Monday, May 30, 2011

Wretched Dionysus

A concealed vegetable laid me low, so I missed out on much of L'affaire Giggs. The Cymru Rouge Fact Reduction Department got to work immediately, and reported the good news - Giggs had returned to his undying roots by bedding a Welsh brunette who looks like she lives in an InterCity buffet car.

We duly promoted him to the status of Martyr and, because there is no higher award than that of the Order of the Charred Lung of Llwchwr (Third Class), we gave him another one.

The endurance of the Welsh People into modern times has long mystified and annoyed our neighbours. The Picts, Gauls, Jutes and Deserving Poor have all gone, yet we persist.

The answer is Unnatural Selection. While the English and lesser races with too much law pursue leggy, beaming, ethereal blondes, we prefer dumpy, bad-tempered brunettes who go like a Young Farmer in a Hillman Imp. This breeds a swart, vinegar-fisted people, able to dwell undetected in woods, caves and Labour Exchanges, sustained by fermented herbs and fungi.

My own Iberian preference once won me the admiration of a purse of academic feminists - "won", rather than "earned", as there was no question of any effort on my part. Indeed, in this case my back was my best friend.

Just as Europe languished between Rome and Renaissance in a Dark Age of Lothars and Lombards, so did I wallow between Wales and undemanding public service in the brackish waters of post-graduate penury.

It seemed a good idea at the time. I had an excellent degree from an unknown university and aspired to more than being a goatish librarian in some Northern town. "Try for a doctorate," yawned my mentor, the splendid Prof Pethybridge. "Ivy League, Oxbridge, that sort of thing. Gowns and gals. Believe me. Just steer clear of London. Grubby Benthamites. You have been warned."

But I bumped into an old mate, Mike the Monk, who'd baled out of his Benedictine Monastery in protest at the lack of weekend disco passes. He'd found refuge in the City, where the Big Bang had opened the doors of the Stock Exchange to plausible young men who could shout a lot while remembering whose stripey blazer they were wearing.

"No fyccing idea what's going on, but. Got a Lamborghini and a flat in Dulwich, mind. Bit lonely, though. Not enough Welshes. You coming?"

I went. Four years of ligging, gigging, snorting, boffing, biffing, tooting, becking, belting and "manic fries" followed, leaving me with no hair, a mystifying reputation for diabolism, a rumble of Limehouse guttersnipes who've always seen me right, and about one chapter (since lost) of a PhD on homosexuality in Russian imperial student Burschenschaften that one peer reviewer called "gamey".

There were a few more tricky years of impersonating an impresario before I found my niche as a broadcast drone, but the London interregnum did remind me of the inestimable advantages of being Welsh.

My brunette moment came late one sultry morning in the summer of 1989. The postgraduate reading room at our college was a cool and airy chamber with windows designed for some phantom dictator to survey the Bloomsbury swarm.

My colleagues were the admirable Wislen, a brace of English chaps called Jonathan, a disgraced Iranian diplomat, Will the rangy New Yorker, a white Rasta who really shouldn't have been there, and a pod of American bluestockings - brunette and bespectacled with Puritan promise.

The social life of the males revolved around luring these delectable scholars down the Friend in Hand, plying them with halves of "lager beer" and trying to glimpse their knees. They were charming young ladies, all studying worthy subjects like Comecon, Polish beet planning and centre-periphery relations in Shelest-era Ukraine. They treated us with a companionable bemusement born of boredom and curiosity about our teeth. We were so happy.

Then along came Angela. Five foot eleven in silken jeans and fringed rodeo jacket, she tossed her flaxen tresses from breast to breast as she trilled "Is this desk free for my tomes of Romantic Romanian poetry?" Yes, she spoke in verse, and with a Parisan "r" that ushered her Aldeburgh accent into a husky demi-monde of Ambleresque intrigue.

If an orchid could speak, it would sound like Angela.

The postgrad gents were all over her like aphids. Even Julian the Rasta briefly refrained from keening about the sorrows that Babylon had inflicted on him and his people in their Maidstone exile.

I alone was immune to her freckles, good nature and alto sighs thanks to Samuel D. Kassow's PhD thesis on the Russian student movement, which not only covered everything I had planned to write about but was also about to be published as "Students, Professors and State in Tsarist Russia".

I was perusing this exquisite text on a microfiche reader, a piece of Kubrick technology that owed more to A Clockwork Orange than A Space Odyssey. It meant plunging my head inside a sensory deprivation hood and staring at flickering green letters that spelled the end of two years of dillatory research in the musty bowels of various Muscovite archives.

As I whispered "bugger, bugger, bugger" over and over with my back to the room, I missed the Arrival of the Queen of Suffolk along the carpet of rolled-out tongues. I was brought to by our resident Iranian calling out "Boyo - lunch in Diseases!", this being the standard invitation to partake of pie at the adjacent School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

I shuffled out of the room behind the rest, lost in thoughts of how I could salvage my doctorate from the unfair advantage Kassow had of having done the work earlier and with greater dispatch. Again I missed all sight of Angela, and so was not expecting to be flanked by two of the American MA gals.

"Boyo, you're the only real man in that room!" whined the taller brunette warmly, her woollen dress brushing those fleshy knees seductively.

"Threesome!" I thought.

My reputation among these sunless social scientists remained in the ascendant over lunch, where I had little to say to the unalloyed Angela and her leggy, blonde enjambement. I take my women like my lemons - bitter, jaundiced and unwaxed. We exchanged a few pleasantries, then I left her to gargle Eminescu to the sound of half a dozen trouser seams bursting.

"A thought, once uttered, is untrue," confirmed Russian poet and anagram Fiodor Tyutchev, and it didn't take long to establish that my flat-heeled colleagues were impressed more by the Boyo sang froid that the prospect of my using them as a sort of Tantric climbing frame.

This came as a mild relief, as a close study of Kingsley Amis's "The Green Man" had sown mighty oaks of doubt about my ability to compete with the natural attraction that the two smouldering sophomores would with any luck harbour for one another.

Lunch ended and we trailed back to our desks, some to thumb through indices of freight derailments by drunken bears in 1970s Bulgaria, others to comb the Zhakhiv district party secretary lists, and one to stretch her dappled arms across jasmine-scented editions of Ştefănescu Delavrancea and dream of the sea.

But, as Angela unfurled before us like a fondant fern between the banks of bowing Jonathans, the taller brunette showed why she and her tawny tribe are always the better bet, and certainly the greater fun.

"Perhaps I should befriend her," she wondered. "Get her to cut her hair".

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tercio de muerte

Nick Clegg, the leader of Britain's Liberal Democrat junior partners in the Coalition of Evil with the Conservative Party, has threatened us all with "muscular liberalism" over the coming year.

I can't avoid the image of a skinny man in a white t-shirt and 501s edging daintily around the sweaty dance-floor at Amsterdam's celebrated "Love Girder" club on "Tower of Power" night. Whatever happens, he's going to get hurt and it'll be available on the Internet.

It's really not good enough. Once you could vote for the Liberal Democrats and thrill a little at the frisson of cost-free rebellion. Now they're in government, hobbling along on their knees with Mr Cameron's crop and ashtray balanced on their heads.

Who's to blame for this? Now, I don't want to sound like one of the lipless witchfinders who populate The Guardian's online comment site, but personally I blame The Guardian.

That newspaper has an impeccably liberal tradition of lecturing voters on their vulgar failings between elections before inching its slack, exfoliated buttocks onto the Fence Post of Indecision come polling day.

But the General Election of May 2010 was different. On 30 April the paper's editorial "enthusiastically" and at great length endorsed the Liberal Democrats under the banner "The Liberal Moment Has Come".

Foreign readers, most Britons and, as they realized with a corretto jolt on 10 May 2010, loyal Liberal Democrat voters, had no idea what this panto-horse party stands for.

The Liberal Democrats are like an episode of the moreish "X-Files" spin-off "The Lone Gunmen", but without the sexy lady. Imagine a windowless rabbit run filled with trolls, gabbling geeks who've never met a barber, and sad-eyed men with peppery beards, jackets made of car rugs and no friends, and you have a vision of the Lib-Dems' annual conference.

It is a grim statement about the Conservatives and Labour that literally millions of otherwise sane Britons prefer to vote for these Airfix models and "Internet researchers" than for the grown-up parties.

It is an even grimmer statement about The Guardian that it chose the 2010 election, the only one seriously flagged up to produce a hung parliament, to back these sagging wifeswappers as the Queen's Champions.

It is the grimmest statement of all that no one noticed the near-Ickean truth about the Liberal Democrats, namely that above the human spam of their membership there rules a caste of reptilian posh people. The Astors, Jo Grimond, Jeremy Thorpe and Nick Clegg - they may have had their shortcomings, but their socks are clean and they've never had to buy a pair themselves.

Furthermore, a glance at the parliamentary constituencies the Lib-Dems represent - shrill suburbs, offal-mulching Celtic counties, Liverpool - would suggest that, manifesto pledges apart, they're not much bothered about people who enjoy ITV or work for a living in places without water-coolers.

It should not require excessive analysis to conclude that, given a choice between the cleft-scratching Labour frontbench and the languid Tories with their toothsome Mrs May, Mr Clegg would opt for people who don't buy their suits off costermongers.

The Tories and their Liberal Democrat appendix are like Stalin, but in a good way. Back in the 1930s Stalin decided that he wanted to make the Soviet Union a powerful force for wrong in the world, and that he would need flinty engineers, massive tanks, and strong-jawed men to fire both.

What he did not need was tens of thousands of wispy-bearded feuilletonistes in peasant smocks, lippy lorgnette-dipping bluestockings, bolshy trade unionists, pitchfork-wielding mobs, cleverclog Israelites, trainee Napoleons and people who had known him at the seminary.

The problem was that much of the Soviet Communist Party and ruling class was made up of precisely these groups. The ferocity of the purge in which they were subsequently purged was such that the word "purge" doesn't really convey it. Imagine pigbreathed men wandering blindfolded through the crowd at a Coldplay concert, swinging chainsaws, flamethrowers and yetis about in a random but deadly fashion, and you're getting close.

Those who survived were a red-eyed phalanx of psychos who snorted vodka, smoked trees, dammed rivers with human heads, played Poland like an accordion and parked their tanks on top of Hitler's house. Not pretty, but more effective at getting rid of Nazis than Futurist poetry, innovative camera techniques and endless speccy speeches.

On the other front of the class war, the Tories and Liberal Democrat leaders now face a similar problem. They ache to turn Britain into a country fit for Baroness Thatcher to die in, but have to overcome two groups - the core Liberal Democrat membership, and the people who voted for them in May 2010 after reading that Guardian editorial.

The methods at the disposal of Mssrs Cameron and Clegg lack Stalin's plebeian vigour and, thanks to Baroness Thatcher's economic policies, industrial machinery, but they found their way:

1. The slow, gleeful tearing up, non-acidic recyclable page by page, of the Liberal Democrat manifesto over the course of a whole year has deprived the most mole-like party activist and low-wattage Guardian reader of any grounds to believe that anything they think or do has any meaning.

2. The appointment to visible but powerless ministerial posts of preachy MPs from the Lib-Dems' ample, dun-clad array. Chris Huhne accepted the post of Secretary of State for the Environment, knowing full well that Tories think the environment is what they drive their Jags over at 120mph on the way home from regular acts of drunken indiscretion.

3. Giving a few competent Liberal Democrats impossible jobs like restraining the flashing blade of Chancellor George Osborne or deputising for men who would think nothing of cuckolding them and their sons-in-law, at the same time if possible.

But the estocada that felled the stumbling Lib-Dem oxen was the Alternative Vote campaign. This dispelled any doubts about their leaders' determination to slip the bonds of surly supporters and touch the sac of power.

1. Electoral-reform martyr Roy Jenkins himself described AV as "vile stuff, sort of thing they sell in boxes in supermarkets", and the Liberal Democrats' sole identifiable policy for 40 years has been to call for Proportional Representation, so this was bound to dismay the besandled masses.

2. The "face" of the campaign was comedian Eddie Izzard, whose previous achievements included promoting the euro, portraying a German, and speaking French in public. In particular, he looks better in a frock than most voters' wives. A poor choice to win over bluff patriots.

3. With Daily Mail and Telegraph readers it's best to say everything twice, so the campaign made sure AV was put to a referendum. Referenda are intrinsically European and suspect, being associated with Napoleon III (not even the proper Napoleon), Hitler, the Common Market and the Swiss.

4. What makes Britain worth living in, apart from Bettany Hughes, is that fabled sense of fair play. There's an altruism that neither state dependency nor Mrs Thatcher could banish, and when it looks at AV it sees benefits for one party alone - the dastardly Liberal Democrats. Pipes are tapped out and wirelesses retuned to the cricket.

5. Finally, the Celtic nations of Britain held elections about the same time under a form of real proportional representation. The referendum might as well have said "We Liberal Democrats think you English are dimmer than a Manxman. Would you like to keep us in power forever?"

A question remains as to why The Guardian decided to boost the Liberal Democrats at the 2010 election, leading as it did to a Conservative government, the comic emasculation of the Liberal Democrats themselves, and an end to hopes for proportional representation.

Readers of this web blog will be familiar with the long struggle of Wales to destroy anything that looks like giving England a break. So, were the Learned Elders of Capel Seion behind it?

As with "Operation Clark County", there is little evidence of Cambrian cupidity in this case. Instead I'm reminded of those cosy Catholic apologists who reach their mid-fifties and suddenly run off with the chambermaid. Glimpsing America surge past into the heroic age of Obama, The Guardian abruptly spat out the snaffle and raced for the finishing line, only to fall flat on its face. Both of them.

What next for the Liberal Democrats? Mr Clegg is a student of German politics, and hopes his frumpish footsoldiers will squelch off stage left to give Labour a hard time. This will allow him to fashion a British version of the Free Democrats - people with expensive cars and even dearer doctorates, undemanding constituents and the occasional foray into the Privy Council.

But we Welsh haven't finished with the Liberal Democrats yet. As I wrote back in October 2008:

"The Liberal Democrats have not been doing badly of late, but that's largely because we've transferred our Silurian attentions to the major parties. Watch out for adopted Welsh Lembit Öpik, though. He's bidding to be President of the party, and owes us one after the way he treated the lovely Siân Lloyd."

The Montgomeryshire Candidate need only relax with a game of Romanian strip poker for the Lib-Dems' true nightmare to begin. Not merely a nightmare, but a Nightmare of Horror.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Sous les pavés la peste

A public address by Huw Samphan, Cymru Rouge shadow commissar of demographic realignment, on the occasion of the Welsh Assembly Elections:

Put her down and listen!

Today you, the people of Wales, and those English who've somehow evaded capture, will chose which mangy hyena hirelings will lick the suppurating sores of Anglo-Scotch Capital for the next four years in the Temple of Onan they call the co-called Welsh Assembly.

You, the militant Sons of Glyndŵrism, have as one bruised knuckle of vengeance awaited guidance from the Cymru Rouge about who or what to do.

Now. in keeping with our proud Maoist heritage, we tend totally and utterly to boycott elections on the following grounds:

1. Voting requires the rudiments of literacy, numeracy (Wales employs a form of proportional representation deemed too complex for the ruddy, roastbeef fingers of the English), and in some cases the donning of spectacles.

All of this runs counter to Cymru Rouge edjucation policy, founded as it is on the correct application of mattocks and child labourers' cheerily chanting narrow nationalist slogans in the cocklefields of Penclawdd.

2. Ballot forms are a precious waste of slate - the Grey Gold from which your hovels, furniture, contraceptive barriers and choicest garnishes are fashioned.

3. What with the global economic turndown, Y2K, the Millennium and the sheer expense of running Charlotte Church, Wales simply cannot afford to waste our limited supplies of air and gravity on public debate.

The resultant atmospheric imbalance might have a negative impact on Catherine Zeta Jones, our sole export earner and Execution Squad sweetheart.

4. Analysis by our Department for the Promotion of Harmony has revealed that many Assembly candidates espouse a range of non-Marxist and objectively anti-Welsh policies, including "healthcare", machinery, banking and sunshine.

Some recall how pseudo-Marxist Georgi Plekhanov criticised Lenin's farsighted policy of killing the few economically useful Russians with the scornful phrase "The worse it is, the better it is".

Recent research has suggested that Plekhanov was in fact commenting on Lenin's marriage to the ill-favoured Nadezhda Krupskaya. Nonetheless, we Rouges have decided that, in the specific instance of the Welsh Assembly, his advice is apposite.

The election of Labour, Plaid Cymru, Liberal Democrat and Conservative members can only serve to remind the boiling masses of the literal bankruptcy of representative democracy, incapable as it is of turning Wales into a net rice exporter and indifferent as it remains to the struggle of our Maoist comrades in India, Nepal and the student unions of former polytechnics in the London penumbra.

The Prif Sasiwn of the Cymru Rouge therefore endorses all parties standing in the Assembly elections, and urges the struggling workers, peasants, scarecrows and benefit champions to cast their vote for whichever candidate looks the least appealing.

Cymru Rouge cadres, of course, will be expected to maintain their corpse-like discipline and shun the ballot box. Instead we recommend the policy of Papist pedant and stationary Reichsheer target Charles Péguy, who once wrote that "Example is not simply a way of influencing others, it is the only way".

Cadres will position themselves outside polling stations, dressed in their best black pyjamas and red bandanas, and engage in wholesome Marxist-Glyndŵrist activities in order to show voters that there is another, more violent way. We recommend:

1. Reading aloud from the Red Book of Hergest and the Black Book of Carmarthen (but not the White Book of Eifionydd), to the accompaniment of small arms fire. NB the readings must be from memory, as books disempower our semi-literate constituency of Young Farmers, cider-swigging car thieves and Valleys opiate connoisseurs.

2. Socialist folk dancing. This requires a harp, 15 clogs and ill-fitting trousers. Displays of skill are to be judged fairly, and those found guilty will be transported to the Martyr Cerys Matthews Submarine Sports Facility off the coast of Holyhead.

3. Friendly fighting. In the days of the Princes, the Welsh resolved their disputes not by hustings and committees but by fraternal exchanges of blows - whether by sickle, tree or righteously-engorged glans. So step forward and help the misguided Dyfed-Powys Police overcome their false consciousness.

4. Drinking. Walking to and from polling stations, concentrating on what to mark with your green crayon, is an egregious bourgeois ploy to divert proletarians and collectivist artisans from the traditional brewing and consumption of nutty ale and fermented potato potations. Intersperse your shooting, brawling, yelling and cavorting with generous draughts from room-temperature cans of Wrexham Lager.

5. Above all, ensure that our are well-supplied with Cymru Rouge political pamphlets. Copies of the party anthem ("We are Rouge, We are Strong, Come Swing on This You Saxon"), the 2011 manifesto ("Schools into Silos, Saxons into Silage"), and the official programme ("Wales will be Free, from the Orkneys to the Lea!") are available from Gwasg Gwallgo on demand.

Any members of the public seen reading the printed material will of course be deported on grounds of spying or wanton display of intellectual curiosity - back to Wales, if necessary.

¡Ystalyfera siempre!

Cymru Rouge
Rhiwbeunos Aires

The Wales

Monday, May 02, 2011

The Ring of Hwyl

A communication from the Cymru Rouge Department of Inter-Faith Dai-alogue and Forced Labour Camp Quotas:

The electricity-based mediums of the radio and television have announced the death of the al-Qaeda leader, prodigal plutocrat and Greenmantle Pimpernel, Osama Bin Laden.

We, the Cymru Rouge, rejoice in the death of pretty much anyone, but are also aware of allegations that this comprador clerical reactionary and occasional Guardian columnist was a Welsh.

As the auto-selected vanguard of the Welsh Senate and People, we have established a committee of eisteddfod adjudicators, Paris-edjucated intellectuals and shrieking, hemp-clad child soldiers to investigate the matter.

Here are our interim findings. In common with the Welsh people, Bin Laden:

1. Liked caves, and the things you find in caves.

2. Spoke poor English and less Welsh.

3. Passed for Pakistani in the eyes of the Pakistani and US military and the Cambridge Footlights casualties who lurk in the 6:30 pm weekday trainee-comedian slot on Radio 4.

4. Thought C60 cassettes were new-fangled, and never quite got the hang of video (pronounced "vie-joe").

5. Liked dressing up in white robes and prancing around hillsides.

6. Supported an English Premier League (Association) football team

This is more convincing evidence than most of the guilty face before their fair tribunal and execution at the Cymru Rouge people's sheepdog trials, but there is more.

We are ecumenical in accepting damning proof from all sources, and so gratefully acknowledge the help of the Bernsteinian ameliorationists of Welsh Labour in uncovering the following links between Osama Bin Laden and the poujadiste bourgeois nationalists of Plaid Cymru.

In common with Plaid Cymru, Bin Laden:

1. Did not like low-flying US aircraft.

2. Was suspicious of Nato, the European Union and Capitalism.

3. Curried the support of the powerful hill-farming lobby.

5. Wasn't keen on Israel.

6. Had links to organised crime families.

The Cymru Rouge Department for the Identification and Eradication of Religion has further noted that Bin Laden, like Welsh Baptists, seemed to enjoy public piety without heeding the basic message of their respective creeds' founders.

Furthermore, the Welsh appreciated the teetotal tedium of Methodism but found it lacking a certain edge, and so tempered it in the fires of Calvinism.

Likewise Bin Laden thought regular Saudi Islam deficient in finger-wagging threats of sky-sanctioned violence, concentrating its venom as it did on non-Muslims. His embrace of the Takfiri Option, which considers most other Muslims to be little better than Rabbi Julia Neuberger, has the authentic Revivalist ring of hwyl about it.

The Department for the Abolition of Elections therefore urges Cymru Rouge cadres to carry out searching altruistic criticism sessions of all political opponents until the usual suspicions are confirmed.

Please note that a professed love of folk music is almost certainly a cover for fanatical hatred of melody, harmony and correct tuning, especially if accompanied by beards.


Brawd Rhif Un - Paul Pot
Brawd Rhif Dau - Huw Samphan
Brawd Rhif Tri - Ta Mock Tudor
Brawd Rhif Ankh - Hwsni Mwbarac