Friday, 26 September 2014

Lawnmower Man

The rusty old wheels of capitalism still keep rolling round and round, despite all the best efforts of earnest socialists to flatten the tyres, grind the gears or otherwise throw spanners in the works. Seeing the increasing desperation with which the former workers’ party tries to discredit the system, which ultimately makes everything they cherish come to fruition, I am reminded of the difficulties which beset the capitalists in training up their front line troops:

In a department store in the yet-to-be politically correct nineteen-nineties a young, callow youth is being groomed to become the next under-deputy-assistant-sales-executive and he is spending a week in each of the many departments, learning his craft, plying his trade. Unlike an artisan, our man has only his wits to wield in order to turn desires into sales and thus provide the profits which keep those rusty wheels a-turning.

Here we see him at the front of house, attending the newspaper and magazine counter. A queue of punters extend back into the store between the racks of Daily Mails and Cosmopolitans, Telegraphs and Marie Claires and he deals with them swiftly, efficiently, his fingers jigging about the till like little pink maggots with St Vitus’ Dance. At the end of the day he is taken to one side by the floor manager who berates him at length for his blithe efficiency. “There’s little or no profit in papers, son,” he tells the youngster, “you have to get them to trade up. We make but five percent per paper, but we make fifty percent on the ‘cut-price’ chocolate at the counter. Think on.”

Duly admonished, the lad determines to try harder next week, when he is assigned to the gardening department. A man comes in and spends a considerable time poring over the instructions on the backs of lawn seed packets. Eventually he selects a particular brand and goes to the counter to pay. Our hero is ready and - remembering the lost opportunity of last week - decides to make amends. “A wise choice, sir, if I may say so. That is one of our best-selling varieties of lawn seed and I’m sure you will be very satisfied with the lush, green sward it will produce.” The sales manager, listening, was impressed, then dismayed when he heard the youngster say: “May I suggest you also purchase a bar of our bargain chocolate to boost your energy for all that sowing?”

“No, no, no!” says the sales manager, “you missed a golden opportunity there. Sell up, every time.” The trainee looked confused until the veteran explained. “He’s bought some grass seed. No matter what the quality you congratulate him on his wise choice, then plant your own seed of aspiration.” Colin – for that is the young man’s name – looks perplexed, so the manager explains. “He’s going to have a thick, green luxurious lawn to deal with in a few weeks’ time… Sod the chocolate; you could have sold him a lawnmower!”

A penny drops and Colin sees the light. Yes, of course, cause and effect, create an expectation and sell up. Got it. Determined to impress, he steels himself for the next week, which he is due to spend in the pharmacy.

After a few days of mundane sales of Lemsips and emery boards and toothbrushes and mundane-as-you-like, everyday, low grade, self-maintenance products he begins to despair. How can you upgrade a purchase of paracetemol? And then, opportunity knocks. A man in his mid-thirties is spending an unusual amount of time scanning the shelves. Eventually he sidles up to the counter, timing this move so that he gets to speak to Colin, the only male assistant on the counter.

“May I help you?” asks Colin. The man looks nervously around before asking “Do you have… er… you know, ‘woman’s things’ for…” he coughs, “… that time of the month?” Colin coolly dispenses the necessary items, much to the man’s relief then, in a moment of inspiration asks, “Would you like to buy a lawnmower?”

Lawnmower Man
You wanna buy a lawnmower?

There is a pregnant pause. The sales manager, lurking nearby, is alarmed. The other counter staff stare in Colin’s direction. The customer looks at Colin, unsure where this bizarre suggestion is leading. Colin, undeterred, casts a glance and a cheeky wink in the sales manager’s direction and says, “Well, let’s face it, your weekend’s pretty screwed… you may as well mow the lawn!”

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Team Ed… a One-man Band

In the confused world of the left all doctors are good and all business owners are bad. All state-employed teachers are selfless saints and all private tutors are instruments of class warfare. Those who live their whole, drink-addled lives in relative comfort entirely on benefits are put-upon, ‘vulnerable’ members of society, but fuck the homeowner who has to choose between upgrading his ageing car and taking his kids caravanning in Clacton. And those who donate to charity are angels from heaven above unless they are wealthy individuals, in which case they are cynically buying favour.

And it’s a life membership, too. You can be brought low from a high birth and earn your crust by picking scabs off lepers and you will never be a friend of the left, yet you can rise from the gobby gutter to be a two-Jagged lord of the realm but remain one of their own. Of course, should you attempt to pull yourself up by your boot straps and fail you will have only yourself to blame as you are admonished and shunned for daring to get above your station. Know your place, minion.

All those on the left are caring and fearless fighters for social justice, while all those on the right are hideous maladjusted monsters upon whom slow deaths by cancer are wished. There is no apparent contradiction in the collective mind of the followers of statist ideology that they can claim they strive for equality ‘for all’ yet would mete out disproportionately hideous punishment to those they deem unworthy of that same equality. All immigration is good. Only white people can hate. Diversity is always a boon; diversity is enrichment and the cultural traditions of the indigenous are not worth preserving. To the left, all cultures are equal… except ours. Free speech? Not yours, you monster; say anything they dislike and await censure.

Read a Labour/left polemic and you’ll read a tract full of bile and spite and conspiracy and fighting talk about bringing the bosses to their knees, the scabs to traitors’ gate and the rulers to a bloody end. Clearly there is only so much equality and compassion to go around. In contrast what they call ‘far right’ thinkers tend to deal not in illusory visions of sunlit uplands but in the reality of what can be achieved when individuals seek their own elevation. The most destructive of all left-leaning fictions is the fiction of equality and fairness because in their eyes the two are the same thing. The harder you graft the fairer it is to take what you produce and give it those whose only role is to receive.

Miliband talks about One Nation, about being part of a team, about working together. But teams are not about equality either; ask anybody picking sides for a kickabout… and those they leave until last. Ask any Premiership manager how they feel about equality. Teams need leaders and Miliband is not a leader. Teams are composed of those who have the ability to do their bit and accept commensurate reward, some of which is the reward of belonging. In a Labour-run Britain, the goal-scorers will be unwelcome and the only successful strategy of Team UK will be every man for himself.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Top Marx!

Well I, for one, am happy about Ed’s conference speech. He very clearly laid out what all non-Labour voters have always suspected; the utter contempt in which the private sector is held and the total lack of understanding of how society, any society, functions. Unless you believe in anarchy – and that bizarre notion seems to be a perversely unique preserve of people with otherwise left wing views – nobody objects to contributing a portion of their earnings towards the public purse.

Nobody on what they insist on referring to as ‘the far right’ - which is shorthand for anybody not employed by the state, anybody getting by without claiming benefits – wants to destroy the NHS, but people who often pay for their own healthcare anyway and take care to lead generally responsible, healthier lifestyles – are increasingly fed up with their contributions pouring into the bottomless money pit the current NHS represents. The third or fourth largest employer on the PLANET? Are you insane? You would have to be if you think a relatively small population in a formerly heathy, fully developed nation needs a medical system costly enough to care for all of Asia’s teeming billions. 

All that successful people ask is that their tax money, from which they get little direct benefit, is spent wisely and that they are left to spend the rest how they wish. They’ve earned it, after all, by adding value to goods and services and creating true profits in a way the state never has and never can. The state is entirely paid for by private money. And that includes the wages paid to public employees and the tax they then levy on that. If you work for the state you pay tax on the money that has already been collected in tax. You are bought and paid for by the private sector; and some of you are paid to count what you are paid, hand it out, take some of it back and recycle those amounts to create the illusion of government money. Ever heard of a non-job? 

What you do may be important, you doctors and nurses and bin men and bus drivers, but never forget that all of you are paid by those some of you would drive away by your sheer avarice. Yes, that. Oh, it’s not you personally, you all believe you are doing god’s work, but that’s only because, like the party that feeds you by picking somebody else’s pockets, it serves you to believe that those who are not on the national payroll are its enemies and not its benefactors. So what if the wealth they pay tax on is inherited? So what if they happily fall into the family business; it’s none of your business, that’s for sure. The NHS, the government, welfare, defence, education, law enforcement, roads and railways are ultimately paid for not by you and your taxes but by the hated 'them' and their taxes. 

It's because they care...

When the money finally does run out and the crumbling façade of the Labour experiment is peeled away there will behind it be an ancient barn door on which the altered legend will still be visible: "From each according to his vulnerability, to each according to his ngreeds!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Notes from the Stage

Ah, conference season; the time of year when the party faithful gather to sing comradely songs about the good old decades of our heyday. To savour the memory of the shortening days (and three day weeks) when the dwindling turnip harvests used to signal the start of a bright new winter of wildcat strikes, shortages and power cuts, all of which could be conveniently blamed on the Tory Party’s profligacy, when last in-office, in cutting taxes and raising employment and generally removing their heavy hands from the rudder of the ship of state… the vicious, privileged, wealth-creating bastards.

Do they not understand that stout working people don’t want to own their own homes? Or that nobody who lives in a council house wants to be burdened with making decisions about lofty national issues such as nutrition, education, aspiration or life chances? Do the Conservatives not realise that every child is a ward of state and independence is a condition they do not have the capacity to even crave, let alone exercise? When will the Tories grow up and grasp the fact that private money is theft and personal choice is a false god? We will keep the red flag dying here, if it kills us!

The Labour Party needs new blood, which is why we will both curb then fight to keep and eventually increase Child Benefit until it is sufficient incentive, of itself, to increase the speed of the breeding programme. Only by unrestrained fertility can we hope to outcompete the human tidal wave of immigration unleashed by the nasty Tory party. If we hadn't spent all the money last time round just think how many more people would want to come to Britain? If even in austerity they teem, imagine how they would flock to our shores in prosperity? So, to keep Britain for the British we will oppose every Tory cutback while promising to be even tougher on spending. We think that sends a clear message, that when it comes to opportunity, Labour is everything you would expect it to be.

People – stupid, ignorant people – have asked how we will fund our promised minimum wage increase. Well, stupid ignorant, bigoted people, we will do it by the time-honoured method pioneered in our glory years; inflation. When inflation was running at 15% people were getting pay rises every week. So popular was it that other people went on strike to show solidarity. If that is not a sign of a successful economy then we don’t know what is! It is all down to turnover; increase turnover, increase output, become great again. Roar for moar!

To save the NHS we will greatly increase throughput, to which end we will shortly announce our plan for a national food programme based mostly on the health-giving properties of a potato-only diet. Soon the NHS will be overflowing and you will have us to thank for making it that way. No, save your applause, for there is more. We will apply the same indisputable logic to the housing crisis – only by tearing down whole streets of private-rented slumlord property and publicly humiliating the evil scum who own them will we create the right climate to encourage new investment in house building. As nobody will be able to afford to buy property any more, the market will be forced to build to rent and as we will cap those rents everybody will win under Labour.

On me 'ed...

They used to say you can’t trust Labour on the economy. They used to say that Labour had a poverty of aspiration. They used to say that Labour never learns. Well, they don’t say that any more… they know we’re just not listening. Give us a decade to fix the country. We promise you, after that you won't recognise Britain any more.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Heating up...

Oh I love a bit cockwomblery to cheer up my workaday world. This weekend it was the dual heartening news that Red Ed and his Marxist puppeteer Len McCluskey have still learned nothing at all about money and in a bid to peddle their desperate line that ‘Tory austerity’ is the root of all evil are planning to magic some pennies up out of nowhere, miraculously use it to invest in itself, release trillions from the nasty evil bankers and "Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.” Wha’evs, it was hilarious.

But not as hilarious as the second thing, which was the People’s Climate March for Changing Climate Change for All of The People’s Assembly, All of the Time… or something; in truth I couldn’t be arsed to check, but I do love it when the deluded all get together wearing healing Lycra™ in the name of Hallucinogens for Hessian Hooligans: Right on, Earth-Mother Sistahs! Internationally renowned climate scientists such as Emma Thompson, Peter Gabriel, Vivienne Westwood and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon lent their support as they demanded the now customary end to ‘all the things’, accepting without question that we are doomed, doomed I tell you! All is murky in climate-fact-land but, soft! what light through yonder glass ceiling breaks? Arise, fair sun, and kill off the envious gas-fired power stations. What larks, Pip!

However, very recent new research shows that every iPhone releases as much carbon dioxide in its production, shipping, usage and disposal as twenty 1980s refrigerators employing the now-banned CFCs as a refrigerant and that every climate change activist will consume thirty-seven iPhones on average during a lifetime, not counting the battery replacements. Furthermore, ‘studies have shown’ that every climate change march – taking into account transport costs, banner production, loud-hailer power consumption, frothy-lattés consumed and localised oxygen depletion – is as harmful to the planet – in methane offset terms - as a herd of 10,000 cows grazing an area the seize of Dorset for a month.

The Green Party leader, ‘Nittlie Binnit’ alone accounts for more toxins being released into the atmosphere than all the long haul flights out of Heathrow in an average year and when you factor in all the climate tourist trips to help the ice caps melt it turns out that the environmental movement is the single biggest cause of global warmingglobal coolingclimate change… climate. In fact for every single solar-photovoltaic panel produced a tiger cub AND a baby panda have to die. Them’s the rules.

Tick, tock... countdown to meh...

The green-sleeved, climate alarmist, enviro-mental eco-activists ask me how I dare to use brazenly made up, fabricated, ridiculous, unsubstantiated, scare-mongering, ludicrous, so-called ‘facts’? I say, why not? THEY started it.

Friday, 19 September 2014


Ah well, Scotland, you had the chance to set out on a great new adventure… and you chose to sit back on yer arse for more of the same. But every cloud, as they say and this whole Caledonian Carnival reminded me of a story, back in the day, of a new commanding officer being appointed to the Black Watch. Typical of our imperial past the officer, although Scots in name, was as English as could be; a graduate of Eton and Oxford and just the sort of toff the Scots would treat to their world-renowned dour disdain.

On his first day in Command, Lt Colonel Hamish McTavish-Smith, later to become  Lt Col Sir Hamish McTavish-Smith, decided to get to know the regiment. He called in his senior non-commissioned officers for what he described as “a bit of a chin-wag, what?” and settled the three in his inner office. “Jolly good to meet you all, “ he began, “I thought we ought to get to know each other.” He beamed and said “I’ll go first,” and began a well-rehearsed account of his life and service to date. The NCOs glanced at each other with weary and wary eyes and awaited their turn.

“So, Company Sergeant Major, er..?”

“McCoy, Sirr!” He sat to attention

Startled by the vociferousness of the response, the Lt Col was panicked into an obvious question: “Been in the army long, McCoy?”

McCoy barked back, “Aye Sir. Twenty yearrrs. Although I wiz no a’ways in the mob y’ken.”

“No?” asked the Colonel, “what did you do before?”

“I was a cock sucker, Sirrr!” replied the CSM.

The Colonel bristled, “I BEG your pardon, Sergeant?”

“Aye Sir, I wiz an apprentice at the dockyard an’ I used to hae t’sock the caulk en-between the teak decking planks, wi’ a wee hammer.”

“Oh, I see” replied Smith and hastily turned to the second NCO. “And you would be..?”

“Colour Sergeant McCoy, Sirrrr!” said he, adding, before the Colonel could reply, “No relation!”

“Good oh” said the Colonel, “I expect there are a fair few McCoys in the ranks.”

“That there are, Sirr and tae answer yer question, I’ve been in the regiment for eighteen years… before which I was a cock sucker, Sirrr!”

“Ah,” said Smith, “dockyard apprentice, I take it?”

“No Sirr!”


“No, Sirr, I was at the distillery and I haed tae give the corks a good ol’ suck before I poot them en the holes en the barrels. Tae get a good seal see, Sirr!”

Can't see me, Jimmy!
Standard issue "Can't see me" Kilt

“I see.” The new CO felt he was starting to get the hang of it and he turned to greet the third “And you, Quartermaster Sergeant..?”

“McCoy, Sirr!” growled the QMS.

“Of course, what else did I imagine?” he said resignedly “Any relation?”

“No, Sirr. There’s a lot o’ McCoys aboot. Anyways, Sirr, twenty three years in the Black Watch and prood of it!” He nodded vigorously and added “…and cock sucker to boot!”

The Colonel studied him a moment and then asked, “Shipyard? Or Distillery”

“Neither, Sirr…" he replied, "I’m the REAL McCoy!”

Thursday, 18 September 2014

If you're gonna do it, do it right

Thursday; polling day: a day for observing a respectful non-partisan silence as the Scots go to vote, not least because at least half of them will be hung over to buggery. Let’s chat quietly among ourselves for a while. But, oh, it still has to be about Scotland for, in this article in the Express Alex Salmond continues to peddle the fundamental lie about immigration; the one that is constantly used to suppress dissent in every country affected by recent mass influxes of unskilled labour, that “…the country will need another XX,000 immigrants a year to fill jobs and fund a welfare system for its ageing population.”

Charles Ponzi’s name became associated in the 1920s with the deliberate practice of attracting new investors to pay dividends on earlier investments, instead of paying those dividends out of earned profits.  From Wikipedia: “The promoter sells shares to investors by taking advantage of a lack of investor knowledge or competence, or using claims of a proprietary investment strategy which must be kept secret to ensure a competitive edge.” That is the British pension system in a nutshell.

And then we get the EU pushing the same lies, dressed up as admonishment for our unruly disregard for the socialist master plan: All the time it’s “immigration is good, it is always good, it has nothing but goodness oozing for every pore… repeat after us, immigration is good…” The rabid muslim murderers of the Middle East repeat “god is good” with every slice of their beheading blades, wearing the same glazed-over, unthinking expressions of hatred for all things civilised, for all things British. It’s time to get a few things straight:

There is no shortage of labour – in fact it’s Capital-L-Labour that is the problem – as for skills gaps, that is due to successive education departments not having the balls to front up to and kick the arse out of political correctness. Every single low-skilled worker that enters Britain is a direct cost to the country; even if he – or increasingly she - doesn’t displace a resident drone, their tax take is piffling, their spend minimal and their cultural contribution is insignificant; ‘diversity’ is part of the same scam.

Every single viable British worker displaced by immigration is a net cost to the country which takes upwards of ten ordinary taxpayers to cover. So, what, the solution is to import ten foreign workers for every Brit on the dole? And what OF the pension scam? As the population ages, do we keep on increasing exponentially the number of migrant workers so the Ponzi becomes a Pyramid? It’s political pass the parcel-bomb with the problems being handed off, administration by administration and every party hoping they aren’t left holding when the music stops.

Balanced migration is good. A stable population with the right demographic mix is good. Opening the floodgates, putting out to grass an indigenous population you don’t give a fuck about, swamping whole towns and cities with insoluble tensions, branding every whistle-blower as a racist, fomenting unrest, degrading everybody’s amenity and selling it as the only way to maintain pensions is a crock of shit and if the politicians don’t know this, they are unqualified for post.

Happy Days?
Alex Salmond - The Ponz?

Of course, if they DO know this then hanging may be too good for them. So, while I hope Scotland makes the ‘right’ decision, whatever that turns out to be, I dearly hope they are not intending to rely on the lie that immigration is any kind of a solution. If you are going to be independent and proud, do it properly.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

You're breaking up!

So, one way or another, ‘The Scottish Question’ will cost English taxpayers a mint. There is no money to provide better border control and immigration services, or to get rightful British citizens their passports on time, or to patch up the roads, railways and other essential infrastructure… There is no extra cash to support our already over-stretched armed forces, police or health services… We can’t afford to build the several million new homes we need to avoid overcrowding, sickness and squalor in our cities…

But wait, here’s a gigantic bag of dosh marked “For Scottish Use Only”. If they vote Yes to independence, it will be used to help pay for their generation-long pretend separation from the British teat, but at least spent that way we might, eventually, get value for money. If they vote No, however (and they will), it will be spent to further rub English noses in the fact that we have had very little say in running our own country for a very long time.

When commentators claim a British victory for the triumphs of the Andy Murrays and Chris Hoys of our shared island it is small recompense for the way in which the supposed ‘evils’ of our former empire are laid squarely on the English doorstep. Everywhere else in the world ‘British’ means English, especially when it is hissed in tones of contempt. Yet Scottish thinkers and doers - as they often remind us - were in the vanguard of our expeditionary zeal and military ambition and shared handsomely in the rewards.

That’s a position they seem loathe to relinquish – the plucky wee independent nation that nevertheless punches above its weight and is justly rewarded for doing so. But if they go off alone, why should we keep on paying? And if they stay, how can we justify paying out even more to keep them from rebelling? I heard today how complicated it would be to have a devolved English Parliament, with Scottish and Welsh MPs denied a vote on English-only issues. No it wouldn’t; it would really be quite simple in principle.

Stay or go, make Scotland self-ruling and self-financing and remove their representation at Westminster. Do the same for Wales and Nor’n Ireland. Because, whether or not the Scots leave us, the genie of devolution is abroad and the so-called Balkanisation of Britain kicks off on Friday. Cornwall, Yorkshire, Shetland, Orkney, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man… even a school in Berwick-upon-Tweed is holding a referendum on independence!

Tartan Taliban
The Tartan Taliban

I say go for it, folks. Let’s start a fund for all the freedom fighters around the former (lower case now) united kingdom. Make Westminster an irrelevance and create world-beating industries in electric fences and border crossings, toll booths and machine gun towers. Let’s ALL have our own currencies, in imperial units so we can rip off the tourists like we used to do. Let’s make the island of Great Britain such a nightmare to negotiate that nobody who leaves can ever get back in again. I think this might just be the answer to our jihadi problem… Thank you, Scotland! 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Look before you leap... but leap if you want.

On the drive in this morning I heard Scottish author Denise Mina, reading her essay on why she supports the NO vote in the imminent Scottish referendum – or as it will come to be known in history as  ‘The day Scotland got independence whichever way it voted’. There is  long and established precedence of asking those who will not be materially affected by an outcome to judge on its sagacity and at least the Today programme was asking people who can string a sentence together, rather than, say, David Beckham.

The United Kingdom has for 300 years had a national identity known as Britishness in which we have had an abundance of that most treasured of New Socialist goals, diversity. It’s possible there is no other unified nation on earth with the breadth of differentness exhibited here, with separate histories, customs, gripes, grievances and petty feuds, yet living together without strife for three centuries. And why? Because above all else we had nationhood, a shared island coastline… one nation under a groovy flag.

So here’s the odd thing about Denise Mina’s plea for unity; she contended that the nation state is a failed paradigm, an inward-looking, insular and excluded method of interacting (or rather not interacting) with the world; that ‘better together’ is an example of how opening borders and down-playing national identity is the key to prosperity in the modern global economy… and therefore Scotland should remain a part of the world-renowned, globe-conquering, yet spectacularly distinct nation called the United Kingdom.

Our own nationhood is the product of centuries of shared endeavour and as much as the federalists would plead otherwise it works – or has worked - because we do have that shared idea of Britishness. In fact the utter failure of and the misery brought about by enforced multiculturalism is at the root of much of what ails us. The breakdown of national boundaries is not, whatever anybody tells you, an unremittingly good thing. In fact, all over Europe, much of the unrest is as a direct result of the inability of countries to maintain their own borders; geographically, economically and most of all, culturally.

Nationhood works; it just does. Whether that entity is a small island or a huge continent it is a very human instinct to cleave to one’s own and borders will be erected one way or another. If you don’t believe in nationhood, how long before you start to believe you should also break up the family unit, as the communists have advocated for a century and a half and as socialists have tried to pretend they haven’t? They are not your children they are the state’s children; is that where we end up?

Either way, you'll still be a country.

I don’t know which way is the best way for you, Scotland; you’re obviously unhappy in this increasingly loveless marriage. But if it is self-determination and the ability to manage your own aspirations without interference from those who don’t have your interests at heart you still have two choices. You are already a country in your own right, so you can opt to become a smaller nation better able to exercise democracy, or you can remain a part of a larger nation which has its own question to answer about independence. Either way, yes or no, the nation state is still the only valid option for a free people.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Carry on up The Raj!

In the early days of the British Raj, when Queen Victoria was yet to use the title Empress of India, the sub-continent was a wild, unexplored place and drew many an adventurer from the ranks of the army to seek their fortune in trade and plunge into a life of derring-do, of steamy nights under monsoon skies and thrilling expeditions into the darkest jungle fastnesses. Shortly after The Great War, a veteran of those intrepid days was discovered in an army pensioners’ hospice in Dover by a young, keen reporter, out to make his name by writing a definitive history of the times.

In his day the former Lieutenant Colonel Farquharson had been a near-legend amongst the members of his regiment and others for his bravery under fire and his extraordinary appetite for danger. Off duty he thought nothing of stalking dangerous game and often set out alone in pursuit of the lesser big cats; the leopard, the Asiatic lion and the black-as-night panther. But none engaged his passion so much as his desire to bag a royal Bengal tiger and as the reporter furiously took notes, Farquharson recounted the sequence of events leading to a very close encounter indeed with this noble and gigantic predatory beast.

“And I tell you” said the ancient, sitting ramrod-straight in his chair, “there is no greater thrill than tracking down your quarry from the lofty howdah atop a mighty Indian elephant.”  He continued: “Once, we were in the dense mangrove swamps of the Sundarbans in the Ganges Delta. A small party; two elephants, a few beaters, the scouts and trackers… and me with my trusty Enfield pattern rifle-musket. Ahead we could hear the occasional deep growl of a tigress, probably defending a kill from marauding leopards; lazy devils, the leopard – rather steal food than kill it themselves, given the chance.”

The reporter scribbled on as the hunter continued his tale. “Suddenly, there was a cry from ahead. One of the beaters had unearthed a banded krait, a big one at that, and one of the deadliest of snakes. In an effort to rid himself of the venomous serpent he had inadvertently flicked it with his stick towards one of the trackers who, examining spoor, was unaware and took a nasty and ultimately fatal bite on the arm. Panic ensued as he thrashed about in his death agonies and as we all looked on helplessly nobody noticed the huge, striped man-eater appear from the undergrowth.”

“Nobody, that is, except the elephants who both reared and stampeded off, bucking the mahouts and me onto the ground. My mahouts fled but I had twisted my ankle and as I looked up to assess the situation I saw, right in front of me, the largest tiger I have ever seen. My weapon was lost, my bearers had fled and all I had were my bare fists. I adopted a fighting stance as the tiger leapt towards me with a mighty ROARRRR!”

Yes, it is. It's the story of Little Black Sambo!

He paused a moment, then looked straight ahead and confessed “ I’m ashamed to say, I soiled myself." The reporter looked up from his pad and said, "Under those circumstances anyone would have done the same." Farquharson shook his head sadly and went on: "No, not then. Just now, when I said ''ROARRRR!''…"

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Missing all the points…

When you dance on swords it’s important you don’t step on the sharp bits. Fortunately for Ed Muddleband, David Cam-on-down and Nick Clogg, their chances of being on the receiving ends of any actual points are vanishingly small as they head up to Jockland to put their shoulders to the Scottish Independence wheel of misfortune.

What they hope to achieve, they say – while resolutely refusing to say it in unison – is that the auld place just wouldnae be the same without ‘oor’ canny wee neighbour in the north; for mark my words, at least one of them will be taken up with their own rhetoric and  come over all Caledonian in the telling. Quite what Scotland will make of the miserable episode is anybody’s guess...

Actually it’s not. Despite what the polls say, most have their minds made up and those who are agin the union will only harden their resolve on seeing the pathetic, belated attempt by hated ENGLISH(ish) politicians to woo their vote. Those who are minded to opt for retaining the status quo will suck their teeth but maintain their preference while cursing under their breath that these idiot interlopers have revealed their desperation with over a week to go.

What was it we used to say about waiting till we could see the whites of their eyes? In the case of Glasgow that would, of course, be ‘the reds’ (in more ways than one) but the party leaders could at least have limited their damage by leaving it until the eleventh hour. This way it’s like poking a hornet’s nest with a stick. What’s that angry whining noise? It’s the sound of half a million Buckfast-fuelled Weegies sensing Sassenachs on their turf with time to mobilise against them.

I secretly hope that Scotland will go it alone; we need a precedent for the big push to get out of the EU, but it’s not going to happen, is it? Even if a Yes vote was returned I reckon the now traditional EU ruling would apply and they’d have to re-run the ballot until the politically acceptable 'correct' result was obtained. But none of that will be necessary, will it? Despite what some polls suggest, I’ve already called it at around 60/40 for the NO vote – just you watch.

But isn’t it the point – one of many that the gleesome threesome will never understand - that it’s for the Scottish to decide? How can we gad about the world demanding the rights of people to determine their own futures when we deny it to our oldest partners right here on our doorstep?

Is it a bir... Oh fuck, it's Miliband.
Ed McMiliband... 
a disaster coming to a country near you.

Anyway, all that’s left is to settle back and watch the Westminster Wankers, the Wizards of Odd, make twats of themselves for a day or so. Ye ken, pal? A bacon buttie is child’s play in the face of the photo-opportunity potential of a deep-fried haggis and Mars Bar pizza. And while Cameron might just about be able to pull it off, there being a clan tartan after all, Gawd 'elp us all if Ed Miliband attempts to wear a kilt…

Friday, 5 September 2014

Wooden Eye

This Friday’s saga is brought to you by way of a belated tribute to the dear, now deceased, friend who told it to me many years ago. (Please watch, this is true.) John was a fine artist and bon-vivant and many a hoary old tale was told, late at night following an exhibition opening or at the end of a frantic weekend at a gallery far, far away. In the pursuit of perfecting his art and particularly his life drawing skills, he had spent a great deal of time at the local hospital, engaged in producing detailed anatomical drawings in the mode of daVinci and it was here that he had heard of the strange case of the young man with the wooden eye.

The poor lad had lost the ocular apparatus in a strange coincidence involving a third party, a pointed stick, some larking about and the ignoring of the sage advice from many an elder that he would have somebody’s eye out one day. Well that was the day and the optical orb was deftly and permanently displaced from its orbit.

Back then, surgery wasn’t an option and so it was an eye patch or a glass’un. But fine glass was expensive and our hero was not only blind, but broke. Were there, he asked the eye technician any cheaper alternatives? The proffered solution of a hand-crafted ceramic replacement was also beyond the humble budget of our one-eyed protagonist who put on his best monocular, ‘pity me’ expression and indicated that he needed a bargain basement option.

The eye artist plucked an old wooden billiard ball from a bowl, sighed and began to paint a crude iris on its surface. It would have to suffice and for the cheapest possible fee our young man walked out of the eye unit a man intact… until he noticed small children staring and pointing and whispering to their mothers, gaggles of giggling girls and the muted guffaws from the binocularly gifted everywhere. He was so shocked at how his affliction marked him out that he retired from society and rarely ventured forth thereafter.

But times change and after a few years he heard talk of openness and acceptance and diversity and individualism and one day he decided to re-enter the world of the living. In the dim lights of a night club he figured his deformity would attract less attention and after a few drinks he was emboldened enough to consider the possibility of asking a girl for a dance. He scanned the room and discovered a pretty, shrinking violet, her hand held to her mouth, hiding away in a dark corner. He moved a little closer so that he could watch to see if she was accompanied.

She was. She had a group of close girl friends who regularly checked that she was okay. They came along and chatted and she seemed to reply, but she never moved the hand from in front of her mouth. Until, just once, he caught a fleeting glimpse. Her mouth sat vertically on her face, a ninety-degree rotated smile; this couldn’t be true. He focused his one good eye on the group and yes, sure enough, she once again revealed her anomalous, grim grin. This was his chance – how could she, with her own deformity, turn him away on account of his?

Nobody's perfect!

Soon she was alone again, her girlfriends back on the dance floor and he seized his opportunity. Walking over to her, his hand covering his wrong eye, her hand covering her perpendicular lips he raised the courage to speak. She shrank away from him at first, her hand clamped firmly over her mouth, but in a moment of raw daring he spread both his hands in a gesture of supplication and – revealing himself – asked, “Would you like to dance?”

She looked directly at him and her heart skipped a beat. She lowered her hand and said, excitedly, ”Oh, wouldn’ I?” Our man hardly paused before he responded; the instincts of years of isolation taking over, he replied, “Well, fuck off yourself… cunt face!” 

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Not for the squeamish...

So, my last Friday commute didn’t go quite as planned. With the Dartford Tunnel closed the only realistic option was to go clockwise; the long way round. Eight hours later I finally completed the 250-mile journey and collapsed into bed… but sleep just would not come as I relived the worst part of the journey. No, not the crawling, stop-start madness of canned commuters trying to get home, but the hell I witnessed when I stopped at Cobham Services to refuel.

Jean-Paul Sartre said “Hell is other people.” He was being unusually generous. My dear god, what horror. A teeming, steaming, loathsome hive of pointless human garbage, gurning into their KFCs, queuing for their Maccy-Dees and dribbling… everywhere the dribbling. Stuffing food into their gaping mouths, pausing only briefly to time their insertion so that mastication need only be interrupted for a fraction of a second and then swilling it all down with over-sized paper cups of ghastly fizzy, sugary shit. And talking, talking, talking… yabbering inanely away about nothing of consequence.

At first I thought it must have been some sort of coach-trip convention composed entirely of society’s rejects, a useless army of the damned; doomed to roam, like broad-beamed Flying Dutchmen from one service station to another, clogging up Britain’s motorway network like slow moving lumps of lard in the nation’s arterial system, occasionally clumping together in clot-inducing gatherings like this. Was I witnessing a rare convocation of the fatty deposits, or was this a genuine snapshot of how British people really are?

Expressionless, saggy-titted, milch-cow mothers, coping with their demanding cuckoos by becoming vending automatons; wiping and feeding, wiping and feeding. Bored, too-young fathers gazing vacantly into mobile phones far their superiors in every possible measure of intelligence and wandering, aimlessly wandering, to and fro and back and forth and achieving the square root of zero-point-fuck-all. And the children – millions of them, to my eyes – everywhere you could see; mewling, squawking, ugly, pointless packets of piss and puke destined to become just like the herd of parents they accompanied and harried and brought low.

And at what point in history did offensiveness of appearance become obligatory for the under forty-fives? Arse clefts gaping from low slung jeans, or underpants hoist like fat spinnakers in Cowes Week. Back fat bulging from vests and blue veins pulsing feebly beneath translucent, over-stretched, pasty-white breast flesh. Pre-pubescent future criminals with insults temporarily razored into thuggish haircuts and everywhere the never-ending declaration of ignorance – tramp stamp, ‘tribal’ tattoos representing no known tribe on earth.

Mass debate
Where's Wally* (Trick question)

This mess, this mass of pulsating flesh, eating, chewing, consuming, using; sucking up and spitting out and wasting precious oxygen; overwhelming the planet’s resources and tearing out the goodness from the earth… and for what? What an insidious parasite the human race is. I sometimes wonder if the islamists have a point.