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An apocalyptical tale of talentless celebrity, venal politicians, Satanist clerics and baking competitions

Ah, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is upon us once again. The last few days in Barchester have been quite sublime, the weather has been exceptionally kind, and I have been out and about doing good works. At Dr. Wortle’s School the senior children have been putting together a Guy for the annual school bonfire. They wanted to choose a topical figure, and with a little guidance from yours truly they decided upon Mayor ‘Saracen’ Khan of London, a man whose ego is blown up out of all proportion to his stature and dismal track record in office. What fun the children had stuffing him.

On the subject of Citizen Khan, one would have thought that working to undermine the will of Parliament as enshrined in law, seeking to overturn a legitimate, democratic referendum of the British People and consorting with a foreign power would be enough to see him put behind bars, but justice is not what it was, and it certainly isn’t about doing the right thing. Of course, one quite understands how a few days in Brussels eating snails and talking Shiite is somewhat preferable to sorting out the capital’s tidal wave of crime, but one wonders what Londoners think of it all? Of course, Londoners are not what they were, with most of them coming from the far-flung corners of Empire desperate to suckle the teat of the ‘Mother Country’, or at least claim benefits.

Next year Barchester is staging its mystery play, as indeed it does every four years, and I have volunteered to be the director, having trodden the boards myself at boarding school (my Mrs. Malaprop was the talk of Pratt’s Bottom, and the school magazine lauded my Lady Macbeth, saying the part was made for me). The Barchester Mysteries were written by several authors, and sadly we only know the names of two – Wankyn de Woods, a member of the Guild of Codpiece Makers, wrote an amusing piece about Aaron’s Rod; and Dame Julian of Stoke Pingum, an anchorite and seer living in the mid-fourteenth century, is known to have penned ‘The Vision of Piers Morgan’, which everyone assumed was the work of Langland until a signed copy turned up in the Cathedral library. It is an apocalyptical tale of talentless celebrity, venal politicians, Satanist clerics and baking competitions. A wise old bird, Dame Julian.

Lord Mountararat caused a bit of a stink in Westminster this week when he entertained Mr. T. Robinson, that well-known Luddite and establishment punch-bag, to lunch in the Peers’ Dining Room. Mr. Speaker Bercow was outraged and disgusted, calling Mr. Robinson a ‘thug’ and much worse, which really is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Mr. Bercow has himself been accused of bullying and being thuggish by at least two of his former private secretaries, but of course he is in denial. Whatever one may think of Mr. Robinson, he has highlighted the plight of hundreds of abused vulnerable working-class girls at the hands of rape gangs, and the reluctance of the police and social services to do something about it. By pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes, the authorities have marked him down for special treatment.

“Of course they have,” roared the Archdeacon as he handed a tract on the evils of tobacco to the starving little match girl on the corner of Diphtheria Street. “Quite right too – we can’t have a working-class Johnnie point the finger at the Great and the Good and shout ‘J’accuse!’.”

“Can Mr. Robinson speak French?” I asked innocently.

“Probably not, but that is beside the point. Where would we be, dear lady, if the tail started wagging the dog?”

“In a circus?” I ventured.

“Precisely – and that is what this nation is fast becoming, what with diversity-this and equality-that.”

I couldn’t agree more.

With baited breath I waited on Monday to see if Mrs. Dismay would meet her Waterloo, but nothing happened. Then on Wednesday, when she was summoned before the men in grey suits and told to bring her own noose, I expected she would be toast. But no… with loud harrumphing and banging of desks, the Tory’s pledged themselves to the leader and Mrs. Dismay emerged triumphant.

“I’m not going anywhere,” she declared, and neither are we under her leadership… if that is what you can call it.

One can only applaud Signor Salvini, standing up to the monsters of Brussels. They don’t like his budget. He doesn’t like them. He stands up for Italy and the Italian people – a great man, and so rare these days. I look at our current crop of politicos and reach for the smelling salts… the dreariest of drearies, not a backbone between them.

I read in The Jupiter that someone attempted to steal Magna Carta from Salisbury Cathedral but was foiled by the actions of two bystanders who managed to wrestle him to the floor. Why he bothered I don’t know, as successive politicians have been stealing from Magna Carta for years. Police have not yet released the suspect’s name, but one can guess. It is a sign of the times, for nowadays few people respect the past, or know much about it. Some wish to eradicate it completely, like the misguided feminazi child at Southampton University who denounced the Rothenstein War Memorial because it only featured ‘white men’. The backlash she provoked ensured there was an apology of sorts – ‘I didn’t mean to…’ peppered with leftisms like ‘inappropriate’ – but of course she did. Perhaps being reported for Hate Crime had something to do with it. The lesson she needs to learn, above all others, is that there are consequences to one’s actions. She should be sent down.

Goodness! I forgot all about the tray of hobnobs I left in the oven – they will be burnt to a Quentin! Must dash and see what I can rescue.  Until next week, adieu, adieu!