Tuesday, 1 June 2010



I was stuck up the chimney again, I seem to live up there, these days;  there's black footprints all over the house and the sheets are filthy. And the oven still doesn't work, although I do believe that one final push will see it roaring away, ferociously, hot and fiery, like the Vicars' corner in Hell.  Step right up, gents, over here's for the vicars and over there's for the nonces who aren't vicars, yeah, I know, amazing,  but not surprising, when you think about it, yeah, you get to meet all sorts, in this line of work.  Stuck up there,  at lunchtime, I couldn't reach the off-switch on the radio and inadvertently heard part of that lunchtime programme, not WATO, where Martha Kearney chats winningly with all her  friends and neighbours and dinner party guests, not that one, the other one, the one for whinging, tut-tutting, early-retired  Radio Four bastards who want to  exist only in  a principled, ethical consumer issues, Radio Four way,  conscious of their carbon footprint,  but still hoovering-up the cheap flights; giving to charity but not so's to leave themselves short; to micromanage every last aspect of their horrible, wrinkly, doomed, nitpicking, cheeseparing, sanctimonious  lives, and beyond, to their Woodland Radio Four Burials, where they can kinda live-on, giving something back, To The Radio Four Planet, they really are insufferable and I hope their precious grandchildren stab them all to death, copulate and Lewinsky all over their warm corpses and mutilate their bodies and then burn them on a pyre of sociology degrees,  Which Reports and piles of James Taylor records; You and Yours, it's called, the place where spontaneity carries a prison sentence; Radio Pragmatism, how to squeeze every fucking farthing's worth of balanced, informed,  cost-effective, pretentious ethical judgements  out of your miserable, self-absorbed existence. Being an unmanageable  fuck-up, I generally avoid it, sometimes it has that geezer with the Big Brown Voice but mainly it's Winifred, you'd think you'd like somebody with a name like Winifred, Winifred was Brother Cadfael's patron saint, her very bones the subject of devout intrigue and deft illusion, her virgin relics desired  equally by bluff, tribal Welshman and devious Norman abbott; such an old-fashioned, trustworthy, unslapperish sort of name, Winifred,  you want to like someone called Winifred but this one is a mediabitchnouvelle, her every word is a reproof, no, an accusation, with that awful rising inflection, the one which stupid people learn by mimicking their kids, luvinemtobits; the KirstyWark school of broadcasting, uncouth; facetiously, defiantly  accented, hectoring and charmless, dunno how anyone can put up with it. I'd punch her in the fucking gob if she came round here, Winifred or not.

Up the chimney  -   or, more accurately,  standing inside what is called, and I have no idea why, the inglenook, I don't think anyone knows what it means, it's just one of those words that people nod-to, sagaciously, knowingly, man-of-the-wordly, Ah, exposed inglenook, nice feature, like somebody'd got their tits out for the lads, probably a priest hole in here somewhere, too, seen them on Tony Robinson's  Three Days Of GraveRobbing Show, the ferrety little prat,  or was it Simon Schama, queening, in his leather jacket, twittering, gushing, punk academe;  period feature, that, you wanna hang on to that, for when you sell the house, people love period details like that - I was only half-listening to it, you know, morbid curiosity,  and wondering whether that awful man off Grand Designs might like to make a programme about Me and My Rayburn, - One Man's  Struggle For Cooking Integrity In A Halogen Age, Ishmael Is Determined To Lead A Life Fragranced By Woodsmoke And Nourished By Slow Stews As He Sits In His Country Kitchen Acting Like A Laird, But I'm Not Sure He's Quite Got The Hang Of It, After The Break, We'll Be Looking At What He's Done With The FlexiHose - when I realised that it was  something quite unaccustomedly serious that Winifred was scowling-on  about, in her belligerent, motormouthing, RadioFour  way.

There was a young teenager and her Mum was on, saying what a hard time she got at school, off all the other repulsive young bastards;  bullying and effortless cruelty, all the shit promoted by that ignorant fuckpig knobhead, Alan Sugar - Oh, how come he's ignorant then, if he's mad all that money? Bollocks! - and the botoxed grannybint, Ancient Anne Robinson, thrusting her mangy Crotch of Cruelty at  terrifyingly  comatose contestants, complicit in their own belittlement;  all the shit-eating, posturing egomaniacs who make up Cruelty TeeVee, all teaching our children the cleverness of face-stomping cruelty, of pig-ignorant effrontery disguised as forthrightness, Jesus, these fuckers want shooting up the arse with  a twelve bore, bullying their way through life, like a Home Counties Regiment of fucking Nazis, a pox on them all, their families, their agents, their producers and their channel controllers.  Mrs Merton, she was the start of it, Caroline Ahearne, ghastly, vicious  baggage; a ripple of satisfaction goes through me, everytime I hear that she has mental problems. I hope they come through the walls, all night long, her daemons. And that the more she drinks, the sharper grow their teeth, the more insistent their shrieking demands for her life. Bless.

Anyway, this girl, said her Mum, got stick off all the brats because often she looked as though her mind was on other things than FaceBook, whatever that is; remote, she was, a bit of an Outsider and we all know what happens to her kind. Her mind was on other things because she was her mother's carer, responsible not just for her homework but for her mother's wellbeing, Mum was crippled, somehow, and relied on the kid to look after her, get her in and out of her wheelchair to the toilet, get her dinners.  What the fuck sort of place is this, I exploded, in a cloud of soot, up the period feature inglenook, that the kid has to do this shit, even if she wants to, go home from school and instead of getting looked after, has to do the looking after, has to be the adult? I mean, I know that her counterparts in Africa and India and South America have to walk miles to get the family water or scrabble about on shitheaps looking for scraps of stuff to sell back to GlobaCorp but they're wogs and that's what wogs have to do, because they don't read the Sun and watch Simon Cowell  but this is the United fucking Kingdom, governed by public shoolboys and Oxbridge graduates who, very nobly, have decided to,  what is it they say, now, PutTheNationFirst, impudent  fucking bastards, and our kids shouldn't have to carry-on like Third-Worlders, should they, not even with the moronic, Quiet Man, Duncan fucking Smith, turning up the volume on them as he attempts to blitzkrieg the welfare state, as though to make amends for his abject worthlessness as formerTory party leader?

I'd been reading Imelda  Blair's Big Book Of Complaints, Whining For Myself, and it is amazing how many  servants this loathsome Scouse gabshite needed, above and beyond all the normal, domestic servants in Number Ten and all the detectives, protecting her and Tony's scabby arses from their adoring, Things Can Only Get Better, British electorate. You think that that gurgling, Isn't It Appalling, thieving, shitbrain layabout,  Charles von Battenberg Windsor's bad, well, he is, of course he is,  useless fucking pampered  parasite hypocrite

but Imelda can give him a run for our money. In Downing Street,  she had  a fucking army, Imelda's Home Guard, doing her hair,  doing her clothes, doing her shoes, doing her mothering, even though her "kids" always knew she was just at the other end of a mobile phone; she had paid best friends and companions, paid for by us -  whilst the drunken, depressed bullyboy and pornographer, Campbell, massaged Tony's Godless, grubby ego, so his common-law Mrs, Fiona, a bilious, objectionable, sourfaced, caterwauling Guardianiste, was Imelda's salaried companion, until they hated each other so much that Fiona departed, took the money and ran, back to the  mean streets of the Guardian's Education supplement - she had speechwriters and seckatries and researchers and assistants, she had nannies and childminders, diarykeepers and help with the wardrobe  and just  like an Oscar-winner she wouldna done it, noway,  Jose, without all the little people in her life - she lists them all, in  acknowledgments at the back of this dismal book,  but even so, Downing Street coulda given her more help - do you know, she had to sneak-out the back door, to have trysts with her new best girlfriend, now her former best girlfriend, Carole, in her fag hairdresser's flat, she doesn't know how she existed at all without her hairdresser, Andre, not just a hairdresser, a confidante who really understood the pressure she was under, and an adviser, too,  still a servant, mind, but a treasure - the Foreign Office coulda given her more help, the Labour party coulda given her more help, why, sometimes, she felt  she had to do this wife-mother-judge-consort-stateswoman-shit all alone, didn't the country value her work as lawyer, as First Lady, her work, worldwide, for women, not counting, of course,  all those dead and maimed and bereaved Iraqi bitches ? Don't people recognise a saint come among them? Didn't Spunky Bill feel her up? Why isn't there an airport named after her?  Her Honour, Imelda, in her own weird words, is, as you might guess,  a stupid,  irritating,  obnoxious bitch; graceless, shallow and crass,  well, you'd have to be, wouldn't you, to go on holiday with the  BeeGees, jive-talking; her life has been a long series of struggles against the indifference, the ingratitude of others, God bless her, she can't help it, her crippling greed, her celebrity worship, her foot-in-mouth stupidity, her faultless children, or kids; her ghastly name-dropping;  she probably learned  them all from her gobby Dad, the airhead,  bit-part luvvy who once, long ago,  played a Scouse socialist on telly and has spent the rest of his drunken, wastrel life pretending he was one, probably couldn't even spell it; a Road to NoTown, he was, Tony Booth;  like father, like daughter.


But even so, grunting pig for a father or not, Imelda, who has the use of  all her limbs, needed all this help, just to be her sour, pushy, grasping, undeserving self - and we'll be funding her at astronomical cost until the day she dies, which, with any luck, may come soon, at the hand of some orphaned Iraqi, or at the whim of a God mocked -  and yet here, right here on the BBC Radio Four, is this poor woman who is having to be cared-for  in disability by her own school-age child, cared-for between school and homework and heedless of the spite of the other precious little darlings, whose  fit, able-bodied mummies and stepdaddies all  luvemtobits and would do ennyfinforem,  nasty little consumerist bastards.

As is the way on these programmes, they rolled-out some experts,  the producer had been ringing around, D'ya wanna come on You and Yours, and talk? What, me, on Radio Four? Not 'alf; one geezer, a general secretary of this or that, some fucking worthy-sounding, teachery thing, blethered-on, gabshiting as they do now, as nearly everybody does, about joined-up thinking  and appropriate responses, he was an utter arsehole, like that talking arsehole from the Naked Lunch, puckered and glistening, fartspeak,; more conscious of the sound of his voice, his jargon-cadences, than of what he was saying, which was nothing; structures, they needed to be put in place; lessons, they needed to be learned; teachers, they needed to be better-supported in recognising children with special needs at home. He's probably on about fifty grand, forty-nine too many. We are plagued with such creatures, jargonising evasively, ungrammatically for a living, no wonder the country's fucked, even the teachers are stupid, dumbed-down, as we say, faint echoes of proper teachers;  the rise of the twittering, holier than thou, I Know Besters, gladhanding one another in their cheap suits,  their ghastly homes and poisonous children, jabbering on about the fucking ecology, revolting little turds.  And then there was some bint, equally gobby, equally ill-spoken, every emotion ironed-out before she left the BarretExecutiveHome in the morning, the one  with a broom cupboard they call the study, lamenting, for the second time in a short broadcast item, not the  outrage of this child's condition but the lack of joined-up thinking and clear blue water.  God help us, career babytalkers, clearly, in a very real sense. Hopefully's an adverb, you fucking moron. They dunno what a fucking adverb is, came the reply,  from my internal, dissenting choir.

The experts had spoken hand-wringingly and Winifred had cudgelled the consciences of her listeners, a little,  because isn't that what Radio Four is, Conscience Radio, not the sort of conscience that'd make you lynch politicians or set fire to the Town Hall, but restrained, balanced, agreeable sort of  conscience, because balance is everything isn't it -  I mean, all very well St Augustine saying that the Voice Of Righteous Anger Is The Voice Of God but he didn't have pensions and investments to worry about and Farmers fucking Markets to go to - and soon it would be World At One and then  a quiz, but a clever, erudite one, for early-retired teachers and probation officers to chuckle over and then the Archers and then an afternoon play; if we were very lucky there might be something from that clever David Mitchell, the fat, weedy,  effeminate one, with the whiney voice and the bug-eyes, and then, almost before we knew it, it would be time for PM with Eddy Smug and what was happening, today,  in the Coalition, well, we've tried everything else, may as well give them a chance, at least they're not Gordon Brown, and the whole nation wishes them well, as they seek to better serve their masters in the EuroPraesidium and in the counting houses of GlobaCorp.  And at least they've scrapped that runway, for now. Lah de dah and Fol de rol, everything is quite good really, in a balanced, Radio Four sort of way, radio for and by the grammar school  boysandgirls, like me. Bastards.

We have, I understand, the fourth or is it fifth biggest economy In The World, we are the sixth biggest manufacturer In The World, we are the Mother of Parliaments, if the banks need gazillions of pounds, if the armaments manufacturers need gazillions of pounds it's just there, as if by magic, this is the land of milk and honey and everybody wants to be like us, yet we leave this poor kid to tend her mother and be mocked by the better-off; it may well be that she enjoys it, and through it will be a better person than her peers  but it stinks, to me. Charlie has someone to squeeze his toothpaste, Imelda has platoons of people  to admire and flatter her, to seek to wrest beauty and sex appeal from her stricken, crippled-inside grossness, to sing her achievements, her qualities, the horrible, useless fucking bastard, while the  poor and the young care, untrained, unpaid,  for the sick and disabled. Yeah, it's just like all those angry expatriots say, on the Filth-O-Graph blogs, who said life was fair? Margaret Thatcher was the greatest man ever in British politics. No such thing as anything, other than Greed.

If the vast numbers of those caring, toileting, feeding, comforting and nursing their kin, up all night, back-broken, oppressed and unrecognised, were to say Fuck this shit, let the government discharge its obligations of care, then dopy Mr Cameron and smirking Mr Osborne would be shitting themselves,  instead, they lecture us on how we need to have less, it is in our own interests that the rich remain able to invent and steal surplus value from our work and sell it on, one to another, Ponzi-ing our futures away, stepping-over this worthless child, as she stoops to do demanding,  professional, adult work.

Already, social workers, underpaid, overworked, ill-trained  and kicked up and down the street by media shitwhores like Kay Burley, simply cannot cope with the demands of an ageing, selfish and cruel society. There are millions of volunteers, of course, doing this work, unpaid; but few of them will be from the six hundred-odd tossers just about to start a well-deserved, summer holiday, few will be among those thrown-out or fleeing, with only a sixty-grand resettlement grant and a clutch of pre-arranged directorships to ease their mortal discomfort.

It is the ordinary ones, without the shameless, brassnecked,  arriviste, middleclass  sense of entitlement, who do this unpaid, family work; Mr and Mrs We-Know-Best, We-Listen-To-RadioFour and  have Solutions In Place, Strategies for Coping, won't catch them going without their SAGA holidays, all support hose and digicams, won't catch them going without anything.

If you sought the most despicable politician in recent memory, one from the second eleven, you wouldn't go far wrong in choosing Tony McNutter, bombastic NewLabour Obedience Minister,

until he was caught-out charging us sixty-grand for going and having a cup of tea with his old mum and dad, and quite properly so.  He didn't, of course, have to pay the sixty grand back, no-one pursued him, as his department pursued ordinary benefit cheats, to prison, to the grave and beyond, but  the good people of Harrow fucked him off at the recent election; if you took him, anyway, a man estranged from truth and decency, the very worst of NewLabour's Nazi vermin and said to him Tony, you horrible fucking bastard, which group of people in the country saves the government the most money, then even he, piece of disgusting, lying filth that he is, would have to respond: It's the carers, Mr Ishmael, the quiet, unpaid ones, the Health Service would be fucked without them, social services would be overwhelmed in the morning, you'd have to draft in the army, bring 'em back from Afghanistsan and set up field hospitals in the streets.

It is the goodness of children, the patience and love of those living out their In sickness and in health vows,  toiling like skivvies, which underpins the wastrel, career success of broadcaster and politician alike and I am sick to fucking death of reading their misogynistic, racist, marionette fuckwits, jerking and twitching, all over the blogosphere -try Norman Tebbit's or Simon Heffer's blogs at the Filtho-O-Graph to read the comments of all the stupid little piggies, squeaking, stupidly -   to the bitter refrain that public service is too extravagant, too pampering, people must stand on their own two feet. People already do. Often they stand on their one foot.

And now, narcotised by a fake, shoplifted, shored-up power, blethering, like they do, about the national interest, intolerable,  pampered, cliche-driven numbskulls


contrive novel soundbiting strategies to take from the poor and give to the rich;  let all the poor children care for their ailing parents, and not sponge off the state,  we are all in this together, after all.


I fixed the chimney. It just required the ripping-out of a grand's worth of tradesman work and the purchase of some chimney-sweeping rods and brushes;   it's going like stink, now.

The installing plumber and the chimney sweep had, between them, rigged a flue set-up which functioned as a fire extinguisher.  I was disappointed, I don't like to join in the tirade against cowboy builders because, well,  sometimes the jobs leech into one another and trying to please all their customers, they please none;  if they had any real sense of the Zen of Work, they'd turn off the mobile phone between nine and five.  Or they'd find the poetry in what they do. 

But where would you stop, anyway. If you cried, you know you'd fill a lake with tears. It wouldn't be just the  builders and plumbers and sparkses, what about cowboy hoteliers, cowboy garages, cowboy restaurants, cowboy bankers, cowboy politicians and journos and soon cowboy hospitals and, best of all,  Oh, brave new world, cowboy schools, courtesy of Michael Spit-Gove, Servant of Murdoch. Welcome to the New Frontier.


Anonymous said...

I presume the Plumber is going to have a quick trip to a mineshaft?

Oldrightie said...

Flowers are nice. Rant pretty good as well!

RightWingPin said...

Up the shaft and down the chimney. Locked and loaded. Raise the frontier! The sun will shine anew.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr Ishmael; your anger is keeping me as warm as I hope your Rayburn is keeping you and your blog dog.


I went to a 'posh' school, Mr Ishmael, and they taught me Latin and Syntax, the sort of stuff which has, for quite a while, been felt to be a bit taxing and quietly deemed redundant - apparently not much use in constructing a sentence or understanding how many of our words originated. So, these days, ambiguity is everywhere, accompanied by the dissembling. Yes, language changes, but we shouldn't change the structure of it any more quickly than we should change the length of a metre; how else can we retain the measurement and template of our language?


They also gave us carpentry lessons, and I shared a class with a boy for whom it was appropriate to have an armed guard patrolling the grounds. He learnt some carpentry too, starting, like me, with the squaring of a piece of timber and moving on to making a rocking elephant. It's probably still around in some castle or other. The only other comfort I can give you is that he knew right from wrong. And he respected the Carpentry Master for his skill and patience. Another boy made the mistake of calling this Carpentry Master over one day. "Penhale, come here," he barked. That lack of a title was reported to the Head Master, who ensured that he didn't sit comfortably for a week. Whatever our backgrounds, and mine was relatively modest, no one was encouraged to disrespect the abilities of others.

But that it is what we seem to have been left with, the absence of ability to respect what people do (among them so many carers of all ages, like the young teenager), against the 'ri-spek' that we are enforced to give others for what they say, and what they say they are.


You calm us with sounds and sweet airs now and again, Mr Ishmael, but may I suggest to anyone with half an hour to spare the gentle commentary (and noises) of a craftsman at work in a country where Meister means exactly that, a title earned, not given.


P.T. Barnum said...

There was a man on Radio 5 today, about the same time as the carer and cared-for, 25 years old, teacher, semi-pro football player, doomed by Motor Neurone Disease to a soon and hideous death. Amongst the callers came a story of a man in his 30s, also with MND, unable to attend his mother's funeral because he did not have a wheelchair. No funds available. So they had to wheel him out the front of the house on the chair he used in the shower and the hearse made a detour past the house. A bloke with two small children and a wife in the end-stages of MND called in and offered to give him a wheelchair she could no longer use.

Which is a long-winded way of saying, is this what we have been reduced to, in this oh-so wealthy country? Don't be poor and sick, or poor and old, not unless you can get on the radio and summon the goodwill of others in your boat. Either we have a welfare state worthy of the name, or we abandon the pretence entirely and go back to philanthropic souls who, with or without strings, offer charity (or the Big Society as DC calls it) - charity schools, charity wards, the poor box and the workhouse, and be grateful for the bounty granted you by your betters.

Those who hold the wealth will never ever understand what it is like to have nothing and nobody to make your problems easier. I keep hearing Pulp's 'Common People' playing in my mind. Always make sure you have a rich daddy to come get you. And if you can't do that, tough shit.

mongoose said...

Fantastic craftsmanship, Mr Anonymous. It puts my butchery to shame.

call me ishmael said...

I couldn't find those clips, is there a title, mr mongoose, in words?

Part of it, I know, Mr PTB, is due to the indifference of others, increasingly, of family, but that is all the more reason for a genuine discussion about taxation and what we expect it to provide. What is so annoying is that those most vociferous in damning the welfare state are those who are -regardless of their current domicile - going to need it the most, demented, enfeebled longevity is not manageable by a Fist Secretary of The Treasury but requires entirely new thinking; that thinking is happening in social services departments and NHS trusts but not among those who make funding decisions; they. of coyrse have King's ransom pensions and Special Arrangements.

mongoose said...

This, Mr Ishmael, and then this and this.

richard said...

I usually feel like smashing in the face of a rising inflector, with annoyance proportional to the cube of their age. But I suppose it's up to them if they want to sound like a fucking imbecile. Or "Imbe-seeeal."

call me ishmael said...

Yes, brings out the Derrick Bird in me, too, mr richard; empty vessels go with the flow, eh?

It's only up to them because we have abandoned the language, like so much else, to the gibbering.