Alonzo S. Whitebeard, the new Finance Minister in The Badgertown Town Council, has unveiled his plan for getting the Badgertown finances sorted out.
He has put Noddy Ninety, the perpetual schoolboy, in charge of education as well as transport - he does love his steanm trains. Noddy has calculated that he can save 20% on the schools budget by banning soggy cabbage from school lunches. He is alsp pressing ahead with his plans for more steam trains - he says that this will open up many jobs for redundant civil servants as stokers.
The police budget has been severely cut - "This will have a devastating affect on our waistline" cried one badger. However, Whitebeard offered a new definition of waistlines saying that it won't affect the visibility of the police. "Cushions will be supplied to every copper on the beat for them to stuff up their jackets!" he argued.
Benefits are also badly hit. Inhabitants of Badgertown will not be allowed to retire until they are absolutely exhausted. Single badgers will no longer receive housing benefit - they must either get married or take in a family of dwarfs. Social homes for life will also end for all badgers - they must all dig new burrows every year. Ministers believe that 150,000 new affordable burrows can be built in Badgertown, in this manner, between 2011 and 2015.
The arts are a big loser in today's spending review, facing a cut of 30%, which will be seen as devastating to Badgertown's cultural landscape, however Whitebeard has promised every family a box of paints and a lump of modelling clay.
"We expect all the inhabitants of Badgertown to display their work and open up their homes to the public!" declared Whitebeard "thus creating a huge number of new galleries!"
Worst hit, sadly, is my old friend the King of the Badgers. His budget has been cut by 50%, forcing him to open up his palace to paying guests. "I had that Hotel Inspector, off the telly, round and she said my palace was in such a parlous state that she doubted how I could turn it round at all !" he moaned to me.
Not much chance of my many loans to him being repaid in the near future, I fear.
Of course, the big news story of the last few months has been about the dwarfs trapped in one of my gold mines.
Now, I would not wish blame to the miners for their predicament but it would appear that a number of rather greedy dwarfs discovered a seam of treacle (a bit of a delicacy amongst our vertically challenged brethren) and could not resist opening it up.
This caused a flood of treacle to pass through the tunnels - setting hard within hours.
Unable to escape, the dwarfs took refuge in my food store - 625m below ground.
Luckily, they were not short of food, as it was amply stocked with provisions of casks of ham, bananas, Whooshmeat and Scander biscuits to be used on special occasions such as Feast Days and important banquets.
Not surprisingly, Beaver Hateman attempted to make political capital out of this unfortunate event.
He claimed that "It is because of the capitalist system, favouring the rich capitalists, that mine owners like Unc can get away with lax safety for their workers! The safety and general well-being of workers is never a genuine priority for those in positions of economic and political power. Acting in accordance with the rules of the capitalist system, Unc, sent workers into a situation that he knew was completely unsafe."
Some poor benighted souls were taken in by this propaganda and actually marched in protest!
Before long I had organised a rescue mission using Cowgill's digging machine. Sadly, due to the resistant properties of treacle it has taken us 69 days to reach the dwarfs.
Normally one could easily fit a dozen dwarfs into the digging machine - however they have eaten a year's supply of food in just 69 days! They are so fat we have had to bring them up one by one!
Not content with eating all my food, I have also discovered that they have not managed to mine a single nugget of gold for me because they have been so busy eating!
On top of that they are moaning about wanting damages! Ungrateful misanthropes!
Of course, the big news event, whilst I have been absent from the interweb, has been the battle for control of the Bad Party between the Hateman brothers.
The poor showing by the Bad Party at the Badgertown Town Council elections led to a tussle for leadership between the Hateman brothers.
I know, astounding as it may seem, after his many years in power, the citizens of Badfort turned against their leader Beaver Hateman and he was forced out of office.
His cousin Sigismund declared "He is bad-tempered miserable old git and it's about time we got rid of him!"
Nailrod and Filljug Hateman immediately put themselves up for the job, closely followed by Hitmouse. In order to make the contest as inclusive as possible Nailrod persuaded some of his supporters to nominate Jellytussle - even though he is quite detested by most of the Badfort Crowd.
Who to choose though? Ideologically speaking, were they that different from each other and, indeed, from their brother Beaver?
Sartorially speaking their was certainly very little difference - both wearing the trademark garb of Badfort, the sack cloth dress. Nailrod looked smarter, and it was later discovered that Ozwald Boateng gave him a discount on two sack cloth suits.
Sharing the politics of their father, the lefty intellectual Ralph 'Roughie' Hateman, they are both commited to the international class struggle and both ran on a platform of bringing down the local capitalist 'gangster' - me.
Not so different to their brother Beaver, then.
In fact, there is so little difference that they both had equal numbers of supporters and much switching of allegiances caused, it would seem, by numerous gifts of Black Tom and Scob fish being offered by the candidates.
It was a very close vote, with Filljug being declared the winner by one vote. That is, until Flabskin cried out "I only voted for him because he gave me a chinese burn!"
At this declaration all hell broke loose. It all kicked off - with the two brothers and their supporters getting into a full scale fight over the issue. It seemed entirely appropriate, to me, that this contest between the brothers would descend into a playground fight.
Their big brother decided to weigh in and sort the two of them out. "Wot you two fink you is doing!!" shouted Beaver, as his two brothers rolled around on the asphalt. "That's enough of your shenanigans - these counteracting tendencies are no way to bring about the collapse of capitalism! Off to bed with you!" he screamed.
"A strong leader - that's what we need!" shouted Hootman. "Hoorah for Beaver! Our great leader!" he added, winking at Beaver, whilst he passed Flabskin a large tankard of Black Tom.
Plus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose.
His cousin Sigismund declared "He is big-hearted genius, and is just the leader we need for these hard times!"