A vacancy at Bishopthorpe – let the jockeying commence! The front-runners are…

Goodness! A vacancy at Bishopthorpe – let the jockeying commence! Soon the evensong bongos will be stilled forever as a new archbishop moves in, dog-collar and all. Who will it be? I understand these are the front-runners:

The Rt. Reverend Hecate Wicca-Spellbinder, Bishop of Altersexmundum, currently Crowley Professor of Heterodoxy at Cuddesdon and author of Pentagram or Pentateuch: the Anglican Dilemma.

The Rt. Reverend Noreen Spott-Welder, Bishop of Bosomworth, Secretary of the Anglican Lesbian Outreach Society and editor of that progressive Anglican magazine, The Organ.

The Venerable Bert Throbbs, Dean of St. Marx and All Engels, Chaplain to UNITE and Momentum.

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

The Revd. Persephone Manhandler, Priest-in-charge of St. Ludicrus-in-the-Extreme, London.

Mr. Slope, you can well imagine, perked up when he heard of the official announcement in the Sits-Vac columns of The Socialist Worker, but aspiration is one thing, audacious ambition another. One had to bring him down with a few cutting words – cruel, you may think, but kinder in the long run. Personally, I rather hope a certain former archbishop would consider throwing his ashes into the ring, for the Church could do with a miracle or two, but I doubt if he could be persuaded.

Sardinia? Oh, it was lovely. A whole week of blue skies and warm sunshine. Glad you asked. If you haven’t been, then go. My Lord the Bishop and I took a boat trip to Corsica. That was lovely too, and not a sight of Boney!

I was away in Sardinia when the Corbynista Kumbaya was on in Liverpool, so I am blissfully unaware of his party’s plans for gulags, collective farms on ‘The Archers’ and radical reform of common sense (what little there is left, that is). To be honest, the goings-on in Birmingham are about as much as one can stomach, as Mrs. Dismay hunkers down on her Chequers and Mr. Johnson tells her to ditch it. This woman is not for turning, as Justine Greening found out to her cost. I have come to believe that Mrs. Dismay’s true, Sorosastrian mission is to destroy Conservatism in these islands once and for all, and as such she is doing a splendid job! We can all look forward to the Magic Grandad taking charge of the keys to Number 10 and leading Our Great Leap Forward (arthritis permitting).

The Jupiter reports that Mrs. Dismay danced onto the conference stage in Birmingham doing the Lobster Quadrille with all the finesse of a demolition crew smashing an irreplaceable Georgian building. She should have left her ‘Strictly’ ambitions in the Dark Continent. She spoke tedium for an hour (proving time does stand still) though nobody remembers a word, other than the scribbling hacks sitting at the back, hoping to grab a headline for the late editions. Mrs. Dismay’s political style is a unique fusion of Gradgrind, Mrs. Danvers and a startled cod – there was no joy or hope in her message to the party (and the nation), just more bureaucratic incompetence and double-plus-good betrayal behind the scenes. The spectre of tooth-and-claw Corbynism looms ever larger as the CON-servatives commit hari-kari.

The Archdeacon, who often gets his gaiters in a knot, is somewhat agitated over news that the Boy Jupiter of France is plotting to bring about a second British referendum to thwart Brexit.

“Allow me to explain, dear lady,” said the Archdeacon patiently as he spotted my furrowed brow and uncomprehending expression. “Monsieur Macaron believes if Berlaymont offers Mrs. Dismay a bad deal, one that she could not possibly accept, she would be soundly defeated in the Commons and the calls for Referendum 2 would intensify. This granny-bothering slack-wearing emascumollusc with his plume-de-ma-tante coiffure and penchant-du-garcon-Africaine is no Napoleon, but a puffed-up vol-au-vent of globalist codswallop: he should be carried à la lanterne immediately and replaced by someone with a proper stake in the future of Christendom.”

“I am sure you are right,” I replied, desperately trying to invent a pressing appointment that I must hurry to.

Foolishly I asked whatever happened to Madame Le Pen.

“Ah, a good question,” said the Archdeacon, “for the ways of the establishment are devious indeed. She has been referred to some psychiatrist to determine whether or not she is one langue-du-chat short of the biscuit tin. Such tactics were imported from those dastardly Bolshevik fellows…”

“You mean the BBC?” I asked.

“Not exactly,” said the Archdeacon kindly, “But near enough.”

I was somewhat taken aback yesterday whilst out shopping along Barchester High Street. I was looking in the window of The Old Curiosity Shop at their fine range of Parian ware statuettes of Archbishop Welby, when I became aware of a small child standing next to me. She looked so pale and undernourished, my heart went out to her. I thrust a hobnob into her sticky hand.

“And what is your name, little girl?” I enquired.

“My name is Little Nell,” she replied, “But I am not a girl.”

“Not a girl?” I exclaimed, “What silly conceit is this?”

“My teacher says I can be any gender I want to be. Right now I am transitioning into something more interesting.”

“What the Dickens are they teaching at the Ragged School these days?”

“Arithmetic, Reading, Gender Studies, Feminism, Affirmative Action with participatory ‘Touch and Feely’ sessions at break times,” she replied.

I left her with deep forebodings. Britain has not yet gone to the dogs, but I fear such permissive legislation is not far away.

Absolutely barking!

Well my dears, I must get on. I have been invited to attend a non-stop charity Can-Can-athon at the Seventh Day Adventists annual autumn hootenanny – not really my cup of tea but one has to be ecumenical in these changing times. So, as the faggots are gathered for the bonfire of the vanities and the cobblers of Conservatism remove the soul from the Maybot’s kitten shoes, I bid you a fond adieu, until next week.