Thursday, 30 October 2014

Hateman vs Brand

Beaver Hateman is absolutely furious that another revolutionary has brought out a new book on the same day that his own opus, unsurprisingly called 'I HATE UNC', has been published.

Unfortunately, REVOLUTION by Mister Russell Brand is vastly outselling Mister Hateman's tome.

'This Russell Brand guy is just a bloomin' champagne socialist' declared Mister Hateman. 'An I don't like the way he mimics the way wot I speak!'

Mister Hateman continued, angrily, 'Yeah, he go on the telly, and twitterin' and all that, going on about how he's a revolutionary but, I ask you, as he ever got his hands dirty? As he ever thrown a duck bomb at Unc? No he has not! And here he is taking the food from the mouths of real anarchists, like me, ruining my book sales! Seriously, if he really wanted a revolution he’d be doing it, manning the barricades with us - not just bloomin' talking about it and writing bookie wookies about it. Meanwhile we have to get on with doing the revolution for him - and it's really hard work I can tell you.

I'd like to see Mr Brand take a kickin' up from Unc!'

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Troublesome dwarfs - The Treacle Tower Independence Party

As you know, Treacle Tower was once an important centre for the manufacture of Treacle - until it got so full of the stuff that production ground to a halt.

It was only once I had emptied the tower of this comestible that it became usable as living space again.

Some enterprising dwarfs moved in and decided that, rather than try and save any manufacturing function, it would be far better to find a usage that did not involve all that hard labour.

Treacle Tower soon became the financial epicentre of my vast domain.

No one knew exactly what it was that the dwarfs did in that tower, and, I suspect that many of those dwarfs did not know either. Basically, it seemed to involve some sort of sophisticated form of gambling - with the pensions from the dwarfs in the many other towers. Everything all went swimmingly, until the dwarfs got a bit reckless and bet on some rather long odds. I have to admit I share some guilt for the fracas that followed. As long as the dwarfs were able to pay their rent, I turned somewhat of a blind eye to the gambling going on, although, I did not approve of it, of course.

I am rather aggrieved that having let them off having to pay rent for a number of years these dwarfs have behaved in a disgraceful manner.

They formed the Treacle Tower Independence Party (TTIP) and are insisting on having a referendum to decide whether they want to stay part of my vast domain!

When everything was going well for them, the dwarfs were happy to live in the penthouse apartments at the top of the tower, whilst the badgers who serviced the tower, and took positions as their servants, lived in the flats at the bottom.

Their leader Nigel Savage, as you can tell from his name, emigrated to Treacle Tower from Lion Tower. He bought and sold second hand commodes at Treacle Tower Market before becoming the leader of these disaffected dwarfs. He has declared that no more badgers should be allowed in from Badgertown, and that any badgers in the tower should either go home or face having their welfare and housing benefits removed!

The TTIP built a moat around the tower and insisted that only they were allowed to fish in it - but this plan backfired when they filled it full of alligators, to stop immigrants coming in, and they ate all the fish.

Now everyone is having to get out of the train at Ironside Tower and wak around Treacle Tower to get to Lonely Tower.

I have warned them that if they continue with their plan to declare independence, I will allow no further trade with them. But they say they don't care because there are still lots of suckers trusting them with their pensions!

Sadly, because there are so few badgers left to clean the tower it is becoming a TIP!

Monday, 20 January 2014

World's 85 Richest...

I fear that this article will lead to quite a few begging letters...

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Avoiders Tower

Bad 4 television has been accused of exploiting contributors and pandering to prejudices about tax avoiders with it's new reality show set in Goldblock Tower.

The first episode of Avoiders Tower made for extraordinary viewing. It showed residents discussing schemes for avoiding paying their rent to me. It also featured meetings with their accountants where they planned how to take advantage of various tax loopholes and tax avoidance schemes.

After the first episode aired, Desmond Moneybags, a banker who featured in the show, told the Homeward Gazette: "They said they wanted to film for a TV show about how great community spirit is in the tower. I participated in the show on that belief. But this programme has nothing to do with community, which you can tell from the title. It's all about people in the tower quaffing champagne, getting huge bonuses, eating caviar and dossing around all day. It makes people out as complete arses !"

Ivor Goldsack, who claimed during the film to have got three times his salary in bonuses and squirreled it away in Monaco, came to his front door and chatted to neighbours but was reluctant to discuss the documentary. "It's all nonsense," said Ivor. "I only doubled my salary - I was just boasting to impress the other members of the golf club. My wife lives in Monaco and she owns me - so everything I earn is legitimately untaxable !"

Another resident, Rich Ascroesus, who was watching a dwarf polishing his front-door knocker, said: "I'm just a cleaner. I launder money on a hot cycle for the other residents. I pay my taxis - I mean taxes." 

It's disgusting," said Hyacinth Lottadosh, who featured in episode two in a subplot that followed the tower's dwarf throwing competition. "It's not a fair picture of what the tower is like. All the dwarfs who were thrown got half a crown each - and they were very grateful for it, I can assure you. A lot of them are living off the benefits and the whole event raised five pounds and five shillings. A dwarf can easily live off that for a whole year you know ! They are making us look terrible, which we are not. There was one shot of me guffawing and knocking back the champers when a dwarf landed on his head - well, it was funny!"

The broadcaster rejects claims that residents were tricked into taking part by claiming the programme was all about community spirit. Beaver Hateman insisted there had been no significant complaints from the participants "Well just those that don't like the old tax man seeing their shenanigans! " he claimed.  He also defended the name of the programme, which has upset many householders. "The majority of residents are tax avoiders," he said.

The executive producer of Avoiders Tower, Hitmouse, denied on Tuesday that the makers had "bribed" the residents with promises of an expenses paid Champneys weekend spa break.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Are you reading enough ?

In an article in 'The Guardian' newspaper, Mister Phillip Hensher argues that something should be done to keep literature at the heart of national life. He uses the example of the belated republishing of my biographies in the United Kingdom as one example of how this may be achieved.

He goes on to suggest that a government recommendation that it is good for you to read 15 books a year might also help.

I used to be a great reader, but since taking my degree I must admit I have read very little. The burden of leadership has been too great, leaving me little time to indulge in the pleasures of fiction. I do find time, however, for the occasional factual discourse on the subjects of economics and good governance.

Also, I still order at least a thousand books every year, for my library, and there is always a vast pile there waiting to be put on shelves.

The building consists of a stupendous hall which goes all round the bases of four big towers that are set about a lake. It's really four rooms in one, and the rooms are so big that if you want to go from one of them to the one opposite it's easier to row across than to walk around. Good boats have been provided for this. Although the lake comes right up to just below the windows, the hall is perfectly dry. It has books going up so high that you can't possibly see where the top rows are, but luckily there's a patent step-ladder with a chair at the back. One simply presses a button and the chair soars right up to the ceiling, so that you can easily reach the topmost books.

Free boating and reading holidays to the library are offered to all the inhabitants of my towers.

This has two successful outcomes  - it ensures that all the citizens of Homeward are as well read as possible, and all the rowing improves their fitness !

The Library is a popular destination for winter holidays. The lake freezes over and is perfect for a spot of ice skating. Then, after this physical exertion, guests can curl up by one of the nine immense gas fires that surround the library. What could be better on a cold winter evening?

This is my own little contribution to celebrating the power of reading and the value of literature.

If Messrs Cameron or Gove wish to contact me for further advice I am more than happy to oblige.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Humble but delighted - King of the Badgers makes me a YOB

I have been recognised in the King of the Badger's New Year Honours list.

I am now a YOB, a Yeoman of the Order of Badgers.

I am very humbled, but also delighted.

Of course, the Badfort Crowd have tried to insinuate that he has just given me the medal because of all the money I lend him, and that he should reward achievement, not cronyism!

The King of the Badgers has assured me that no such thoughts were in his mind, and that this honour is a recognition of my many charitable works. He did complain a bit though about the cost of minting all these medals, which had left him a bit short of funds - so I lent him another few thousand, which I suspect I may never see again.

Given this generous donation, I was a little aggrieved to find that the medal was made of tin, sprayed gold.

There was also, more than a little, surprise when it was announced that George Osbadger, the Town Hall Treasurer, had been made Badger of the Year. Given that he was booed at the Homeward Olympics, he can hardly be described as a popular choice.

Many have put the honour he has received down to his policy of subsiding new burrows by giving out loans for spades and other excavation tools.

The King of the Badgers is very pleased, as he gets extra rates for every new burrow built.

However, the Badfort Crowd claim that this is just getting young badgers into even greater debt "They are literally, digging their own graves!" declared Beaver Hateman.

Friday, 27 December 2013

A seasonal ghost story

At this time of year, we have a tradition that every evening of the festivities my guests and I draw our chairs up to the fireside in the Great Hall and each, in turn, tell tales of the supernatural, which go hand in glove with the season.

Last night, it was my turn.

You will all be aware that in a dark corner of my domain there is an enormous black bulk that looms over the surrounding environs - The Haunted Tower.

It is now run as a kind of hotel, but this has not always been the case. This is the story of how it came by its name, and my first encounter with the Badfort Crowd.

Shortly after I had purchased Homeward, from Wizard Blenkinsop, the Old Monkey put together a list of recalcitrant tenants who had failed to pay the rents due on the properties they occupied. Foremost of these was a character who you are all now familiar with - Mister Beaver Hateman, and this was to be my first meeting with the gentleman. "He owns that ramshackle castle across from Homeward, Sir, but he rents the Black Tower as his Homeward residence." declared the Old Monkey.

Despite it being Christmas Eve, I decided that the matter of the rent arrears was best dealt with sooner rather than later and so my traction engine was brought around to the front entrance ands we set off to the tower.

The snow lay thick on the ground, and gaunt trees stood up black and leafless out of the white expanse surrounding the Black Tower. The sky was of a frosty blue with sharp twinkling stars, and a hard-looking moon.

Mister Hateman welcomed us with much bonhomie. Although I found him a rather uncouth character, with a somewhat offensive manner, I was willing to give him the chance to redeem his failure to pay his dues. He gave me a tour of the property. It was a wonderful old barrack of a place, with broad passages, twisting interminably like a labyrinth, small bedrooms furnished in an old fashioned manner, and vast reception rooms with polished floors and painted ceilings. Around these were suits of tarnished armour and ancient tapestries embroidered with grim and ghastly legends of the past.

I raised the matter of the unpaid debts. Mister Hateman looked gloomy as I spoke. "Unc, mate, you don't understand, the place is uninhabitable - you can't expect me to pay rent on a haunted tower can you? I mean, really I am doing you a favour by looking after the place ain't I? Cos, believe me, no one else would put up with it!"

Thus speaking, he led me into a large room with a low ceiling, and a broad window looking out on the unkempt park surrounding the tower. The walls were hung with black cloth embroidered with grotesque figures. There was a large old fashioned bed and a quantity of cumbersome furniture. It was clear the the room had not been inhabited for many years and had a desolate and silent look - and to my mind looked gruesome enough to conjure up a battalion of ghosts.

"The Black Chamber!" declared Hateman "the original owner of the tower was a silent misanthropic man, until, that is, he married a beautiful young girl. She slept in this very room. But one day the he got into a right fury after seeing a strange man at the window kissing her hand. In his temper he challenged the man to a duel and killed him. Then he cut the offending hand from his wife. And she died too. But not before she had cursed all those who dared to sleep in her room - foredooming them to a ghastly death. The owner then discovered that the man at her window was in fact her outlaw brother, on the run, who had come one last time to say goodbye to his sister. Within a year the owner was found dead in this room with the mark of three fingers on his wrist. It was thought that in his remorse he had courted death by sleeping in the room cursed by his wife!"

"What errant nonsense!" I declared "And I shall prove it by spending the night here, myself!"

Mister Hateman did his best to persuade me against this course of action. "Look Unc, best you go home, this ain't the place for anyone of a nervous disposition - you leave me to look after the place - if you just pay me and my gang a fair wage we'll look after yer property for you - can't say fairer than that!"

But I would not be deterred. "I'm ready for ghosts or goblins - if any really exist. This is my tower now!"

I took up my quarters in the ghostly territory, with much curiosity, but - as I can aver - no fear. I slipped into bed and placed my large club under my pillow, ready to my hand in case of necessity.

I lay awake for a long time, staring at the queer figures on the draperies which seemed to come alive when the draught fluttered them. I did not feel very comfortable, sceptic as I was. When the candle has burned down pretty low I fell asleep. How long I slumbered I know not: but I woke with the impression that there was something in the room. I heard a soft step crossing the room, and as it drew near a sudden spurt of flame from the candle showed me a woman standing by the side of the bed. She was dressed in a floral brocade and I felt a deadly fear as I realised that this was the veritable phantom!

The next moment I felt my right wrist gripped and with a yell I rolled over, away from the ghost, wrenching my wrist from that horrible clasp. I seized the candle with one hand and in its illumination saw the ghost gliding back towards the tapestries. With the other hand I raised the club from under my pillow and threw it at the retreating figure.

There was a yelp, the fall of a heavy body on the floor, and the thing moaned in the darkness most horribly.

At that point my followers arrived with more candles and we lowered them to look at the ghosts face.

"Beaver Hateman!" I shouted.

"Ow!" he screamed "You miserable old tyrant! bashing me with a club like a bloomin' great bully!"

It did not take long to ascertain that behind the tapestries lay a secret passage which led to Hateman's apartments. The whole story of the previous owner murdering his wife and her brother had been an elaborate charade to persuade me to leave the tower and allow Mister Hateman and his gang to live rent free in it for evermore.

Unfortunately, before I had the chance to rent it out to new tenants, the Black Tower was soon filled with squatters again. Beaver Hateman had been successful in convincing people that it was haunted. News had travelled far and wide, amongst the ghostly fraternity, that it was a welcoming place for ghouls and spectres and it was soon infested with them.

That is the story of how the Black Tower became known as the Haunted Tower.