Goodness! There is a real touch of Autumn about this morning, though the sun is shining and there is an air of bonhomie about the town. As is customary in August, the young bucks of Barchester, having traded in their old carriages, are riding around in brand new ones, ever hopeful of turning heads. Mr. Slope has been showing off his magnificent equipage, though how he has managed to stump up for such a stylish cabriolet on a domestic chaplain’s stipend, I have no idea. I understand he bought it from Mustafa Fatwah’s ‘Goes Like a Bomb’ barouche emporium on Fleece Street – yet another of the mayor’s business outlets. Boys and their toys… though Mr. Slope has not been in the first flush of youth for quite a while, at least not according to rumour.
Imagine, dear friends, if Mr. Gladstone had attended a Fenian funeral, laying a wreath on a memorial to men killed in the struggle for Home Rule; or Mr. Disraeli had hobnobbed with adherents of the Mad Mahdi, what a hullabaloo would then have transpired! The Jupiter would have exploded with indignation, demands for resignations would have poured in, and careers would end in shame and opprobrium. The world today seems so different. Comrade Corbynov, known in Imodiumentum circles as ‘Magic Grandad’, has been popping up all over the place – a Hamas funeral here, an anti-Semite gathering there – and of course he refuses to apologise, for really and truly he doesn’t get out much. For this we should be grateful.
The Comrade has made it plain as day where he stands, which is, metaphorically speaking, atop the gigantic pile of corpses of those liquidated in the glorious cause of Socialism, Communism, and all the other leftist ‘isms’ one can think of, waving a red flag and brandishing his bicycle clips. Despite his whiskers and long-in-the-toothiness, Comrade Corbyn remains the eternal undergraduate, his politics unchanged from those character-forming sixth-form debates and sit-ins; his journey from Trotskyism to Bonkersville on the ideological express unhindered by the level-crossings of reality.
If Socialism and Communism are so wonderful, why do they always have to be imposed with violence?
Do join me for tea and hobnobs. I am writing this in the Morning Room, sitting at my escritoire and occasionally gazing out of the French windows across our beautifully manicured lawn, tended by the under-under gardener, Mr. Mulch. We are preparing for our annual Garden Party, when distinguished guests from across the county – and indeed London – are invited for a pleasant Sunday afternoon. I do hope Mr. Johnson can attend. The poor man has taken quite a bashing from the Legion of the Perpetually Outraged, and could well do with a change of scene. The funny thing is, Mr. Johnson’s comments about Middle Eastern garments were by no means as virulent as some made by the likes of Ms. Toynbee, but then the Left always get a free pass these days, don’t they? What did the lovely Polly say a year or so ago, you may ask? Well…
“The top-to-toe burka, with its sinister, airless little grille, is more than an instrument of persecution, it is a public tarring and feathering of female sexuality.”
How did she fend off her critics? Why, with this little salvo: “The pens sharpen – Islamophobia! No such thing.”
Was there outrage? Was there a hoo-ha? No, my dears, there was not.
Despite the lovely weather this morning, I see the clouds of war are forming. In Spain, Antifa thugs beat up a group of Catholic students for the crime of wearing shirts emblazoned with the name of their university, causing serious injuries. In another incident, a 55 year-old man was beaten to death by Antifa activists for wearing a pair of braces in the national colours – they called him a fascist as they hit him over the head with a metal bar, irony not being their strong point. In Sweden – lost to reason and civilisation a while ago – a synchronised attack by immigrants left hundreds of cars ablaze whilst ethnic Swedes cowered in their homes. Leftists in Treviso near Venice targeted the local offices of La Lega with an explosive device – minor damage was caused by thankfully nobody was hurt. Why, even Barchester is not immune: yesterday evening Constable Knapweed apprehended a Balaclava-ed youth in the process of affixing a cucumber sandwich to the door of the Church of St. Indiginus of Albion, a clear case of Anglophobia if ever there was!
It seems the arm of the Dark Lord Soros has grown long indeed, and Mr. Erdogan is not a Turkish Delight.
Our Brexit negotiations have begun to take on all the attributes of the Hundred Years War, but without the armour and distinctly lacking in Agincourts. However, the latest nonsense coming out of Berlaymont has greatly amused the Archdeacon.
“What fun, Mrs. Proudie, what fun! Those pesky Eurothugs in Berlaymont now accuse us of spying! They claim we are listening in on their negotiations in order to sabotage them. I have never laughed so much in ages! Negotiations? Is that what they call them? Those mollusc-sucking garlic-infused expense-account leeches with their schuhplattler away-days and Oooh-la-la diversity think-tanks don’t negotiate – a certain Austrian house painter taught them that – they demand and dictate. As for spying, I don’t think Mrs. Dismay has got the gumption. She no more wants to thwart Brussels than give up wearing kitten shoes or dance the night away with the Trumpster.”
“You may be right, Archdeacon,” I replied.
“Right? Right? Of course I am right! The sooner we are out of the European Union for Cultural Suicide the better. Now, if you will excuse me, I must get on.”
With that the Archdeacon scurried off, chuckling to himself.
That is the view from Barchester this week. If I were you, dear things, I would start thinking about your own safety in light of the growing tension out there. Stock up on hobnobs and Earl Grey, dig for victory, keep a cricket bat about your person at all times and remember, careless talk cost Boris his job. Form a local militia (but keep it hush-hush). With Mrs. Dismay in charge we will inevitably welcome them on the beaches, and on the landing grounds, we will fund them on the dole, wink at their transgressions – we will always surrender! She makes Lord Halifax seem like Attila the Hun.
So, as the hydra of Antifa spits venom at the fluffy bunnies of Western values and the agents of MI5 shove the Goldfinger of contempt into the unelected Blofelds of Brussels, I bid you adieu, until next time.