Mrs Proudie
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Gibraltar: the Treaty of Utrecht has no Article 50

Goodness! What a busy week, spring-cleaning the Palace and visiting the sick and needy. It’s not all fun being a bishop’s wife, let me tell you. However, I am taking a break, fortified by Earl Grey and a plate of hobnobs, to pen a few lines to you, my dear friends.

We do seem to have trouble with deans. Poor Bishop Hever at St. Ogg’s is blighted by the prodnosing of Dean Pugh-Critchley, and one never knows whether Dean Trefoil is going to a better place or staying put until the last trump. Christ Church, Oxford, is graced by a thoroughly-modern go-ahead dean in Mr. Percy (good to see that old northern dynasty re-establishing itself), champion of priestesses, promoter of cardinalesses and LGBTQWERTY knight-errant, not so much tilting at windmills as blowing hot air. He is above all a SJW (Sacerdotal Justice Warrior) who, despite his place in the Anglican hierarchy, advocates equality for all and Dante’s third ring of hell for traditionalists. No point in going to Christ Church to hear the Word of the Lord – it’s neo-Marxist Frankfurtism topped with Greer-ist sprinkles, or nothing. At least he wears appropriate garb when mounting the pulpit and not a rainbow-coloured boiler suit with jaunty Maoist hat. Yet.

Mr. Slope went to a football match last Saturday, Barchester Rovers v Silverbridge United. I’m not sure what kind of support he was offering, but with scarf, bobbly hat and wooden rattle he looked quite the part. On his return he recounted a strange tale. Behind the opposite goal post stood a whole row of muscly labouring fellows, each with their face covered by a niqab, clearly to avoid identification should trouble break out. It is something which started in Sweden, apparently, where the law forbids face covering, though legislators keen on submission to the caliphate inserted a clause exempting religious face covering.  Now big, burly Swedes are telling police they have opted to be Moslem women (as thanks to transitional transgenderisation, it seems what you declare yourself to be, you are) and so refuse to unveil when stopped. The Swedish judiciary have countered this by ruling they will judge these obviously male miscreants on a case-by-case basis, which in turn conflicts with Swedish equality laws. It is heart-warming to see political correctness turned upon itself, is it not?

At Plumstead Episcopi yesterday afternoon I found the Archdeacon much ruffled by reports coming out of the Holy Zollverein, where the word is that Mr. Verhoffenpuff will play hard ball in the so-called Brexit negotiations. Such an ungallant little Phlegm.

“This ridiculous man is taking the Mannekin Pis! Just who does he think he is?” spluttered Dr. Grantly.

“The former Prime Minister of Belgium,” I replied.

“Belgium? BELGIUM?” he roared, “We invented Belgium – admittedly as a joke! All part of the post-Waterloo job creation scheme for unemployed Saxe-Coburgs. This bloated mayonnaise-smearing, snail-taunting waffle-peddler has no business threatening Her Majesty’s Government, demanding money to settle Juncker’s bar bills. They’ve had enough out of us already!”

“Indeed they have, my dear,” said the saintly Mrs. Grantly, entering the drawing room with a fresh flower arrangement she’d been working on all morning.

“And Johnny Spaniard has his eyes on Gibraltar too. The Prime Minister should point out that the Treaty of Utrecht has no Article 50, so what was signed up for then counts now. I fear Mrs. Dismay hasn’t the stomach for hard negotiations. She lacks bottom.”

“Not from what I’ve seen, dearest,” said Mrs. Grantly with a smile, “I mean, those leather trousers… such a mistake.”

“On so many levels…” I agreed. We laughed. The Archdeacon didn’t.

“Have you seen the latest Bradshaw’s Railway Guide with its free pull-out engraving of Michael Portillo?” asked Mrs. Grantly, sweetly, “His dundrearies are spectacular!”

“I will send Slope out to order a copy as soon as I return to Barchester, he is an admirer of the well-crafted frontispiece,” I replied.

Our inattentive musings prompted the Archdeacon to explode with fury, castigating the workings of the female mind and moving on to the iniquities of Berlaymont and the threats made to Poland and Hungary concerning migrant quotas. I took this as an opportune moment to say farewell and make my way to the door.

I have chosen to avoid gloomy things this week, dear hearts. Bombs on St. Petersburg trains, much slaughter in Mosul, old folk murdered and raped by cultural enrichers in Germany, riots in Paris… the world does seem somewhat out of sorts these days. I have come to the conclusion we need a Common-Sense Party to counter Common Purpose and all the other lunacies the Left has bequeathed us. Who could lead such a party I wonder? I throw that out as a challenge – who would you nominate?  Let’s make it harder by setting Mr. Farage aside. With that thought, I shall bid you adieu… until next time.

  • Dreadnaught

    I doff my cap to you Dear Lady, for maintaining the resolve to exhibit so much good humour at such a dreadful time of discombobulation of the senses of decent people, by the sources of Islamic evil from within and without this land.

    • len

      We have been bombed by the Nazis, its the same spirit as was shown during the blitz.Well done Mrs Proudie….

      • Manfarang

        There is little of that spirit around. However I have been reading about the Institut zur Erforschung und Beseitigung des judischen Einflusses auf das deutsche kirchliche Leben.
        Fascinating stuff.

        • Anton

          Starting with Jesus Christ, presumably…

          • Manfarang

            The Aryan Jesus as they called him.

      • Dreadnaught

        The big difference between then and now, is that we knew who we were and physically engaged in fighting back. Today we are merely spectators to our fortunes. Our Country’s resolve to defend itself and preserve our culture has all the substance of an over-ripe banana.

        • len

          There are a few brave souls left,sadly not amongst our politicians though.

      • Dominic Stockford

        This inspires me to ensure that I am playing some jazz on my trumpet when the bombs start falling.

  • CliveM

    The world is a gloomy, scary place at the moment. What with Kim Sun Fat, IS, Islamism in general, terrorist atrocities, failing economies etc, I fear for the world we are bequeathing our young.

    Sadly even your normally uplifting missive doesn’t brighten my spirits. ☹️

    • Royinsouthwest

      Are you some sort of reactionary? Everybody knows that all the world’s problems can be attributed to just three causes; Trump, Brexit and Climate Change.

      • Dominic Stockford

        And there was me thinking that Creationism was one of the stated problems….

        {if you have to think too hard about this one then I have over-reached myself and apologise for being too clever by half. But still, there’s always got to be one occasion when that happens).

      • Mattv28

        You forgot the Russians.

    • len

      Its hobnobs and a strong earl grey then?.

    • Dreadnaught

      Chins up old chap, otherwise we let them win.

      • CliveM

        Ah, even Churchill (and I’m no Churchill) had his ‘black dog’.

        But you’re right.

    • chefofsinners

      Cheery news, Clive. Some Spaniards called, I think, ‘Estimated Time of Arrival’, have given up their weapons. They will henceforth employ only peaceful means in their quest to separate basques from other forms of lingerie.

  • Father David

    Ah, dear Dean Pugh-Critchley of St. Oggs once commented that he wouldn’t allow park benches in the Cathedral Close because it might encourage people to sit down! That’s the spirit.

    • Inspector General

      A fellow recalls that Pugh-Critchley deprecated the presence
      of motor cars in Cathedral close. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Having been to a few, I deprecate the presence of Cathedral Closes. They simply create otherworldly churchy bubbles.

        • Inspector General

          Always think of these places as the nearest we’ll ever get to heaven on earth.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Sadly, I tend to find places without professional ‘Christians’, and even without many people at all, more heavenly. Creation may groan around me, but at least us sinners aren’t there in vast numbers gawping at a building or sharing unnecessarily arcane discussion points about how many angels can be fitted onto the head of a pin.

          • layreader

            I can feel the grave of Dr Spacely-Trellis stirring. The Close at Bevindon New Town was always such a peaceful place, and mercifully far from the ramblings of Deidre Dutt-Pauker, and the ghostly apparitions of Alderman Foodbotham. There was always the occasional rant from Dr Peter Nordwestdeutscher on the subject of Rhodesia or South African oranges to contend with.

  • Mike Stallard

    “Phlegm” was my favourite this week.

    • len

      Has a certain ring to it…cough.

      • Mike Stallard

        OUCH!

    • Pubcrawler

      Pan-fried or baked?

      • chefofsinners

        Best swallowed raw. The poor man’s oyster.

  • Anton

    We are certainly moving toward fulfilment of Isaiah 17:1, concerning the reduction to rubble of Damascus.

    I wold not be so indelicate as to enquire of Mrs Proudie, but could some gallant reader direct me to the details of the Swedish fiasco to which she refers?

  • len

    That’s the spirit Mrs Proudie,as the world winds down to its inevitable conclusion, we must seek that place of calm (no, not Barchester) but that place as described in Psalm 91.

  • len

    Sounds good.

  • britbob

    Spain’s claim to Gibraltar is 99% political and 1% optimism. Google: ”Gibraltar – Some Relevant International Law” for some interesting facts.

    PS The UK & Spain both signed the 1975 Helsinki Accord that stipulates, ‘borders in Europe can only be changed by consent’ So who needs Utrecht?

  • Manfarang

    I am looking forward to fortifying myself with a nice hot cup of Darjeeling tea even if I can’t take the little train to Kohima because of unrest in Nagaland. It will be nice to escape the heat of the plains especially since the sad news of the passing of well known poor old Pat that reprobate RC Irish ex-priest, ok he wasn’t that well known but I feel very sorry for his elderly mother.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Pat? Is that the bloke who ran out in front of the F1 cars travelling at full speed?

      • Manfarang

        He was in no condition to run out in front of any cars. He could hardly walk. Stroke and heart attack victim.

        • Dominic Stockford

          In what way was he reprobate?

          • Manfarang

            Well that was a bit murky. I have no doubt the file is locked away in some safe.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I see. I’ve read enough of the books, and watched Spotlight, and knew enough of them who ended up in jail. I don’t think the dots need joining. Thank you.

  • bluedog

    ‘Mr. Percy (good to see that old northern dynasty re-establishing itself)’

    Seriously, Mrs P, you are not claiming kinship, are you? One trusts not, for to do so would be to put implicit loyalty through vestigial ties of blood above objective assessment of Percy’s contentious doctrinal obsessions. Will we see Percy channelling Torquemada once again with the appointment of Dean Wilcox as Bishop of Sheffield?

    • Anton

      Hotspur?

      • bluedog

        The same.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Tottenham?

  • IrishNeanderthal

    “Belgium?” roared Dr. Grantly. But we didn’t stop there.

    A nation divided: tensions mount in Cameroon as English speakers marginalised by Francophone majority

    For the past four months, the two English-speaking regions of western Cameroon have risen up against a perceived decades-long assault by the Francophone elite on their language and British traditions, staging a campaign of general strikes, demonstrations and the occasional riot.

    A ruthless response by the government, characterised by the killing of protesters and a two-month internet shutdown in English-speaking regions, has hardened antagonisms, pitching the West African country into deep crisis and raising questions about its survival as a unified state.

    • Merchantman

      Yes I’d heard their was a serious outbreak of Eu Fever in those parts. I heard it was started by people eating bushmeat frogs.

  • Merchantman

    Stockholm, Sweden- vehicle crashed into crowd. How will they spin this?

    • Inspector General

      “Span out of control” perhaps…

      • Pubcrawler

        I read that as ‘Spain out of control’.

        • Inspector General

          As Tony Hancock would say, “It’s all happening, you know”

        • Merchantman

          My thoughts strayed in that direction too. Maybe Manuel had had one too many (it was apparently a beer lorry) and had a siesta at the wheel. On second thoughts the driver ran off and made good his or her escape just after Friday prayers.

    • len

      Global warming must have affected the road surface?.

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        Or gender-neutral snow clearing over the winter….

    • Dominic Stockford

      ‘Mental health problems’
      “We don’t know the motivations”
      ‘Drug and alcohol abuser’

      As you will note, one of the above has already been said, and will be repeated time and again. And it’ll probably (like the Westminster attack) be the last public word on it. Except he’s alive, and if people can catch him alive (and he doesn’t die ‘resisting arrest’) we can then find out what he says. Which is in fact, contrary to the liberals thoughts, actually the reason he did it.

      • Manfarang

        “Swedish police said no-one had been arrested in connection with the attack. They showed a picture of a man wearing a grey hoodie and said they were looking for him. They did not rule out the possibility that other attackers were involved.”

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        You forgot ‘Lone Wolf’

        • Dominic Stockford

          You’re right. And they have also already started saying that. But we all know what they are avoiding saying….

  • Manfarang
  • Dominic Stockford

    I chose to come here first, the second-best bishop, or is he a second-rate bishop, came second. I was not disappointed by your weekly offering.

    A leader for the common-sense party? It clearly has to be a committed Christian, as not to be a Christian is to demonstrate a lack of common-sense so great as to disqualify. therefore, may I suggest the Reverend Alisdair Paine. He’d probably say ‘No thanks’ – but that simply goes to prove that he’s the right man for the job. We don’t want those who seek such a post to have it!

  • michaelkx

    I Love the first paragraph, in which you say, “Christ Church, Oxford, is graced by a thoroughly-modern go-ahead dean in Mr. Percy (good to see that old northern dynasty re-establishing itself), champion of priestesses, promoter of cardinalesses and LGBTQWERTY knight-errant, not so much tilting at windmills as blowing hot air.” that seems to sum up the C of E. in Oxford. Glad I am a Cambridge man, even if they can not row.

    • Anton

      For “row” read “recruit top oarsmen by academic tarting at international regattas”. I am willing to concede to Oxford at that activity.

  • chefofsinners

    Slope is “an admirer of the well-crafted frontispiece”, is he? If the body of the text is also well shaped and there is a lengthy appendix, I imagine he will have everything he desires between the covers.