Monday 28 December 2015




Good morning, everyone,  and a happy Christmas to decent, hard-working families doing the right thing. I have just chaired a meeting of COMA, that's the one with Mrs Tracey May, 67,  and Mr Micky Fallon, 69, yes, fiercely clever and able ministers, and, to emphasise the seriousness with which we are taking this thing, whatever it is, I can reveal that we were all, in solidarity with the, what we call in govament, the Wet Ones, are sitting around the table in our bunker wearing  Wellington boots, yes, green ones, and we are in complete control of this situation, as it develops, we are monitoring things and putting measures  in place to deal with things, as they, sort-of,  happen. If they do. Which is by no means certain.

Life in Austerity Britain.

And did I mention that during the current set-back.......What?  Alright then, the current national catastrophe.  While the North of England resembles Bangla Desh, the govament is allowing the food banks to continue to trade, albeit reminding them that some of their clients may not actually be homeless-through-avoidable-flooding but actually just, as Mr Ian Duncan Smith is always saying, shirkers, milking the system.

Yes, we are all in this together, me, the  inbred aristocrat, who can't do his two times table  and you, sir,
 the plucky little Northerner, boiling his treacle and eating his ferrets. 

My name is Davymandias, King of Kings;
behold my works, ye mighty,
and despair.

In the meantime, I would just like to put on record my gratitude for the way that, under my leadership, the British people may be drowning in shit and sanitary towels but, you know what, they're just jolly well getting on with it, not complaining, not getting into the blame culture, because compensation, recompense, that sort of thing, they know that that, like access to justice, is only really for richer, better sorts of people, the ones over them. Yes, myself and the govament, yes, and the City of London crime cartels, yes, of course, and her majesty Queen Brenda of Ruritania, her heirs and successors, nephews, nieces, cousins, aunts, uncles, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and their great granchildren, quite proply, in my view.

I, myself, Cameron, Scourge of Europe, have, or is it has, yes, I think so, it's a past tense, isn't it, I has visited the people who wade in darkness 

Yes, dear, you have my promise: no top-down reorganising of your NHS, no increase in VAT.....No?  Right, then, you have my promise that I will give you people, the Wet Ones, anything you need, as long as it doesn't cost money.

and taken every opportunity of a photo-opportunity, as and when my people could arrange one, is that right, can you have an opportunity of an opportunity?  Anyway, PR, or public relations, is in my urine, I mean my bones and some of our wonderful emergency services personnel 
I am honoured, as your commander-in-chief, to shake your hand and assure you that your P45 is in the post. Yes, that's right,  your mate, Prince Harry, he'll be along in a minute, to have his photo taken.

delighted by the cuts to their services were very happy to stand in line and  have their photo taken with their prime minister.

And anyway. I would remind people that Stewart of Iraq and Afghanistan is, as we speak, as I speak, rather, I'm the chap in charge, after all, bringing his very considerable experience of wossaname to this crisis, 

Yes, and that's water, there, I saw water in Iraq,
not as much as this, mind, but enough to have a good understanding of it.  It can be jolly wet at times.

well, it's not really a crisis, is it, lessbeclear, a few oiks  drowning in watery shit, as their DFS  sofas float past them - the bankers forfeiting their very necessary, and in my view entirely proper million-pound bonuses, thassacrisis, as I'm sure we all agree. No, Rory Stewart, even the name sounds like heroic competence, and just look at his successes in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Yes, that, there, it's a hill, and they have them extensively in Afghanistan.  You can read my thoughts on hills in my book, Little Rory and his Big Walks, in Abroad Places.

No, lessbeclear, in Little Rory, we have the right man on the ground. Alright, not on the ground. In the water.

No, the blame game, it helps no-one. But there is a great community spirit, a sense, even, I might say, of celebration, as people lose homes and belongings and lives which the financial industry, quite proply, in my view, refused to insure.

Mr Benn has been doing his bit, too. Splendid fellow, not a terrorist supporter, like so many in his party. well, I say his party, but lessfaceit, there's only one, isn't there?

 'Slike me old Dad always used to say to us; those chaps, up North, in the cloth caps, the very salt of the earth, they are, doing that  whatchamacallit, that work stuff, getting dirty and tired; yes and dashed poorly paid. Do you know what I mean?  And then he said that it was up to us, their betters,  to patronise them as much as they'd stand for.  Now, here's a fifty-pee coin, my good chap, because you and I are neighbours, and I want you to go and treat yourself to a nice warming slap-up slice of bread and dripping  with all the trimmings and a jolly nice warming cup of strong sweet tea.  No, no need, I can claim it back on expenses.

 I am now confident that everything that can be done hasn't been done and that everything that can be done in the future won't be done. And I give you my cast iron assurance, that I shall not flinch from saying what I think it is that people want to hear, even  if it isn't and I don't mean a word of it anyway, and that as I retire to a belated but dry Cotswolds Christmas, my fawts'n'prayers will be with you, God bless you all, my Cumbian subjects. And keep your powder dry.

Oh, and just before I go, I should take this opportunity to remind people that the HS2 project, once completed, will mean an end to this sort of community drown-in, up there,  and the local people will be able to just get on with  their Eccles Cakes and their dog-fighting.  Howzat?  Well, it's obvious, I would have thought.  we sinply load all the flood water on the train and the driver drives it to the sea,  Yes, and twenty minutes faster that it used to take.


A junky and a nitwit at at the controls of UK plc,
the runaway train.


Buggem.E said...

Have a good New Year and thank you Mr Ish

call me ishmael said...

You, too, mr buggem.e.

Anonymous said...

Joke on the Water. Splendid.

A visitor who came up the A1M says that troop lorries were on the road, dispatched along the A64 to Leeds, Tadcaster and York. Presumably on standby for next week when it is expected to start raining again. I don't know where they are supposed to store the soldiers in the meantime.

Mrs Raft

Anonymous said...

Here we go. This is the EA document which shows that they spent a modest £3m in a flood gate and pumping arrangement to control flooding on the Foss. The hydrology seems to be correct, but I am no expert.

Page 1 is important. It is a photo of the raised water-gate they use to protect the Foss. This gate appears to have been deliberately kept open despite this being the very time the gate needs to be lowered. Facts are emerging slowly, as the water receeds.

Pages 8, 9, 10 explain what the gate is supposed to do, given a chance, but if they don't bloody plug it in and turn the pumps on, what is the point? The issue seems to be that the pumping station and its electrics were - er - flooded and the electric pumps shorted out.

I am no engineer but surely if you are building electric pump systems to shift flood water, the idea is to build the electrics somewhere above the water? Or is it duff tanking like in the restaurant by Leeds dock?

Mrs Raft

Mike said...

Apparently the EU forbids dredging to alleviate flooding:

mongoose said...

As luck would have it, Mrs Raft, I was working at York with the EA while the Foss Barrier was new. Disclaimer: I had nothing at all to do with it, its design, or its operation. It was though then a fancy bit of kit - near 30 years ago - of which they were somewhat proud. It will have been since much changed and enhanced, not least by IT kit and sensoring. The purpose of it was (is) to isolate the surge at the confluence. It soothes the backflow at that point and there is - or was - a great big fuck off pumping capacity to take care of the flow disparity between the two rivers. It's not to stop or store the water forever but to prevent the surge of it going back the wrong way. Or so I then understood it. Other changes since will have adjusted the nuance of that generalisation. We are much more subtle now and perhaps nearer the edge of error. Disclaimer2: Flood defence is not my discipline. Buy wellies before you act on my opinion.

It is a statistical truth though that all defence is budget built as a percentage bulwark against threat. Ask JFK or Saddam. What happened the other day, I do not know. York though was a strategic military point precisely because of all this madness and one would not build a city at such a place if one was starting today. This is where we are. I know, I know. I am a heartless fucking phantom engineer. And yet today I saw a TV bit taht we can afford pet oxygen recovery kit for fire engines. We can afford to save kitties from smoke inhalation but we still close libraries, take spare bedrooms off pensioners, and make kids pay for education. So to question the accuracy of the - and it is true - many, many millions spent on flood defence by people vastly more informed than ourselves and vastly more informed than the politicians who pretend to command them seems - well it seems to me to be avoiding the low hanging fruit of making a positive difference. The EA, in my experience, is at the scientifically honest end of what is perjoritavely called the green blob. The triangle of politicians atop it however should be hanged, and as soon as God can will it, from the walls of York Castle.

York, btw, is a fantastic city. I enjoyed every minute of it. A bit dark as others have said but is not to be avoided for all that.

alphons said...

"Mr Mongoose
"York, btw, is a fantastic city. I enjoyed every minute of it."

I fear this is only true if "was" replaces the "is".
Those in charge of the city should be taken out into the deep end and dumped in it.The entire function of York's Corporation seems to be the gathering in as much of the "punters" cash as possible under what ever evil, vile, idiotic, illogical scheme can be forced upon them.
The ruling idiots have as their goal some scheme which would remove all contents of the visitor wallet/pockets without having the trouble and upset caused by letting the visitor into the place.
They seem to look upon the visitor as a cash cow and since they can not distinguish visitor from resident in most cases they too get screwed.
I think that if they expect visitors to come to the city and spend their lovely money, they should provide free parking in the city.
The shop keepers/proprietors should fund free parking if they want to encourage visitors and the corporation should clear spaces for them to do it.
I live about 16 miles south of York and only go into York as a last resort. I think given a few more years York may well become "The Last Resort".

SG said...

Apropos nothing (hat tip to Mr Partridge for that one...), I think I shall raise a glass to Mr Kilmister, for he died as fast as he lived. Compared to some of the wank- stains that we discuss on here, he seems almost wholesome, asectic, a Holy-Man in fact... The question is - how the fuck did he live so long? I liked his observation about his school years on Anglesey: "funnily enough, being the only English kid among 700 Welsh ones didn't make for the happiest time – but it was interesting from an anthropological point of view". The capacity for understatement in the face of adversity is, I feel, something to be admired and I think he had rather more going on 'upstairs' than the average rock 'star'.

call me ishmael said...

I know nothing of Mr Kilminster, I will take a look, mr sg.

call me ishmael said...

Sorry for the delay mrs woar, my internet has been in a state of creeping failure since the other night, it will all probably be my fault, I am the client, after all, the ontrapranoorial providers my masters, some consortium of psychobastard, sneering mongrel thieves such as appear on the hugely popular TeeVee show Dragons Den, with Evan the erlderly Rentboy.

My understanding however, one which now seems to be more widely shared, is that the unrestrained flooding in the North is simply criminal. Why has no-one noticed or had the courage to say that since Thatcher and Tebbitt and the Years of the Spiv, nothing works properly, not energy provision, not telecommunication, not utilities and certainly not bog-standard, common or garden infrasructure, like roads, trains, airports and the miost basic of all fucking flood prevention.

And what I find so distressing about all this is that the normally wise and compassionate, like mr mongoose, are suckered, by their own profession, into Ah-butting, about detail and practice when the fact is that all of these endeavours and services have been stolen from us, sold knock-down to bandits who cheesepare, cut corners, reduce staff and maximise profits whilst not giving a fuck about service, shifting the response for all their failures to a string of unaccountabe call centre skivvies in fucking Bombay, Good morning, my name is Keith, they bleat, or Wendy, even when it's not, and how can I help you today Sir or Madam or worse still a recorded message saying our calls are very important to them even when the only important issue in their poxy lives is making sure they make the protection payments to govament and opposition alike. This is organised crime we are seeing, not freak weather.

Too many of the populace most damaged by this crookery are happy to gob-off to skymadeupnewsandfilth about What Needs To Happen, like they were on fucking Question Time, stupid cunts, like anyone gives a fuck what they so reasonably say, when what they should be doing is tarring and feathering their councillors and MPs' What a large paert of the nation is enduring is a resuklt of decades of financial terrorism, a couple of people got twenty-five years this morning just for thinking about terrorism, the great and the good, entirely responsible for the flooding of the North, get knighthoods.

yardarm said...

Spivery, the flogging off of what we own to suit wearing parasite layabouts, I call it grease grubbing. Greasy little parasite clerks grubbing our money from their politician bumchums( often, as with civil servants, one and the same) then having the fucking nerve to call themselves the private sector, compare themselves to real business and workplaces. The PFI bastards, the ambulance chasers, consultants, beancounters, banks, dipping their hands into every privatisation, every service, HS2, BBC. Redistribution of wealth Robin Hood never dreamed off: from the rich to the even richer.

Cameron is like a one man ENSA; whether its visiting the waterlogged in his green wellies or getting his arse kicked around Europe by everyone is a great comedy character, the gift that keeps on giving. Ealing, the Boulting Brothers, Perry and Croft couldn`t create such a fatuous nincompoop, a prating berk. Trouble is, he is for fucking real.

Abuse and venom is all I`ve got so it`s all I can do. At the very least a crowd of York residents should have drowned out the nincompoops jibberings with a rendition of the Eton Boating song. And tarring and feathering...fuck, all the filthsters, all the greade grubbers should be stripped, tarred and feathered then turned loose into the streets, their assets and property seized. We`ll see who`s entrepreneurial then.

SG said...

Sorry Mr I - it was an oblique reference to the late 'Lemmy' out of Motorhead! Glad to see you have access to the Net etc. I gather it has been a bit rough up there weather wise with resultant power outages but doubtless you have everything battened down in the Ishmaelian Realm...

call me ishmael said...

Ah, Lemmy, now I understand, mr sg, Oliver Cromwell with a Fender Precision bass. I know nothing of his career, save that some sci-fi wannabee, was it Michael Moorcock, was a Hawkwind groupie and that he, himself, was unpardonably ugly, in the manner of Straight Simon Hughes of blessed septic memory. At least he was, as you say, a sticker to his guns, an adept, a believer, and probably, as you say, to some at least an holy man.

call me ishmael said...

A one-man ENSA, 'sgood, mr yardarm, I have been finding him a lol out loud comedy gift, too, of late.

I expect that any such chorus of ridicule would swiftly end with arrests under security legislation, D notices and the rest. Remember, I was scared to upbraid two cheap wiseguys like Big Al Carmichael and Smiley Jimmy Wallace, for fear of being shot by airport-security psychos.

Abuse and venom are all any of us have, shame that so many channel it into Guardian comment threads, joining UKIP and blogging.

Anonymous said...

Years ago an interviewer wrote a touching piece which compared Lemmy's flat - or bedsit really - to what other rockstars have. They noted that there apart from a superior music system of the time, there were none of the trappings of stardom. No bad art, expensive furniture or even women. Just an average bed - suitably unmade - a few clothes, a couple of guitars and the music.

Mrs Raft

call me ishmael said...

Bruce Langhorne, Bringing It All Back Home's guiding musical spirit - and the Tambourine Man - is dying, poor, in a New York hospice.

As I said, I pretend to no knowledge of Mr Lemmy but it is good to hear of one, at least, who eschewed the trappings of rock'n'roll celebrity.

call me ishmael said...

York, in that sense, m alphons, is true to its mediaeval roots, if we merely substitute pilgrim for tourist.

SG said...

Noted Mrs Raft. I shan't bang on about Mr Kilmister anymore - other than to leave us with a couple of gems from amongst the many quotations attributed to said Gentleman:

"I don't think it's fair to be waving your dick around when people are minding their own business and might not want to see it".

"Fuck God and Fuck the Devil and Fuck the Church too. I'm responsible for my actions. I don't need to hide behind nothing. I did it... whatever I did".

Did you issue him with an Ishmaelian passport when he entered the departure lounge Mr I?

mongoose said...

The Environment Agency, Mr Ishmael, sprouted from what used to be called the National Rivers Authority, and had added onto it a few bits and bobs from what was ludicrously entitled Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution. One imagined Brenda skulking about the roadside ditches with a royal magnifying glass inspecting stuff. I was there when it happened - upon God's work. It is a public body, a quango plain and simple. Although they will try to sell you your own data if you let them. So as it happens, I know plenty of them, have dangled their babies on my knee, and I have worked with a good many more, and some of those are quite senior now. These are the gentlest creatures you have ever met. Scientists and innocents, unable to lie or steal a teabag. A lot of what they do is meddlesome shite that really should not be done at all but that wasn't my call, and, yes, I did tell them at the time. Jeez, they'd draw up a project plan for the opening of a Kitkat. Hugely wasteful and mad bureaucracy is what they do but you know what, that means that they tend to get the big stuff done right. Expensively right. Eventually. Flood Defence is the big spend - or was when I was about there - because carving the earth about is heavy work, they are big toys and do not come cheap. They suffer from the scientist's disease of mission creep - first sighted at NASA.

So the rain falls and the water gouges and floods a channel to the sea. Generally speaking nothing much happens but of occasion too much water falls from the sky is collected by a river catchmeent and is too voluminous to fit in the channel. The tension, as we say in the trade, is currently to be found in the adverse effect that dredging has on habitat. It is not my argument but it has been lost. If you want less flooding, dredge the fucking rivers. Not so they can hold more water, although they will, but so that the water can get away more quickly. There is fuck-all that can be done without that unless we knock down all the houses and build them at the tops of mountains. Dredging BTW is relatively cheap, or it would be if one did not have to dispose of the silt as if it were radioactive waste. And all because some meddlesome cunt once thought of it as a way of screwing the whole job up on the pretext of saving a grasshopper or two. Long ago btw by another river, my hooky garden extension disappeared one day under a foot of silt dredged and discharged on the river banks.

Rainfall at Shap in December was over 30" (779mm) against an average December fall of 220-odd millimetres. That's three-and-a-half times the average amount. If you want to spend your pennies to defend against these levels of rainfall, and it can be done, then so be it but I fag-packet reckon it would cost 20 times the current FD budget and it would be useful a few days in a century. What is your pleasure, Sir? The engineers of the EA will do it for you just fine; you just have to find the coin.

And you should know by now, mon vieux, that I am seldom to be found suckered by much of anything. In this instance, not all of it is somebody's fault, and as ever, I doubt the ability of public expenditure to solve all our ills. The prat on his hols in Barbados OTOH has a political tin ear and should be fired to encourage the rest.

Happy new year to youse all, comrades.

call me ishmael said...

You bang-on as much as you want, mr sg, them's sound words, about cock-waving and such.

call me ishmael said...

Thank you for all that, mr mongoose and I am sure that what you say is accuurate but I remain firmly in the camp of the something Must Be Done-ers; Hitler only comes along once in a century, yet if he had been stopped, if Something Had Been Done, a hundred million would have been spared, the Cold War avoided, along with the current conflagrationj in the Middle East.

I know that bureaucracies exist, eventually, only to service and ensure themselves, regardless of how well-disposed are some of their members - no use seeking environmental remedy within the Environment Agency, that's not what it's there for.

We need someone ex-offcio, someone like Red Adair, to sort this shit out, and a national resolve to, at the very least - fuck Afghanistan and Syria - make the country waterproof.

Good to see you vindicated, by the way, in your assessment of Olly Letwin, Master of the Queen's Austerity.

A safe and healthy 2016 to all in the Mongoose House.

Anonymous said...

Best wishes for the New Year, Mr Ishmael.

Mrs Raft

call me ishmael said...

Thank you, mrs woar, and to you and the other rafters.

Anonymous said...

According to one obituary, Lemmy took great interest in the Anglo-Saxon kings and Cromwell's military campaign in Ireland. I suppose there's only so much Jack Daniels, speed, & cooch a man can take, and everybody needs a hobby. The likes of McCartney, Jagger, Sting, & everyone's favourite Young Parent, do not do well in comparison.

Best clock-rocking wishes to all in Ishmaelia, especially the Orkney branch.


Anonymous said...

I wish a happy New Year to you Mr Ishmael, and all those you hold dear. I hope it's a good one.


call me ishmael said...

Thank you, kindly, mr vincent and although I expect we are due more hard times, I wish you the same.

call me ishmael said...

Thank you, mr verge, for everything.

SG said...

I think that one was from the Telegraph Obituaries Mr Verge - still the best place for them and surprisingly resistant to the influence of the 'New People'. An 'Evensong' suggestion, though perhaps not for tonight as you have already posted one up Mr I:

Lemmy, thrashing the fuck out of that Rickenbacker with, what I think, was the band's best line up. I hope the bar in Valhalla was well stocked in anticipation of his arrival! 

Happy New Year to all Ishmaelians wherever you may be and in whatever condition you may find yourself!

Anonymous said...

I expect you're correct, Mr Ishmael. I've just accepted now that things are not going to get better. Most things are out of our hands, but in those things that are not, let us quit ourselves like men.


call me ishmael said...

Still waiting for that, mr sg, to find myself, hoping I never do. Wishing you a good 2016.

mongoose said...

A good example there, Mr I, of the socialist ability to score a fruitless point at the expense of whoever is nearest just so that they can feel better in their political oblivion. And if Darcus Howe is on your team, you are fucked for sure. Still whining about the Thatcher years three decades later. Dear me. What about those Corn laws, eh?

call me ishmael said...

Sorry, I do not follow, mr mongoose, can you expand a bit, please?

mongoose said...

A last word on the wateriness.

They are a bit precious and do not give much thought to the regulatory constraints on the EA that stop them dredging and clearing but the drift is accurate.