Friday, 4 March 2011

Ill-gained Groats and Berneslai Votes

As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly. (Proverbs 26:11)

It's been a busy week for your Cat; there seems to have been a lot of stuff going on here lately in the lovely country of Northumbria. Of course, I wouldn't want it any other way: I've been blessed (or afflicted - according to my prevailing mood) with an abnormally high degree of curiosity into the realms of human political and social activity, and the knuckle-draggers haven't failed me yet. Boredom will simply have to wait, people.

Yesterday in the South of our Northumbrian Kingdom was yet another local election: this one was in the grim and grimy settlement of Berneslai. Readers will recall that there was a similar event a couple of months ago. And the coincidence doesn't stop there: this election - like the previous one in Auldholme - was also occasioned by the ignominious departure of a crooked politico. In this case, the previous incumbent - Slíðelic (pronounced 'Slitherlick' for the sake of the uninitiated) - hadn't told porky-pies about his fellow contenders; he'd simply fiddled and defrauded his way to wealth and happiness. Evidently his Witangemot allowance hadn't been sufficient to sustain his taste in cheese and fine Burgundy wines from the vineyards of Charlemagne. His happiness and wealth - along with his reputation - are somewhat depleted at present, as he currently languishes in gaol at King Alhfrith's pleasure. I hope the gruel is to his liking: it's certainly not pleasing to my refined palate...

But I digress. Slíðelic committed the unpardonable sin amongst politicians - his misdemeanours were discovered. And the coincidence doesn't stop there, either: he was also a Redistributionist representative. There appears to be something in the ethic of politicians in general and the Red Faction culture in particular that appeals to the criminally inclined - especially those who are greedy for groats.

But the coincidence doesn't stop there, either: the serfs of Berneslai have once again returned a Redistributionist Faction representative to the Witangemot. This time they've chosen a greasy-haired young opportunist with a fake semi-cultured accent. I'm surprised his diction didn't put the Berneslai electorate off - their gritty speech and ways are a marked contrast to his sophisticated silken tones. Whatever.

In similar fashion to the Auldholme people, the electorate of Berneslai have done what their prehistoric ancestors have done: they've seen an object with a Red rosette on it, and their highly-developed sense of logic has led them to conclude that its wearer was living and breathing - and also a card-carrying member of the Redistributionist faction. Presented with this evidence they've cast the stick in his favour. He could be an axe-carrying psychopath, but as long as he's wearing the right colour, he's their man. Caedmeron and his Tree cronies (predictably) didn't come anywhere in the running - and Clegge's Liberationist contender shared a place in the rankings with the frothy-mouthed, burbling members of the eccentric and frivolous Stuff And Nonsense Faction. The happiest with the outcome are the delusional, fly agaric-led Redistributionists. For them is has been a resounding triumph over ... err... something or other - and of course a slap in the face to the Tree/Liberationist Alliance. Whatever.

But the faction that has the most reason to be happy with the outcome are the Solely Northumbria Independence Faction (SNIF), who want to get the lovely country of Northumbria out of the clutches of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman, nor an empire). They came second. The vote-rigging didn't work too well, it seems...

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