I'm getting concerned about the alliance of the Trees and the Liberationists, who are now running Northumbria and making these Cuts. I've no illusions about the previous rulers, the Redistributionists; despite their rhetoric about fairness and fair care and shares for all, they and their friends seem to have been the main beneficiaries of their previous rule.
But now we're being supervised by a combination of 2 seemingly opposing factions. The Trees are led by Caedmeron - a smooth-talking, well-educated man with a polished Saxon accent. His party seems to represent those of the population who want to stand on their feet and make their own way in the world without the need for the top-heavy apparatus of artificial jobs and empires. Ordinary Trees regard the Reds as wasters and scoundrels; the Reds insult everyone who doesn't agree with them and label them 'fascists' and suchlike.
Caedmeron is a smooth operator, that's for sure, but there's something strangely familiar about him, and he troubles me. The Liberationists are led by a man called Clegge, who not only resembles Caedmeron, but even talks like him. I've never fully figured out what his faction stands for: it all seems rather vague to me. They seem to cherrypick their favourite policies from both the other factions. Historically they've never carried much clout - until now.
This alliance is now going through the books,announcing cuts to the public purse - and the Reds are snarling uncontrollably like rabid dogs as they see their empire being whittled down. As I observed before, they're accusing the alliance of sheer nastiness - having conveniently forgotten that the Big Money Crisis happened on their watch. There's a lot of talk about fair cuts for all by the alliance - but everybody's very unhappy, and the soothsayers are talking about a coming apocalyptic desolation as everyone feels the effects of the axe. A lot of ordinary people are grumbling about these cuts as if they've already happened.
I remember before the Voting Day that the Trees made all sorts of great promises, but since then, many of these have strangely evaporated. The Liberationists also muttered some promises which they've since had to abandon.
But there are still some questions that keep coming back to me. Why do ordinary people - who work hard and live honestly - have to pay for the misdeeds of the Moneylenders? Did they ask the Moneylenders to make the stupid decisions that led to the Big Money Crisis? I don't think so. My master Caedmon has never gone to a Moneylender and I don't know anyone who has. So why are the common people having to pay? And why aren't they asking this question among themselves? Is it because the ' Ð Factor' distracts them from asking these questions? I wonder.
Here's another question that keeps bothering me: if the Witangemot is under the supervision of the Monarch Alhfrith, why didn't he do something to intervene for his people and prevent this catastrophe from getting worse? He didn't even bat an eyelid...
And I've just remembered - it all comes back to me. Caedmeron reminds me of a man who called round to see Caedmon a few months ago. He was selling household goods - pots and pans - and Caedmon bought some from him, because he was very well-spoken and appeared to be educated and trustworthy. After the man had gone, he soon found that they were shabbily made; the pots cracked on their first use in the fire, the pan handles broke and the pans leaked.
I know I'm only a cat, but I get the distinct impression that things are very cosy in the Witangemot. I think there's a lot of drama and playacting between the various factions, but they all seem very happy together. They all look very well looked-after...
Of one thing I'm sure - the Moneylenders and the Monarch are aloof from it all. They still have their balls, their banquets and their sumptuous feasts - despite the hardship facing everyone else. I wonder what's really going on?
Caedmon's calling me for lunch, so I must go. Fish today - yummy!