Thursday, 25 September 2014

Invisible Friends and Fiends

The Redistributionist Faction's Annual Unfortunates' Outing And Picnic is now over, and your Cat is eagerly awaiting the Liberationist and Tree events. What's for lunch?

One clear message that sounded loud and clear from the Redistributionist jamboree was the New Discovery that Edweird the Milliner - the Principal Fruitcake of the aforesaid faction - has hidden influences who inform his daily decisions. In his twelve-hour oration to the enraptured assembly of acolytes, dust-mites, stalactites and stalagmites, he referred to a blessed encounter with a friendly character answering to the name of Gariff. It would seem that Gariff has been having a hard time of things lately, and Eddy Boy has promised to muster the considerable forces at his disposal to make his life better - under the precondition that he votes for the Redistributionists at the next Great Count. Which is nice. Sadly though, not one Redistributionist actually knows who this Gariff is, since no one has ever claimed to have seen him. Your Cat loves mysteries!

I decided to do some research of my own, and during the course of my enquiries I discovered that Eddy Boy has been chewing a particularly potent species of mushroom: his own exclusive stock. This solves the mystery and explains why Eddy's marathon oration omitted the small matter of the Great Northumbrian Deficit (which was left as a parting gift by his own faction when they presided over the Kingdom of Northumbria's decline under the wise and sane counsel of the jovial and monocular Guffmund the Brown). And since the Dear Leader hasn't mentioned the Deficit, it follows that his henchmen and adoring sycophants and elephants haven't mentioned it either: it's a persona non grata. It simply doesn't enter the Great Conversation because it doesn't figure in the Great Narrative. In short, it simply doesn't exist.

Edweird the Milliner has a great future eluding him. Prepare for government, cupcakes. And don't forget the mushrooms...

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Fascinating Rhythm

Following the shocking abdication of the Caledonian Queen Angus McTrout, your Cat has been interested to a subatomic degree by astounding new developments in the politics of the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria

Since it was recently decided by the Caledonian public that the fantasy of self-determination and separation from Northumbria proposed by the retired monarch was a prospect dogged by potential disaster, distress, deprivation, depravity, desolation and biscuit, Dagwald Caedmeron - the Principal Demagogue of the Tree Faction and Archdeacon of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance administration - has promised to grant the Picts and Scots a greater degree of freedom. This will enable them to mind their own affairs in the wild, wet and wintry wastelands of the North. Inevitably, this involves the principle that Northumbrians should henceforth solely have their own representatives in the Witangemot, taking decisions which affect Northumbria - and that existing Caledonian politicos representing their own kinsmen should be banished to their own homeland, where they can inflict their peculiar band of misery upon their own compatriots.

This is a matter upon which the Tree Faction is roundly agreed - and this augurs no great sacrifice for them, since none of their number would ever dare to be found in any constituency north of the River Tweed. However, the Redistributionists - whose inviolable Creed includes the holy dogma of Equality and Fairness for all those who are deluded enough to agree with them - stand to lose the prospect of future electoral success in the next Northumbrian Great Count: not an insignificant number of the mushroom-chewers represent Caledonian parishes. Understandably their Princess, Edweird the Milliner, is deeply unhappy about this prospect, since it obliges him and his motley cabal of acolytes to resort to violent armed struggle in order to gain power and win the hearts and minds of their detractors. 

Once again, it's that time in the cycle of the year where the various factions of the Realm converge on a hapless location so that they can indulge themselves in an annual orgy of rhetoric, rat's whiskers and rhubarb in their respective Annual Unfortunates' Outings and Picnics. Much mead, ale and finest Frankish wine are consumed - along, of course, with industrial quantities of magic mushrooms - an ingredient essential for the business of such political posturing. The Redistributionists have already started theirs, and the smell of beansprouts, boiled cabbage and dog breath - along with the sound of bongoes - already saturates the air around them to a radius of about fifteen thousand miles. Edweird the Spheres - the mendacious and fantasy-fuelled Treasurer of the Shadow - has outlined his fifteen thousand-year-plan for the economy of the Kingdom. More ingenious ways and means have been devised under the influence of the sacred fungus in order to further impoverish and punish the working Northumbrian and to reward the industriously idle.

Like the fine ales, meads and wines, the fantasies continue to flow in measures which are inversely proportional to your Cat's fast waning fascination…

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Getting Unknotted

For some considerable time now the soothsayers have been in an exalted state of excitement concerning the imminent Wee Votie north of the Northumbrian border, which will determine whether or not the Caledonians will run themselves as an independent kingdom, thus disconnecting the close ties which hitherto have bound the kingdoms together.

There have been debates between politicos of rival factions; the chief protagonist on the side of independent-minded Picts has been their spiritual leader, the well-fed and immensely self-satisfied Angus McTrout. With a smugness trespassing the borders of severely delusional self-confidence, the Wee Chiefie has capably dismissed the contrary arguments with a majestic sweep of his overloaded and quasi-poetic rhetoric. Invoking the memories of a past which - if truth be told - never had the misfortune to happen, he appealed to a Golden Age of Caledonian supremacy, poets, kings, glorious battles, Pyrrhic victories, free oats, uisge beatha gently trickling in torrents through the burns and braes of the Sacred Land, along with other word-paintings of similar nonsense. Your Cat should point out that such tales owe more to the vast consumption of magic mushrooms, washed down by the aforesaid distillation.

The primary rivals and defenders of the existing arrangement in these debates have been Caledonian Redistributionists; Tree politicos have been notably absent, since on that side of the border their popularity  is matched only with that of a free range dog's colonic droppings on a butcher's bench. Since the Trees therefore have no reason to to engage in debate with the rebellious Picts, the Redistributionists have been obliged to take up the mantle; should the Wee Votie decide that Caledonia is an independent political entity, they stand to lose not an insignificant number of politicos from the Northumbrian Witangemot. The result of this would be utter tragedy, since it would thus guarantee that a Redistributionist majority will never happen in the future. Try - if you can - to imagine this Cat's heartfelt tears.

One sticking point in the debates - which, like a dialogue of the deaf - has involved irritable exchanges of attitude rather than arguments, has been the issue of the proposed new Independent Caledonia's currency. Since the separation would involve the severing of the purse strings from the Northumbrian exchequer, cold logic would decree that the Picts and Scots would have to establish their own currency - thus following through their independent zeal to its ultimate conclusion. This is evidently too much like hard work for the Wee Chiefie, who in his customarily complacent manner has instead that they will retain the Holy Groat, since they will continue to need supplies of the filthy Northumbrian lucre to maintain their existing dependence on magic mushrooms. And Caledonian currency would be worthless in the Northumbrian realm...

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Pails Into Insignificance

It's so gratifying to know that while the Levant is in turmoil and all manner of injustices and horrors are routinely being played out throughout the world – including in the delightful Redistributionist-infested settlement of Rodreham - the soothsayers have seen fit to serve the unreflective masses with yet another hearty distraction.

It all commenced the other day when the Professor Emeritus of Unclear Physics and Retired Chieftain of the as yet undiscovered land of Ultima Thule – a certain Gerhard the Shrub by name – had the contents of a pail poured over him by his spouse. This purportedly was a means enabling him to draw some attention to himself (which for him had been a commodity in rare supply for several years), collect money in support of sorcerers' research into some incurable malady, as well as challenge some other attention-starved ex-politico to a feat of similar folly. As your Cat understands it, the contents of the bucket were iced water, which is usually more constructively employed to preserve fish.

Once the first stone was dislodged, the dam proceeded to burst, and even in the streets of Streonaeshalh one can behold all manner of men, women and children pouring buckets of icy cold water over each other. Monkey see, monkey do.

As a longstanding member of the feline community, this Cat finds this spectacle bizarre and incomprehensible; none of my peers would ever welcome the experience, but would rather entertain themselves by running a mile over hot tiles to evade such a fate.

This phenomenon is nothing new, however. The Redistributionist, Tree and Liberationist politicos adopted this habit years ago; when this present trend is long forgotten by the public consciousness, they'll continue to doggedly cleave to their own sacred tradition. However, they like to use less noble contents for their pails, choosing rather the freshly garnered outpourings of human alimentary systems and bladders. They tip them over their rivals (who reciprocate in like manner) in the hope that they'll smell even worse than they did before. They never do, of course…

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Clone Ranger

What I'm about to tell you is on complete confidence - please don't pass this on to anyone else. You won't believe this - in fact I haven't even told my master Caedmon, since I know he'd merely dismiss this as being a feline flight of fancy. It isn't.

The other night, I was on my customary evening patrol of my territory around the lovely Northumbrian settlement of Streonaeshalh. It was a quiet night, punctuated by the occasional callings of my nocturnal avian friend and fellow hunter, Doctor Hoo and his associates.

In the darkness I reached a field adjacent to some woods nearby, and was about to cross it when my attention was drawn by a strange and unfamiliar whirring sound. When I looked in the direction of the noise, I saw a strange object in the middle of the field; it was larger than a house, but was of a shape reminiscent of an enormous soup plate. This unusual structure emitted a series of pulsating lights.

Mesmerised, I watched as a door opened in the object, and two figures emerged into the doorway, lit up by the blinking luminescence. The figures looked vaguely human, and as I approached in my usual feline curiosity, I saw that both figures looked identical to the Redistributionist Grand Mufti, Edweird the Milliner.

I greeted them, and they approached me to investigate. I asked them who they were, and where they had come from, and one of them replied that were celestial rangers; they'd travelled the expanse of the skies from a faraway world called Redistributia, and they were on a routine visit to our world.

When I asked them the purpose of their visit, they told me that they had come to relieve Edweird the Milliner of his shift, and to replace him with another of their kind, thus enabling Eddy to return to his home for some rest and recuperation.

I asked them if they could also please replace Dagwald Caedmeron - the Cupcake-In-Chief of the Tree Faction. They told me that training was already in progress, and his successor would be arriving soon...

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Edweird's Grand Day Out

Your Cat has awakened from his customary slumbers to announce that Edweird the Milliner has taken an interval from his astonishing victories; taking the Golden Opportunity of a lifetime, he's taken a ride on a barque, sailing to the distant shores of the as yet undiscovered land of Ultima Thule. How exciting!

Surrounded by an entourage of sycophants, elephants and assorted hangers-on, Eddy - the as yet undiscovered leader and Great Expectation of the Redistributionist Faction - has paid a courtesy visit to Bugrake O'Barmy, the as yet undiscovered High Chieftain of the aforesaid kingdom. All at the expense of the Northumbrian taxpayer, you'll understand.

The primary purpose for the Great Leader's outing is so that he can present himself before his adoring acolytes as a Great Statesman and potential Once And Future Principal of the Northumbrian Kingdom. However, such overweening ambition and delusion is fed by a constant diet of flattery, flatulence and a continual and industrial quantity of the Sacred Mushrooms, which empower the imaginations of their feckless consumers and carry the enraptured mind into states of glittering and unreflective bliss.

The secondary reason for the visit is so that Eddy can sit in dumbstruck reverence at the feet of the Grand Master, in the eager expectation of catching some of the morsels of holy doctrine that drip from his mellifluous chops. He's particularly interested to discover how Bugrake O'Barmy has managed to maintain his spellbinding power over his warlike clans, and how he rules over them without actually taking any constructive decisions. He also wants to learn the secret of Bugrake's phenomenal command of rhetoric, rhubarb and oratory - qualities which are conspicuously absent from the Milliner's otherwise awesome arsenal.

The Ultima Thule Chieftain will doubtless have been delighted to take a few hours of his time to spend in the presence of the Prince of Obscurity to chew the fat with him. I wonder if he'll have remembered Eddy's name - or where he came from?

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Caddy's Last Stand

Having inspired the Northumbrian football team and their mascot Wade Rune to lose the coveted Holy Roman Empire Cup and to return to their native shores to a rapturous welcome, Dagwald Caedmeron - the Loved and Revered Tosspot and Despot of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration - has been fighting and losing battles of his own: not within the football fields of Ultima Thule, but rather within the hallowed halls and courts of the aforesaid Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire).

The bone of contention has been the appointment of the new Emperor and disappointment of the present Monarch, His Holiness Emperor Jose Borracho. The new Caesar-in-waiting is a hitherto unknown council warrior called Claudius Junkbond - a deeply loved and popular unknown among his immediate circle of lackeys.

It would appear that the new chieftain-elect - whose appointment (strangely) doesn't happen to rest upon the electoral support of the hordes of loyal tribes, clans and kingdoms - has a penchant for the finest wines of the Empire. At all times of the day. And night. Every day. All, of course, at the expense of the Holy Roman Empire taxpayer, who is too preoccupied with his survival as well as the latest football results from the soothsayers and other assorted rumour-millers. This is a golden opportunity for him to pass from obscurity to complete oblivion. In luxury and biscuit.

It isn't that Caddy bears any personal antipathy towards the new Emperor-elect, however; he's seized on a vital opportunity to curry favour with his disenchanted disciples back at home, who are rapidly deserting his teachings in favour of the anti-Empire rebel, the plain-speaking, mead-quaffing Nickwald the Forager. The logic is that if Caddy Boy is observed to make a valiant stand against the appointment, he will be perceived to be a Principled Princess of the People, and this will successfully woo hearts and minds.

Success is guaranteed... isn't it..?