Friday 30 September 2011

One Year On - the Catmeister's Epistle

It's nearly a year since I took some tentative steps and started this blog; to begin with, I wanted a platform on which I could air my increasing disquiet with what is called 'government', which I'd slowly come to realise has nothing to do with the representation of the interests of the populace.

Since I don't have the time - or inclination - to delve into the endless machinations of politicians and parties, I didn't consider it my remit to give a thoughtful critique of the latest political fads and the (lack of) thinking and principle behind them. There are other bloggers far better than I at that - especially Guido Fawkes, Cranmer and  Anna Raccoon to name but a few - and besides, I'm only as it were an ordinary household moggy. But I do know that so much of what takes place in the name of governance on these Anglo-Saxon shores - and elsewhere - solemnly invites derision - and if there's one thing that politicians and their paymasters don't like, it's to be laughed at.

So Caedmon's Cat is my own imperfect attempt at a political cartoon, using words rather than penstrokes.

What I never imagined was that so many people would faithfully follow my outpourings of acidic humour; from the various statistical tools I have available, I can see that many of my readers live in the East Midlands, and are probably friends, relatives and acquaintances; a good number of my readers are found in the Home Counties and the North West. Thank you all. And I certainly didn't bargain for an international following; I've had regular readers in the USA, Iceland, the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire), South Korea, Russia and the Far East. I don't know who you are, but nevertheless I want to thank you as well. None of you realise how much your ongoing readership means to me.

I want to reserve a big thank you to Trooper Thompson and Nourishing Obscurity who have kindly linked to this blog - and particularly I would like to acknowledge my indebtedness to Anna Raccoon, who has been especially supportive, and has boosted my readership significantly through the link on her site.

Please drop me a line to say hello and pass on any comments; my email address is above, but I've had to modify the @ sign to avoid spammers. Please spread the word if you like what you read and think it would be appreciated!

Your Cat returns next week (God willing), ready to have fun with those unspeakable Trees at their Annual Unfortunates' Outing And Picnic. I can't wait..!


Thursday 29 September 2011

Hitting The High Note

After a wonderful but malodorous week at the Redistributionists' Annual Unfortunates' Outing And Picnic, this Cat is well and truly buzzing: I really haven't had so much fun since Guffmund The Brown sat on a dead hedgehog.

Edweird The Milliner - the Glorious Leader, General Secretary and Nosethrob of the Redistributionists' Proletarian and Agrarian Revolution - has given his triumphant oration to the gathered window-lickers, commissars, Trade Guild Barons and soothsayers. All hail, Caesar Ed! While he was nasally droning, a large number of the assembled throng looked decidedly hung over from the previous night's drunken carousing. Some slept loudly. My mother always told me when I was a kitten that you should never mix mead and magic mushrooms, and from the vacant expressions on the faces of the enraptured onlookers, I can understand why.

Eddy Boy tried to deliver something which approximated to humour in order to warm the audience up for his speech - but no one noticed. He then went on to boldly attack the vicious Trees, and to weave an unfamiliar view of Redistributionist history. In his unfolding fantasy, the uliginous warmongerer Tondvig The Blur - and Eddy's psychopathic predecessor Guffmund the Brown - were glorious and honourable men to whom the entire Civilized World owed its deepest gratitude. He described how they'd set the bar for new standards of honesty and integrity in Northumbrian politics. He praised the assembly for the increase in turnip production, and movingly implored the peasants to achieve even more for next year. (I have no idea why this should be of such significance to Eddy, since it's not a vegetable likely to grace his own refined dinner plate.)

He also announced that he was going to lead the Faction to the Promised Land, and he was going to take the Kingdom of Northumbria with him; there would be full employment in a Kingdom ruled by diversity coordinators, cat license administrators, pigeon psychologists, fish quota accountants and other vital front line services. He announced a full scale war on evil people who sold things at a profit for their own livelihood. (The market traders are going to be joyful. I hear the sharpening of knives already.)

After his speech, the audience - prodded by little people with long sticks - leaped to their feet and cheered lustily. The vomiting reflex - so familiar to me at such gatherings - took over my alimentary system. I didn't even summon the energy to vacate the premises. Feaxede the Fox - overcome by the sheer emotion of the week - slept through it all.

The singing of the Redistributionists' anthem 'The Red Loincloth' was led by a shrill vocalist whose skill in tonal delivery was as imaginary as everything that had taken place during the week.

One more Sycophantasy Picnic to go, and then I think I deserve a rest..

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Truth Extraction

Whenever I reflect about politicians here in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria, I invariably find that the rather distasteful ideas of falsehood and pretence lurks nearby in the labyrinthine reaches of my feline consciousness; I've no idea why this is so, since I've invariably found politicos to be admirable human beings, who are with a highly-developed sense of principle and immaculate integrity.

Well, nearly.

In yesterday's gathering of the Redistributionists' Annual Unfortunates' Outing And Picnic, the assembled adoring window-lickers and hard-nosed Redistributionist ideologues and apparatchiks were treated to a particularly heart-warming presentation by a tiny little boy, whose mother skilfully translated his infantile prattling into coherent sentences for the delectation and edification of the audience. I described the enraptured response - along with the unfortunate effect that the entire spectacle had upon Feaxede the Fox's alimentary system, not to mention mine. And I know that neither of us had accidentally consumed any magic mushrooms, since our thought processes still remained rooted in cold and pedestrian reality.

So imagine my overwhelming sense of disappointment when I subsequently heard that the presentation with the little mite was no more than an empty and baseless charade. Feaxede was even more upset than I was, since he rather admires the Redistributionists for making the sport of fox-hunting illegal during their nine hundred thousand years' tenure in government.

Let me explain. The story has been circulating round the Kingdom of late that the tale that was (allegedly) told by the child was nothing more than a contrived piece of fantasy fiction, carefully crafted by Edweird the Milliner's speechwriters and propagandists in order to evoke an optimum emotional response in the audience. Furthermore, the story of destitution, poverty and hopelessness was equally imaginary; the child's family was exceedingly affluent and well-educated. However, it's not certain whether or not they did draw deeply from the generous coffers of the Northumbrian Kingdom Poor Relief. The slobbering, teething infant is also attending a grammar kindergarten - the very kind of educational establishment that the Redistributionists have sworn upon their mothers' graves to abolish.

It all goes to show that the Redistributionists have a very tenuous relationship with that most unmerciful abstraction - now, what's it called? - ah, yes. Truth..

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes And Sucklings

Here in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria, the Redistributionist Faction's Annual Unfortunates' Outing And Picnic is in full swing, and that all-familiar haze of unreality pervades the assembled throng, aided - of course - by the chewing of the mandatory magic mushrooms on an industrial scale. Since Feaxede the Fox and I have acclimatised our noses to the unsavoury human bodily odours that saturate the atmosphere, we've settled in anticipation of an engaging and entertaining Picnic.

And we haven't been disappointed. Yesterday, the Redistributionists - in their desperation to present themselves as a formidable farce in Northumbrian politics - presented their pièce de résistance. Never reluctant to use any means possible to tug at the heartstrings of their window-licking camp followers and to impress gullible onlookers, they employed the services of a child. This is yet another astonishing political triumph for Edweird the Milliner. Beat that if you can next week, Caddy Boy..

A small toddler - no more than two years old by my reckoning - was brought to the platform by his mother. To the amazement of Feaxede and myself, the Picnic organisers allowed the baby free use of the platform before the gathered multitude. After several minutes of crawling around, pulling the leather shoe thongs of various members of the audience and slobbering copiously, the child's mother picked him up, and he promptly began to make vocal utterances. These were not intelligible to my ears, and I suspect that no one else understood either, but the mother clearly either did comprehend the stream of babble that proceeded from the infant's mouth, or she interpreted it to shape it to her own addled narrative. Far be it from me to suggest that this was what she actually was doing…

After a series of shrieks, accompanied by feverish random pointing to various members of the assembled mob, the boy's mother provided a translation of the nipper's vocal outpourings. Thenceforth proceeded a translated torrent of vituperation and heated invective against the depraved and heartless Trees, who Threatened The Entire Social Order with their savage Public Spending Cuts. This was interwoven with a melodramatic autobiographical account of tragic family breakdown and destitution. The little salivating rugrat's conclusion was that he owed his very existence to the merciful offerings from the formerly abundant and generous coffers of the Northumbrian Kingdom Poor Relief, which enabled him and his dysfunctional family sufficient comforts and luxuries to enable the adults to function without having to take the trouble to seek gainful employment. Hooray for Indolence!

This crowning moment of his (translated) babbling soliloquy brought the gathered assembly to its malodorous feet - and a rousing prompted cheer went up which lasted all of thirteen microseconds.

Following this, Feaxede and I simultaneously felt the vomiting reflex, and we hastily fled the Moot hall to disgorge the contents of our stomachs. We've both seen and heard the future of the Redistributionist Faction, and it's every bit as deluded and parasitical as the present. I can't wait for the Trees' Picnic net week. It holds out such glorious promise...    ..doesn't it..??

Monday 26 September 2011

Spherical and in the Plural

is a Very Important Day in the lovely country of Northumbria. It's a day of momentous significance because the soothsayers Beeby See (she of the Common-as-muck Era) and her fanatical, vicious and acne-infested friend Guardy-Ann have declared it to be so, and who are we mere creatures to question their unquestionably highly developed judgment? It must therefore be thus.

For the benefit of those readers in a state of blissful unawareness, today is the launch of the Redistributionist Faction's Annual Unfortunates' Outing And Picnic. We're in the season of these august September and October gatherings, all of which are as part and parcel of the historic Northumbrian calendar as Wintervaltide and the Feast of Fluffy Chicks and Bunnies' Eggs.

Naturally, the people of Northumbria are highly excited about this particular Picnic, and they're all - to a man, woman, child, cat, dog, pigeon and fox - yearning to hear what new pearls of wisdom are going to drip from the eloquent and erudite chops of the Redistributionist politicos, who are taking a well-deserved rest from their ninety thousand years in office. The process of spending taxpayers' money like water and bankrupting the Kingdom is crushingly tiring and burdensome, so they've retreated to the place of His Majesty's Loyal Opposition, while the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration - like a relay runner - continues the heady task of taxing and regulating the population into a state of penury and penal servitude. Bless.

Feaxede the Fox and I went along to the Picnic to see if we could scrounge some tasty exotic food, as we both know for a certainty that Redistributionists are particularly endowed with discerning taste for fine and expensive fare. At the taxpayers' expense, naturally. When we got into the Moot building, the odour of unwashed armpits, feet and pungent posteriors was overpowering. So we decided to keep a safe distance until our delicate olefactory faculties were acclimatised to the toxic atmosphere. It took a few hours. No one else seemed to notice this at all..

To commence the mounting excitement of the week, Edweird the Spheres - the chronically mendacious fat boy of the Faction has taken his stand and publicly declared that the Public Spending Cuts - which have been imposed by the Evil Tree/Liberationist Administration in attempt to fill the abyss of bankruptcy and insolvency - will continue under a new Redistributionist government. Now, the significance of this statement hasn't escaped the attention of this Cat - nor the Fox. We know - for we remember - that Edweird the Spheres was one of the henchment of former Beloved Leader Guffmund the Brown - he who rescued the entire world from the ravages of solvency. If my memory serves me correctly, he was a Special Advisor to Guffo, and his wise and well-intentioned advice played a significant part in contributing to the unholy financial mess the Kingdom is now in.

In view of the fact that for ages the Redistributionists have been consistently criticising the Tree/Liberationist Administration for imposing the Cuts and destroying the livelihoods of countless pigeon psychologists, cat license administrators, diversity coordinators and other assorted non-jobs, it really doesn't make sense for Eddy to announce such a startling contradiction of his previously held position.

I have a theory: I believe that in an attempt to woo the public and the impressionable window-lickers of his Faction, Eddy has taken a particularly potent species of hallucinogenic mushroom. Feaxede thinks he's just saying the first thing that comes into his head. He might actually be right; Eddy's very good at that..

Thursday 22 September 2011

Full Of Sound And Fury..

The Liberationists' Annual Unfortunates' Outing And Picnic has now concluded the formal side of its business in the illicit camp of Rosedale Farm - although many hardcore Liberationists have remained on the site as a gesture of defiance against the local Costumed Thugs, who, with the blessing of the bishop and the local parishioners, want to forcibly evict them from the site. There are still substantial numbers of fly agaric-chewing Redistributionist hangers-on still present, who joined them to provide moral support and - incidentally - to help themselves to the spotty red mushrooms. Just for medicinal purposes, you understand.

Blaeck Clegge - the Great Didact-in-Chief and Guiding Light of the Liberationists - gave the valedictory speech yesterday, as is the custom at the end of such such gatherings. Before an assembled mob of adoring window-lickers, mushroom-chewers and assorted riff-raff of varying ages and beard length (as well as the men), he confidently addressed his minions. Some fainted before he even drew breath to speak. His Iberian wife - the Asturian pig farmer's daughter of noble birth - perspired and swooned in fluent Castilian. No one died.

What Blaeck Clegge spoke was pure poetry; he quoted extensively from passages of Beowulf; he also spoke of the swelling of the tides and the perilous rolling deep; he intoned about the little orphaned children, the lost baby rabbits and the stranded polar bears. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. Many of his sandal-shod audience were so overcome by the emotion of the speech - as well as the imagery that it conveyed - that they were either physically sick or were obliged to dash to the nearest latrine.

But what did he actually say? I asked various Liberationists who were there at the time. I also asked various lackeys of the soothsayers Guardy-Ann and Beeby See, who were in attendance so that they could take note of the proceedings in order to present a creatively edited, partially impartial report to their mistresses for the edification and information of the people.

There was a surprising consensus in the answers I received in response to my question; this only confirmed my own observed conclusion.

He said nothing. But they loved it, all the same.

Tuesday 20 September 2011

What Goes Round..

As the Liberationists' Annual Unfortunates' Outing And Picnic gathers momentum amid all the clamour and tumult in the illicit camp of Rosedale Farm, it's gratifying to know that someone has seized the initiative. Hooray for Common Sense!

Húne the Horehound - a discredited and dissolute luminary of the Liberationists' Faction - has been pontificating to the assembled window-lickers about Saving The Planet and Protecting The Poor Little Polar Bears from the Rising Tide of Melting Icecaps. Bless.

This brilliant man - whose natural intelligence is as highly elevated as his awe-inspiring moral credentials - has advocated that the destitute and long-suffering Northumbrian public should endure the biting cold of the Northumbrian winters and forgo their home fires - because they contribute a great deal of smoke into the atmosphere, which causes the world's climate to heat up to boiling point. Reports coming from the Sacred Mushroom Leader of the Global Warming Cult Who Is Never Wrong - His Holiness Archbishop Georges Moonbat - have stated that cod and haddock can already be fished from the polar seas ready-cooked and ready to eat. Fast food! Yummy!

To solve this Colossal Conundrum, the Horehound has proposed that a greater number of windmills be built in the Kingdom, so that the rapidly warming air can cool as they rotate. And all the people can also have the benefit of freshly ground flour with which to bake their bread and cakes, since this will be a useful by-product of the rotating blades. It'll certainly cut out a lot of back-breaking work for the women of the households, who have to labour over the querns each day to grind their grain.

I think it's a brilliant idea - particularly for Húne and his lovely friends; they're the ones who profit from the building of the windmills. I'm sure they'll huddle and shiver in their opulent houses like the rest of the public. I wonder what King Alhfrith and the potty-mouthed Queen Hillida think of the idea? I bet they're willing to give it a go...

But there's one slight problem that Húne hasn't addressed. And I don't believe that his magic mushroom-chewing friends have thought about it either. How can the Northumbrian people benefit from the new technology of windmills and ready-ground flour if they've already frozen to death in their unheated homes from the combined cold of the winter and the chill factor of the rotating sails?

Either Húne the Horehound is incredibly depraved - or simply barking mad/stupid. Having carried out a straw poll among my friends Caedmon, Feaxede the Fox, the Abbess Hilda and the monks, the consensus is that he's both.

I hope that the Costumed Thugs come over soon and evict these Liberationists from Rosedale Farm - and drive them from the camp. I've come to the conclusion that they do more harm than good...

Monday 19 September 2011

The Liberationists' Funny Farm Factor

Dear me - there's quite a to-do going on in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria at present. In fact it's something that's been rumbling for some time, but it's come to a head today. It would appear that this is the week of the Liberationists' Annual Unfortunates' Outing and Picnic, but since the aforesaid Faction haven't been able to hire a Moot house for the occasion (they're all taken up with dealing with an enormous backlog of rioting cases), the Liberationists have set up a camp on a certain Rosedale Farm in the picturesque North Yorvik Moorlands.

Unfortunately, the locals in the vicinity have had quite enough of the less than exemplary behaviour of their new neighbours, who've been ingratiating themselves with the local communities by stealing bread, chickens and eggs, breaking into houses to steal valuable goods and - to add insult to injury - holding loud drunken revelries in the small hours, when good and clean-living Liberationists ought to be safely tucked up in their beds. O tempus, o mores. Because of this, the neighbours have banded together with members of the local Costumed Thug force, and have taken measures to evict the dissolute Liberationists from their temporary farm residences. The entire scene has since degenerated to the point where fly agaric-chewing Redistributionists have arrived in droves on donkeys and horses to give some moral support to their simple Liberationist country cousins, with whom they share a fond allegiance, as well as a passion for fantasy politics and exotic hallucinogenic fungi.

The name of a great local Liberationist saint has been invoked in an appeal for calm, but the hapless Holy Vincent of Bigwires has already got his hands full, attempting to rewrite a fantasy version of Northumbrian history - such a contrast to the Venerable Bede, whose main desire is the propogation of Blessed Truth.

The monks and the Abbess Hilda at the Streonaeshalch Abbey are most concerned about it all, and special masses have been held round the hours of the day. There's also a regular stream of messengers arriving at the Abbey with the latest news of the sorry business..

As for me, I'm not really bothered about it all. As far as I'm concerned, the Liberationists can go hang; the Đ Factor has returned to town; that's far better entertainment. And it's Sandal Camp next week - hooray!

Thursday 15 September 2011

Fun Guy For The Feast

My reliable source of information from the bowels of the Tree/Liberationist Administration is my good feline friend Lareow, who - a mere cat - was elevated to the dizzying heights of glory when he was taken from a kitty orphanage and appointed Supreme Mouser at the Chief Cock and Bluebottle Washer's residence.

His appointment to this onerous but prestigious task was initially precipitated by the presence of rats, but these rodents are exceedingly well-fed and affable creatures, and Lareow has had neither the heart nor the intestinal fortitude to engage them in mortal combat. Despite his failure to eliminate these pests, he has at least redeemed himself by proving his mousing prowess, and in so doing has carved a nice little niche for himself.

Since he moves in such elevated circles, I've found him to be a valuable source of intelligence and insight into the inner workings of the machinery of government. I met him for a chat and to trade the usual feline gossip with him yesterday, and he let slip something extremely revealing about Caedmeron and the Tree Faction he leads.

As I've already intimated beforehand, we're approaching the season of the Annual Unfortunates' Outing And Picnic, which is a massed gathering of all those window-licking adherents of the various political factions. These are intended to be events to unite the faction members in their resolve to win more public votes and to hammer out future political strategy. Or - at least - that's the impression they like to convey. In reality, they're little more than debauched beanfeasts which provide many with the rare opportunity to hobnob with the infamous representatives, get helplessly inebriated, and send their alimentary systems into a flat spin by overloading them with the finest food in the Northumbrian Kingdom.

Apparently, Lareow has come by a list of goods that has been drawn up for the caterers who are charged with equipping the forthcoming event. Among the usual list of the finest wines from the vineyards of Bordeaux, the choicest cuts of venison, hare, beef, fillets of Dover sole and tons of smoked salmon, one of the more unusual items is several bushels of fly agaric.

It seems that the leaven of the Redistributionists has well and truly taken effect..

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Brothers In Arms

After Edweird the Milliner's come-uppance from the Trade Guild Barons the other day, the wheels of their fake empire's infernal machine continue to grind and squeak unabated. To my sensitive feline ears, it's an excruciating sound.

The Barons - that coterie of simple nobletons, whose wealth would make Croesus slobber with envy - have decided to lead their people into battle against the Tree/Liberationist Administration. Threats, fire and slaughter - and the grinding of teeth - have issued from their assembly, and the entire population has responded with either a terrified shrug or a petrified yawn.

Since the Administration inherited the parlous state of bankruptcy and desolation (referred to as the Northumbrian Kingdom) from the hallucinogenic fungus-driven Redistributionists (who in the space of a hundred and forty three thousand years and six months moulded it into their own unnatural likeness), they've engaged in an energetic regime of Cuts to the public purse. With a twinkle in his eye, the shifty Caedmeron has repeatedly assured the populace that 'we're all in this together' - which is, as I understand it, a euphemistic way of telling the hapless and bovine Northumbrians that it's their problem, and they're going to have to pay the price for the sins of their previous administration.

Since the legions of Northumbrian day-labourers had nothing to do with the dire condition of the economy (which was solely the responsibility of the Redistributionists, their psychotic leader Guffmund The Brown and the Moneylenders, who all continue to wallow in groats as before), one would reasonably expect them to resist attempts to offload the problem onto them. However, with the hypnotic silver tongues of the Soothsayers, they've been persuaded into cheerfully accepting that they themselves were responsible for the unholy mess, and they're therefore willing to suffer the indignities, privations and strictures of poverty and penury for the Good Of The Kingdom. Bless.

Of course, Caedmeron and his well-fed cronies been more than happy to capitalise on the bovinity and the essential good nature of the common people, so that's worked quite well for them. We're all in this together, people. Shoulders to the wheel. Whatever.

But Caedmeron has one formidable fighting farce to overcome - the Trades Guilds of the Public Sector, whose earnings are entirely dependent on the taxation of the working population. Since the Cuts to Public Expenditure are already taking effect with the release of cat psychologists, fish quota accountants, hamster license administrators, diversity coordinators and homeopathic counsellors to the ranks of the idle, their respective Trades Guilds have suffered a significant haemorrhage of incoming cash from members' contributions. The ultimate effect of a shrinking membership is a reduced income for the Barons - which, in turn results in increasingly modest choices in food and drink intake. Tragedy, indeed.

Therefore they've decided that they must take decisive action, and after a great deal of knuckle-dragging and grunting, they have decided that they're going to lead their diminishing numbers of members out on strike. Against the Cuts. This is bound to tug on the tender heartstrings of the public, who will doubtless express their undying salivatory support. A wise move, methinks. It should reduce the Tree/Liberationist Administration to a quivering jelly.

Well, nearly...