Friday, 31 July 2009

Who Do You Think You Are?

Unlike the aforementioned 'Desperate Revolutionaries' there are some programmes produced by the Badgertown Broadcasting Corporation that I overwhelmingly endorse.

I particularly enjoy Who Do You Think You Are? in which a celebrity goes on a journey to trace his or her family tree.

It is no surprise that for the next series they have asked me to examine my roots - after I rang them up and offered to pay for the project. For, I am renowned as a patron of the arts.

I have no doubt that it will prove a particularly emotional episode. The moving story of my humble beginnings often bring a tear to the eye.

Already we have unearthed some interesting facts. It seems that many of my ancestors also gained great celebrity, despite the overwhelming vicissitudes of a lowly beginning in life.

It seems that my Great Grandfather taught Queen Victoria how to do the Hula-Hula dance!

More facts about my illustrious ascendants will follow.

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Saturday, 25 July 2009

Desperate Revolutionaries

I am appalled by yet another example of the dumbed-down television being inflicted on the citizens of Homeward.

The latest - a rollicking gambol entitled 'Desperate Revolutionaries' is riddled with historical inaccuracies.

It features a clutch of handsome young men in foppish shirts and waistcoats, who are reminiscent of the members of a modern-day boy band.

The group consist of Karl Marx, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Che Guevara and Raul Castro!

No matter that Castro was born two years after the death of Lenin and forty three years after the death of Marx!

They stride around a fictional London debating the means to revolution.

"Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement!" cries Lenin downing a pint in the alehouse.

"Don't worry - I have a manifesto" shouts Marx, in his cups, "Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workingmen of all countries, unite!"

It is patronising, simplistic and shockingly badly scripted - and will only serve to inflame the impressionable youth of today.

Unbelievably this is a production of the Badgertown Broadcasting Corporation - one would not be surprised to see this kind of blatant propaganda on Badfort TV.

The BBC have issued this statement:

"In the mid-19th century, a group of young men challenged the politics of the day. The Communist Brotherhood were inspired by the real world, yet took imaginative licence in coming up with a totally new political theory. This story, based on their lives and loves, follows in that inventive spirit. It is our duty, as a major broadcaster, to make politics accessible to the masses in this time of disillusionment and apathy. We are very proud of the excellent script written by Mister Beaver Hateman."

Of course, Hateman is loving this opportunity to extol his crackpot ideas.

"A massive surge of trade union militancy; fears about the state of the economy; a government under pressure from employers; harsh sentences delivered using archaic legislation in an effort to intimidate workers - you would be forgiven for thinking that I am describing Homeward today - but it also applies to a period of revolt and repression that occurred long before, in 1848, when Karl Marx and his fellow members of The Communist Brotherhood, Lenin, Guevara and Castro first published the Communist Manifesto!" he declared at a press viewing.

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Thursday, 23 July 2009

This, That and the Other

As many of you will be aware, there is an empty fourth plinth in Uncle Square.

No doubt, at some point the citizens of Homeward will demand that it be filled with another statue of myself - but at the moment it is used for a rotating series of sculptural creations.

I am a great advocate of democracy, but I must admit that I had my doubts when the great artist Waldovenison Smeare suggested that, rather than creating another artwork to fill the space, he intended to fill it with a changing guard of members of the public.

Each of them would spend an hour on the plinth over the 100 days of its existence. He has called this participant piece of work 'This, That & the Other'.

I knew that this revolution of inclusivity, this misguided populism, would lead to trouble and I was not wrong. It is attracting people who are simply interested in making an exhibition of themselves.

It started well enough. Will Shudder read a beautiful poem entitled 'An Ode to Uncle'.

But, then we had Noddy Ninety giving a, frankly, rather boring lecture on the virtues of building and running model railways!

This was followed by Jellytussle declaring his manifesto for the Badfort Brotherhood group of painters. He claimed that theirs was the only true art - inspired by the real world, yet taking imaginative licence with their art.

His technique seemed to involve flinging paint at the canvas and hoping it would stick!

For his hour, Butterskin Mute seemed to have decided that this was too good a business opportunity to waste. He spent the whole time extolling the virtues of his organic produce. He had even brought a watermelon tree with him and threw the fruit out to the gathering hordes!

It came as no surprise that Beaver Hateman saw this as a chance to harangue the crowd with vitriolic propaganda against myself. I cannot believe that I am actually being expected to fund this 'art' event that is clearly being used by certain miscreants as social engineering!

Most art - and certainly the greatest examples - is private and exclusive, created by elite professionals for an audience of amateurs. That is why I thought that I would spend my hour, in an attempt to educate the masses, performing a rendition of some of my favourite cello pieces.

Beaver, Hitmouse and Hootman had set up themselves up as a 'judges panel' with a big sign over their desk that said 'Homeward's Got Talent'. As soon as I started playing they pressed their buzzers, began booing and shouted at me to get off the plinth!

Orchestrated thus, by the malevolent forces of Badfort, the crowd turned against me and I could hardly get to the end of Quasi Scherzando.

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Monday, 20 July 2009

41st Anniversary of Moon Landing

Today is the 41st Anniversary of my first landing on the moon.

As you will remember, last year we celebrated the 40th anniversary by returning and sorting out a bit of bother that the dwarfs mining on the moon had got into.

One year after my first landing, some Americans turned up on the moon. We thought it best to keep quiet about our own presence. Over the next few years they left rather a lot of junk to clear up but, as I suspected, they soon got bored and stopped coming.

They are still under the illusion that they arrived first - and I think it best that they do not find out how lucrative Helium 3 mining is.

I am often asked what happened to all the discarded American Lunar Modules?

Clearly we could not let them crash on the moon - for they could have landed on one of our mining operations, damaging equipment and putting the lives of dwarfs at risk.

So we would collect them from lunar orbit and let off a small explosion on the surface so that the Americans would think that they had crashed on the moon.

I can now reveal that I have the actual Apollo 11 Lunar Module, here at Homeward, in my Space Museum.

Here is a picture taken today of me sitting in it.

I have had to make some adaptations. It needed to be strengthened a little as it was designed for two humans - an elephant is somewhat heavier.

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Sunday, 19 July 2009

Literary Fame

There have, of course, been countless mentions of my name in the autobiographies of the famous.

Churchill referred to me in his memoirs, thus:

"Uncle - The world looks with some awe upon an elephant who appears unconcernedly indifferent to home, money, comfort, rank, or even power and fame. The world feels not without a certain apprehension, that here is some one outside its jurisdiction; someone before whom its allurements may be spread in vain; some one strangely enfranchised, untamed, untrammelled by convention, moving independent of the ordinary currents of human action.

and of course Margaret Thatcher wrote this paean to my skills in 'The Downing Street Years':

"Successful entrepreneurship is ultimately a matter of flair. But there is also a fund of practical knowledge to be acquired and, of course, the right legal and financial framework has to be provided for productive enterprise to develop. The leading exponent of these abilities is, undoubtedly, Uncle. It pays to know Uncle -- not least because at some time you may have the opportunity to turn him into a friend."

It was very kind of Nelson Mandela to recount how I played a small part in inspiring him in his book 'Long Walk to Freedom':

"My later notions of leadership were profoundly influenced by observing Uncle and his followers. I watched and learned from the meetings that were regularly held at the Great Hall in Homeward. These were not scheduled, but were called as needed, and were held to discuss national matters such as housing the dwarfs, the battle against Beaver Hateman, policies ordered by Uncle, or new laws decreed by Uncle."

Most recently, of course, I have had some influence on the thinking of my good friend, Barack Obama, as told in his tome 'The Audacity of Hope':

"I find myself returning again and again to Uncle's simple principle -- 'How would that make you feel?' -- as a guidepost for my politics. It's not a question we ask ourselves enough, I think; as a country, we seem to be suffering from an empathy deficit. We have much to learn from elephants."

Rarely, however, do I feature in works of fiction - so I must admit I had my doubts regarding my presence in Philip Hensher's book 'The Northern Clemency'.

Can you spot the error in this passage?

"The library filled the morning, but it was short. He sat under the wooden bookshelves that, even in the children's section, bore the intimidating municipal heading 'novels'. It took him a moment to recognize some familiar and favourite books there, and it was a surprise to discover that he had been reading 'novels' when he thought that he had been reading Enid Blyton, or a book about uncle, the millionaire elephant in a city of skyscrapers, Beaver Hateman at his heels."

The error of fact about my financial status can be overlooked - the book is set in the 1970's in the days when I was a mere millionaire. But is it surprising that the boy is confused, when the book has clearly been misfiled under 'novels' rather than 'biography'?, yet the author fails to mention this obvious mistake.

This is an excerpt from later in the book:

"They had both read all the Uncle books, Francis one book ahead, and were now deep in Professor Branestawm. The dramatis personae provided them with a cryptic bond and a stock of abstruse insults. The headmaster was Beaver Hateman, and Tracy, Frances's weak-willed sidekick, was Jellytussle"

I really do not approve of this kind of deprecation of figures of authority - I wonder how the esteemed headmaster, Doctor Lyre of Doctor Lyre's School for Young Gentlemen would react if he knew his pupils were reading this sort of thing?

All in all, however, I found the book an enjoyable read and particularly useful to pass a wet Sunday afternoon with.

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Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Ivor Goldsack gets big bonus!

Iama Goldsack's brother, Ivor Goldsack, has awarded himself a huge bonus!

The investment bank, he owns with Lodesamuny Man, Gold Man Sack has milked the recovery in financial markets and made a profit of 3.44 billion pence enabling a big pay package to the owners.

This payout has aroused huge controversy - for it is less than a year ago that they were holding out the begging bowl in order to avoid going bust.

The King of the Badgers lent them 10 billion pence from the taxpayers of Badgertown.

Unfortunately, he forgot to charge them any interest.

He is now employed as a director by the company - in charge of risk management.

I must say I have not done too badly out of it - I lent them a few billion, at a rate of 20%.

Ivor came round last night with a large sack of gold for me - I have to say that dancing around singing "I'm in the money" is hardly going to endear him to the taxpayers of Badgertown.

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Monday, 13 July 2009

New claims of tabloid phone hacking !

I have received a letter from Beaver Hateman regarding the phone hacking scandal. Click on the image above to read its content.

Hitmouse has challenged me to a duel but I refuse to stoop to fisticuffs.

Meanwhile, there have been further revelations regarding victims of this outrage.

My Aunt, Miss Evelyn Maidy, believes that violent retribution against her, by dwarfs in her home at Afghan Flats, was caused by inflammatory stories in The Badfort News based on intercepted text messages to myself complaining about their cross and irritable disposition.

Doctor Lyre was extremely embarrassed by a report printed in The Badfort News revealing that he had got into a serious argument with Wizard Blenkinsop about errors in his magnum opus 'A History of Lion Tower'. According to the Doctor's book it was built in 1066 but the Wizard said that he built it - only twenty years ago!

Doctor Lyre is demanding damages as he says the article has ruined his reputation and that details of the conversation between him and the Wizard could only have been obtained by surreptitious means.

But the fall-out from these dubious practices goes far beyond the world of Homeward.

I have been informed by a celebrity, one Mister Stephen Fry, that he no longer wishes to be considered for the role of myself in my forthcoming biopic. This follows revelations in The Badfort News that I had promised him a traction engine, modelled on my own, as a 'bribe'.

Suffice to say that this was only part of a long discussion between myself and my old friend in a private telephonic conversation - in which he merely happened to mention his admiration for my mode of transport. So private, in fact, that he did not even mention it in his many tweets.

I fear that we have not heard the last of this scandal.

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Thursday, 9 July 2009

Hacked Off

The Homeward Gazette has a shocking story on its cover today.

It has been revealed that journalists on The Badfort News have been using criminal methods to get stories.

It appears that their chief reporter, Hitmouse, has illegally hacked into the mobile phone messages of my followers and myself to gain unlawful access to confidential personal data.

Moreover, it would now seem that the Badgertown police unearthed evidence of this wrongdoing some months ago but were bought off with a number of cases of Black Tom.

The police learn that my mobile phone has been compromised and don’t tell me!

Apparently, the matter was brought before the court - Judge Jeffreys presiding. Hitmouse was sentenced to one hour of community service and the court, faced with evidence of conspiracy and systemic illegal actions, agreed to seal the evidence. All that is completely wrong, I just don't understand it. Clearly the judge was bought off.

Beaver Hateman is claiming that the actions of his scurrilous rag
, breaking the law and subterfuge, were essential to reveal stories in the public interest.

I fail to understand how breaking into the Old Monkey’s voicemail to find out my daily food order is in the public interest. I now see how they obtained the information that led to the recent headline in The Badfort News - “Unc has gone bananas!”

It seems they also obtained transcripts of the following conversations:-

Noddy Ninety attempting to have the date of birth on his birth certificate changed, yet again, in order to be able to stay at school.

The King of the Badgers trying to obtain a loan from the Ferret Princess.

Butterskin Mute admitting that he was growing genetically modified pumpkins.

A perfectly innocent conversation I had with A.B. Fox (and entirely theoretical) on how greatly it would improve the view from my home if Badfort was demolished and how much dynamite did he think it would take?

I'm at a loss to know what the public interest might be.

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