Picture the scene: London is ablaze; rioters rule the streets; The Speaker is sitting on a woolsack, in a woolshop, presiding over a few mangy-looking MPs, desperately hoping to qualify for expenses and a new cardigan. Meanwhile plotters gather in dark corners planning how to exploit this state of affairs to maximise their advantage.
In a dimly lit cellar those behind the Pedants Revolt are boldly planning to split their next infinitive. True to form they are devising “clever” slogans for the next stage of their campaign.
- Greengrocers beware! – We shall seek out false apostrophisers
- Capitalists beware! – Abandon false profits!
- The Right is never right! – Right?
- All that is Left – Remains!
- “I before E except after C” flies in the face of science
- Stop the Coup – insert it in your colon
- I’ve tried to see things from your point of view, but I can’t get my head up my arse!
That last one is a bit controversial because of its rather coarse use of language, but in the end, the humour in it carries the day.
As each of these aphorisms are suggested, they all chuckle and congratulate each other on how very erudite they all are, what great wits they all are, and how these will make great slogans for Tee-shirts or placards.
The talk turns to compromise and joint action to take control, but that would involve talking to the Semantics. Now, whilst none of them want to be known as anti-semantic, they all know that this bunch cannot be trusted. Failing that, they will have to deal with their rivals The Adjectivals, and that will only be possible in very extreme circumstances. They would probably say “Once in a blue moon”, or would that be The Metaphoricists?
Still they all knew that they would do anything it takes to stop the rot, wouldn’t they?
While they discuss the obvious caveats that form an intrinsic part of any such commitment, mayhem continues unabated, and the forces of darkness grow in strength.
One old man among them stands up and tells then all in no uncertain terms that they have to get a grip. His name is Mencken, he has been dead for years but still has more common sense than all of them put together. He warns against prevaricating as Johnson is taking control. “Let no one mistake it for comedy, farcical though it may be in all its details. It serves notice on the country that Neanderthal man is organizing in these forlorn backwaters of the land, led by a fanatic, rid of sense and devoid of conscience.”
They hear him but continue their squabbles, led by Tony, famous for The Blair Rich Project.
The Forces of Darkness, rid of sense and devoid of conscience
Unbeknown to all except The Inner Quorum, the Queen, now affectionately known as MiLady Gaga or The Cardboard Queen, has not left a room in the attic of her palace since Christmas and is being fed a diet of cornflakes from Tupperware containers by her mad husband, Phil the Void.
Her public place has, appropriately enough, been filled by a series of life-sized cardboard cut-outs.
Now, you probably haven’t heard of The Inner Quorum because that’s the way they like to operate. They are a clandestine part of the Privy Council who advise The Cardboard Queen and move her mouth up and down on sticks while a voice impersonator makes excruciatingly painful upper-class vowel sounds. No, I really mean Vowel sounds, don’t be coarse! They, in turn, are supported or some say controlled, by The ArchmanipulaTory, Dominic Cummings, recently named by Machiavelli as a man to watch for the future.
The Inner Quorum are pulling the strings to make the Boris Doll dance whilst producing orders for MiLady to sign, authorising the imposition of Martial Law, the permanent suspension of Parliament, the suspension of Human Rights laws, and, most important of all, the right to sequestrate assets of Trades Unions, political parties, and anyone found to be objecting to control orders or carrying out acts of disruption. Yes, that’s right, just about anyone at all.
The only issues they are having trouble with is deciding the order to get these things signed off by The Cardboard Queen and how to manage the timing.
Meanwhile, down the road at the poor old soldiers centre for the confused, there is also a clear-cut objective. They have raised a Union Flag, have donned their fancy dress, and are blancoing their webbing, ready for the fray (Bentos most likely, judging by their complexions).
They want to form a thin red line to defend the Cardboard Queen against all comers.
The Chelsea Boys are ready for the call.
The Robber Barons are also gearing up for the scrum. They have already shorted the currency, deployed their resources to safe havens, invested in sure-fire futures and organised victory parties in foreign parts like the Toe of Italy, the Foot of the Andes, the Mouth of the Nile, and the Horn of Africa. Those whose interests are more firmly rooted in Britain are diversifying into activities like End of Life Management provision, so much more of a future than care provision, don’t you know; Cheap pub chains, already a crowded monopoly market but the growth should be phenomenal when excise duty is scrapped to keep the masses subdued, or at least fighting amongst themselves; Chlorine treatment plants for the new chicken market; Prisoner Management schemes, in-house and outdoor, there’ll be a lot more of those needed in the years to come and we’ll be needing labour gangs to clean the streets every morning; Surveillance Technology, to keep an eye on the idle drunken bastards; Security Technology & services to keep them in their place and out of ours, and so on. They know that the investment opportunities are just wonderful as long as they don’t have to live here, or at least live with the common people.
The Robber Barons are ready and just waiting for the call.
Over in The House of Ermine, the silver-spooners have seen the light. They may be besieged by ditherers, but they know that they just have to hold on and the Inner Quorum will ride to save their privileged seats, in more ways than one.
Of course, they know that The Inner Quorum are just a bunch of upstarts, but they can be dealt with later. The Aristos didn’t get where they are today by worrying about details, they have people to do that! The things they hold dear are generally intangible: contacts, influence, social position, breeding, and class. Oh, they also own vast amounts of land and need that to be protected. They also form a grand traditional ruling class that runs the cardboard judiciary for the Cardboard Queen and is looked up to by the truly stupid.
The Silver-Spooners know their bread is buttered on both sides and are confident that they can deal with the butterers later. They have had centuries of practice to get it right.
The True Aristos are ready and willing to come to the aid of The Cardboard Queen; they are family after all.
Moving across London to the mainly written word world, we find the Fifth Columnists hard at work churning out any old crap that the Inner Quorum wants to be The Truth. Writers from The Daily Johnson, The Tory Male, The Blunderer, The Daily Excess, The Setting Sun, all working in conclave to bring together strong story lines to dominate television, radio and media of the social kind.
Rubbing their hands with glee, they know that they have a stranglehold on what the unthinking think, what the ranters react to, what the most primitive perceive.
The Fifth Columnists are all too ready and willing to come to the aid of the party, providing it is ultra-Tory right that is.
The ranters rant, the prevaricators prevaricate, The Inner Quorum polish up their forces of mass subjugation, and exploitation while we all drift towards hell in a hand cart, led by a high-stepping Neanderthal.
Oh well, I’m off to eat cake, I wonder what the next few days will bring, but I suspect brioche is off the menu!