“Have the British people taken leave of their senses?”

Goodness! What a night! Election fever gripped Barchester good and proper, with rival parties parading round the town until the early hours, brandishing torches and yelling their heads off. Being the county town, Barchester Moot Hall was the scene of the counts for both West and East Barset. My Lord the Bishop and I, as neutral observers (“ahem”) were invited along to witness the count, which was being carried out by the pupils of Dr. Wortle’s School and the Gentlemen of Hiram’s Hospital (because they were cheap).  The results for West Barset were as follows:

The Marquess of Silverbridge (Conservative) 10,456
Mr. Frank Gresham (Liberal) 8.978
Mr. Lupus Wolfsbane-Throttleham (Gothic Revival) 6,200
Mr. Bert Throbb (Agrarian Agitators for Allotment Redistribution) 12
Mr. Jeremiah Corblimey (Socialist Worker currently resting) 134
Miss Fanny Bye-Gaslight (Drop Your Drawers and Ten Bob’s Yours Collective) disqualified.

Those of you who are not as innumerate as the fragrant Ms. Abbott will see that the Conservatives held West Barset. I will not bore you with all the details for East Barset, other than to say the seat was won by a certain Mustafa Fatwah-Cholmondeley, whom I have never heard of, for the Integrated Alternative Reality Party.  So there you have it – Barset is at least 50% behind Mrs. Dismay, who, despite shooting herself in the foot and deliberately targeting core supporters with dementia taxes and removal of winter fuel allowances, seems determined to press on. The Archdeacon, however, is not so easily assuaged: he may be strong, but I question whether he is stable.

“Tell me, dear lady,” he bellowed across the cloisters this morning as I was on my way to the Chapel of the Blessed Margaret of Finchley, “How does a Prime Minister with a clear mandate from a national referendum, and a more than workable majority, manage to lose an election against a hairy Trotskyite Agitprop Activist with terrorist connections allied to a hippo-esque blathermonster who hates honest Britons and a lupine-faced Stalinist double-speaker with designs on the Treasury? How can people contemplate voting for a crew of misfits who rejoiced when the IRA bombed the Grand Hotel in Brighton and do nothing to weed out antisemitism from their ranks? Have the British people taken leave of their senses?”

I had to point out that Comrade Corbynov, despite the British Bolshevik Corporation’s inevitable spin, actually lost the election. To my surprise, this did not go down well.

“One has to think long term, Mrs. Proudie, and look to the youth. They have been promised jam tomorrow by a cynical, communistical party, who want to get their hands on our loose change, down to the last farthing… I blame schools and those snarling hounds from Satan’s kennels, the teachers. It’s all about brainwashing and indoctrination…”

I left the Archdeacon with his head, purple with rage, rotating wildly in his stock, and carried on with my chapel-going.

I do not wish to dwell upon the sat misfortunes recently afflicting Manchester and London, though they have been very much in the news of late, and very much in people’s thoughts. These are trying times, and there are many who should be on trial.

So, as the ballot papers of expectation are sucked into the U-turn bend of oblivion, it is time to bid you adieu. I shall return next week if His Grace allows, and who knows what we shall be discussing then?

Adieu, adieu!