The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Settling for Second-Best

One of the Imperial Haystack's more notable achievements during his years of bumbling and blustering at City Hall was the killing of a few thousand expendables by persistently maintaining illegal levels of air pollution; and now that the Haystack has ascended unto the Ministry for Wogs, Frogs and Huns, he has naturally taken his environmental concerns with him. What's good enough for British proles is good enough for wogs (and, as the chinless dimness that is Jacob Rees-Mogg has observed, vice versa); so the Foreign Office has responded to the most urgent issue of our time by sacking great swathes of the staff who work on it. The excuse, as eructated by a spokesbeing extruded for the purpose, is the usual one: a "whole of government approach" in which ministers make up their own facts, so that we can benefit from the low-carbon transition to shale gas and blanched radioactive pachyderms, as the Government strives to remain more or less second-best in the world, or whatever, and to deliver an economy that works for all except the kind of people Jacob Rees-Mogg doesn't much care about.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Blobs and Gobs

Scourge of people who know things about things, former Minister for More Rah-Rah in Our Schools, and non-contributing signatory of the Authorised Version, the jabbering homunculus that is Michael Gove has now weighed in, with all his blowflyweight intellectual heft, over the Turner Prize. It is unclear whether the jabbering homunculus knows any more about modern art than he does about (to take a random example) teaching; but, as with teaching, what he does know he doesn't like. The jabbering homunculus dislikes the Turner Prize for celebrating the "tragic emptiness of now", a phrase of such vacuous journalistic pomposity that one might almost think Gove a mere Murdoch drone, if one did not know better. The jabbering homunculus finds modern art too ugly and nihilistic; which is understandable enough in someone who found the Blackadder representation of the First World War insufficiently clean and cheerful. Some political colleagues of the jabbering homunculus recently tried to remove art history from the A level curriculum, on the grounds that genuinely hard-working proles will have no time for such fripperies; but it would of course be absurd, as well as unkind, to suggest that Gove has been vengefully deployed as a squeaky pink rubber attack hamster.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Floating Voters

Despite being nothing much to worry about as far as the Bullingdon Club was concerned, last winter's floods were among the most severe on record in Britain; but fortunately only according to mere experts. A review compares the flooding to that of March 1947, which had a larger impact because the country was recovering from war and had only rudimentary flood defences: a situation to which the Conservatives and their UKIP backbone are stil gamely trying to return us. One of the mere experts noted that the effects of the flooding were personal, even though they happened mostly to the idle and over-privileged inhabitants of the Northern Powerhouse. Also on the bright side, the difficulty of attributing any single specific event to climate change, or even to the Conservative Party's vandalism of flood defences, means that Government policy can proceed smoothly along its prole-fracking, badger-busting, topsoil-trashing way, while the drivelling clod Andrea Leadsom (remember her?) flails around the DEFRA stationery cupboard trying to find out where they've hidden her wellies.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Sending the Proper Message

In an advanced industrial society with sophisticated communications and an awareness of the dangers of pollution, there should of course be no objection to the use of mobile telephones on the road. All that would be required is a properly run and funded national public transport system, which would radically reduce the number of drivers while enabling travellers to apply their minds freely to matters other than controlling potentially dangerous vehicles. Since the prevailing religious orthodoxy forbids any such blasphemous measure, the Government is considering simply imprisoning dangerous drivers for longer periods. As usual, the logic is that the stiffer the penalty, the greater the deterrent, because no miscreant ever commits an offence without first taking into account the likelihood of being caught. It remains as yet unclear what the Government plans to do about the dangerous drivers who have reversed the full weight of the Department of Heath and the DWP over so many unfortunate victims.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Strictly Advisory

Although it remains unclear on what terms the British Government wishes to leave the EU, or even whether it understands the various differences between the EU, the customs union, the single market, the European Court of Human Rights and the Third Reich, a foreign judge has very undemocratically weighed in to confuse the matter further. The president of the court for the European Free Trade Association has suggested that EFTA might be a nice, soft bit of cotton-wool for the UK's delicate little sovereignty; however, the organisation at the moment consists only of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, which hardly seems worthy company for a nation that is even now laying down the law to Nissan, defying the Italian prosecco mafia and dictating terms to Canada about marmalade and cheese. Even worse, the decisions of the EFTA court are "strictly speaking advisory"; which, judging by the fallout from the late Head Boy's silly little party management stunt in June, would automatically require Her Majesty's Government to impose without delay the most extreme and deplorable consequences with regard to practically everything.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Partial Redemption

Sentimental optimists such as myself cannot help seeing the best amid the worst. Christianity inspired some fine paintings and spectacular architecture. King John was an efficient administrator, as indeed was Stalin. Hitler was a brave soldier. The Ku Klux Klan was founded on sincere and genuine grievances among the white working class. Pol Pot enforced the virtues of hard work, selflessness and healthy country living. Margaret Thatcher was less spineless than John Major, less stupid than Daveybloke Cameron and less maladroit than Mad Tessie May. Even Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump have the redeeming feature of being mortal. And the year 2016 will at least have to its credit the resounding defeat of an entitled, dim-witted, toffee-nosed race-baiter, both in the London mayoral election and in his own vanity by-election. However unremittingly awful 2016 may have been, it was not the year of Zac Goldsmith, twice, and nothing can take that away from it.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Appropriate Utilisation of Literary Resources

Perhaps the most salient difference between the present generation of Conservatives and its predecessors is that those of the present generation are, by definition and before everything else, vulgarians. After five years of gleeful kicking by the sniggering schoolboys of the Bullingdon Club, the small-minded curtain-twitchers of the Tin-pot Tessie régime have thrown a pittance at what remains of the country's libraries, accompanied by orders for the sector to mend its ways. According to the relevant flunkey, libraries are hugely popular and among our most valuable community assets, and must therefore be altered out of all recognition, rather like the National Health Service. It is absurd to expect libraries to deal in books alone; books are, after all, merely what they are set up to provide. To gain the approval of the party of Disraeli, Churchill and Jeffrey Archer, libraries must, in addition, provide access to all the other public services for which the Government is not prepared to pay, and convert themselves into job centres, health clinics and, no doubt, places of surveillance and migrant control. After all: a quiet place to read, in which units of book trade merchandise are shared rather than sold? Where's the rah-rah in that?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

You Can't Get the Staff These Days

Zac Goldsmith, the wholly independent, non-Conservative race-baiting ex-Conservative with whom the Conservatives disagree so profoundly that they are not fielding a candidate against him, has been clipped by his own car on the way to a final by-election blather in Richmond Park. It remains as yet unclear whether he was making a bid for the likeable-bumbler image which served the Imperial Haystack so well back when he was serving his country as a game-show host; or whether he has any plans to blame his torn trousers on bus-bombing Scary Muslims. Then again, perhaps he was merely showing his independence of Conservative ideology by employing a non-expert driver because a licensed one would have meant wasting time and money on bureaucratic red tape.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Party of Working People Who are Properly Thankful for What's Put in Front of Them

Having hurriedly abandoned her more or less sane pledges on corporate governance, presumably in order to make room for her government's ever more loony gyrations over Europe, Mad Tessie has dispatched her Secretary of State for Profiteering and Fat-Cat Strokage to explain how not keeping a promise is, as the Liberal Democrats might say, really much the same as keeping it, actually. Rather than placing employee representatives on corporate boards, the Government now wishes merely to ensure that workers have a voice, without bothering too much over forcing anyone to listen who might have better things to do, and provided that the voice keeps a properly respectful tone and doesn't say anything silly like Please, sir, I want some more. The favoured proposal seems to be for a non-executive director with an explicit obligation to lecture the proles and hold meetings, which is certainly the sort of radical shake-up that will deter future Philip Greens from excessive additions to the yacht collection. The present system, said Mad Tessie's flunkey, "has been a successful system which has had the confidence of business around the world." To the flunkey's credit, the use of the pluperfect at least demonstrates a welcome if subtle acknowledgement of the confidence business around the world now has, and is likely to go on having, thanks to the Government's blundering Brexit and flatulent Foreign Secretary.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Inside Every Starving Syrian A Food-Bank Briton is Struggling to Emerge

Something called Toby has been trying to explain why RAF personnel, whom the Government is more than happy to place in harm's way when a bit of wog-bombing is called for, should not be placed in harm's way for reasons that are purely humanitarian. More than a hundred and twenty MPs have called on the dead-eyed warden of HM Prison UK to authorise air-drops of food, medicine and British leadership to Aleppo, citing the rather unfortunate examples of the Reverend Blair's crusade for titanium in Sierra Leone and his blithe aggravation of the war in Kosovo. Since the Americans haven't told us to drop food on Aleppo, and since it is unclear how far such air-drops would help NATO progress towards its Holy Grail of war against Russia, the Government is feeling a bit hesitant about it all, and extruded the thing called Toby for no other readily apparent purpose than to say "actually" a good deal. Having worried that sending aircraft to keep Syrians alive might actually compound matters in some way that sending aircraft to kill Syrians actually does not, the thing called Toby warned Russia that using food as a weapon of war, rather than as a means of monetising foreign proles for the benefit of transnational corporations, is actually a war crime. If he has finished quaking in his boots by now, Putin is doubtless considering how the thing called Toby might best be appeased.