The Old Monkey was right - I am too soft hearted. I believed that Hitmouse had really turned over a new leaf - but it seems that his sackings from Badfort News and Badfort TV were just a ruse to make me believe that he had renounced his anarchist views.
Whilst employed by me, as a spin doctor, he wreaked havoc on my blog and on my twitter feed. Insulting the great and good, and traducing my reputation.
My apologies to you all - I have managed to rectify this blog - but it seems that Hitmouse has now posted it on Hateman's website!
In an extraordinary turn of events, it seems that Hitmouse, Beaver Hateman's right hand man, has seen the error of his ways and wishes to become a good citizen.
Of course, he is now persona non grata amonst the Badfort Crowd following a couple of appalling misdemeanours.
Firstly, last week, he was sacked from The Badfort News for his role in instigating the phone hacking of politicians and celebrities.
Then, this week, he was sacked from Badfort TV for 'unacceptable and offensive behaviour'.
Beaver Hateman confirmed that the incident in question is a new YouTube clip that emerged showing Hitmouse making badgerist comments after Beaver had been on air making a speech extolling Badgers to rise up against their King.
Here is the transcript:
Beaver: Arise Badgers of Badgertown! Down with Unc, the bloated tyrant, and the silly old King of the Badgers! Join me and rule the place sanely! Up slaves and crush the monsters! Share in the share-out! Badgertown today! Homeward tomorrow!
Floor Manager: Cut! excellent o leader, I must say!
Hitmouse: Yeah, but we aren't really gonna share the loot with those smelly old badgers are we, Boss?
It seems that Beaver decided that it was politically expedient to sack Hitmouse.
Repudiated by his boss, and now redundant, Hitmouse turned up at my door the very next day - contrite and offering me his services!
"I am so ashamed of my former activities against you, Sir." he declared "but, I have seen the error of my ways and wish to help you in anyway I can to counter Hateman's vicious diatribes against you. For, now the veil has been lifted, I can see that we should all be grateful to you for your bountiful gifts and extraordinary sense of civic duty! Sir, if you do not mind me saying so, you are in need of a spin doctor in order for the truth of your greatness to be shouted from every rooftop!"
"Do you think he can be trusted, Sir?" interjected the Old Monkey, skeptically.
Hitmouse looked hurt, and downcast, at this remark.
"I think that it is clear, from his generous comments, that he has seen the light and turned over a new leaf." I replied. "I have never had a spin doctor, but, if one is good enough for my old friend, Tony Blair, then I shall certainly give it a try."
Hitmouse looked overjoyed "Sir, I promise I will do a good job on, I mean, for you, Sir!" he declared.
I set him to work, immediately, on formulating the questions for my new Happiness index.
This is an idea I have come up with to gauge Homeward's national mood, the citizen's psychological and environmental wellbeing.
I must say Hitmouse has done a marvelous job - here is a sample of some of the questions he has devised.
Does it make you happy, or very happy, that Uncle charges such low rents and are you over the moon at the present you get from him every rent day?
How much do you love the feasts that Uncle arranges on his birthday, Christmas, and other special occasions?
Describe how you feel about having such a great benefactor as the owner of Homeward?
How happy does it make your children to be able to attend great educational establishments, such as Doctor Lyre's Select School for Young Gentlemen, all funded by Uncle?
How unhappy would you be if Uncle had not averted, due to his great economic wisdom, the economic disaster that the rest of the world is suffering?
Excellent work! ...who would have ever thought that one of my arch enemies could prove so useful?
Rogue undercover Badgertown police officer as seen (on right) at Badfort Crowd demonstration.
Interesting article in The Homeward Gazette:
Astounding news has been revealed that, Constable Dibley, a member of the Badgertown Police has been involved in an audacious operation to live deep undercover amongst Badfort activists.
Dibley's personal journey also appears to have ended with a remarkable twist. In recent weeks, after Beaver Hateman discovered his hidden identity, Dibley is said to have "gone native". He has expressed remorse to betrayed friends and is seeking some way of securing redemption.
Hitmouse, Beaver's right hand man, has stated "Normally one would be wary of badgers wanting to join the Badfort Crowd. They are not known for their revolutionary fervour. But Dibley was funny, friendly – if a bit obsessed with digging tunnels.," he said. "He would go out of his way for people." He agreed that Dibley's copious barrels of Black Tom – and his money – quickly helped him to ingratiate himself with the community.
It seems that Dibley became a "rogue badger". For four months he played a key role in planning action, leading reconnaissance missions and giving advice on the best ways to attack Uncle.
It would appear that he even became romantically involved with Beaver Hateman's sister, Bertha Hateman.
Southwest 6 to gale 8, becoming variable 4. Moderate or rough, but very rough or high in west Treacle. Rain, fog patches. Moderate, occasionally very poor
Variable mainly southerly or southwesterly, 3 or 4. Rough or very rough. Occasional rain. Good, occasionally poor
I have to say, the Old Monkey is a genius at identifying precisely the Political Zeitgeist of our times. No one has quite their finger on the pulse of the body politic, as he.
Only last night I was bemoaning the fact that, despite my firm hand on the tiller of economics during these stormy times, there are still many dwarfs bemoaning their lot.
"Oh yes, Sir, but these are, what I have identified as, Shipping Forecast Homewarders. You see, there are some dwarfs who are congenital worriers. They toss and turn and cannot get to sleep, so they have to listen to the Shipping Forecast to lull themselves off into the land of nod. Do you realise that they are such insomniacs that when they finally fall asleep, it is such a deep sleep that they have to set an alarm clock in order to make sure they awake in time to go down the mines? It makes them very disgruntled and disaffected, I am afraid, Sir " he explained.
"An alarm clock, you say?" I asked, unable to believe my ears.
"I am afraid so, Sir - astounding I know, given that life in Homeward is so joyous, one assumed that the inhabitants jumped out of bed every morning with a spring in their step!" he replied.
"Don't worry, Sir, I have a solution - we shall give the populace Gleamhound's patent Energizer tablets. For, we all know Gleamhound's cures work backwards - thus insuring them a good night's sleep. May I also suggest a medal for every citizen that gets out of bed on time?" he added.
"Splendid idea Old Monkey - I do not know what I would do without your sage advice!" I replied.
As we all know, these are harsh economic times - not so much for the citizens of Homeward, who benefit from my judicious economic planning, but tough for the badgers of Badgertown.
The King of the Badgers has had to introduce drastic cuts in public spending and had to raise taxes to cover his debts (most of which, it must be said, is money that I have lent him).
We are all in this together and all must make a contribution (well, I already have - lending him the money in the first place).
It is important to show solidarity with our fellow creatures, the badgers. I have asked the Old Monkey to make as many household budget cuts as are possible. For instance, I now only have two bunches of bananas for breakfast rather than three. One can always do with losing a bit of weight after Christmas, anyway.
In order to save on fuel I am not using my traction engine. I now travel around Homeward in my carriage, drawn by the Respectable Horses - it provides gainful employment for them, and they are more than happy with a few bales of hay.
In the spirit of solidarity, I have also agreed to appear on the Badgertown Broadcasting Corporation's reality show "Oh, how the Mighty have fallen" in which rich and successful entrepreneurs, such as myself, pretend to be poor and jobless to find out how ordinary badgers survive on very little.
No doubt this will be an emotional and uplifting experience for the audience. I do, however, believe that it will also be educative for them. For, coming from humble beginnings, myself - I hardly think that this will be difficult or, indeed, arduous. They should be able to pick up quite a few tips from me on how they can tighten their belts and balance a budget.
I will be moving into a humble badger set in one of the rougher districts of Badgertown. Clearly, though, badgers are much smaller than average well proportioned, but big boned, elephant.
It has therefore been necessary to scale the accomodation up proportionally. So, luckily, I will still have room for my mud jacuzzi. I do not know what I would do if I could not have a good wallow in the morning!
Of course, a similar problem arises when one tries to match the diet of these poor badgers. They are a lot smaller than me. So, again, it is necessary for me to have rather more to eat than them.
We do all need to make sacrifices in these difficult times - but one clearly cannot expect these to be equal. Who has ever seen a thin billionaire elephant? - it would be most unnatural.
One of my favourite 'soaps' on Radio Homeward is the long running serial 'The Arcadians'.
It is an everyday story of urban farming folk who till the soil above Arcbridge Flats on the top of a fictional tower in Homeward called "Barchester Tower".
Originally produced with collaborative input from the farmer Butterskin Mute, The Arcadians was conceived as a means of disseminating information to farmers and smallholders to help increase productivity and to help them recapture an Edenic form of life, contrasting to the progressive nature of Utopian desires.
Over the years agricultural storylines have given way to ones concerning the relationship between past and present and between order and disorder and the certainty of knowledge. Agricultural instruction has generally been replaced with advice on the production of musical theatre - with many episodes detailing the work of the Arcadian Players.
I am usually a fan of the serial but I am very unhappy with the events of the 60th anniversary edition. I don't listen to The Arcadians for the drama, I listen to it for the feelgood factor.
It has descended into using the kind of shock tactics more commonly used in soaps such as the Badgertown Broadcasting Company's Consternation Sets and Badfort TV's Badenders.
It was not even particularly exciting! It had been billed as “..the storyline that would shake Arcbridge Flats to its very core”, but in actual fact last weekend’s 60th anniversary was slow-moving and extremely disappointing.
The storyline featured Nigel Crookball attempting to remove a banner, that Beaver Hateman had erected on the tower, which read "Down with Unc!"
The whole thing was marred by the slapstick manner in which this was realised - with Nigel constantly commenting about how slippery it was, what with all the banana skins that had been discarded by 'a certain corpulent elephant' !!!
The worst aspect of all the anniversary programmes, that these three 'soaps' have transmitted this year, has been the callous disregard for the way in which they have engendered fear in the community over health and safety issues.
I know that Noddy Ninety, who as we know has a keen interest in steam driven transportation, was dismayed at how commuters would react to the Consternation Sets storyline involving a tram, on the Homeward Switchback Railway, derailing and hitting the Badger's sets.
The story in Badenders did little to allay viewers fears over the danger of fires. It featured the Badfort Crowd's Black Tom dump afire and outrageously suggested that the Badgertown Fire Brigade deliberately failed to turn up - on my orders!
I fear that the dwarfs, who live in my many towers, will now demand rent decreases to cover the supposed 'dangers' of high rise living!
The story line was, of course, nonsense. There are trampolines based around the bottom of all my towers to counteract the consequences of the occasional unexpected plummet.