Cathedral service marks the death of objective journalism and unbiased reporting

Goodness! One reaches for the cashmere shawl and woolly unmentionables these days, for the temperature has dropped and the stalls of Barchester Cathedral are distinctly chilly by the time Evensong has ended. One enjoys Mr. Harding’s choral settings of course, though Mr. Slope’s homily on All Souls made my eyes water. So moving.

A Swedish correspondent, Baroness Hurdigurdy, writes of strange doings in Stockholm, where the Bishopess has ordered the removal of crosses and other Christian symbols from churches in case they give offence to ‘Voldemortians’ (i.e. the religion that must not be named). One notes that the said religion has not, in return, given up beheadings, burnings and shootings, or indeed suicide bombings as part of a quid pro quo, yet the Bishopess lives in hope (some would say she lives in sin- ‘Tipping the Volvo’, as Mr. Slope puts it). It can only end in disappointment, one fears. However, the Swedes campaign to abolish themselves is making excellent progress… as progressives are apt to do. The Baroness, who is high up at the Swedish court, also reports the King and royal family now live in a broom cupboard above a smorgasbord outlet next to the palace whilst the state rooms are given over to camp fires, goat enclosures and Bedouin tents. So colourful…

Oh, this wretched presidential election! How wearisome it gets! The Jupiter reports on a new batch of Wickedleaks and thinks Mrs. Hildabeast’s goose is cooked. I’m not so sure. For one so schooled in Machiavellian subterfuge and Gramsci-ite strategy there are still levers to pull and buttons to push to ensure Mr. Trump falls into the oubliette of history. One good thing about this campaign – and the Brexit coverage before it – is nobody now believes a word the media say. My Lord the Bishop has decided to hold a service in the Cathedral to mark the death of objective journalism and unbiased reporting. Do come along… there will be Earl Grey and hobnobs in the Chapter House immediately afterwards, and the Archdeacon has promised a bonfire to burn an effigy of Piers Morgan. At least I believe he said effigy – his language has coarsened considerably of late.

Mr. Slope expressed delight at the decision by MPs to elect Mr. Vaz to the Commons Justice Committee. With so many young, strapping Roumanians now living in the UK, it is good to have someone with intimate knowledge of these colourful folk to advise lawmakers on their customs, habits and trade practices. One has to admire Mr. Vaz’s capacity to squeeze in to any available crevice and yet avoid anything sticking to him. If only Monica Lewinsky had had his ability to duck, dive and dodge, history would have been so different.

Young gentlemen should always try to avoid loose women – and one includes Signora Vesey Neroni in this category, naturally, even though she no longer walks the streets. Oh, if only that handsome, dashing athlete, Mr. Louis Smith, had taken such advice and refused the invitation to appear on the Electrical Magic Lantern in front of a panel of self-righteous harpies and made to denounce himself! It seems we have moved effortlessly from talent shows to show trials, and the new inquisitors are driven, relentless and unforgiving. Mr. Smith’s crime was to poke fun at Voldemortians whilst at a friend’s wedding. Some blighter filmed the jolly jape and published it, and the poor man’s world came tumbling down. Naturally, the perpetually offended instantly issued death threats, but rest assured police are ignoring this aspect of the case so as not to further offend the intolerant. Instead they have concentrated their efforts on arresting and convicting two Polish bacon-flingers, but I digress. Poor dear Louis – his Olympian successes forgotten, he has endured the slings and arrows of multi-kulti Britain, and is banned from taking part in his chosen sport for two months. The only surprising thing is that he was not required to don sackcloth and ashes and do the walk of shame. How nasty we have become as a people. It seems decency, fair play and common sense have been excised from the national psyche.

And now I must leave you until next week, for My Lord and I are hosting a soirée for the residentiary canons. There are six of them, and their wives, and we expect the Mayor and his good lady to join us. Mr. Slope has promised to whip out his sackbut, and my daughters, Augusta and Olivia, will sing a selection of Schubert’s Lieder as the old gentlemen from Hiram’s Hospital amuse our guests with a display of countryside gurning. Such fun. For my own part, I am going to recite ‘The Wreck of the Hesperus’.  That should raise the tone. Au revoir, mes amis…