Wednesday 30 November 2011

One More Day In Fairyland

Yesterday, Oswine - the Supreme Allied Commander-In-Chief of the King's Purse - made his State Of The Nation speech in the Witangemot, and to a boisterous throng of assorted politicos, Redistributionist drunks, cut-throats and the deluded and criminally insane, he announced that the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria wasn't out of the woods by far. There were going to be more Cuts in Public Expenditure, and the economy of the realm was going to pass through times of Unparalleled Darkness before the golden, welcome light of Solvency and Prosperity would once more blight these blessed shores. He says he's going to borrow more billions of groats to help the Kingdom tread water - or sink gracefully, according to one's perspective. Guffo the Brown - the previous Head Honcho and Rescuer from the Ravages of Solvency - was observed to have smiled, but I later heard that he'd merely passed wind..

Sober stuff indeed - especially since the entire Northumbrian show is in debt to the discordant tune of seventeen thousand gazillions of holy groats, which by my calculation should be cleared - after the interest is paid off, naturally - by the time the entire earth has aged by ten million years, and Caedmeron will be a fossilised set of bones, languishing in a chalk down somewhere. I don't think any of the creditors are likely to be around to receive the finishing payment - unless they're blessed with unnaturally long life expectancy. Good times are just around the corner! Hooray for Ossie!

Undeterred by this apocalyptic gloom, the Great Mass of Disaffected Public Sector salary-drawers are taking to the streets of the towns and the cities, parading their prowess for immaculate Anglo-Saxon spelling and punctuation on roughly-scribbled placards declaiming their detestation of the Tree/Liberationist Administration for proposing to make them work longer and pay extra for their opulent taxpayer-funded pensions. How dare they? Oh, the wickedness of such a thing. I feel sick..

Intoxicated and blinded to the foolishness of their actions (or inactivity) by their unearthly sense of superiority and entitlement to something Far Better than the Great Unworthy Masses whose taxation pays them and enables them to see out their twilight years in the modest villas of Tuscany, they continue to vent their spleens against the machinations of Government. Meanwhile, their mentors - the Trade Guild Barons - urge them on to greater degrees of self-sacrifice while they themselves decide how to spend their generous salaries.

I was chatting with my master Caedmon about this, and he put forward the view that those who take such steps are the product of poor parenting and bad exemplars; he also suggested that if they had an appreciation of Divine Grace, they'd be thankful for every scrap they have, and wouldn't assume that the world owed them everything with cherries on top.

As a kitty, I don't need Divine Grace, since I'm not responsible for the fallen human condition. But I'm certainly thankful for what I have - and for the endless fun and entertainment these clowns give me...

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Time Out

It's been such a busy time here in the lovely country of Northumbria, which explains the scarcity of posts from your Cat of late.

The reason for this is that we've all been getting ourselves geared up for the Great Public Sector Workers' Strike. All (well, nearly all - perhaps some) of the townspeople of Streonaeshalch have been occupied, trying to spruce the place up for such a glorious occasion - which is quite a mean feat, given the characteristically grey and cheerless time of year we're now in. But this is evidently a great beacon of hope for the townspeople - especially for the kindergarten teachers and their assistants, lunchtime supervisors, pigeon psychologists, dog log spotters, diversity administrators, homeopathic advisors, fish quota accountants and the legions of civil servants. Naturally, those who aren't privileged enough to be employed by the Northumbrian state apparatus aren't anything like as passionate about the issues which are precipitating the stoppage - which is terribly selfish of them; after all, the public sector wouldn't hesitate to show their fraternal support for their less fortunate comrades, would they? And if there's one thing I've gleaned from all of this, it's the understanding that within Trade Guild circles, it's the selfless principle of all for one and one for all.. Whatever.

Feaxede has been on the forage for extra scraps of chicken carcasses, which he intends to store up to see him, the vixen and the cubs through this time. He - being a Redistributionist supporter - is entering to the spirit of the occasion, and he's very much in favour of the strike action. But as far as I can discern, it doesn't make a scrap of difference to Feaxede whether there's a strike or not, since he only depends on the discarded detritus of human society, which will still continue to provide him with his favourite sustenance. When times are really hard, maybe then there won't be any discarded chicken carcasses, since it's more likely that the thrifty Northumbrians will be obliged to use every remaining scrap of gristle, and grind and boil the bones for broth. If the poor, down-at-heel public sector employees have to pay a few groats extra towards their sumptuous pension schemes, (at the tax-payers' expense, of course) and have to work a year or two more, it's of no consequence whatever to him. I can only guess that he's just giving his moral support; they certainly don't need him. I've tried to explain this to him, but his loyalty to the Cause appears to blind him to reason...

My own position on this is more ambivalent. I'm very happy for the Northumbrians, as it's something that brings them together in their menial and tedious existence, and I'm always in favour of any excuse for people to let their hair down and parade their ignorance of the Anglo-Saxon language with ungrammatically written placards and their greengrocers' apostrophes. I'm very much a party animal. Everyone needs a party cat. But I've also got my feline head screwed on, and I get the distinct feeling that most of those eagerly supporting this day off from the ravages of toil and industry haven't really thought the matter through. Isn't their posturing more likely to put their jobs more at risk by antagonising the Tree/Liberationist Administration? Anyway, I reckon the Kingdom would still continue to run along smoothly if it only had one solitary Diversity Coordinator - or even less than that...

Even Edweird the Milliner - the Beloved and Glorious Leader of the Redistributionist Faction - has expressed some doubt about the desirability of this action. Of course, he could be saying one thing and signifying another - but I don't think he's clever or devious enough to do that.

But I'm looking forward to the Great Day - if only for the comedy spelling and punctuation on the placards of the teachers.. Bring it on, people!

Thursday 24 November 2011

Strike Dumb

Here in the lovely country of Northumbria, everyone is getting deliriously excited about the next Great Event on the horizon; the soothsayers are in ecstasies, and by my reckoning, they're probably in the Seventh Heaven by now; Beeby See hasn't shut up about it for days, and even the phlegmatically psychotic sweetie Guardy-Ann is pontificating on the matter in her customary venom.

The hard-done-by public sector workers are planning a Day of Strike Action (which to my simple feline mind has to be a contradiction in terms, since to strike is to carry out no productive action at all). Dismayed by the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration's dogged insistence on reducing the level of public expenditure in order to offset the widening abyss of debt swallowing up the Kingdom, they've decided that the public sector workers - paid from the revenues raised by heavy-handed taxation - are receiving excessively generous pensions. In view of this, they've decided to reduce some of the excesses paid into these pots, thus reducing the frequency of overseas pilgrimages of retired administrators to Tuscany. So sad.

So we're soon to be greeted with the sight of schoolmasters, headmasters, kindergarten playground supervisors, environmental support officers, diversity coordinators, fish quota accountants, homeopathy advisors, pilgrims, pigeon psychologists and a plethora of other essential and frivolous trades taking to the streets, waving placards in ungrammatical Anglo-Saxon, replete with greengrocers' apostrophes. I'm really looking forward to it. (When I was a kitten, Caedmon used to take me to such demonstrations so that he could show me the linguistic atrocities of semi-literates.)

This Great Strike - the greatest ever (since the previous one) - has been coordinated across the various trades and professions by the respective Trade Guild Barons. These are the inspirational shepherds and guiding lights of the striking employees, who've tirelessly urged their flocks to vote for this Grand Gesture against the vile and reprobate Trees. In the event, only a small percentage of their charges have bothered to turn out to vote, but from those meagre attendances, the mighty result has been obtained. Hooray for Redistributionist Demockery-Cy!

As far as the Trade Guild Barons are concerned, it's a great result; they can play their chess game with Caedmeron and Clegge in the snug and smug assurance they're not going to lose any money. As far as the public sector employees are concerned, they're Striking a Blow against Injustice, Poverty, Discrimination and fishpaste. They will lose a day's pay for each day they strike, and they'll feel virtuous and inwardly cleansed by their cathartic act of self-denial. The Tree/Liberationist Administration will be greatly pleased, since they've saved heaps of groats from unpaid salaries as a consequence. Result!

Meanwhile, the wage slaves working for the private sector will continue to toil, unrecognised, unloved and unnoticed. Their taxes will continue to feed the Public Sector Beast - until they eventually lose their employment, and the tax revenue stream dries up. And then what...?

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Smoking F.E.G.s

It's so unpredictable as to what the soothsayers are going to get excited about, and each day produces fresh and steaming examples of human imbecility. For example, there's been an unholy furore about some schoolchildren in the Tree Club of a Caledonian kindergarten. It appears that they have a time-honoured custom of making an effigy of their favourite public figure, and burning it to the sounds of skirling bagpipes, the slurping of the noxious uisge beatha, belching and projectile vomiting; each year a new candidate is selected for this honour, and a good time is had by all.

This year, the chosen persona was Booradleigh O'Barmy, the Supreme Chieftain of the distant shores of Ultima Thule - that undiscovered land of plenty. Fair play, kiddies - whatever floats your longboat. It's not a particularly intelligent pastime for the younger samples of the Crown of Creation, but hey, who cares? As long as they're not tormenting my fellow felines, or other creatures - or even each other, then I don't really give a monkey's brunch.

Sadly, that's not how the Kindergarten authorities saw it. As soon as they caught wind of this event, the Redistributionist sluice-gates opened automatically, and this harmless - if rather vacuous - pursuit brought down the greatest damnation that could be conferred by one human being upon another: it was given the Inappropriate epithet. Let's take time to recover from the shock, boys and girls. Smelling salts are supplied free - at taxpayers' expense, of course.

Apparently, according to Those Who Know, such an act is Deeply Offensive, and can destroy all forms of human life within a radius of three thousand miles within a rat's sneeze, and for that reason, it must be dealt with. Precipitately.

So the poor children had to say they were sorry. On their knees. In deepest contrition.

As far as I know, nobody was hurt. Booradleigh O'Barmy, the Supreme Chieftain of the distant shores of Ultima Thule - that undiscovered land of plenty is still alive and unburnt. He probably will never hear about the mortal offense that was committed against him. If he ever does, he'll probably have a chuckle; I hear that he eats dried fruit for breakfast and he's a regular guy.

I'm waiting for Tondvig the Blur, Guffmund the Brown and Dagwald Caedmeron and all of their venal henchmen to kneel in penitence before the Abbess Hilda as they confess the real offenses they've caused in the name of Government. I think I'll be waiting until the cows sing the Latin Psalter...

Tuesday 22 November 2011

In-tents Speculation

In view of the Great Credit Crisis that continues to cripple the Kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex and those of the Angles and Jutes - as well as the entire civilised world - Dagwald Caedmeron - the dynamic go-getter Leader and Chief Cock and Bluebottle Washer of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance administration has made a Momentous Decision.

This glorious resolution is the consequence of a severe shortage of house purchases, since Young People simply don't have the requisite amount of holy groats to afford the deposit for a home. For this reason our settlements are besieged by legions of A-frame daub-and-wattle dwellings, lying empty like rows of discarded carcasses - allowing of course for the occasional stray weasel or cat, seeking shelter from the ravages of the Northumbrian autumn weather.

Since the Young People - fresh-faced and full of naive enthusiasm and hallucinogenic mushrooms - have been unable to purchase their own nests (to the irritation and detriment of their long suffering parents and their pantries), many of them have resorted to purchasing tents and congregating round the Yorvik financial district and the Minster, which they grace with their bongos and beansprouts, uncontrolled dogs and their respective colorectal offerings, along with vague protests about Evil Merchants, soap and Moneylenders. It's all so very sad.

This has only provided a partial - and less than perfect - answer to the Great Housing Catastrophe, since tents lack the robustness of the more groat-hungry housing. Furthermore, once the coating of goose grease has worn away, the tents unfortunately allow the rain to run through, streaming down the interior in small rivers. For all that, the tentmakers have been doing a roaring trade, and it's been interesting to watch them hard at work, stitching away at the seams. Many poles are used in the manufacturing process; I struck up a conversation with one whose name was Grzegorz. I didn't understand a single word he said.

But now, a New Dawn of Blessed Hope has appeared. Hooray for Caddy boy and his astonishing ingenuity! I'm so pleased. My fox friend Feaxede shared a chicken carcass with me by way of celebration. Happy times.

Dagwald Caedmeron has announced that the Tree/Liberationist Administration is intending to subsidise the housing market to allow the young nest-featherers to pay an affordable deposit on their hovels. Out of the limitless resources of the Public Purse, of course. His gamble is that an increase in hovel sales will stimulate the wider economy and consequently, a greater tide of (non-existent) groats will swill around the Kingdom, blessing everyone it touches. Nice try, Caddy boy.

Cheap and quick loans at taxpayers' expense, and even more debt and bankruptcy for the Northumbrian Kingdom. Sounds like a great idea. Guffmund the Brown would be most impressed; it sounds suspiciously like one of his ideas..

Friday 18 November 2011

Wurst Of All

In light of the recent collapses of the Greek and Roman tragedies, resulting in the ousting of their respective monarchs (Georgios Papadocduvalis the Greek, and the ancient priapic buffoon Silvius Berlusconius), that stronghold of chronic venality, the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire) hasn't wasted a moment of precious time.

The Evil Emperor, His Most Holy Highness, Pope Jose Borracho, aided by his half-witted henchman Hermit the Rumphole, have speedily installed their house-trained placemats to run the affairs of the unfortunate kingdoms. The citizens of these respective countries have been tickled pink at this new development, since they all face the prospect of even greater degrees of grinding poverty, debt and other forms of light entertainment and fishpaste. They also love the idea of surrendering the last remaining breadcrumbs of their sovereignty (such as it is) to the Evil Intergalactic Federation.

Among the nations of this malevolent confederation, the financial powerhouse of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire) is found in the Kingdom of the Westphalians. Of common stock to the Anglo-Saxons who grace these island shores, the Westphalians are a warlike and industrious race who chew ale and drink sausages noisily to the sound of oompah bands. Their warlike disposition has led them to expand their sphere of influence at the tip of a loving sword or spear, and this propensity for conquest has brought them into nasty conflict with their equally bellicose Anglo-Saxon cousins, with disastrous consequences for the former each time.

Nevertheless, the Northumbrian King Alhfrith has decided to let bygones be bygones, and the respective First Ministers of the Northumbrian and Westphalian provinces have been good companions, jocularly jousting over a friendly bock and knackwurst and enjoying a private joke at the expense of the feckless Latins and Greeks. Ha Ha, belch.

Since the Westphalian economy is far more robust than those of the subsumed Roman and Greek ones, and helps to prop up the wasteful and despised Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire), the Westphalian Queen Haglera Möchel has been able to take charge of the Great Credit Crisis, and has been instrumental in setting up the provincial satrap puppets in the Roman and Greek kingdoms. Of course, this has been under the benign nod and smiling approval of Joeboy. Hoorah, hoorah for de-mockery-cy, ja?

And Dagwald Caedmeron - the Chief Cock and Bluebottle Washer of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration - is going over to Westphalia to pay court to the Teutonic Queen. Feaxede the fox and I have reached the conclusion that the real reason for gracing her with his presence is either that he's going to submit the Northumbrian treasurer Oswine's new Cuts Budget for her approval - or he's simply on the scrounge. Westphalian sausages and beer are to die for, so they tell me.

While the Westphalians have failed with the sword, they've made their mark in other ways. And sadly, it doesn't come out in the Monday morning laundry, either..

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Reoccupying The Streets

Many gallons of water have passed under the bridge since those acne-adorned hordes assembled their makeshift camp in the Northumbrian principal settlement of Yorvik - purportedly to protest about work, castor oil, soap and the Evils Of Moneylending and Trade. A ragbag of Genuinely Concerned Gentlefolk, chandelier-swinging, magic mushroom-chewing members of the Redistributionist Worker's (sic) Revolutionary Faction, ne'er-do-wells, wasters and the terminally naive, the juvenile Protesters certainly made their mark on the good people of the settlement.

They left an olefactory mark in the noses of the local residents; the smell of myriads of unwashed feet, armpits and other areas, blended with the scent of cooking beansprouts and assortments of ordure was a heady fragrance which stimulated their gagging reflexes long after moving away from the scene. The municipal witangemot has recently set up trauma counselling services for distressed noses - at taxpayer's expense, of course. The clientele is growing exponentially by the day..

They left an aural mark, too. The sound of battle-hardened campaigners shouting mindless agitprop slogans while leaving each night to return to the comfort of their homes and a bedtime story was but one of the noises which the Yorvik residents had to tolerate. Combined with the droning whine of windbag orators, the incessant barking of campers' uncontrolled dogs, the shamanistic beating of bongoes and the chanting of Redistributionist hymns and mantras, it was pandemonium. Some fragile citizens were driven crazy, and legions of redundant pigeon psychiatrists have been temporarily contracted to deal with the resulting mental debris.

The physical mark they made was the amount of rubbish accumulated during their tenure. Most of it was organic, consisting of curled canine colorectal offerings, the human equivalent, and discarded beansprouts and cabbage stalks. Not one leftover apple or blackberry was to be found, however.

And now they're gone, and the Yorvik populace have breathed a huge sigh of relief. The Costumed Thugs, armed to the teeth with clothes-pegs for the protection of their dainty snitches and heavy spiked batons and boots eventually drove the protesters out, amid cheers from the locals and a great deal of brawling and heckling from the protesting protesters. The ninety nine percent of the population were only too glad to see the back of those who pretended to represent their interests.. Parly Toywasp - the Queen Bee of the illiberally liberal Guardy-Ann Cult was fuming in the comfort of her Tuscan villa.

I hear it on good authority that the expelled campers pitched up in a pig farmer's field outside the city walls. The pigs, squealing, made a frightened dash for the river Ouse, and subsequently drowned...

Monday 14 November 2011

In Vino the Murky Veritas

I was minding my own business, carrying out my customary survey of my extensive Northumbrian empire (feline territory, that is) when I happened across my feline friend Lareow - the Supreme Allied Commander-In-Chief Mouser and Rat Befriender of Caedmeron's residence. And, oh, what a story he had to tell me! I've been so excited about it, I've been dying to share it with all my friends. And that - dear reader - includes you!

The story goes that one of the Tree politicos was attending a political party party - the kind where humans drink far more mead, ale or wines from the vineyards of Charlemagne than is biologically good for them. The trouble with fermented liquids is that they initiate a process in which natural good sense, reason and discretion are temporarily disconnected from the feckless consumer, who can wind up saying something - or taking some course of action - which he or she later bitterly regrets. It can be a very entertaining spectacle to observe such behaviour - especially if it comes from someone who's normally quite reserved and restrained in their conduct. Other times it can be either quite tedious, unpredictable, dangerous, or even nasty.

This particular politico was a Paetrick The Murky: a former military supremo; he was engaged in some libation-fuelled monologue with a total stranger, who asked him for his comments about various current political issues - and particularly about his Beloved Leader, Dagwald Caedmeron - the Supreme Archbishop of the Tree Faction and head of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration. The Murk then proceeded to refer to his Beloved Leader as a buttock and a dunderhead who lacked sufficient critical faculties to discern his posterior from his elbow; he also referred to him as an unprincipled pillock who was bereft of any redeeming features or principles. He also boldly predicted that by the beginning of next year, Caedmeron would be relegated to the back benches of the Witangemot in ignominy.

It just to happened, dear reader, that the person to which Murky addressed his soliloquy was a great deal more in possession of sound judgement than he was, and he subsequently faithfully recalled the words of Murky's diatribe verbatim to the waiting lugs of the soothsayers. Beeby See and her pustule-pocked companion-in-bitterness Guardy-Ann could scarcely believe their luck. The chewing of magic mushrooms henceforth increased seven thousand fold, and the market for the hallucinogens went into overdrive.

Naturally, the Murk is dismissing it all as a complete tissue of lies, damned lies and biscuits. Caedmeron apparently had a good chuckle about it while he sharpened his axe.

But Murky Boy was only - in his uninhibited and drunken way - expressing what lies of the surface of the collective Northumbrian consciousness, wasn't he? After all, don't all politicos perfectly fit his mead-soaked description? He was telling the truth for once. And as we know only too well, politicos and veracity are mutually exclusive..