Goodness, what larks! I believe it was rubber-mouthed minstrel Mr. Jagger who sang about ‘Dancing in the Street’, and now half of the United States is doing it! All because of Mr. Trump’s astounding win in the election, which, of course, the ‘dancers’ cannot accept. To a man and woman (and various transgendered souls) the Democrats have morphed into Violet Elizabeth Bott. I have to say, reading some of the placards being carried and waved about, one begins to lose faith in humanity – decency being, without doubt, an early casualty of the campaign.
‘Rape Melania’ was one such message, though I have no idea which part of the Balkans Melania is situated – squeezed between Roumania and Bulgaria at a guess – or what the Ottomans are doing there. Time to consult the Baedeker. We’ve seen this sort of thing in Barchester, I’m sorry to say, when the Chartists became uppity and started smashing windows demanding universal suffrage. Well we are all suffering now (see what I did there?) from a surfeit of Progressive Liberalism, which is little more than a pseudonym for ‘Self-justified Violence’, and Mr. Trump was quite right to tell them to ‘Stop it’. Curiously, there has been no condemnation of street violence from President O’Barmey… perhaps he is enjoying the spectacle, like Nero surveying a burning Rome. Like the Chartists, the Hildabeasters are putting together a petition demanding that the election be overturned and the presidency handed to the Dark Lady of the Emails. Good luck with that, for it stands about the same chance of success.
Every November here in Barchester we remember the fallen of previous conflicts: Crécy, Agincourt, Towton, Malplaquet, Waterloo, and, most recently, the Crimea. We have long memories. It is a most moving spectacle, with a full turn-out of the Cathedral Chapter, the Bishop, civic dignitaries, the Duke and Duchess of Omnium and yours truly. At the going down of the sun Mr. Bunce blows his horn (Mr. Slope always offers but Bunce won’t let him touch it), and Mr. Slope, who was a camp follower at Magenta, distributes pansies as a symbol of brotherhood in arms. Barset hasn’t quite made it to 1914 and beyond, for the stream of time trickles slowly hereabouts, but we understand the ceremonies in London were most dignified and well-attended. Quite right, too.
My Swedish correspondent tells me the ‘Gender-neutral snow clearing’ initiative has not gone down too well. Until recently, priority was given to clearing the roads, leaving pavements for later. This angered lots of Swedish ladies (I use the word merely to annoy them) who objected: it seems men are more likely to drive to work and therefore use the roads, whereas women are more likely to walk, and therefore use the pavements. Under such a barrage of whipped-up Harpiesque fury, the authorities reversed their priorities and, as a consequence, road incidents quadrupled. There must be something strangely toxic in Swedish water. They do come up with some bizarre ideas.
But at least they have ideas… unlike Mrs. Dismay and her team. There were whispers in The Jupiter this week concerning plans, or rather the lack of them. Having given the Agincourt salute to the Zollverein and All It’s Works, it appears the Government still have no idea what independence will look like. The Archdeacon is none too pleased should this rumour be true.
“Blast and confound the woman!” he bellowed after morning service. “What is she playing at? Is she totally in thrall to the mealy-mouthed duplicitous Camel Corps appeaser-wallahs in the Foreign Office, none of whom have the slightest desire to wave goodbye to their rampant Euro slush-fundery and bijou pied-à-terres in Luberon? To me the way forward is clear: flood the blasted Channel Tunnel, tear down the blue starry duster and starve the Beast of all cash immediately.”
“But surely Mr. Blair is entitled to his pension,” I countered, disingenuously.
“Wrong Beast, Madam,” snorted the Archdeacon, before stomping off to disrobe in the vestry.
I paused a while in thought outside the Chapel of the Prodigal Arms Manufacturer: many are the beasts that beset us, and sharp are their teeth. From the Monstrous Merkin who strides Germany like a Behemoth to the Universal Spider that is Mr. Soros, there are those committed to the destruction of Christendom and the liberties and freedoms hard-won over many centuries. I bid you all, don the Basque of Bravery, the Footwear of Fortitude and the Combinations of Courage, for there are some rum times ahead. Until next week dear friends, adieu.