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No knife crime in Barchester: the time it would take to decide between fish knife, grapefruit knife or dessert knife would be enough for the chosen victim to run away

O tempora O mores!

Make tea, eat hobnobs and read on…

Consider, my dears, the Girl Guides. Once a decent and wholesome organisation dedicated to home-making, social skills, musical accomplishment, nature walks and learning how to be a hostess, it has become something quite different. ‘Revolutionary’ changes have been introduced – by revolutionaries, one presumes – so that guides now look towards Black Lives Matter for inspiration and are encouraged to become ‘activists’. New badges replace the old – themed around such things as ‘Anti-capitalism’ and ‘Feminism’, not to mention ‘Campaigning’ and ‘Social Justice’. Even the uniforms have been changed, so that the guides look more like Communist Young Pioneers – it is only a matter of time before they introduce a badge for denouncing one’s parents to the Thought Police. One can only hope that sensible mothers and fathers will withdraw their daughters – and those sons who identify as girls – so the whole rotten edifice collapses. The Baden-Powells must be spinning in their graves.

Remember citizens – Big Sibling is watching you!

Can there be any truth in the rumour that Number 10 is relocating to a small room above Traitor’s Gate, which Mrs. Dismay believes communicates a clearer message of her vision for Brexit? There is only room for the Prime Minister and her Soviet-intoxicated chief adviser, Mr. Robbins – the man who invented the ‘Eurosneer’. It seems Mr. Raab, ruthlessly demoted before the summer recess, is left with Whitehall’s version of a Potemkin Village, his staff reduced to a short-hand typist called Marlene and occasional visits from an odd-jobbing milkman.

But wait… what is this? Monsieur Barnier rejects the Chequers Plan outright? Who would have believed it (sarcasm!)? Now an unnamed Tory MP says the Prime Minister is about to unleash a second ‘Project Fear’ to put the willies up the electorate so that they beg, plead and demand we stay in the Zollverein. The thing is, if she’s going to tell us Brussels will do this and that to make our lives uncomfortable unless we stay, it raises a question: would we want to be a part of such a threatening, bullying, undemocratic bureaucratic dictatorship? I would say not.

“Hypocrisy of the First Order!” bellowed the Archdeacon as soon as morning service was over and we stepped out into the Cathedral Close. I was quite taken aback, for my Lord the Bishop had been preaching that morning on the Beatitudes: in particular, with President Trumpelstiltskin’s recent visit in mind, he had chosen to dwell upon the ninth: ‘Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you’ (Matthew 5:11-12).

“I do not refer to your husband’s most excellent admonition, dear lady,” explained the Archdeacon. “No indeed, I refer another recent state visit – that of the Amir of Qatar – and the response of the virtue-signalling Leftists.”

“I wasn’t aware there had been any response at all,” I replied somewhat baffled, “at least, no disturbances or protests were reported in The Jupiter, so I believe the capital remained calm.”

“That is my point – exactly! The Amir of Qatar presides over a regime which enforces Shariah Law, executes women for adultery, imprisons Oscar Wilders for hiding the salami, and chops limbs off for dropping litter on the street. It is a brutal, authoritarian state where the people have no liberty. One would think the Left would be apoplectic that such a man was visiting, but no, not a peep from Saracen Khan and his Antifa friends, not a placard, not a barrage balloon in sight.”

“I see what you mean,” I said, seeing what he meant. “But Mrs. Dismay was happy enough to meet and greet the Amir.”

“Hah! That woman would be happy to sup with Satan for a lifetime supply of kitten shoes and the eternal domination of Berlaymont.”

At this point the Archdeacon really got into his stride.

“The principles of Leftism are as fluid as the effluent travelling down Mr. Bazalgette’s sewers, though not as fragrant. Do they care about the persecuted Christians in the Levant? No, they do not. Do they protest in support of murdered white farmers in South Africa? No, they do not. Why? Quite simply, wrong religion, wrong skin colour. They care not a jot about human rights, only in so far as they help push the real agenda, which is the overthrow of the West and the establishment of a one-world communist dictatorship. Make no mistake, Mrs. Dismay, Comrade Corbynov and Saracen Khan are but fellow-travellers straddling this ideological juggernaut – when they are not feeding the semi-submerged ever-devouring Kraken of cultural Marxism, that is.”

“Perhaps Mr. Khan is more concerned about knife-crime?” I ventured.

This brought forth a loud snort, the violence of which caused the pigeons roosting on the West Front to scatter in all directions. Then, with a complexion turning the colour of a fine claret, the Archdeacon swivelled on his heel and set off at high speed to the Deanery, his canonicals billowing out in the breeze.

And what of Barchester, you may ask? Well, unlike the capital, we have no problem at all with knife crime. The youth of the town are so well brought up and well-educated (at Dr. Wortle’s School) that even if so inclined, the time it would take to decide between fish knife, grapefruit knife or dessert knife would be enough for the chosen victim to run away. Good to know, isn’t it?

I understand from Mr. Slope, who travelled to Birmingham last weekend, that all was not well there either. A middle-aged woman was subjected to an acid attack (the weapon of choice amongst some of our more flamboyant newcomers) after a weekend of brutal and unprecedented violence, not only in the city but also across the Black Country, with people shot at, stabbed, held up at gunpoint, hacked with machetes, and smashed in the head with poles. Mr. Slope himself was roughed up a couple of times in several back alleys, his clerical garb being somewhat of a magnet. The worry is – and I am sure it has also been on your mind, dear reader – that more towns and villages across the kingdom will experience this sort of thing as demographics continue to change. The Archdeacon would say it is all part of ‘The Plan’.

I see Ms. Champion, the Rotherham Labour MP who recently spoke out against Moslem grooming gangs, is now under state protection. The news media say what a brave person she is for speaking out, and commiserate with her for being sacked by Comrade Corbyn. All well and good… except that two years ago, when the rapist gang were being sentenced in court, Ms. Champion went out of her way to say it was Moslems who were the real victims. One is entitled, of course, to change one’s mind, but I for one would like to know what is she’s up to.

Three cheers for Signor Salvini! I have just received a letter from Dr. Vesey Stanhope, currently catching butterflies along the banks of Lake Como, in which he says: ‘The League party of Matteo Salvini has introduced a bill in the Italian parliament requiring crucifixes in all public buildings, including train stations, airports, universities, embassies, and – significantly – ports.’

That’s one in the eye for that idiotic Italian bishop, Raffaele Nogaro, who said he’d be happy if all churches became mosques, as long as those refugees and migrants coming to Europe were safe. His priority on who remains safe is questionable, to say the least, but no doubt he has been inspired by that beacon of right-on progressiveness, Pope Francis, who on a visit to Malmo issued his own beatitudes.

All I can say is, ‘Goodness!’ A leader cast in the same metal as Mr. Orban, both unafraid to stand up for Europe’s Christian heritage and culture! Let us rejoice, and wait and see what Mrs. Dismay has in store…

Tumbleweeds…

More tumbleweeds…

Ah yes, more mosques.

Of course.

It is the Euro-way.

Well, I must put down my quill, don my tippet and get ready for this evening. My Lord the Bishop and I are attending a candlelit concert at the little parish church of St. Pseudo of the Chattering Classes to hear the first performance of Mr. Lloyd-Webber’s ‘Gloria in Exchequer’ played on the Hammond organ. I don’t think I shall enjoy it.

So, as the factory whistle of time marks the shift from civilisation to anarchy and the sturdy oak of Common Law is felled by the hatchet of the Social Justice Warrior, I bid you adieu for this week.