Monday, 27 September 2010


I love to watch Gilbert and Sullivan opera but I am very tired of living in one. Our very model of modern major generals live in stately homes, waited on by small armies of servants. IN ORDER TO ENTERTAIN. We do not pay them to entertain. We pay them to kill strangers. If they wish to entertain there are scores of empty civic theatres, built as an indulgence by councils with no funds left to pay for theatre companies.

Another army stands behind the Major Generals. The Ministry of Indefensible has proved time and time again it couldn't minister to a sick hamster. It buys military hardware so complex as to be unusable, with money we have not got. It currently spends thirty seven billion pounds and rising which is not even budgeted for. If I bought things I could not afford with money I had not got I would go to prison. They merely agitate for two new toys, 50 billion on aircraft carriers to fight a war which may not happen.

The frightening truth is that for future wars we won't need any costly equipment, nor warriors either. A real soldier, Richard Williams, who commanded 22 SAS Regiment, warns that the weapons of the future, which ironically are already being used by Al Queda, Somali pirates and Mexican drug cartels, are the lap top, the mobile phone and social networking websites. They are free of military teaching or experience.

"The British miitary," he says, "will always be short of enough equipment and men to be able to dominate its opponents by force alone. It can dominate the information space. It should be able to paralyse the opponents' decision making equipment via cyber attack and physical strike. He who has the best information - and denies the enemy information - wins."

And our major generals, like sheep, may safely graze.

And what of the Board of Directors of Great Britain Inc? Inc standing for Incomprehensible, one assumes. Pure Iolanthe, in which, you recall, we are governed by men who are half fairies. There is no possible doubt whatever that the Labour Party based its leadership election on "The Gondoliers" in which, you may recall, the brothers Palmieri are wrongly elected leaders of Barataria. In the present election only one wrong brother was elected with Peter Hain in the Don Alhambra Grand Inquisitor role. The MPS didn't want Ed - or Deadhead as he will be bound to be known; the constituencies didn't want him and not all that many members of the unions which did elect him are card carrying socialists. He is, it must be said, a gift for the cartoonists and I expect Rory Bremner will be sending them flowers.

Parliament's working hours are based on the Victorian Season with a long break for grouse shooting. In order to function, their Palace must be re-opened every year by an old lady in a glass hat and an evening gown and a long fur cape. She arrives by horse and cart accompanied by her hubby, the most upwardly mobile Greek since Icarus, who by his own efforts became a naval lieutenant and an admiral of the fleet by marriage. So now he is a ruler of the Queen's Navy, an even more bizarre promotion path than polishing the handles of the big front door. Pure Pinafore. They have a son,The Prince of Wails, a commonplace young man, a matter of fact young man. An out of the way young man straight out of "Patience" who talks to plants, interferes in areas where he has no knowledge and runs a holiday home with twelve fulltime gardeners.

Nor are they cheap. They cost each of us two shillings for which we have much better use and on top of that have just presented us with a an eye watering bill.Nearly £100,000 for cleaning chandeliers and £14,000 on a curtain to protect wine bottles in the Buckingham Palace cellars.Refurbishing a staff canteen and games room cost £808,000 while turning a private cinema into a State function room was £458,000Its a fulltime job being Her Genie. She is forever rubbing her lamp.

Alas,this misgovernance by MPs, whose office building groans with bars that are open 24 hours a day which explains some of their decision making which has resulted in half the world hating us. They managed it by their attempts at trickery at what has been called the Peace Conference which passeth all understanding at Versailles in 1919. Wilson, Lloyd George and Clemenceau between them wrecked Germany thus opening the way for Nazism and broke their promises to the Arab world.


One of my oldest friends is the former Daily Mail columnist John Edwards. In retirement he is still fascinated by words. He sent me this:

This two-letter word in English has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is 'UP.'  It is listed in the dictionary as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do We speak UP, and why are the Officers UP for Election and why is time UP and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a Report? We call UP our friends, brighten UP a room, polish UP the Silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We Lock UP the house and Fix UP the old car.

At other times this little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, 
Line UP for Tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one 
Thing but to be dressed UP is Special.

And this UP is confusing: A Drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We Open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at Night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! 

In a desk-sized Dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about Thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may Wind UP with a hundred or More. 

When it threatens to rain, we say it is Clouding UP. When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, the earth soaks it UP. When it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP. One could go on & on, but I'll wrap It UP, for time is UP!

I will shut UP.