Sunday, 17 May 2009

Slipping Standards

On my way home Friday evening, I passed an Evening Standard newsboard which announced gleefully that the Great British Public were growing impatient, nay even surly, with their elected representatives. It took all my power to refrain from instantly horsewhipping the vendor and consigning every copy of his sorry rag to the fires of Moloch, or at least of a cheap cigarette-lighter.

This may require some slight explanation.

Following the Daily Telegraph's anti-democratic decision to whip up a spurious media frenzy by publishing our penurious public servants' modest expense claims – an offence which can only tend to deliver us into the hands of jacksuited fascist ratbags! – some of our weaker thinkers have fallen for the bait, and even raised vainglorious questions about just how paying for the permanent attendance of fifteen Finnish strippers clad only in baby oil and the ground-up dust of the Koh-i-Noor can be 'justified' as an essential expense of their Parliamentary duties.

Not I! For how should I know my Masters' jobs better than they? I, for one, am content to leave such matters to the duly qualified

But have I grown angry at this flagrant disrespect for those very great Members, who serve Britain hard and tirelessly as prize bulls every day of their lives? I have not. Rather, I present you with the headline in all its shamelessly preposterous accusation.


I do not think those words mean what the Standard thinks they mean.

Worse, somebody actually got paid for picking them.

And still nobody buys mine?!


  1. Impatient? Surly? This is hardly news. News, as the papers ought to understand, implies new.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  2. The trouble with new news is twofold. Firstly, it is yet untried, so it is uncertain how well the readership will like it. Secondly, obtaining it involves the expenditure of energy, thus introducing an inefficiency into the system.

    It must be confessed, in the Standard's defence, that the impatience and surliness really seem to be heading for quite uncommon levels.

  3. The impression I'm getting from the Guardian is that the impatience is of the "What next!" [eyeroll] variety.

    Of course recycling (composting?) news must produce energy as a byproduct of the decay, mustn't it?

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  4. Part of the impatience I'm both seeing and feeling is also of the, "How much longer, O Lord?!" variety, and keeps casting longing glances sideways towards the political dumpster.

    As for recycling news...

    A many years ago, the Standard reported a serious riot two minutes down the road from me. Actually it was about a dozen drug dealers resisting arrest, but, hey, that's showbiz.

    A year later, I happened to be on the local police committee. A lady who lived on the estate in question inquired mischievously about the big riot a couple of days ago, which according to the Standard had erupted on her doorstep, but which she'd carelessly failed to notice.

    An exasperated Chief Superintendent admitted that he couldn't be sure what the paper was going on about, but noted that the curiously detail-light story was published on the anniversary of the previous 'riot' - and that it hadn't explicitly stated which year its date referred to.

    Which was quite an amusing co-incidence.

  5. So the Standard's time machine needs recalibrating?

    Mary Anne in Kentucky


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