Saturday, February 28, 2009

low, dishonest decade

Our last PM with principles and a sense of honour

Auden called the 1930s a 'low dishonest decade'. It could equally apply to 2000-2010. I find it astonishing that countries in the West have even discussed the use of torture, let alone enacted it and/or condoned it. Torture used to be a characteristic of barbarous regimes, like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union --one of their distinguishing features. Now we've joined the barbarians.

Then, Iraq... the 'sexing up' of reasons to invade, and the criminal indifference to what might happen after. Troops ordered not to interfere as louts and criminals looted the great Baghdad Museum!

The out-of-control greed of the bankers, wrecking our economy, and the politicians like Blair and Brown who encouraged them...

A Home Secretary, holder of one of the four great offices of state, claiming more than £20,000 per year in 'expenses' for her 'main home' --a room in her sister's house! Because it's 'within the rules'!!

The Big Brother scrutiny of us all... The abolition of rights enshrined in Magna Carta...

The 'Human Rights' gravy-train for lawyers, by which deadly enemies of Britain are kept here, paid for by British taxpayers.

The bland ignoring of white working-class people and what they believe and want.

The dumbing-down of culture, the insidious erosion of standards in education, the vulgarity of most TV programs.

It's all frightful and frightening.

I've been watching a couple of programs about Margaret Thatcher. She was our last honorable, and great, prime minister, brought down by pygmies. She had strong principles of liberty and patriotism, and was above all decent.

Monday, February 23, 2009



Lenin, in London for a Congress,
every morning dressed quickly
in his Kensington Square lodgings
pulled on his flat cap and hurried out
with one thought
in his icecold brain, one sight
in his piercing Tartar eyes:
the stall outside
King’s Cross Station selling
his favourite fish-and-chips.


On the Kolyma River,
reported the Soviet journal Nature,
a ‘working party’
discovered a frozen stream
in the permafrost, containing
a perfectly preserved prehistoric
salamander. They hacked out the
30,000 year old fish from the ice
and devoured it straightaway
‘with relish’.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lord Eastbourne

New Labour Life Peer Lord Eastbourne, with baby Maisie.
Above: PM Gordon Brown
(Shurly shome mistake? --ed.)

PM Gordon Brown announced today that he has awarded a Life Peerage to teenage miracle dad Alfie Patten, who conceived child at 12. Gordon said, 'Alfie will perfectly represent the many millions enjoying our magnificent benefits culture. His parents, with 15 children between them, receive £30,000 annually from the State, without working, and now young Alfie will carry on their tradition. It may well be that their family will chalk up almost a century of state benefits --what a tribute to our Labour government! Who better than Alfie to be our "benefits spokesperson" in the Lords? In the present recession, which is of global origin, and which the UK is better placed than any other country to come out of quickly, Alfie will speak for the one thriving, but still undervalued and often inarticulate, part of our society, the yobs, chavs, hoodies, drifters, and feckless teenage mums. I am sure he will argue their case for more funds with passion.'

Asked whether Alfie's ignorance of what 'financially' means might be a drawback, Gorden responded, 'Quite the reverse! I and several hundred bankers thought we knew what finance meant, but we didn't. Alfie knows that he doesn't know. That's a huge plus. I'm appointing him as my personal financial adviser.' He added that Alfie, thanks to his state and tabloid income, would be immune to the temptation of taking bribes.

Alfie wished to be known as 'Lord Patten', but was unable to since there is already a Lord Patten, the fat, smug former Conservative wet. He will therefore take the name of his home town, Eastbourne. His elevation is seen as the first move by the PM to strengthen his front-bench team.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

prayer gets re-instated!

Chirpy, intellectually gifted Hazel Smears, tipped as next PM

A follow up to the sad tale of the poor woman suspended without pay for offering to say a prayer for her sick patient (Feb 2 blog). She's won her appeal! (That shows how influential this blog is.)

It turns out the patient didn't even complain! But the nurse was still adjudged to have failed to observe 'equality and diversity'! O England my England.

Still, Hazel Smears is apparently tightening up the rules so that nurses etc. don't go around offering to pray for sick people.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I'm feeling bereft today. I've finished the novel I desperately wanted to finish. Day by day, for months, even hour by hour, I've had the enjoyment, as well as frustration, of musing about it in my mind, thinking, no, that scene isn't quite right. Then, at least for now, you can think of nothing else you want to add or change, and you email it to your agent. Then you are bereaved --or at least bereft. What is there now to think about? Of course, the agent will suggest changes probably, and you can muse again; but for now --zilch. And I miss my characters; I liked them. They're like well-loved guests who have vanished.

But you're still too full of their presence even to think about creating some new ones.

And even the cricket, whenever I've watched it, is dull.

snowy house

Snow in Cornwall is quite rare, except on the moors. The snow this week provided us with a very evocative image of the Coach House.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Nurse suspended for offering a prayer!

Caroline Petrie, a dedicated nurse, aged 45, has been suspended for several weeks without pay for asking a very sick old lady if she would like her to pray for her. The patient said 'No, thank you', and Ms Petrie said 'Okay'. But the old lady complained, and North Somerset Primary Care Trust suspended the nurse 'pending an investigation'.
Even corrupt police officers etc. are suspended on full pay prior to trial or investigation.
If I were very ill and a nurse asked me if I'd like her to pray for me, I wouldn't think that an unacceptable question. Miss Petrie is a Christian; I'd happily accept prayers from her, or indeed from a Muslim, Zoroastrian, or shaman. Couldn't do any harm!
How times have changed. This sounds like a combination of political correctness and fashionable militant atheism.
Poor Miss Petrie. I hope she's learned her lesson that it's a mistake to bring your religious faith into ministering to the sick. Don't bother with Christian love and compassion.
('Western Morning News', Feb 2nd.)

The story reminded me of an anecdote told, in my youth, by a local Methodist minister. He visited a dying farmer, and after a few minutes he said, 'Shall we say a prayer together?' The dying man said, ''Ess, if thee'st a mind to.' The minister closed his eyes and began to say a prayer, but was disconcerted to hear a strange sucking noise. ' I opened my eyes, and there was maister sucking an orange'.