Apropos the rudeness of “modern” Prime Ministers

I am a mere youngling but even I can remember the era when if a Prime Minister made an appointment with some sixty million people, he kept it, or at the very least explained the three-hour delay and apologised.

I’m just old-fashioned that way. I shan’t even take a sideways sashay into political buffoonery and the collective inter-personal skills (and manners) of seagulls nesting on a cliff-face.

So, it’s to be four weeks (doubtless plus) of lots of no-movery unless you’re shuffling to your shift at some Fritz Lang style factory or being squashed into an old Bedford coach to be taken to an institution of learning wherein to be educated in the manifold ways and means of the systemic evils of western society. Were there actually any cogs in Richard Parry’s brain – he who sits his buttocks upon the Wellness Trust Ltd (formerly the Canal & River Trust Ltd) – then I am sure that we would hear them grinding.

Winter stoppages – the planned maintenance works – officially begin today (the “season” for these being until the end of March), but the furlough scheme is to be extended, covering 80% of the pay of the peasants if laid off… which will win out, saving a cheap quid here and there, or actually doing the very necessary jobs, a lot of which (as palpable victims of coronavirus) have been postponed since last year? One factor that I know won’t feature in his tabular comparison (in green crayon on lined paper) is the convenience of boaters! Will the PM’s rectum-felt plea for the “construction industry to continue” complicate decision-making matters?

Leaving aside the metropolitan snowflakery of the “directors” (it is a Limited Company) and the who-the-hell-are-youness of the “trustees” (the insubstantial and wholly ineffectual skirts behind which the Ltd Company tries to hide), the grunt workforce – the “good guys” – the genuine workers – of the Wellness Trust have been out and about, doing impressive and workmanlike work.

I think they’ve been replacing the edging along the towpath just a little way ahead of where the Cardinal and I are moored. After a couple of centuries the stonework had begun to slip-slide into the canal, and the towpath – already narrow there – was in danger (danger, Will Robinson) of being swamped.

Whatever happened to Swampy? Does anyone know which Correction Camp he’s in and whether he’s had any Red Cross parcels of late?

Shall the orders go out from Wellness Central that all live-aboard boaters must move move move, as they did during the last “lock-down”, or shall we be entreated to make only essential movements (for food, potable water, and to get rid of onboard movements)?

That, given the lack of cogs aforementioned herein, is an unguessable guess to ask. Will the emails from the Giant Throbbing Brain-Gland of Parry et al be barking contra-legal, distinctly unfriendly orders again, or will they, as of late, be p*ss-weak watery things simply entreating we rotten boaters to “follow government guidelines” (without actually admitting that they too cannot possibly interpret what those guidelines are supposed to be)?

We, the Cardinal and I, are on some quite pleasant moorings at the moment, but we are a little farther away than is my custom to walk to and fro my ‘… a single-adult household may form a support bubble with one other household …’ support bubble. Once the breeze becomes more civilised we’ll be mooching on.

When shall our support bubble meet again, in thunder, lightning, or – as here – in rain?

With canals that wind about and have an uneven edge it is impossible to avoid that “odd angle” look to the (watery) horizon. It’s as level as I can get, from the looks of the Cardinal.

Or perhaps in sunshine?

It’s been too warm for a stove, really, of late – and yet too dull, grey and dismal (most of the time) to do without one.

Not having been born yesterday nor yet the day afore, I paid over another thirty pieces of silvery soul and managed to snag an Arsebury’s delivery – in these panic buying times, this singular slot shown to me being on Saturday next. I did done this before Doris’s – I mean Boris’s – announcement of national house-arrest. It hasn’t been cancelled by Arsebury’s yet, we shall see once again if they are too busy virtue-signalling (“feeding the nation”) to actually, you know – feed the nation. One pack of Le Bog Roll, and pasta sufficient only unto keeping sody and boul together for four weeks. I am not “panic buying”, I am – if you’ll pardon the modern and disgrammatical nature of the sound-bite – “pragmatic buying”.

No idea what this latest El Lockdown will do to the canal traffic – strictly speaking the “horse-pit-ality” industry is closed from Thursday, so the hire companies that are still trading will be royally stuffed. Again. Come back in, nb Number Seven, your government says that your time is up.

Apparently these four weeks will work pantodemic wonders by reducing the “R” (reproduction) rate to one or less. Is it so very wrong of me to have noticed that one of the graphs used by H.M. Government during Doris’s tardy announcement showed this “Arf Actor” to have already been under one for June, July and August? You know, until they kicked those little smelly vectors of disease, children and older students, back into their institutions of indoctrination… If three months under a scientific “one” didn’t do the trick then why might another four weeks so now be more efficacious? Am I being silly again?

I don’t know, silly me, grasping for shreds of reality where there is none to be had.

There are boats moving today, just a few so far. Presumably either care-free and oblivious or else moving in order to get back to base, or to preferred territory. I’ll be moving back to “preferred territory” myself in the next couple of days. Mars, perhaps, or, failing inter-planetary escapism, a few miles along the canal.

Whether I’ll take my mind along with me this time we haven’t yet decided.

A mind just seems to be so much surplus baggage in these Interesting Times.

Batten down the hatches wherever you may be, and get used to the idea of spending weeks (and more probably months) poking at passers by through the windows with a stick.

These “Interesting Times” are going to get a lot more “interesting” before they – nope, they won’t ever get better.

They might get more comfortable again, but when we wake up we’ll be deeper into the thrall and service of global business and deeper still in the pockets of some very, very dodgy and shadowy “politicians”.

In the words of Shakespeare, ‘Oh bugger, Matron.’

Chin-chin, chaps, for the mo.

Ian H.


    1. On antici……………pation of coming (non-)events the Cardinal and One have mooched ourselves on today to our preferred place of internment. No, I said “interNment”, not “interment”, thanks all the same. I am allowing for a mad panic rush of some six or seven boats tomorrow, all trying to make it those last few hundred miles back to base, and want no part of it. Tis a fuss and no mitsake finding somewhere that might be labelled Hermitage Moorings – with a good outlook for the solar panels.

      One must wonder what exactly Mr Jehova did that created such a groundswell of legal testimonial fervour. Flashing, perhaps?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Doris! Immediately, Ronnie Barker’s Arkwright sprang to mind. Henceforth, I shall no longer refer to your Chief as a cockwomble but as a “Great Doris with a dangler.”
    For the youngsters who may not have known…Arkwright was a grocer in an English TV show. You can find it here open all hours youtube

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Arkwright would run the country a damned sight better than Borissy-Worrissy. For just a moment there at the “beginning” (as near as may be told, by we peasants) I thought that he was going to get all Churchillian on us and be – well – somehow decisive and serious. No though, he managed that for less than ten seconds and returned to “buffoon mode”. Mind you, the so-called “opposition” here is equally risible.

      There’s a lovely article on (some) “news” sources today detailing the contracts and the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions awarded to government cronies, relatives and shell-companies (i.e.m themselves) – all without competitive tender or accountability. They’re not even shamed by their own corruption enough to try to disguise it!


      1. Now I picture him in a “florissy-Morrissy gown”. You must stop !

        When Corbyn was side-lined by Keir, I had hopes that his moniker might mean a hard-hitting Keir Hardy type. He’s never so much as mentioned in this outpost of Empire!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I sort of regretted it directly, as I ought to say I do have previous. Waifs and strays are of especial interest. Personally I lay it squarely at my parent’s door as an only child who else is there to blame? Food parcels a speciality. I suppose the Sally Army have suspended their helpline to folks addicted to being tambourine-rattlingly helpful?

    How do you ‘Like’ on this ‘ere WordPress blog? If it is all tied up with Facebook… then forget it. I am nothing if not biased.



    1. All of these “the social media” companies appear to be so interlinked that they may as well be one – they probably are just the one corporation behind the window-dressing.

      Have you noticed how vinegar and oil is a fine basis for a salad dressing, but it does little to nothing for the dressing of windows?

      I think that the Sally Bash are still going, although I haven’t heard a tambourine since Godspell the musical was fresh on the stage.

      Have to empathise with your childhood status. I was third in a planned output of two. The only reason that my parents kept me at all was the lack of a return address on my baby-buttocks.


  3. Oh Lordy. I was just feeling a bit of hope about vaccines and such. I had been assuming we were going to be in this breach until 2022 minimum. But I’ve been letting myself read news stories about how “soon” the vaccine is coming. But of course it’s the news – not the facts. And just like all news is nearly always not facts.

    Around here people are preparing for the riots and/or war post election, We used to be a civilized country. Or we pretended we were. And the pretence meant that no one rioted or threatened civil war after an election. But not now. Now we no longer pretend. We ripped off the party dress and run round showing our dirty knickers. Don’t fall for all that twaddle about how we should all be authentic. Bull hockey. Pretense is how civilization limps along.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Human civilisation is indeed, as you say, a thin veneer – and getting thinner each day that passes.

      In England our best hope is, in a contrary way, for a spot of exothermic violence – on the 5th of November, the anniversary of a (sadly) failed plot to blow up Parliament. The 5th, this Thursday, has a few events planned and is of course the start of this next “El Lockdown” thingy, so we may see some action yet.

      Should Parliament be reduced to rubble I shall weep only for perhaps five or six Members – there are no more than that number who actually represent the people that they were elected to represent, the vast majority of members simply (and shamelessly) represent £themselves£.

      Sadly, I think that perhaps the “vaccine” is a total sham (too). The virus is not as advertised, and the vaccine trials have so far been one unholy and unscientific rush. The key driver, more than ever, is money money money…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, I agree with your comment on the ‘planet killers’. Unless we somehow contrive to blow up the whole thing into smithereens, the planet will be fine. So will life on it. There will be adaptations; there have been such many, many times over. Some–many–species will no doubt be ended, but those that remain will adapt and change.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Woken late last night by a 5.7 earthquake which annoyed the dogs. Luckily it was about 80 kilometres down, otherwise the capital would have suffered severe damage.A week of torrential rain is promised from some tropical cyclone messing about in the Caribbean, roads are already closed by landslides, just waiting for one to take out the telephone lines….but no lockdown.
    No one took much notice of the government’s attempts to keep us all indoors when it took off and certainly no one was discouraged from barricading the main roads in protest against the government’s bright idea to tax to the hilt everyone who wasn’t a politician or industry bigwig in order to cover government debt – mostly incurred by not taxing politicians and industry bigwigs. All we need now is for one the grumbling volcanoes to go up….but at least we don’t have Boris Johnson and gang..

    Liked by 3 people

    1. One thiing that I am mightily happy about is that our earthquakes in England are – so far, at least – the mildest of the mild, and are not terribly frequent at that. I do believe that the whole island is tipping downwards though, sinking about two inches at year at the south coast and hoisting the north into the air by some similar amount. We shall all soon slide down the beach at Brighton and into the sea. Not before time, it should be said.

      You certainly sound to be having far more “Interesting Times” than those here – we have merely political mediocrity (murderous mediocrity, it must be said) to contend with. I cannot imagine Doris & Co in any way being equipped for earthquakes and cyclones.

      Do please stay safe, and do keep on keeping on. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I agree with V.M Sang the earth or the gods or aliens are playing stick the pin in our planet to see whether it will self-destruct (she forgot fires, tsunamis and a few hurricanes and storms). I don’t panic buy either, or stock up but I wish some folk would consider leaving the odd jar of coffee for someone else to order on line. It’s the people who only use on line when they’re in lock down that pinch all the drain unlocker (eek! two weeks with a locked pipe and not able to use my dishwasher or washing machine and sink) then when they are let out again they go back to ransacking the supermarkets and us homies can get a few essentials once again. Moan over! Maybe CaRT will be shamed into letting you move nearer to a chandlery again soon. Stay safe whatever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The most horrific potential that I can see is that we might be called upon to face some super-eruption and/or weather interestingness… without coffee.

      Being be-boated and harbouring a distinct dislike for towns I do keep a good stock of comestibles aboard – in such space as may be found on a narrowboat. With that and the hedgerows I could probably survive for three or four days. 😉

      The Wellness Trust Ltd (formerly the Canal & River Trust Ltd) surprised me today – no email notification, but they have updated their website to tell us all to follow the rules and that the “requirement to move move move” has been suspended for the duration. Whodathunkit?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well thank goodness for that! Covering their back no doubt. In case of shortage of coffee we will send in the SAS with supplies as long as you promise to let them go after they shin down the ropes suspendered from a helicopter! Just say the word.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I think that Earth is trying to rid herself of the parasites on her back(viz. us. That’s we humans, not the United States of America.)
    We’ve had the pandemic, the Turkey/Greece earthquake, now a huge typhoon on the Phillipines. Then there’s climate change, too. More and stronger hurricanes. Just waiting for the super-volcano that is Yellowstone National Park to blow. That’ll fix quite a lot with a ‘nuclear winter’, apparently.
    Still, we must keep on keeping on. Hope this lockdown isn’t too bad for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A few years ago I did contemplate visiting the area that includes Yellowstone, but I just know that the moment I set foot on the caldera it would blow. I believe that the damnable thing is rising by some inches a year anyway, it doesn’t need the extra stress of my footfall. Have to love the way that humans describe all of these processes and potential events as “planet killers” – nope, the planet will be just fine. We, however…

      The end may well be in sight, but I shall keep on keeping on (if only because it annoys so many). 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. After consulting the aforementioned canal map on my kitchen wall, I don’t think you are a million miles away. Mind you I was pants at geography, so nipping to the moon might be quicker? I am happy between now and the bewitching hour to deliver any supplies required if arsebury’s give you the old heave-ho. My email is on my blog so say the word Capt…


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many, many thanks, ma’am, for your offer (which you may live to regret)! 🙂

      In the earlier part of the year the supermarkets (in online form, catering for we car-free and country-mouse folk) just disappeared. Once we are all settled in The New World Order I plan on dumping them with every bit as much grace!


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