P&J Column 29.10.15


After House of Lords defeat, Osborne goes back into bat.

Cosmo Ludovic Fawkes-Hunte, the 13th Earl of Kinmuck

The 26th of October 2015: a day that will live in infamy. The day the House of Lords took leave of its senses and engaged in disgraceful rebellion. Yes, the Lords have voted against the Government before – the Fox Hunting bill, for example – but that was we Tories trying to protect our people from the machinations of Labour. This was them trying to do it to us, which is completely different.

Immediately after darkness fell, George Osborne emerged from his crypt at No 11 to announce his displeasure. Some imagine he is now going to seek a review of the powers of the Upper House, but George is too canny an operator to get dragged into lengthy consultations on constitutional change. He’ll simply transform into a bat, hang by his talons in the eaves of Parliament to swoop down and bite the heads off those who opposed him; picking them off one by one until the Government can be sure of a comfortable majority.

Never have I been more ashamed to be Peer than when my colleagues voted against Her Majesty’s Government’s sensible, measured and reasonable attempt to grind the poor into the dirt – I mean, balance the nation’s books. One loony lefty – I forget the fellow’s name, Bishop something or other – wittered on about those already in need being forced to shoulder a disproportionate burden of the cuts. Well of course they are! That’s what they’re for! You can’t take dosh off the upper classes; they’ll just slip the mooring rope on the family ketch and set sail for Monaco. But the beauty of soaking the poor is that very few of them actually own a yacht, so when you sting them for £250 a month they can’t afford – they just have to sit there and take it! And as for this business of people having to choose between being able to eat or heat their homes – what an insult to the yeomen stock that make up the British working classes. What these bleeding heart liberals fail to take into account is the sheer resourcefulness of the proletariat. Only last year, a junior ghillie failed to have my gun cleaned for the Glorious 12th. I dealt with the matter in the traditional way and had him bricked up in the attic for six weeks. When we came to release him he was perfectly happy, having subsisted on spiders, rats and rainwater that had dripped in through a cracked lead flashing. Really, I did the fellow a favour. Probably a damn sight safer than the sausages and bacon he used to eat.

Jonathan M Lewis, Headteacher at Garioch Academy

Members of the Garioch community might expect that our increased focus on extra-curricular excellence would be universally championed by all stakeholders; but, alas, no. Once more I find myself on the receiving end of unwarranted criticism from some parents, hostile to my use of cutting edge educational methods.

Take our 15-year-old computer whizz, Lyall Burkhill. Ever since he started here, young Lyall’s talents have been apparent. His classwork stood out, yes, but more striking still was his achievement in ‘hacking’ the 2nd year reports – replacing teacher comments with the lyrics to Sir Mixallot’s “Baby Got Back”. Some of the ‘old guard’ among our staff called for Lyall’s exclusion but I thought it better to harness his talents and put them to good use.

The school website, for example, was created by Lyall whilst he served 2 week’s detention for the reports transgression. There were teething problems, yes. A loop of the first line from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” was perhaps not the best choice of audio for our home page, but he assures me that it was entirely accidental that clicking on my biography redirects the user to a Dutch adult entertainment site.

One of Garioch Academy’s many, many mottoes encourages pupils to “aim high”, and no one embodies this ethos better than Lyall. The lad has put in a power of work on his latest project, spending hours on his laptop (and most impressively, utilising the power of the school’s servers, without even being given the password)! It now transpires that the project was hacking the secure database of a multi-national telecommunications company. And then demanding a ransom while threatening to sell the information to credit card fraudsters. But, boys will be boys!

In the circumstances, I reject suggestions that my disciplinary sanctions were “soft”. Trust me, he won’t forget that stern talking to and educational trip to Satrosphere in a hurry!