identity cards or a national identity database onto the statute books, however much the Deputy Conservatives may have begged it to try.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Circumstances Have Changed

When it comes to government policy, of course, context counts for a great deal. Kidnap, torture, bombing of civilians and industrial-scale robbery are criminal, mistaken or meritorious depending almost entirely on whether or not they are carried out by one's own co-religionists. A similar logic applies in smaller matters, as the New Labour spiv Randy Burnham demonstrated today. Privatisation of the NHS, which was accelerated with great enthusiasm by the ugly right-wing government in which Randy served, has become simply awful these days because it is now being accelerated with equal enthusiasm by an ugly right-wing government in which Randy does not serve. Randy admitted that Labour went a bit far in stealing services from the taxpayer and handing them to private companies, but he hastened to add that he had nothing against private companies. Instead, Randy is against "the market in the NHS", viz. the involvement of private companies. Clearly, Randy is going to be more than a match for his Conservative straight man, Jeremy C Hunt, whose government has unleashed a massive upheaval on the NHS after promising not to do so, and who today extruded a spokesbeing to criticise Labour for a "promise of massive upheaval in the system again".

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

One Nation For Those Who Deserve It

With the media cooing over Ed Milibeing's one-nation rhetoric, Iain Duncan Smith's frère et semblable in the Shadow Department for Work and Pensions Withdrawal has been beavering away at the method. Liam Byrne has proclaimed that resentment of welfare claimants is a reasonable basis for national policy. Times have changed, the system needs to work differently, and when work isn't there people need a bigger push to get into it: this sort of thing, apparently, is Labour's idea of opening clear blue water between themselves and the Conservatives. When in government, Byrne was an enthusiast of privatisation for social care and education, and he also began a policy of forcible deportation for unaccompanied children seeking asylum. The quickest and easiest way to unite people into one nation is, of course, to create outcasts on which the mob can comfortably and permissibly vent its wrath; so it is clear that Liam Byrne knows his business.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Private Pathology

The privatisation of NHS pathology laboratories has resulted in much the sort of improvements we have come to expect from the nice people at Serco; in fact, the labs have been efficientised to such a degree that London hospitals are lending the company money. Last year there were four hundred "clinical incidents", including lost and mislaid samples; and early this year a Whitehall-worthy computer-generated farce resulted in one patient having their kidney damage wrongly assessed and another receiving the wrong blood. GSTS, the efficientising company in which Serco owns the majority stake, lost nearly six million pounds last year and is now doing what the private sector does best in such circumstances: namely haemorrhaging experienced staff and finding better uses for money that might otherwise have been frittered away on public health. As one would expect given this record, GSTS is now bidding for more pathology contracts and plans to remove NHS East of England's labs to King's College, which was upgraded at the taxpayer's expense before New New Labour gave it away.