Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The Witch's Bones

Many of you will have noticed that I have not been posting, tweeting, and generally imparting wisdom very much this year.

I am afraid that this is entirely down to the tardiness of my Social Media Manager. He has the simple job of chronicling my various adventures and posting my missives, but has, instead, insisted on footling away his spare time writing some tedious fictional story of his own.

‘I have had this idea in my head for years now, could I just have some time off to write it all down?’ he pleaded.

What’s it called?’ I asked.

‘The Witch’s Bones,’ he began.

‘Stop right there!’ I demanded ‘I can tell it’s going to be utter nonsense. Magic and tosh like that, is it?’

‘Well, sort of…’

‘Do you honestly think that people would be interested in that, rather than the very important goings on here at Homeward? Do you think that they want to hear some, totally unbelievable, fiction about a silly old woman claiming to have magical powers or the real life adventures of an extremely rich, philanthropic elephant?’

‘I suppose, when you put it like that, it is a bit far fetched to think anybody would read it, but I would really like to have a try?’ he whinged.

I have agreed to let him have a sabbatical, providing he promises to post updates on the most important events here at Homeward.

You can read the nonsense he has been writing here:

But, I warn you, its pretty far-fetched stuff!

Meanwhile, I’m off to open the Christmas Fair at Monkey-and –Engine-Room-Wood, and to see the Panto that the Crookball people are putting on at Lonely Tower. I’ll have to drive past Badfort in my traction engine, so I’ll be on my guard against that duck bomb throwing Beaver Hateman!

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.