Goodness! One sits at one’s escritoire with correspondence and newspapers scattered hither and thither wondering which snippets of news to comment upon. Outside, the evening draws in. The lamplighter makes his way down Ganderbody Lane, the Gentlemen of Hiram’s Hospital warm their chestnuts by the courtyard brazier as they re-heel their boots – a charming bunch of Old Cobblers – and Mr. Slope darts quickly down someone’s back passage, no doubt off to minister succour to some poor unfortunate. The methodical rhythms of Barchester are timeless.
Now that DREAMs are no longer as aspirational or believable as the late Dr. King once hoped, what President Trumpelstiltskin needs is a professional Child Catcher, one skilled in the art of trickery, luring and whisking away. Of course, this is all about illegals, and all Mr. Trump is doing is applying the law, fair and square. But these, as we know, are topsy-turvy times, when hearts overrule heads and laws can be ignored – when it suits the progressives, that is. Mr. Trump may or may not be the sort of guest you would want at your table, but he is not quite the anti-Christ that some fellows paint. That position is most adequately filled by Mr. Piers Morgan.
By the by, one looks forward to those criticising Mr. Rees-Mogg’s “archaic” views on marriage, abortion and homosexuality, to be equally vocal in criticising Islam for the same. Ah… the sound of silence is somewhat deafening. They must know that Mr. Rees-Mogg is unlikely to come at them armed with a scimitar or with explosives attached to his waistcoat, though I’ll wager he must be sorely tempted…
Dr. Thorne is much befuddled and distressed by the new ‘gate-keeper’ requirements placed on family physicians by the ever-energetic Mr. Hunt, Secretary of State for Healthcare Cock-Ups and Hiding the Bodies. He tells me patients needing secondary treatment in hospital now have to be referred for peer-review by a medical panel. The idea behind Mr. Hunt’s wheeze is that, by building greater delay into the referral process, there is a greater chance of patients falling of their perches and thus saving money. Like the poor, the sick are always with us. Dr. Thorne is concerned that by adding yet another layer of bureaucracy, things are bound to get much worse.
“Of course they are,” I told him, “that’s the point. Mr. Hunt’s scheme is the practical application of Malthusian theory, removing the deadwood through obfuscation and creating jobs for more pen-pushers. It’s the British way – you know it makes sense.”
As for Mr. Hunt’s other big idea – having to opt out of the state helping itself to your vital organs when you die – I suggest it be called ‘The Burke and Hare Intervention Strategy’.
At Signora Neroni’s afternoon tea yesterday the subject of the impending royal birth was much discussed. Will it be a boy or a girl this time, we all twittered. Well, it will be one thing or another, though there are those who would argue it could be transgendered or some other weird designation. As for names, one favours Robert for a boy (it will impress the Scots) and Caroline for a girl. The last thing we need is something Germanic. Signora Neroni suggested Maddelena, but then she would. I wonder what you. my dear friends, would suggest? We could have a little sweepstake, with any money raised to go to charity, of course.
Poor Frau Merkel was hit by a tomato the other day when she was out campaigning for re-election. How very disagreeable – and so unfair on the poor tomato. One hears she has also been booed and jeered at whilst addressing crowds in Brandenburg and Saxony, who called her “a traitor to the people”. This is absolute rubbish of course, for she is truly loyal to all those she invited to become ‘New Germans’. Perhaps the ‘Old Germans’ are beginning to come to their senses after all. The Archdeacon, fresh from his holiday, had this to say:
“Why stop at a single tomato? That hairy-chinned zeppelin-shaped crypto-Stasi-esque chameleon straddles the face of the Bundesrepublik like some ideological succubus trailing her sickly ‘We can do it!’ slime across the mouths of the people to stifle debate. Never mind a tomato – they should be throwing the entire farmer’s cart at her, horse and all.”
A shameful reference to Margaret Beckett! Where does he get his ideas from?
Well I must dash. I am joining my Lord the Bishop’s working party this evening. We are digging out beneath the Cathedral crypt to install a nuclear bunker, ready for when Mr. Kim lets off one of his whizz-bangs. Mr. Slope is a dab hand at plumbing the depths – he always says ‘Every hole is a goal’, the precise meaning of which escapes me.
Until next week, when the gossamer-winged fairy of decency hits the bug-splattered windscreen of modern journalism and the smelly socks of Stalinist Liquidation are washed clean in the dolly tub of Corbynism, I bid you adieu.