Goodness, what a palaver! Our weekend guest, Dr. Giles Fontwater, late Dean of Cantwell College, Oxbridge, recently attended the Neo-Chartist-Stalinist-Stakhanovite Party Conference in Liverpool as an interested observer of the Body Politic. We were eager to hear his account. To say the scales fell from his eyes is an understatement. On sale at the conference shop were a range of items, from ‘Strangle the last Tory with the entrails of the last Vicar’ tee-shirts to ‘Hamas not Humus’ emblazoned crockery and signed copies (in joined-up handwriting) of the Great Leader’s little red book, Mein Kampf mit Wirklichkeit. Once inside the main hall, Dr. Fontwater witnessed M.P. after M.P. denounced by a foam-flecked Fury as ‘Traitors’ and ‘Reactionaries’ before being hustled out and shot. Comrade Corbynov then called for unity and demonstrated the Great Leap Forward by pushing his leadership opponent off the stage into a vat of boiling venom (kindly provided by Comradettes Harman, Abbott and Toynbee). The faithful cheered at this, taking up the rhythmic chant of, ‘Corby, Corby, Corby.’ Then the lights were dimmed and the image of Lady Thatcher was projected onto a wall, the signal for the two-minute hate to begin. When order was restored and the phlegm mopped up, it was time for Corbynov’s key-note speech, which announced the coming Cultural Revolution.
“Descamisados!”said the Dear Comrade-leader, recently returned from a fact-finding mission to Argentina where he sold The Falklands for a mess of pottage, “The words of Comrade J. Peasemould Gruntfuttock ring in my ears, for I too have heard the voices, the voices I tell yea! The time has come for a radical rethink in the way we should live. Shortbread biscuits exemplify our one true aim – a society that is plain and simple, no sugar to sweeten the re-distribution of anything we can get our hands on, and definitely no chocolate hobnobs! Those caught eating Bourbons will face re-education at one of our Harmanisation Camps. Our Gay and Lesbian militant wing – the Backflirts – will root out all expressions of homophobia in cottages throughout the land. Our Tiny Trots Youth Groups will begin the Great Purge by pouring syrup of figs down the throats of unbelievers. Every citizen will be compelled to read the collected works of James Joyce. We are proud of our diversity record, which will be even better when all the straight, white, Christian and Jewish people are expelled to the nether regions. Let us unite around our slogans, ‘Forward to the Past’ and ‘Backwards to our Future!’”
Tumultuous shouts of ‘Forwards…Backwards…Forwards…Backwards…’ echoed around the room as the Push-Me-Pull-You delegates jumped for joy, shook their fists and howled at the moon.
Then the fragrant Ms. Abbott – Labour’s Eva Péron – took to the podium; judging from Dr. Fontwater’s description, one can only applaud her re-cycling of Mr. Blair’s ‘Big Tent’ into a natty day-dress which showed off her figure to perfection. She’s a rising star in the socialist firmament – so good of Comrade Corbynov to give her a leg-up – but perhaps calling those who voted to quit the Zollverein ‘racists’ was not the most astute political manoeuvre she could have made. It was, however, in perfect accord with her other pronouncements over the years. Was this a hate-crime? Almost certainly. Will she get away with it? Of course.
It all ended with a vote of ‘Solidarity’ with the socialist paradise of Venezuela, where people queue for five hours to buy toilet paper. Comrade Corbynov announced a practical response by sending them a copy of Baroness Shameless Chakrabarking’s report, double-ply.
Dr. Fontwater finished his breathless account and sank back into his armchair. My Lord the Bishop and I looked at one another in astonishment.
“What do you make of that, my dear,” asked my Lord, reaching for his non-alcoholic post-prandial.
I thought for a moment, appalled by Corbynov’s anti-Hobnobism, then gave a considered reply.
“I think we should tell Sir Roderick Spode to move over.”
Next morning, by way of light relief, I attended the annual frog-hurling ceremony at the little parish church of St. Linus-in-the-Shyte, at the suggestion of the Archdeacon, who kindly accompanied me riding shotgun. Call me an old traditionalist, but I love all things medieval, ancient and dusty – which is why I’m a fan of Mary Berry. It commemorates the Battle of Crécy (26th August 1346), news of which only reached this neck on the woods a month later, the post then being somewhat non-existent. Such a delight to see the joy on the faces of the choirboys as they propelled their amphibians from the top of the tower into the village duck pond below. Next year I am invited to participate, but have first to catch my own grenouille… Any suggestions where I might find one, preferably with a loud, raucous and repetitive croak?
The Jupiter reported on the Trump-Clinton debate, declaring that all things considered, Mrs. Hildabeast was the winner. I have little interest to be honest, but it was the talk of Signora Neroni’s afternoon tea party. The Signora considers herself an expert on all things American, having once enjoyed a Bull Run with an itinerant Confederate on the shores of Lake Como. She thinks Mrs. C’s non-illness illness makes her appear more romantic and Brontë-esque, if only she would cough a little more and trample over the Moors – in my book she’s been doing the latter for years. I don’t see the Hildabeast as a ‘romantic’ at all: that moniker has stuck to her husband.
I fear I have rambled on for far too long and now must hasten to Evensong, after which I plan to whiten a few sepulchres and dash off a few tracts. On Friday my Lord the Bishop and I are travelling to Bologna for a brief holiday as guests of Cardinal Montefiasco, a keen supporter of inter-faith dialogue. My next piece will most likely come from there. Ciao, cari amici… Ciao.