Monday, 30 April 2012

A Broken Legacy

As I crawl out from the mantle of sackcloth and ashes that envelops the Northumbrian Kingdom, I spend a great deal of time sadly reflecting on what has happened - and what might have been; pointless as it may be, I simply can't help it. The languor of the populace tells the tale so eloquently, and even the normally exuberant seagulls are failing to deliver their synchronised payloads onto the heads of the Streonaeshalch citizens. These are terrible times, truly deserving of the epithet The Dark Ages.

It all started last year when Flavius Capellus - the Roman Emperor of the Northumbrian Football Team - announced his intention to hand over the Sacred Throne to his successor; the soothsayers went into their customary paroxysms of feverish excitement, guilt and fishpaste, and a great deal of heat - and negligible light - was expended in the inevitable speculation which followed. Surely the Anointed Successor would soon appear to seize the crown, the throne, the kingdom and the glory. But tragically, it was not to be. Such is the catastrophic collision between lofty aspiration and the banality of hard-nosed, pedestrian reality. Sigh...

Contrary to popular expectation - and dearest hope - the one appointed to the Holy Throne to manage the prestigious squad - and to attempt to rein in the thuggish barbarism of the likes of Wade Rune and Terry The Towel is - alas - not to be Beoris the Blond, the charismatic and loveable Alderman of the City of Yorvik.

When Kenwald the Deadweight inherits the Kingdom, he will assume lordship over a sacred institution. He will doubtless make some very tough decisions which will affect the destiny of all the people of the Northumbrian Realm. He (being a dedicated Redistributionist) will amass considerable riches, and smugly bask in his newly-assumed glory and biscuit.

On his future departure from the throne (for time takes no prisoners), he will leave as his legacy a smouldering heap of dashed expectations, a team in the obscurity of Babylonian captivity, and a treasure chest full of IOUs. If a cat could cry, then surely I would...

Friday, 27 April 2012

Men Of The People

Sorry I haven't been blogging very much lately, people; the fact of the matter is that I've been on a Special Mission which has taken up an inordinate amount of my precious time. If you remember in my joyful summary of the current state of things, you'll know that I referred to a wild and scurrilous accusation directed at Dagwald Caedmeron - the Supreme Egg-nog and Holy Commander of the dearly beloved Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration - and his faithful side-kick Oswine, who has the enviable office of Keeper of the Kingdom's Debt and Raider of the Empty Chest.

In my resumé the other day, I mentioned that these fine fellows were accused by a vehemently venomous Witangemot politico of being poor little privileged rich boys who haven't the first clue about the price of a loaf of bread and a flagon of ale, and who had no trace of sympathy or the tender bowels of empathy for the long-suffering and hard-pressed Northumbrian population. This outburst of vituperative rhetoric and biscuit didn't happen without some kind of context; the politico, Noddy Doorways - a human of the female persuasion, renowned for a campaigning spirit - had previously been made the butt of ribald jokes by Caddy and Ossy. Very silly. Furthermore, the onslaught of the Sacred Cuts to Public Expenditure - mercilessly plugged by the boys and their cronies as being Vitally Necessary for the salvation of the Northumbrian Kingdom's Blessed Economy has caused hardship through unemployment, as well as reduced benefits to the indigent sections of the populace.

But I was provoked to ask myself: did she have a point? Were Doorways' accusations merely the hysterical outpourings of a woman scorned? Your intrepid Cat decided that it was his solemn duty to find out. So as a first step, I checked with my friend Lareow - the Sanctified Rodent Controller at Caddy's enormously opulent Official Residence. When I asked him his opinion about Caddy and Oswine - their status in Northumbrian society and their capacity to understand and sympathise with the Poor People, Lareow looked blankly at me as if I'd grown a second head, and walked away with a sigh..

Undaunted by such an uncharacteristic response, I made it my business to investigate for myself. I hopped onto their window ledges and hung around, listening in to their conversations between themselves and with their colleagues. I spent a great deal of time in this investigation, and as a result, I can feed the fruits of my findings to you!

Caddy and Oswine are both very wealthy fellows, and they live in the manner of the Redistributionist politicos they aspire to emulate, who feast on the finest fare and keep the company of those who roll in Holy Groats. Never did I see either of them go to the nearest shambles to pick up a loaf of bread. They didn't even frequent the local mead and alehouses to share in a tipple; they much preferred the finest wines from the vineyards of Charlemagne.

In one respect, Noddy Doorways was quite correct: they're both fabulously affluent. But I can attest that they love the Poor. I know this because they were making plans to drive some peasants out from their respective estates to set up their hovels elsewhere. It's a sport they particularly love, I believe..

Half marks for Noddy!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Barging In

It's a lovely time to be alive in the beautiful Kingdom of Northumbria; this Cat is certainly full of the joys of spring. After all, there's a lot to be cheerful about: thanks to the Global Warming shamans, clowns and mountebanks like His Holiness Archbishop Georges Moonbat, we've been enjoying the wettest drought since the beginning of recorded time (or is it the last one? - I forget...); Dagwald Caedmeron - the Supreme Allied Zookeeper of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration - has been enjoying some interesting and challenging political opportunities amid the customary allegations of corruption, sleaze and nosebag centred around his industrious colleagues; he and his chum Oswine have also been accused of being elitist poor little rich boys by a vituperative female politico; Edweird the Milliner has been scoring his usual astonishing political fantasy victories, and Clegge - as ever - is nowhere to be seen. Oh - and the soothsayers Beeby See and her venomous pal Guardy-Ann have been droning incessantly about the imaginary evils of the growing empire of Prince Ruprecht Evil-Merodach, whose soothsaying minions have supplied the Northumbrian population with entertaining spicy gossip, revelations and tripe about the political classes, who are getting somewhat cheesed off about being constantly exposed to the glare of the public eye. Same old same old.

But what makes my day is the forthcoming excitement about the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire) Games - and the imminent nine hundredth anniversary of the accession of King Alhfrith to the coveted Northumbrian throne. It's so exciting! I've already seen people running aimlessly around with blazing torches - but what puzzles me is why they've been lit in the full glare of the spring sunshine; I suspect they're practising for the synchronised arson event. We're expected to win a medal this time...

Today - to kindle the excitement even more, the Supreme Monarch - assisted and accompanied by his loyal consort, the potty-mouthed Queen Hillida - went to the quayside in Yorvik to grace the launching of the new Great Royal Barge on the River Ouse. This colossal longship is going to be central to the celebrations in the month of June, and it will be laden with the refinements and comforts to which the Sovereign is customarily accustomed, and it will be heavily armed by special squads of homeopathic bowmen and swordsmen. When the festivities are over, the craft - contrary to logic and popular expectation - won't be pressed into the service of the defence of the Realm; it will be buried with full pomp, ceremony and business at Sutton Hoo, where it's expected to cause future archaeologists to go into fits of ecstasy and thing.

I was delighted to hear what the new boat is going to be called. With the breaking of the flagon of mead over its bows (a long established maritime superstition), he's named it Glorianus. The name has quite a pretty ring to it, doesn't it?

Friday, 20 April 2012

Politics For Dummies


North of the Great Border (between the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria and the uncivilized wilds beyond), the people of the Pictish persuasion have adopted an innovative and potentially revolutionary practice in their political life: they've adopted a mannequin as a candidate for a seat in their own (uncivilised and barbarous) equivalent of the Witangemot.


For those readers who might find the idea of an inanimate human figurine incongruous in these Dark Ages days, I ought to point out that they're widely employed for target practice by the yeomen bowmen – hence their prowess as deadly marksmen.


Our far-sighted northern neighbours have already discerned the benefits of such a shrewd move, and the idea has already gained considerable momentum. For a start, the savings from such a scheme would be immeasurable. The Caledonians are – for all their warlike, Anglophobic and incoherent ways – a canny collection of people, renowned for their prudence in stewardship of their own cash (unless of course, it's been stolen from the Saxons in their frequent raids over the Border – in which case, they spend their loot like water on uisge beatha, magic mushrooms, not to mention fish quota administrators, diversity coordinators, pigeon psychologists and a host of other fluffy front line services). The cost of maintaining the average politician in the manner to which he (or she) has been accustomed is an intolerably heavy burden borne by the long-suffering taxpayer; it isn't by any means cheap to pay them for their attendance (or otherwise) at Witangemot gatherings and committees, and the cost of maintaining their sumptuous houses with their obligatory moats, drawbridges and duck residences is – to put it mildly – significant.


Another advantage for Angus McTrout – the Principal Minister and Archdaemon of the Caledonian Supreme Council – is that he doesn't need to expend so much energy or money in trying to persuade/threaten/cajole/bribe his underlings into conformity with his grandiose political plans; the eloquent acquiescence of his inanimate brethren will be sufficient for him to implement any measure that takes his fancy. Result!


I've been sorely tempted to run the idea past Dagwald Caedmeron and Edweird the Milliner for adoption south of the Border in our own beautiful Realm, but I anticipate that it's going to be rather difficult for me to persuade them to substitute one set of dummies for another…

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Feaxede Sees The Light

I've been most concerned about my vulpine friend Feaxede of late; he's been behaving in a very subdued manner, which is certainly uncharacteristic of him. I'm used to seeing him delightedly loping up to me with some new piece of hot information that he's gleaned during his raiding expeditions researches, but in this last few days he's been keeping a distance from me, so consequently I've been worried for fear that I might have done or said something to upset him. Heaven knows, I've trawled through my recent memory, but I've been hard pressed to come up with anything that I could have uttered in our most recent encounters that would have caused him any grief.


Today I decided that it was time to have a little chat with him to determine what the matter was. So I went to the municipal dump archaeological site, and found him sitting there, still looking disconsolate. Grasping the nettle, I told him that I'd noticed he hadn't been his usual self lately, and asked him what was wrong. His answer didn't totally surprise me – although to be honest, I hadn't anticipated it.


As you will probably know, Feaxede the Fox joined the Redistributionist Faction – a move which to my mind was a lapse of sound judgment. But never mind. He's a good-hearted creature, and one of my best friends: I have to make allowances for such flaws. Ostensibly, he'd joined the Redistributionists because they'd kindly outlawed the depraved and vicious sport of fox hunting, and he'd perceived that the majority of supporters for this barbarism were paid-up members of the Tree Faction, who became the objects of his deep mistrust. And I also have to say that Feaxede is endowed with a trusting nature – which can be as much a curse as it is a blessing.


It appears that the human members of the Redistributionist Faction in the Streonaeshalch branch have been putting the poor creature under considerable pressure by lecturing him about his diet. As you and I know, foxes are omnivorous animals that will happily turn their muzzles to berries, bread, worms and windfalls from orchards, but most of their diet is made up of meat. Since he has such a love for poultry, his dietary habits have attracted the unwelcome attention of his fellow-travelling human companions, who've been sternly warning him that if he continues to eat chicken (which is rich in fat), he'll he'll become obese, sluggish and useless to the Faction, or he'll die of a heart attack within a few weeks.


I told him that he was being subjected to the same mindless Redistributionist propaganda that their little friends the soothsayers have been shovelling like manure onto the attention of the long-suffering Northumbrian public for years. I also told him that I'd already seen various human members of the Faction in recent weeks, stuffing their faces with the finest delicacies that could ever grace a human's dinner plate (at taxpayers' expense, naturally). And most of it is full of fat..


I must dash – I have a job to do. Feaxede has asked me to write a letter to Edweird the Milliner. I think he's going to resign. And who am I to stand in his way?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Galleywasp's (not so) Maiden Flight

Oooh, I'm so terribly excited! Today I've been privileged to see at first hand (or, in my case, paw) the swearing-in of Gyrth the Gallywasp - the famous apostate outcast from the holy faith of the Redistributionists, who recently won the right to represent the good people of Bradeford. Against all the odds, this is an astounding victory for his own bespoke Contempt Faction, which has been specially tailor-made and delicately shaped to envelop his substantial frame; it has also been perceived to be a decisive slap in the chops for Edweird the Milliner and his happy band of orthodox Redistributionist camp-followers. The licking of wounds has been continually audible throughout the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria. But never mind.

When the Gallywasp addressed his prospective electors (the majority being of the Viking persuasion) prior to his election, he solemnly declared and swore that as a faithful adherent and respecter of the holy Viking faith, he had never touched a drop of ale or mead (which - to the more religious Vikings is a mortal sin, which warrants the eternal washing of the evil Loki's underpants), and he promised by Odin - the chief of the gods of Valhalla - that he would conscientiously uphold the sacred creeds of the Eddas and promote the interests of their religion.

This sudden announcement of his historical abstinence from the fiery nectars of Northumbria came as quite a surprise to many of his acquaintances, who've always been accustomed to seeing his Friday night antics, propping up the counter of some Saxon hostelry, telling improbable and incoherent stories, and quaffing the mead as if there were no tomorrow - not to mention playing kitty lapcat to some aged floozie. How distasteful. I don't feel very well - excuse me while I bring to recollection my breakfast... ah, that's better.

The remarkable feature of his swearing-in at the Witangemot today was the conspicuous absence of any mention of Odin, the Eddas, Valhalla, or even the poor benighted Vikings who kindly elected him. I think I can safely predict that his electors won't repeat their folly next time round...

Monday, 16 April 2012

The Story So Far - II

The lovely Kingdom of Northumbria - in the deepest, direst mire of debt issuing from the Great Credit Catastrophe - lies under the grip of crazed magic mushroom-chewing despot Dagwald Caedmeron - the Chief Cock and Bluebottle Washer of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration. His stated mission - to liberate the long-suffering Northumbrian people from the intellectual, financial and political chains of Redistributionism - has mysteriously changed its scope, purpose, shape, underwear and direction, as - contrary to his original objectives - he and his heroic henchmen introduce ever more draconian laws and increased taxation, leaving the population in a perpetual state of bewilderment and fishpaste.

In the meantime, Caedmeron's bitter rival to the seat of power - the salivatory Edweird the Milliner - leads the valiant Opposition to the formidable farces of the Tree and Liberationist Factions. Aided and abetted by his loyal accomplices - the deluded and bilious soothsayers Beeby See and Guardy-Ann - Eddy scores astonishing victories for the Working Classes (i.e. those faithful, groat-pocketing members of the Redistributionist Faction - not to be confused with those members of the human race who actually work for a living) in the Eternal Struggle against knowledge, free speech, fairness, decency, solvency and prosperity. His new Secret Weapon in his armoury is Kenwald the Deadweight - the former Great Alderman of Yorvik, who's competing for the coveted office against his charismatic old adversary Beoris the Blond. But Kenwald the Deadweight - elderly, uliginous erstwhile amphibian Newt Emperor - has displayed an alarming propensity exercising his tear ducts, putting him at a distinct disadvantage... It's so terribly sad.

Will Caedmeron succeed in bringing the Northumbrian Kingdom under the malevolent yoke of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire)? Will he fall under the fatal charms of ambitious King Jose Borracho and his half-witted handyman Hermit the Rumphole? Will the Northumbrian population continue to eagerly await and applaud the next restriction and price increase in the name of the Common Good? Can Caddy Boy succeed in bringing the entire Kingdom under the malign slavery of his paymasters (whoever they are)? Will his Pyramid building project in the North Yorvik Dales succeed without straw? Can he dance the polka?

Perhaps we'll never know. But if you want the remotest chance of finding out, you'll need to stay tuned to the Cat, people...

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Cat's Corrigenda

With regard to yesterday's posting, your Cat has to freely admit that he has a confession to make. They say that an open confession is good for the soul, but in my case - since I'm a member of the feline branch of the Animal Kingdom - I'm not sure that I possess what the human theologians refer to as a psyche, so I'll leave them so argue that out between themselves - until they come to fisticuffs. Whatever.

To return to the matter in hand - I was guilty of a factual inaccuracy in my report yesterday (à propos the rude interruption of the annual Northumbrian Celebration of the Longboats). Although I don't have the theological imperfection characteristic of the human race which they refer to as original sin, I'm still capable of errors of judgement and of misunderstanding, nevertheless. Of course, the soothsayers are supremely qualified in these fallen attributes, which they've honed to an almost otherwise unattainable degree of perfection (or should that read imperfection?). Where they don't actually succeed in misunderstanding or scrambling the facts behind their reports, they simply invent them as a form of entertainment, which serves to enhance the sales of their services. You won't see such a frank admission of guilt in any of their reports as the one you're about to read, since their innate hubris and stupidity forbids such expressions of regret.

Now for the correction: the culpable rogue whose aquatic antics put an unwelcome halt to the progress of the aforementioned race was not Aburr Gut-harrdur; it was another Viking hothead answering to the name of Aburr Hamsturr. Should the former happen to read this (if he in fact can read), then I hope he accepts my heartfelt apologies. Some of these Vikings are tender and sensitive souls, which explains why an entire legal apparatus has been assembled in the Northumbrian Kingdom to cater for their acute, delicate flower sensibilities.

You have to admit that to a mere Cat such as I, these names sound annoyingly similar; all Vikings seem to be called by either Aburr, Olaf or occasionally Erik. These two gentlefolk have other remarkable similarities, too; they're both built like bearded bears, and they both wave their Sacred Eddas around (best understood in the original unintelligible Norse), chew fly agaric, and harp on endlessly about the disgraceful and decadent Anglo-Saxon nation which feeds them and graciously supports them and their numerous families in their sanctified idleness.

I also believe that they're both responding to an enforced invitation to adopt Ultima Thule as their homeland. They have some fun times ahead -especially if they get an audience with Bugrake O'Barmy - the Supreme Chieftain of that undiscovered land of plenty - or Elvey Preslode, the elusive, crooning Deputy Chief..

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Aburr Gut-harrdur's Big Splash

When the Cat's away, the mice they play; it appears that while I've been taking my Northumbrian Pink Fluffy Bunny Egg Festival break, Aburr Gut-harrdur - that celebrated monocular Viking prankster and loveable rogue - has been up to his old tricks again. Bless.

This past Saturday was the annual Northumbrian Celebration of the Longboats, which is a race between two rival kindergartens in Yorvik for the coveted prize of a barrel of ale and some tarnished silverware. This race has taken place at the Springtime of each year ever since the dawning of the mists of antiquity, and its forgotten primary purpose - believed to be some pagan religious rite - has long been buried under a crushing avalanche of tradition and business. The competing kindergartens are two of the oldest educational establishments in the known universe, and the prestige attached to these rival playgroups is immense. How much more, then, is the kudos awarded to those children who are fortunate enough to take up the oars? (I don't know: I'm just asking.)

The race began as usual with the joyful sound of a horn, and the rival longboats - oars working in the perfect symmetry of time and effort - stroked gracefully and purposefully through the murky, slurpy waters of the mighty Ouse. The distance of the race is nineteen thousand furlongs, and by any accounts is a formidable physical challenge for the participants - most of all the masters at the back of each boat, who crack their whips over the crew and yell hoarse abusive profanities and other encouragements at their sweating slaves.

As the race reached its ten thousandth furlong, the boats were observed to have unexpectedly stopped. This caused a certain amount of consternation among the onlookers - especially those who had wagered billions of (non-existent) Holy Groats on the outcome. The reason for this was that the oarsmen discovered a human head bobbing in the water which was discovered to be attached to a living body. It was - yes, you've guessed it - Aburr Gut-harrdur. He was taking a swim - ostensibly to remove the fleas which graced the clothing which clad his bear-like frame.

When he was rescued from the fast-flowing cold broth of the Ouse, he told onlookers that he was protesting against the elitism of these evil Anglo-Saxon schools - as well as making a stand for the Viking faith and the Great Sacred Eddas. He was frogmarched away to the nearest oubliette by members of the local Costumed Thug contingent, and was heard to be muttering fire and slaughter and other terms of endearment against the boatsmen in the name of his foreign gods. The race continued thereafter and resulted in a glorious win for one side or other.

Our friend is going to be deported to the distant shores of the as yet undiscovered Ultima Thule, where he will be subjected to the machinations of their Fluffy Diversity Commissariat. Dear me..

What I don't understand is how he managed to swim as far as he did - bearing in mind the fact that he had one of his hands removed in the Levant as a punishment for stealing ladies' underwear from washing lines...

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Keeping The Feast – Caedmon’s Easter Greeting

While my ever-inquisitive Cat takes a welcome break from the stupefying inanities of the human social and political realms in the Northumbrian Kingdom, I thought it would be a good idea to take the opportunity to make a rare appearance, and pass on my own Easter greetings to you all.

In the calendar of the Christian Church, the Easter festival (nothing to do with the pagan Saxon goddess Eostra, whose feast preceded it here) rightly carries the most weight and significance. This isn't to say that Christmas isn't important; after all, without the Incarnation there would never have been the Paschal feast. This feast, is the linchpin however, as it commemorates that point in history that secured the redemption of all Christian believers for all time, and for eternity.

We do well to keep in mind that the coming of the Christ to the world was for a specific objective; although He performed many miracles along the way, and taught many illuminating things during His 3-year ministry, the principal purpose of Christ was to face the Passion. It was to suffer desolation and pain, and to die in the place of His people, bearing their sins for them, securing their release from the grip of its condemnation and power, entitling them to join Him in His eternal and heavenly inheritance. The historical fact of the Crucifixion and Resurrection is the anvil upon which mankind is either shaped or irreparably broken, and nothing matters more than an individual's relationship to this.

As our Northumbrian Kingdom cuts itself adrift from its ancient Christian moorings, it faces an aimless, turbulent and hopeless future, since it has been busy divorcing itself from the ultimate truth of Christ. Nevertheless, the Christian Church will continue to keep faith in Him, and will always keep the feast. In the days of increasing darkness, the light will shine all the brighter.

A Happy Easter to you all – and my Cat sends a special purr!


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The Great Groat Hunt

This morning as usual, I did my territorial survey around the beautiful seaside settlement of Streonaeshalch, and then went to pay a visit to His Worshipness Dagwald Caedmeron's office to render an exhaustive confession of all my activities and communications. Of course, I had to join a queue to be able to do this, and inevitably it took me some considerable time to work my way to the front, since many Northumbrian humans had a great deal to tell him. I think it's so public-spirited and plain kind of them to volunteer their personal details to His Nibs. I hope he's decent enough to acknowledge this - but I have my doubts...

During my own interview with him (it's so good of him to see me - after all, I'm only a cat), I was regaling him with accounts of all my daily encounters with mice, conversations with Feaxede the Fox, my recent visit to see my big feline friend Leo (remember him? He's still OK, but very bored with his oversized playpen), when I detected a look of distraction creep over Caddy Boy's face. His attention was evidently diverted down a cul-de-sac elsewhere, and he apologised for interrupting me mid-flow, but could he please be excused? If I wanted to supply any more details, I could always pop next door and see Mother May Trees - the Domestic Servant. I had little choice but to grant him leave, but before he departed, I asked him if I might ask the reason for his sudden departure. He told me that he had urgent financial matters to attend to for the Pig Society, and hurriedly left the premises.

So I went to see the formidable May Trees, and after yet another queue I volunteered my information. Living in a Northumbrian Kingdom police state is certainly a tedious and time-consuming business. A cat has better things to do with his time. I was certainly not a little peeved when I perceived that Mother May Trees' eyelids were drooping as I told her verbatim what I said to Feaxede yesterday, and what he uttered by way of reply. After sending her into a catatonic state with my fulsome accounts of my comings and goings (I can still hear the snoring), I decided to slink out of her office. Blow this for a game of soldiers. If they want any information from me in the future, they can damn well find out for themselves; I don't see why I should waste my time if the dolts can't even stay awake. If they think I'm a Viking terrorist who takes his strategy from the Eddas, then that's their problem. The ingratitude of the political classes - pah!

I asked my feline friend Lareow later what Caedmeron was up to. Lareow is (if you don't already know) the Official Custodian of Rodent Security in Caedmeron's busy residence, and he's a valuable source of hot goss. He told me that Caddy Boy has devised a New Wheeze to extract finances to support his ethereally obscure Pig Society enterprise. He's going to scour the streets for any dropped coins, and he's ordered his officials to search the tombs and graveyards of the Realm to salvage any spare hoards of cash that have been anonymously buried for the future delight of nerdish men with metal detectors.

This smacks of desperation in my humble feline opinion. What on earth is he really up to....?

Monday, 2 April 2012

Keeping Caedmeron Informed

In his desperation to distance himself from the officiousness, snooping and general interference of his Redistributionist predecessors Guffmund the Brown and Tondvig the Blur, His Eminence, the Holy Archbishop Dagwald Caedmeron - the Chief Cock and Bluebottlewasher of the Tree/Liberationist Circus Administration - swore upon assuming office that he would roll back the secretive and invasive Northumbrian state, and restore the individual rights and liberties of the good people of this lovely Realm. Hooray for Caddy, Liberty and business!

Since those heady times of hot, steaming rhetoric and brown rabbit pearls, Caddy Boy's cast iron resolve has - under some bizarre alchemy - transmogrified into a state of liquidity more akin to diarrhoea. Yesterday it was announced through the trusty offices of the soothsayers that the Tree/Liberationist Administration would (in the interests of the protection of the good Anglo-Saxon people, naturally) monitor every item of correspondence and communication in the Kingdom. Every note, shopping list, arrangement, letter and piece of tittle-tattle would be intercepted by the drudges of the Northumbrian Establishment and assiduously scrutinised by the Protectors of the Kingdom's Good. The new positions resulting from this initiative will be taken up by - inter alia - unemployed diversity coordinators, pigeon psychiatrists, dog log monitors and former inhabitants of Good King Alhfrith's penitentiaries. Some of them, I believe, will still be alive...

No one has yet publicly explained the rationale for Caddy Boy's change of heart, and such an explanation hasn't been demanded; however, the majority of the public are more than willing to cooperate with this stunning new enterprise. Out of an overflow of love and affection for the Dear Leader and the Wonderful Works of Righteousness that he and his little friends are doing for the common good, many have already demonstrated their enthusiasm for Caddy Boy's new directive and spontaneously decided to surprise him by delivering their messages to his headquarters in person. The reason for this extra mile is so that Caedmeron can save even more Holy Groats, thus reducing the intake of new employees to implement this measure. In their eagerness to conform to the spirit of this new law, they've also declared their undying love for him, have revealed to him their innermost secrets, their aspirations and ambitions, what they've eaten for breakfast, the state of their bowels and myriads of other pieces of vital information.

All Caddy Boys has to do now is establish whether or not any of these newly-acquired snippets of information are factual or mere fantasy. He has his work cut out...