Number of the Month

February 2012

 Hang out the flags

For this relief much thanks; 'tis bitter cold
And I am sick at heart.
Hamlet (1.1.10), Francisco to Barnardo

 Number Watch generally eschews any hint of Schadenfreude but is prepared to make an exception in the case of the erstwhile Secretary of State against Energy and Climate Sense. After all, we ended 2011 with the headline – Number of the month and the year and, unless someone stops that madman, a generation – 32,000. So, observing that perhaps prayer does work after all, even if it is only by the agency of the Crown Prosecution Service, we join with alacrity in the sentiments expressed by James Delingpole. Should anyone doubt our attachment to the cause, see The enemy within.

It was appropriate that on his departure his beloved windmills should be stood motionless to attention, contributing no energy under a stationary high, while death from hypothermia spread across Europe. Perhaps the coalition government will be able to do a more convincing job without his leaking and briefing against colleagues or his alleged aggression in cabinet.

07/02/12

Rock Bottom

Once possibly the finest in the world, the British education system, from nursery entrance to PhD, has been wrecked by the incompetent and intrusive control seized and exercised by the political and bureaucratic classes. The latest enormity, however, is only matched for sheer blind prejudiced destruction by the demolition of the grammar schools .

The so-called vice chancellor of a Mickey Mouse university, of which almost nobody knew the existence until this story broke, is proposed to be given powers to dictate to what were once among the best universities in the world just whom they are allowed to recruit.

In the days of our wiser political forefathers the University Grants Committee was established precisely to shield the universities from this sort of gross bureaucratic interference. Oh that such wisdom were available to us now!

Yet another duff appointment by Stuntman Dave. Not only has he left intact Gordon Brown's construct, a marriage from hell between business and universities, but he has put it in the "care" of an unreformed authoritarian socialist and social engineer.

08/02/12

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A Modest Proposal

 – for preventing old people from being a burden on their families or country.

It is a melancholy object to those who listen to the great debates in our great Houses of Parliament and read our Great Journals, that there exist half-baked proposals for dealing with the ever growing problem of old people. Apart from their being irritating and malodorous, these have an absurdly sentimental attachment to their family homes, while needy families of the unemployable are forced to make do with grossly inadequate accommodation.

It is therefore proposed that old people should be kept out of the way in drawers specially designed for the purpose. Imagine a large hall lined with specially constructed filing cabinets, each drawer housing one of the said old persons. Staffing could be maintained at a minimum by dealing with the contents in strict rotation, which would involve feeding, watering, medication and cleaning, before they are slid away out of sight and mind. Such a structure could be provided with an adjacent mortuary and a crematorium, heat from the latter being efficiently recycled to provide warmth. There are a number of advantages to this proposal. It is a fundamental tenet of our society that we are all under an onus to live as long as possible. If old people are isolated in this manner, they can be kept free of exposure to the many deadly dangers of living in an open society; such as alcohol, tobacco, red meat, salt, climate change etc. Their lives would thereby be extended appropriately.

Funding this operation would not be a problem if the present ramshackle and gradual system of confiscation of property were replaced by a more formal and immediate one. The Government should create an office of the Age Finder General, whose duty would be to identify persons suitable for treatment. Obviously there are some who would not qualify on the grounds that they have made provision for their old age by becoming extremely rich. Cabinet Ministers, for example, who are by definition multi-millionaires, would be able to make their own equivalent arrangements, such as accommodation in the House of Lords.

This simple proposal would provide a giant leap forward in the progress towards an orderly and well-controlled society and it is commended to the House.

23/02/12

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Number of the month – one

Is it the King Rat deserting the sinking ship or, perhaps, the captain accidently falling into a lifeboat? A confession is due – your bending author listened to the Richard Dimbleby lecture by Sir Paul Nurse and completely missed the import of the salient passage identified by Neil Craig, a regular correspondent, and elaborated by James Delingpole. Soothed by the hypnotic flow of bland clichés, over familiar quotations, pieties and platitudes, one easily fell into the sort of trance of acceptance that is generally more associated with sermons from elderly Anglican vicars suffering from chronic logorrhoea. It must have inspired many a young person to opt for a career in the arts.

The BBC is now notorious for its hatchet jobs on non-believers. It will go to enormous lengths and expenditure to stitch up just one spokesman for sane scientific scepticism. James Delingpole was the victim of one of these elaborate hoaxes, which gave us the number of the month for January 2011, and the front man for this exercise was none other than Sir Paul Nurse. It is remarkable that James can maintain his ironic cool after such an experience. That such a ruthless propagandist for the faith should now begin to pose as the neutral man of reason, standing between two poles of extremism, is not just an extraordinary volte face; it is a pointer to a crumbling of that monstrous edifice known as the consensus. Not just a president of the Royal Society, he is now the one who is our number of the month.

Perhaps there is light in our darkness after all.

01/03/12

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