Meditation and Reflection

Gender neutral pronouns: Mx Proudie laments the abolition of Mr, Mrs, Miss and Ms


Goodness! A little bird tells me of a disturbing development in Oxford. The socialist city council have decided, without consultation, to do away with honorifics on all official documents, so no more Mr, Mrs, or Miss, and not even the ghastly Ms, is to be exempt. Instead, all will be ‘Mx’, though how one pronounces this abomination is not clear. The Archdeacon thinks this is part of the leftist plan to abolish the family and do away with gender, severing all links with the past and shifting gear towards their Brave New World. Such rot! For so long as I am wearing the Church’s one foundation, I shall remain Mrs. Proudie, and all honorifics will be honoured, if not lauded, in Barchester.

When one thinks of Swedish Christians one thinks of lambs desperate to lie down with lions or turkeys voting for Christmas. Too many pickled herrings befuddling the brain perchance? Be that as it may, we received a request from one Swedish Church to contribute to a scheme for bringing peace and harmony to the Middle East – to whit, bombarding the Islamic State with bibles. One supposes a leather bound King James dropped from a great height might knock some sense into those hotheads and distract them from throat-slitting, but it is a bit hit-and-miss in terms of accuracy. One could send a drone, but Diane Abbott is probably busy. My Lord the Bishop consulted with the Archdeacon, Mr. Slope and Mr. Harding: the latter thought it a worthy enterprise, one that could do no harm; the Archdeacon pooh-poohed the scheme and suggested something more explosive, like a vat of chicken tikka masala, and Mr. Slope refused to be pinned down (which must be a first). A decision had to be made, so I made it. No bouncing bibles from Barchester, just stale hobnobs double-baked to a recipe by Barnes-Wallis. Fiendish I know…

I see Mr. Choudary published his plan for a Sharia Britain before being thrown into the Clink. One does not approve of the ravings of a fanatic, but his advice on biscuit making is sound. If more people baked hobnobs the world would be a better place. It worked wonders for Garibaldi.

Mr. Slope is beside himself at the news of Miss Trott and Mr. Kenny’s gold medals. Something to do with Mr. Kenny’s elasticated outfit which, I believe, fitted like a glove. Have to confess, I thought “Trott and Kenny” – as the press so rudely refers to them – were characters out of Mapp and Lucia, but I lead a sheltered life.

Countess de Courcy is about to leave for Canada. She has been appointed lady-in-waiting to the Duchess of Cambridge, and in preparation is over-indulging in maple syrup. Not good for the figure, but then she doesn’t have one. A royal visit is always cheering, and hopefully the loyal colonials will do plenty of that as the cavalcade sweeps by – that means you, dear Avi. I did detect a degree of ‘sniffy-ness’ when her ladyship told me the news – she is conscious of her illustrious pedigree (which includes at least eight noble lords beheaded for treason) and feels the duchess is, well… ‘not one of us’. Has she not read ‘Cinderella’? It’s the government’s text-book for social mobility and here we have the perfect example. Look at Glenda Jackson – from nothing to nobody in one lifetime – how more mobile could one get?

Bertie Stanhope admitted to having recently joined the Labour Party – though he’s never done a day’s work in his life. Alas, his vote in the current leadership contest will not count and he has written to Sir Abraham Haphazzard, asking him to challenge the High Court ruling. I cannot see why bland, train-spotting Mr. Smith wants to lead such a rag-bag of vegan lentil-weavers and Trotskyite Lesbian dance-collectivists, but each to his (or her) own. Any party that welcomes such exotics – and indeed Bertie Stanhope – is not one I would care to join.

My round-up of gossip this week has a decidedly domestic flavour, give or take the odd excursion. For once it has been nice not to dwell on American politics and Brexit affairs. It is good to be British, is it not? The only thing missing to round off the summer and make it perfect is Mr. Blair’s appearance at The Hague, but that isn’t going to happen. Ah well… one can but dream. For now I must dash – it’s bath night at Hiram’s Hospital and I promised to replenish the soap-on-a-rope which keeps disappearing into a black hole somewhere. Perhaps that explains why Mr. Slope has been slithering about in a most peculiar fashion of late. Until next week, may your anchor hold in the storms of life and remember Deuteronomy 23:1 at all times. Adieu dear friends, adieu!