The Curmudgeon


Saturday, December 03, 2016

Strictly Advisory

Although it remains unclear on what terms the British Government wishes to leave the EU, or even whether it understands the various differences between the EU, the customs union, the single market, the European Court of Human Rights and the Third Reich, a foreign judge has very undemocratically weighed in to confuse the matter further. The president of the court for the European Free Trade Association has suggested that EFTA might be a nice, soft bit of cotton-wool for the UK's delicate little sovereignty; however, the organisation at the moment consists only of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, which hardly seems worthy company for a nation that is even now laying down the law to Nissan, defying the Italian prosecco mafia and dictating terms to Canada about marmalade and cheese. Even worse, the decisions of the EFTA court are "strictly speaking advisory"; which, judging by the fallout from the late Head Boy's silly little party management stunt in June, would automatically require Her Majesty's Government to impose without delay the most extreme and deplorable consequences with regard to practically everything.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Partial Redemption

Sentimental optimists such as myself cannot help seeing the best amid the worst. Christianity inspired some fine paintings and spectacular architecture. King John was an efficient administrator, as indeed was Stalin. Hitler was a brave soldier. The Ku Klux Klan was founded on sincere and genuine grievances among the white working class. Pol Pot enforced the virtues of hard work, selflessness and healthy country living. Margaret Thatcher was less spineless than John Major, less stupid than Daveybloke Cameron and less maladroit than Mad Tessie May. Even Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump have the redeeming feature of being mortal. And the year 2016 will at least have to its credit the resounding defeat of an entitled, dim-witted, toffee-nosed race-baiter, both in the London mayoral election and in his own vanity by-election. However unremittingly awful 2016 may have been, it was not the year of Zac Goldsmith, twice, and nothing can take that away from it.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Appropriate Utilisation of Literary Resources

Perhaps the most salient difference between the present generation of Conservatives and its predecessors is that those of the present generation are, by definition and before everything else, vulgarians. After five years of gleeful kicking by the sniggering schoolboys of the Bullingdon Club, the small-minded curtain-twitchers of the Tin-pot Tessie régime have thrown a pittance at what remains of the country's libraries, accompanied by orders for the sector to mend its ways. According to the relevant flunkey, libraries are hugely popular and among our most valuable community assets, and must therefore be altered out of all recognition, rather like the National Health Service. It is absurd to expect libraries to deal in books alone; books are, after all, merely what they are set up to provide. To gain the approval of the party of Disraeli, Churchill and Jeffrey Archer, libraries must, in addition, provide access to all the other public services for which the Government is not prepared to pay, and convert themselves into job centres, health clinics and, no doubt, places of surveillance and migrant control. After all: a quiet place to read, in which units of book trade merchandise are shared rather than sold? Where's the rah-rah in that?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

You Can't Get the Staff These Days

Zac Goldsmith, the wholly independent, non-Conservative race-baiting ex-Conservative with whom the Conservatives disagree so profoundly that they are not fielding a candidate against him, has been clipped by his own car on the way to a final by-election blather in Richmond Park. It remains as yet unclear whether he was making a bid for the likeable-bumbler image which served the Imperial Haystack so well back when he was serving his country as a game-show host; or whether he has any plans to blame his torn trousers on bus-bombing Scary Muslims. Then again, perhaps he was merely showing his independence of Conservative ideology by employing a non-expert driver because a licensed one would have meant wasting time and money on bureaucratic red tape.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Party of Working People Who are Properly Thankful for What's Put in Front of Them

Having hurriedly abandoned her more or less sane pledges on corporate governance, presumably in order to make room for her government's ever more loony gyrations over Europe, Mad Tessie has dispatched her Secretary of State for Profiteering and Fat-Cat Strokage to explain how not keeping a promise is, as the Liberal Democrats might say, really much the same as keeping it, actually. Rather than placing employee representatives on corporate boards, the Government now wishes merely to ensure that workers have a voice, without bothering too much over forcing anyone to listen who might have better things to do, and provided that the voice keeps a properly respectful tone and doesn't say anything silly like Please, sir, I want some more. The favoured proposal seems to be for a non-executive director with an explicit obligation to lecture the proles and hold meetings, which is certainly the sort of radical shake-up that will deter future Philip Greens from excessive additions to the yacht collection. The present system, said Mad Tessie's flunkey, "has been a successful system which has had the confidence of business around the world." To the flunkey's credit, the use of the pluperfect at least demonstrates a welcome if subtle acknowledgement of the confidence business around the world now has, and is likely to go on having, thanks to the Government's blundering Brexit and flatulent Foreign Secretary.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Inside Every Starving Syrian A Food-Bank Briton is Struggling to Emerge

Something called Toby has been trying to explain why RAF personnel, whom the Government is more than happy to place in harm's way when a bit of wog-bombing is called for, should not be placed in harm's way for reasons that are purely humanitarian. More than a hundred and twenty MPs have called on the dead-eyed warden of HM Prison UK to authorise air-drops of food, medicine and British leadership to Aleppo, citing the rather unfortunate examples of the Reverend Blair's crusade for titanium in Sierra Leone and his blithe aggravation of the war in Kosovo. Since the Americans haven't told us to drop food on Aleppo, and since it is unclear how far such air-drops would help NATO progress towards its Holy Grail of war against Russia, the Government is feeling a bit hesitant about it all, and extruded the thing called Toby for no other readily apparent purpose than to say "actually" a good deal. Having worried that sending aircraft to keep Syrians alive might actually compound matters in some way that sending aircraft to kill Syrians actually does not, the thing called Toby warned Russia that using food as a weapon of war, rather than as a means of monetising foreign proles for the benefit of transnational corporations, is actually a war crime. If he has finished quaking in his boots by now, Putin is doubtless considering how the thing called Toby might best be appeased.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Respect Where It's Due

Some little time ago, Britain was ruled by an over-entitled serial word-breaker whose reign ended in disaster for the country and the personal loss of a head which King Charles I should have used a little better. It remains to be seen whether the career of Boris Johnson will be so violently curtailed; but a couple of flunkeys are clearly becoming worried that the Foreign Secretary is being treated more in accordance with his record than with his patronage. Jake Berry is a former PPS to the well-known bully and liar Grant Shapps, and Paul Goodman is a former PPS to the floundering prima donna and David Davis publicist David Davis; so they both should know better than to imagine that the Imperial Haystack is worthy of his office simply because he happens to occupy it. Nevertheless, both have raised objections over fellow Conservatives making bad jokes about the Foreign Secretary just because he happens to be a bad joke himself. Evidently, neither the lessons of history nor recent events in the USA have sufficed to purge the Stupid Party of the idea that high office dignifies the holder, rather than obliging holders to dignify themselves.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Beasts of the Benelux

Not for nothing are they called the Low Countries. A Luxembourg MEP recently tabled a below-the-belt proposal whereby subjects of the Empire could retain their links to the European Union, with all the unpatriotic human rights entailed thereby, and even a substantial risk of becoming immigrants. This idea has now received approval from the leader of the conspiracy to deprive Britain of its club privileges the moment Britain leaves the club, who on top of his other derelictions is a former prime minister of Belgium, location of the dreaded Strasbourg. The proposal may be serious, or it may be a superb piece of Brexiter-trolling by the EU's grown-up community. If the latter, the squeals from the Westminster wendy-house have doubtless warmed their nasty little cardiac cockles.

Responding to the suggestion that British subjects might pay an annual fee to keep their citizenship of Europe, one Andrew Bridgen went right off the deep end: "It’s an attempt to create two classes of UK citizen," other than the eternal and necessary classes of rich and poor, "and to subvert the referendum vote," which was, contrary to common prejudice, entirely concerned with the question of whether we should all march in step with the whims of Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Andrew Bridgen. "The truth is that Brussels will try every trick in the book to stop us leaving", even sinking unto the depths of asking us nicely to state our wishes with something vaguely approaching coherence. It is certainly a novelty to see a Conservative MP (who in happier days referred to opponents of Twizzler Lansley's NHS vandalism as Stalinists) opposing the idea that British people should be free to spend their own money as they think fit.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Small Change

The Ministry for G4S and Wog Warehousing has beaten a huffy retreat on plans to quintuple the fines levied on immigrants and asylum seekers for having the temerity to request access to British justice. Like everything else in the hated public sector, the courts are now considered purely a potential source of revenue, and the migrant-milking measures would have raised up to thirty-four million a year, or enough to plug a whopping one-thousand-seven-hundredth of the Brexit black hole. Accordingly, the Ministry is still determined to sneak ahead with its reform (vandalism, in Standard English) of the judicial industry; as a spokesbeing proclaimed, "the cost of our courts and tribunals on the taxpayer is unsustainably high." The relationship of this unsustainability to the Government's own enthusiasm for low wages and smoochy affection for tax-dodgers, and consequent commitment to ever-lower tax receipts, remains as yet tantalisingly unclear.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Great Time to be British

Some agitators for the sovereignty of Parliament called a demonstration today, some months after winning a referendum ostensibly about the sovereignty of Parliament, because they are aggrieved at the high court for asserting the sovereignty of Parliament. More than fifteen thousand were invited; two thousand said they would turn up; and in keeping with the Leave campaign's enviable record of reliability, a few dozen actually did. The Britishness-signalling of this patriotic elite was rewarded with a blather from the chinless dimness that is Jacob Rees-Mogg, who spoke in tongues ("we have to make sure it is continued until the end and that we leave as soon as soon"), blessed the United Kingdom by putting words in the mouth of the United States (couldn't he find a British quote?) and attributed a misquote from Julius Caesar to something called "the great Boris Johnson." No, I don't know what that is either; but it is presumably a Boris Johnson somewhat other than the Boris Johnson who announces to foreign newspapers what his patroness will not deign to share with the House of Commons. The rabble was also roused by the dentally-oriented race-baiter, David Davies (not to be confused with the floundering prima donna and David Davis publicist, David Davis), and by one of those clapped-out UKIP leadership things of which there seem to be so many these days. Such fun was had by all that another demonstration against the sovereignty of Parliament and in favour of something that is already happening will take place in ten days' time. One can only wonder how long they'll be able to sustain this level of intensity.