Tuesday 30 August 2011

Raked And Baked

A new furore has been brought to my attention, so my whiskers have been twitching and my claws have been itching. Dagwald Caedmeron - the Senior Dogsbody of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance - which pretends to rule the lovely country of Northumberland - has joyfully awarded vast salary increases to the heads of the non-jobs which proliferate in this sceptered Realm. Buckets of ducats and boats filled with groats have been awarded to the Supreme Diversity Co-Ordinator-General, the Cat License Administrator-In-Chief, the Chief Pigeon Psychologist, the Holy Supreme Allied Commander-In-Chief of the Coconut Matting Advisory Board and the Fish Quota Accountant-General inter alia.

I'm sure that these august servants of the Northumbrian public deserve every farthing and mite they receive. Since I'm only a little white moggy (can I say that..?), I'm unable to get my little feline head around the enormous pressures that must weigh down upon these worthies as they execute their solemn duties before the Crown.

But certain things simply don't add up. I realise that I'm no mathematician, but I've been repeatedly told in no uncertain terms by Those Who Know Better through the good offices of the Soothsayers that there's no more money in the Kingdom. It. Has. Gone. It has been joyfully spent by the previous Redistributionist Administration on all of their pet projects, and has contributed to the enormous network of informers, apparatchiks and hangers-on who are so vital to the running of a realm. In fact we've been told that as a Kingdom, we're in Deepest Debt and Doo-Doo, as even more groats (which don't really exist yet because the trees haven't been planted) have been pledged for the financial salvation of the hapless Hibernians and the Greeks. So - the Big Question is - where is the money coming from to finance these wild salary increases for these Important and Indispensable Servants?

Here's something else that doesn't calculate on the Cat abacus: during his election campaign, Caedmeron made a Solemn Pledge on Oath before the people of the Land that he would dismantle the wasteful structures bequeathed him by his feckless country cousins the Redistributionists. The strongholds of Satan would be torn down, and righteousness would once more beam its welcome rays on the Realm. So - what happened to Caedmeron in the interval between the promise made and the opportunity to perform it?

I have a theory. In my feline reckoning, either one of two events happened which turned his mind and caused him to jettison his sacred vow. He may have been guilty of some gross misdemeanour, and his guilty secret came to the unwelcome attention of some Redistributionist busybody, who subsequently dictated terms to him under pain of exposure to his poor wife and children. Shame and disgrace, people. Wipe your noses, blow your eyes and bring the rope.

Or - and this is the theory I favour - he's had a meeting with the Prince Of Darkness, and has sold his soul to Perdition for some temporal or pecuniary advantage. That seems more plausible to me, since he seemed to show such promise and enthusiasm for Righteousness before he sat in the Hot Seat. That's what happened to his Redistributionist predecessor and mentor Tondvig The Blur, who similarly started out with a naive enthusiasm for Goodness and Virtue. Look what happened to him.. I shudder at the very thought.

If this is what has happened to him, his spell in the Hot Seat is going to turn out significantly hotter in the long term. You don't make deals with the Enemy without getting your backside severely cauterised. Anyone will tell you that; it's in the Good Book...

Sunday 28 August 2011

Off His Tree

There's been a recent announcement by the Redistributionist Faction - headed by the Beloved Leader and Dear Father Edweird the Milliner. Hooray for the Reds! Long live the victorious Class Struggle Against Universal Prosperity, Accountability and Freedom! I'm so pleased.

Apparently, the Great Strategy that is going to be unleashed by the  Redistributionists in their never-ending war on the evil superstitions and vulgar values of the Tree Faction is that they're going to attempt to demonstrate how Dagwald Caedmeron is becoming more of an extremist - a sort of Tree monster, who beguiles innocent and gullible people with smooth, hypnotic talk and kidnaps and eats their children as a mid-morning snack when their feckless parents aren't looking. Other Tree leaders from the past have been similarly subjected to such calumnious propaganda; Hilda the Tiler - the famous Tree lady leader from many centuries back was reviled in similar fashion.

As a strategy, it's destined to be wildly successful, given the unswerving support of the most influential Redistributionist soothsayers - Beeby See and her weirdpustule-faced and poison-tongued pal Guardy-Ann. Assuming that the members of the Northumbrian public are as routinely bovine and unquestioning as ever, they'll lap up anything that these wicked messengers say, and unthinkingly assume that it's Gospel truth. And when the Redistributionist Faction's Annual Unfortunates' Outing and Picnic (called their Jamboree because the jam comes tomorrow) takes place in a few weeks' time, the faithful will be in ecstasies. Deep joy. Yet another astonishing political triumph for Edweird the Milliner! Let's chalk it up with the other imaginary victories, children.

And so the show goes on. The Redistributionists are intensely jealous of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance, since they're now in the supreme Seat of Power - the same seat they themselves occupied for nine hundred thousand years. During that time, they established universal bankruptcy and criminalised the majority, while getting fabulously rich in the process through an intricate system of bribes and back-handers. And now they're simply desperate to spend vast amounts of money that the Northumbrian Kingdom doesn't even have, so that they can produce a formidable fighting farce of diversity co-ordinators, pigeon psychologists and cat license administrators. Every kingdom needs them, don't you know? That's what built Rome.

Considering Caedmeron has made identical noises as - and emulated the deeds of - his charming, chronically mendacious and bloodthirsty Redistributionist predecessor Tondvig the Blur, has opted for a mandatory quota of token women, Vikings and homeopaths to stand for the Witangemot, has waged a war in the hapless land of Cyrene, has enthusiastically ignored the people and contrary to public opinion has immersed the Kingdom deeper into the malevolent embrace of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire), I really fail to see the difference. And if there's no essential difference between the Trees and the Redistributionists, why do they spend such an inordinate amount of time and money (that doesn't exist) demonising the opposition who resemble them anyway? Aren't they simply demonising their own likeness? Isn't that.... rather odd?

Thursday 25 August 2011

Gadfly's New Job

While the soothsayers continue to weave their fantasy fiction tales about the Cyrenian Civil War and the Mystery Of The Missing Despot Murmur O'Daffy, reports of the valiant struggle between the clueless but victorious goat-herders and the loyal Praetorian Guard die-hards continue to circulate ad nauseam.

Since my recent encounter with the foreign stranger called Marmer of Gadfly, I've been quite puzzled. His reluctance to talk about the events in Cyrene aroused some of my feline inquisitiveness. So I thought I'd try to find him and continue our conversation, in the hope of gaining some fresh perspective about these momentous events. It's always interesting to speak to exotic members of the human race; apart from their weird clothes, dietary habits and strange accents, they have a refreshingly different outlook from the rather mundane and frankly, pedestrian Northumbrian world view.

I eventually tracked him down in the market. He told me that he was looking for a supplier of camel meat - which was something of a bizarre delicacy to these cold shores and leaden skies. He hadn't had any joy in his quest, but he was at least grateful to have found some dried figs and a flagon of olive oil. I asked him if he came from a desert place, since those regions seem to be the favourite habitat of camels (or so Caedmon tells me), and he admitted that this was indeed the case. He went on to comment that Murmur O'Daffy had done a great deal of good for the Cyrenian people, and that his ousting from power by his own people was an act of enormous ingratitude and treachery. His eyes narrowed strangely when he said these things and he started to spit rather vehemently (definitely not a Northumbrian custom); I'd evidently touched on a raw nerve.

So, to make polite conversation and in a bid to defuse the mounting tension I detected in my finely-tuned whiskers, I asked him what occupation had brought him to these green and pleasant shores. He told me that he had recently been appointed as an honorary advisor to Edweird the Milliner and the Redistributionist Faction. He also was hoping for a professorial appointment at the Yorvik School Of Esoterics.

Now that I have more of an idea of who he is, where he comes from and what he's doing, I feel less intrigued. Nevertheless, I still think he knows more about the deposed despot Murmur O'Daffy than he lets on..

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Things Cyrene and Unseen

soothsayers - especially the partially impartial Beeby See - are in ecstasies about the victory of the rebels in the sandy, fly-infested Berber realm of Cyrene. Every day bears witness to more feverish slobber from the muzzles of fantasist soothsayers, who are desperately anxious to count every chicken - whether it's hatched or not - and most especially it doesn't even exist. The other day greeted us with the announcement that Trables - the principal city of that arid region - had fallen to the rebels, and that Murmur O'Daffy - the crazy, khat-chewing psychopath who had ruled the roost with an iron fist for three hundred and seventy thousand years - was defeated. Hooray for the forces of Civilisation, freedom and demockery-cy! Feaxede the fox and I were so delighted to hear the news: we danced for joy, and to celebrate the occasion, Feaxede shared some tender morsels of chicken carcass with me! Happy days.

This was a staggering achievement for a raggle-taggle army of urchins, wizened old men and goat-herders who hitherto hadn't known one end of a sword from another. But - as we're constantly reminded - this was accomplished through the determination and iron resolve of the oppressed masses. A stunning triumph of people-power against the overwhelming odds of O'Daffy's efficient and merciless fighting machine. Whatever. They don't even mention the special encouragement and moral support by the military advisors supplied by King Jose Borracho, the psychotically ambitious and deluded Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire)

Today brings quite a different picture. Instead of the scenes of overall conquest and delirious jubilation portrayed the other day, there are now stories of running battles and hand-to-hand combat in the Trables streets. O'Daffy had sworn a solemn oath that he would fight to the death to maintain his paternal care of his beloved people - and never ever leave his homeland Cyrene. However, on arriving at his palatial dwellings, he hasn't been found; he has mysteriously disappeared, leaving his loyal Praetorian Guard to do their patriotic duty and hold the fort.

Murmur O'Daffy's disappearance is one of those unexplained mysteries - I'm sure we'll never know where he went. Already the Northumbrians are talking about him in the same reverence as they do about the iconic songster Elvey of Preslode, reports of whose demise many hundreds of years ago were never accepted by his most ardent disciples.

I met a stranger in Streonaeshalch the other day; he was a bizarrely attired man of foreign extraction, with heavy eyelids, a peculiarly-shaped mouth and a thick accent; his name was - as I recall - Marmer of Gadfly. When I chatted with him about the recent events in Cyrene, he became strangely taciturn... I reckon he knows more about where the old scoundrel is than he's letting on...

Monday 22 August 2011

Cyrene Scene Change

Like a wildfire, the news is sweeping the lovely country of Northumbria that the psychopathic tyrant of Cyrene - Murmur O'Daffy - has recently been ousted from his palatial tent after a tenure of three hundred and fifty seven years, and is currently making his way to our blessed shores as an illegal immigrant. An auspicious future awaits him on benefits furnished from the bounty of the Northumbrian state benefits system - along with the gazillions of piastres he's embezzled. He deserves a happy and relaxing retirement.

has been deposed after a long and exhausting but valiant struggle by his countrymen, who'd eventually grown tired of being thrown into prison and tortured for breathing in his presence. The successful rebel army was enthusiastic and in good morale, but ill-equipped and disorganised to the point of finely-tuned perfection, but this was no barrier to the Inevitable and Invincible Progress Of History. But I expect that they received just a teensy-weensy bit of help from the awesome professional fighting forces of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire) and the stormtrooping Praetorian Guard of the power-crazed and hubristic Emperor Jose Borracho and his half-witted and bizarre co-regent Hermit Rumphole.

All of the politicos in this Sceptered Realm are forming an orderly queue to make profound statements and claim for themselves the credit for this fantastic achievement. It's very touching and - frankly - heartwarming. I can feel my dinner coming back up... excuse me for a moment..

I'm particularly impressed by the humility of the Redistributionists, who modestly claim their part of the kudos for O'Daffy's downfall. This is particularly significant, since O'Daffy was one of the iconic darlings of the Redistributionist camp; held up as a paradigm of Sensible Reditributionist Governance and virtue, thousands of them would take annual pilgrimages to Cyrene at public expense to sit beneath his malodorous feet and - like King Solomon of old - catch the breadcrumbs of wisdom that proceeded from his oddly-shaped chops. Of particular note is the famed Redistribution Kindergarten of Nonsense called the Yorvik School of Esoterics, who depended on O'Daffy for a lot of his silken charm - and money. I do hope that they can manage from now on; there's not a lot of groats around at the moment because the Redistributionists have spent them all, so things might get a bit tough. Perhaps O'Daffy might throw them a groat or two - if they can find him. I suggest they start in the Shambles at Yorvik. He may decide to carve a career for himself selling olive oil...

Friday 19 August 2011

Riot Royal Carry-On

I've just received some very serious news; I would advise my reader(s) to sit down and exhale slowly. Now take a deep breath, and read on.

Prince Walthelm and Princess Gytha - the newlywed Golden Royal Couple, whose Wedding was such a cause for intoxicated rejoicing back in April  - have been arrested for taking part in the recent rioting and looting in the settlement of Yorvik. This news came to me as a bolt from the blue through the good services of Lareow - the Mouser Majordomo of Caedmeron's Official Residence. Lareow is a wonderful source of interesting information that doesn't ever reach the attention of the soothsayers. (If it does reach them, it never passes their chops, so I can only guess that they're sworn, threatened or bribed to secrecy.) As I understand the intelligence that came my way, they were observed helping themselves to chic and fashionable Viking 'chav' clothing from a trader's store.

This news comes as a complete shock to me; if anyone from the rarefied atmosphere of Northumbrian aristocratic circles were capable of such (pardon the trendy word you're about to read) inappropriate behaviour, it would never have occurred to me that it would be these. They are the embodiment of grace, wealth, privilege and good manners. If anyone were to be capable of such an outlandish act, surely it would be the potty-mouthed Queen Hillida, whose reputation for unseemly conduct is widely known. Even the refined commoner Mebeverin of Tinwald - who has recently married into royalty, and is now three thousandth in line to the coveted Northumbrian throne wouldn't have done such a thing.

It only leaves me to wonder if the accused couple are really responsible for this - or whether they were actually impersonated by some Viking agents provocateurs. To my reckoning, that's the most plausible explanation for such an extraordinary happening. Or perhaps they were reacting to Caedmeron's Cuts - although I haven't heard that the Royal Family will be affected. Perhaps they were simply bored with their gilded cage, and wanted a bit of action to inject some excitement into the mundanity of their cossetted lives. I don't know..

But it's going to be interesting to find out if Caedmeron is going to be as harsh in the punishment meted out to them as he has been for the riff-raff. If he gets this wrong, his stature is going to be substantially diminished; the swords are very sharp, I hear..

Thursday 18 August 2011


To add yet another layer of excitement upon the Cake of Northumbrian existence, we're blessed today with one of the annual rites of passage in the Anglo-Saxon calendar: the Receiving Of The Results. For the sake of the uninitiated, the Schoolchildren of this lovely country are subjected to a number of Tests during their educational career; before leaving the comfortable and sheltered world of the Classroom into the Big Bad Wide World, they have one final test to take, the results of which determines their future path through life. It's a momentous time.

These days, it's the aspiration of every child in the Kingdom to graduate to the Big School called University, where they can pretend to be responsible adults for a few years, spend enormous sums of borrowed groats on frivolous pursuits, and engage in the various excesses that characterise less disciplined members of the Human Race. 'Twas not ever thus; such a privilege formerly was the exclusive preserve of those who were either frighteningly clever - or in most cases - extraordinarily rich. The wealthy children - regardless of their inability or imbecility - went into Politics. However, the crippling disease of Redistributionism insinuated itself into the addled consciousness of the Anglo-Saxon psyche a few decades ago, and the illusionary idea of Equality dissipated into thought rather like an evil flatulence. The god of Equality is a very demanding deity, and to appease it, sacrifices must be made. A shift in educational policy was needed to make University more accessible to the majority; academic goalposts were accordingly moved, and a plethora of educational establishments appeared like toadstools from nowhere. Education became a marketplace - sans the sound of chickens, pigs and sheep - although the odours emanating from it bear a remarkable similarity...

Out of my customary curiosity, I went down to a local school to witness the delirium as the children received their Test Results. I spoke to one pimpled young man who was grinning from ear to ear, clutching a piece of vellum. I asked him how he'd done, and he told me that he had passed all of his subjects with distinction. I was so pleased for him. I asked him what course he was planning to embark upon, and he told me that he was going to Yorvik to study for a Degree in Bricklaying - a new technology that is likely to overtake A-frame timbering and daub-and-wattle as a construction medium. I asked another youngster, who proudly told me that she had also passed all of her Tests with distinction, and she was going to read Diversity Studies at Monkwearmouth. Wow. Every other child also had attained a distinction. I'm one hugely impressed Cat.

I'm reliably informed by my knowledgeable friend Feaxede the fox that all of these educational establishments impose a mandatory Foundation Course, where they teach them necessary life skills - like literacy and numeracy..

Wednesday 17 August 2011


My insomnia problem remains, I'm very sad to say. All I can rely on is cat-naps to sustain me through the day, as the maddening noise of bolting horses and ensuing sound of slamming stable-doors continues apace.

Here in the lovely country of Northumbria, we've also been gifted with the incessant droning of the politicos, and the subject matter hasn't changed for some considerable time. Still, it's my belief that it's only a matter of time before the entire sorry circus moves on, as the virtuous ruling elite and their cretinous soothsaying companions succumb to boredom and fatigue; the flogging of a dead horse only provides momentary interest. But until such a blissful prospect enters our temporal horizon, we're given daily glimpses into the Steely Resolve of the Northumbrian Establishment to inflict Punishment. Real Punishment.

Even as I write, the Moots of the Kingdom have been operating round the cycle of the day, processing the mucus-encrusted and acne-ridden miscreants unfortunate enough to have been apprehended in a leisurely fashion by the craven Costumed Thugs. The judges have been working shifts, and they pour into the taverns and mead-houses when their grim work is done, while other colleagues take their places for the evening shift. The crimes of the accused consist of every possible combination of theft, arson, assault, criminal damage and trespass, in varying degrees of seriousness. Already, those who committed the minor offences have been meted their just deserts. We were recently treated to the public hanging of a pimpled youth who had stolen a flagon of water. Be amazed, O heavens. The populace was certainly cheered by such harshness, after Caedmeron - shrewdly reading the mood of the Docile and the Bovine - sent the clear and unmistakeable signal that there must be a Zero Tolerance policy towards such disgraceful behaviour. Whatever.

Even those who've sent messages to their friends suggesting a riotous party haven't escaped the Long Arm of Northumbrian Law. One young scallywag issued a note to his cronies, suggesting that they assemble for a water-fight. His head now adorns a pole.

Those responsible for more serious misconduct - assault, arson and murder - have been sentenced to several minutes, hours or days in the local gaol, where they've been obliged to keep company with the less desirable elements of our social landscape - cat burglars, serial cereal killers, those who pull wings off butterflies and - horribile dictu - elderly ladies, who've permitted their tripe-hounds to deposit fecal hundreds-and-thousands on the pavements of the Realm. The authorities evidently want to inflict maximum pain.

It seems strange to me that a generation of unprincipled, lawless bandits and thieves - saturated with a sense of their own entitlement, pig-ignorant, arrogant and intoxicated by their own overinflated self-importance should commit such atrocities for their own self-gratification. But that's what our political classes are like. And their sense of proportional justice is hardly going to be balanced when it comes to dealing with an underclass of greedy blackhead-adorned adolescents who are only following their example, is it?

Monday 15 August 2011


I'm finding it difficult to sleep at the moment; ever since last week's Annual Mass Convention and Picnic of the Feeble-minded, the Feckless Gangsters and the Criminally Insane, I've been constantly kept from the soothing arms of Morpheus by the sound of horses bolting, followed by the creaking of closing stable doors. Heaven knows, things were bad enough after the rioting hordes of the flower of Northumbrian Youth had their moment of glory, but this hastily-arranged assembly of the Witangemot was just too much for this Cat to take.

Caedmeron - the smooth-talking, duplicitous, irreligious and deeply unprincipled Chief Cock and Bluebottle-Washer of the Tree/Lib Administration - has promised to deal with some notion he vaguely refers to as 'Broken Northumbria.' Following the well-worn example of a distinguished line of predecessors in the Hot Seat of Northumbrian La-La-Land politics, he's once more intoned about the desire to implement a 'Zero Tolerance' policy against all criminal activity, and furthermore promised to engage the services of a distinguished Costumed Thug called Gambinus - an elderly rogue of Sicilian descent, who had (until recently) carried out similar things in Ultima Thule. This distinguished fellow had successfully managed to sweep criminal gangs of Vikings and assorted Barbarians off the streets of his own settlement, thus shunting the problems to another district, which hitherto had been infested with with law-abiding people. I believe the proper name for this process is 'Recycling.'

Jedweird the Milliner - now furnished with a shiny brand new nose, and flushed with a string of imaginary political victories - has called for a Public Enquiry. On hearing this, the entire Kingdom resounded with gasps of incredulity and amazement; such a thing has been unheard of in this Realm - or, at least, since the last one, which finished about half an hour ago. Public Enquiries are worthy endeavours to solve a problem by convening a series of meetings and hearings - usually presided over by some judge or other. They usually last for months, or even years, and they cost a vast amount of money. I've been given to understand that these talking shops are funded by Jedweird the Milliner and Edweird the Spheres out of the unfathomable depths of their own pockets and the goodness of their own hearts. One can only fail to admire their altruism.

On top of all this frenetic activity (better known as talk), I was privileged the other night to watch a sport that is well loved in this Sceptered Isle; it's similar to Bear-Baiting. In this case, a couple of Redistributionist knuckleheads and a Beeby See disciple set upon an elderly and distinguished history teacher who had the temerity to suggest that the looters and thieves who had gone berserk last week were influenced by Viking culture. Had he said that they were the Victims of repressive Tree-led Cuts, he would still be alive today and teaching Roman history..

As for me - all I want is forty winks. Is that too much for a moggy to ask for?