Goodness! How quickly the week flies by and I find myself at the escritoire scribbling a few thoughts for the entertainment of my dear friends. Quite a lot has been happening. For those wondering how the doings of the world find their way to Barchester, let me say I am indebted to The Jupiter for its reporting of both local and world events, not forgetting publications such as The Heretical Examiner, The Monarchist Quarterly and The Old Curmudgeon’s Almanack. Of course, one does occasionally take a peek at the Electrical Magic Lantern, but I can’t abide all the rainbow-family advertisements that pop up every five minutes, or anyone called Dimbleby.
Firstly, the Barchester news. Following a recent requirement from Lambeth to be all-embracing and diverse, my Lord the Bishop was obliged to appoint a new perpetual curate at St. Ethelglum the Martyr on Baconslicer Lane. His choice fell upon a Welsh person (how diverse can one get?) by the name of the Rev’d Dai Pewbes-Green, whom I believe began life as Blodwyn Green, daughter of a Tonypandy gusset stretcher. I don’t know where s/he picked up the Pewbes from – best not ask – but it’s amazing what surgery can bolt on these days, is it not? All in all, you will not be surprised to learn that St. Ethelglum’s is a Peculiar. Now we are fully compliant, perhaps the Diversity-finder Generals will leave us alone.
But, of course, I digress.
Now for the wider world (as seen through a Barsetshire lens, of course).
I see Mrs. Dismay is losing all track of time. Now she proposes we stay a little longer in her cleverly-crafted ‘transitional period’ so that the Zollverein can finish the job of asset-stripping the nation of all its wealth – not that they have to try hard when she is more than willing to hand it over. Tory letter-writers such as Messrs. Rees-Mogg, Davis and Johnson may be wearing their nibs away with dire warnings and politely-expressed fury, but green ink never dislodged a tyrant, as Count von Stauffenberg eventually concluded. No, something must be done. There are rumours of disquiet amongst the army ranks, young soldiers angry at the way they have been treated over the Tommy Robinson photographs and the most recent, ridiculous, recruitment film involving ritual ablutions and prayer mats, so perhaps a coup is on the cards.
The Archdeacon, who knows a thing or two about bullying, has come out in defence of Mr. Speaker Bercow, a man he has previously described as ‘a veritable sewer’ and ‘a Lilliputian standing in the shoes of great men’.
“Let us be clear, Mrs. Proudie, one cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs,” he declared over dinner at Plumstead the other evening. “Anyone responsible for the discipline of others has to be able to show ’em some stick from time to time. If the delicate souls can’t stand the heat, they should get out of the kitchen!”
“Some people think he should do the honourable thing and step down,” I ventured.
“Well it would make a change from stepping up to his wife,” he chortled. “Ah, but that is where Mr. Speaker holds the trump card. He is a Right Honourable, which outranks the mere honourable, so he can ignore the critics!”
“Surely, being ‘Right Honourable’ means he should be even more honourable than honourable?” I queried.
“My dear good woman,” said the Archdeacon condescendingly, “Politics is a gentleman’s game and Westminster a law unto itself. I fear such things are way beyond the comprehension of the fairer sex.”
“So, you think Mr. Speaker is a gentleman?”
“I wouldn’t go that far, dear lady,” said the Archdeacon, dipping his nose into his claret.
Clearly there is something nasty in the woodshed here, for a fish rots from the head down. (Oh dear, that doesn’t work… nobody keeps fish in the woodshed… but you get my meaning). Meanwhile, Sir Mark Sedwill, currently in charge of the civil service, is appalled at the way mandarins and their myrmidons are being excoriated by the press and by the public in general for merely going about their traditional business of undermining Brexit. After all, civil servants cannot answer back, can they… unless they are Sir Mark, who has flagged up his concerns in The Times, demanding critics ‘back off’. It begs the question: ‘Or what?’ Once the example to set before the world, our civil service has transformed itself into a Mordorian nest of fifth columnist Europhiles who have nothing but contempt for the little people of Britain, having been overcome by the seductive opium of political Blairism and Mandelsonian enrichissez-vous! The time has come to sweep the whole edifice into the dustbin.
I noticed Mustafa Fatwah has decorated the shopfront of his ‘Halal Hair Styling and Scimitar Sharpening Emporium’ with flags (in all shades of black). When I asked, I was told it was to celebrate the release of that notably pious and ever-reasonable Anjem Choudary from HM Prison, where he has been completely rehabilitated through diversity and equality classes and ‘The Great British Bake Off’. Mrs. Shariah Dismay tells us that the public will be perfectly safe, now that the Reformed Choudary has eschewed blood-curdling oratory in favour of unicorn collecting and rainbow-knitting. Of course, the prime monster and indeed all other Western leaders know far more about the wily ways of Islam than even the most learned Islamic Scholar – besides which, the most stringent restrictions will be placed upon his movements and activities by G4S. What could go wrong?
Well my dears, as I have said many times before, it is all going horribly wrong. If you put your faith in the government, civil service, judiciary, social services, and the Church, you are going to be sadly disappointed. If you think demographic trends can be halted or reversed, think again. Some of our American friends believe we are in the End Times and await the Rapture – it may be so. Here, in Barchester this evening, I await delivery of The Times, my Earl Grey and the hobnobs. It is the only way.
So, as the terminally ill body politic is dosed with the palliative of Maybelieve before the surgical carve-up of Berlaymont and the oofle-dust of sycophancy brings Markle-sparkle to the downtrodden masses, I bid you adieu.