Thursday 24 February 2011

Goodnight, Cyrene

The wheels of idiocy continue to turn; the placid serenity of everyday Streonaeshalch in this lovely Kingdom of Northumbria provides a marked contrast with the furore that has recently erupted in the Witangemot. This surrounds the current rioting and unrest in Cyrene – a North African country once a noble outpost of the defunct Roman Empire, now populated by Berbers and Arabs.

As in Carthage and Egypt, the local population of Cyrene have decided that It Would Be A Good Idea to rise up and challenge their eccentric and malevolent king – a khat-chewing psychopath called O'Daffy, who has benignly oppressed and tormented his subjects for the last ninety years. O'Daffy has been the darling of the Redistributionist politicos, who in previous years have visited his kingdom on jollies fact-finding missions to pay him sycophantic homage and drum up more trade. He has been regarded as the very embodiment of Redistributionist thought; he efficiently redistributed the entire nation's wealth into his back pocket, while living in a smelly Bedouin tent. (This was rumoured to be merely for the purpose of amusing and entertaining his lickspittle visitors – he returned to his sumptuous palaces once they'd disappeared from sight.)

After so many years of oppression by O'Daffy and his cadre of self-serving and vicious henchmen, the people of that Kingdom have decided that they've had enough of being exploited in grinding poverty and being easy prey for his torturing pals. So there has been a bloody stand-off; many Cyrenians have already been killed by O'Daffy's army, who've had no qualms about cheerfully murdering their own countrymen.

There's always been a large community of foreigners living in Cyrene; these have been Franks, Irish, Danes, Westphalians and Anglo-Saxons who've been more than happy to feast cheaply on lavish Cyrenian fare despite their knowledge of O'Daffy's vicious grip on his people. When the rioting first started, the Franks, Irish, Danes and Westphalians quickly acted to send ships and horses to evacuate their subjects and take them to somewhere safer. The uproar has been about the perceived delay in getting these feckless people out of danger. The Anglo-Saxons over there are understandably worried, since no help whatsoever has arrived from Northumbria yet. But I've just heard that they needn't worry any longer: Walthelm the Hag – the eggshell blond Foreign Secretary of the Witangemot has arranged for an ancient boat to pick up the hapless Anglo-Saxons. It'll get there in 3 months with a right wind – if it doesn't sink first…

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