It truly is sickening stuff, and certainly worth of Jonathan Swift's satirical eye, if only this great man were with us now. Here's a quote from Gulliver, in Gulliver's Travels, in which our giant hero is intrigued by how the Charles Moores of this world raise their profiles in an imperial court:
I was diverted with none so much as that of the rope-dancers, performed upon a slender white thread, extended about two feet, and twelve inches from the ground. Upon which I shall desire liberty, with the reader's patience, to enlarge a little.I wrote a pointless comment, that's hardly worth reading. If it shows up, I'll post it here.
This diversion is only practised by those persons who are candidates for great employments, and high favour at court. They are trained in this art from their youth, and are not always of noble birth, or liberal education. When a great office is vacant, either by death or disgrace (which often happens,) five or six of those candidates petition the emperor to entertain his majesty and the court with a dance on the rope; and whoever jumps the highest, without falling, succeeds in the office. Very often the chief ministers themselves are commanded to show their skill, and to convince the emperor that they have not lost their faculty.
Flimnap, the treasurer, is allowed to cut a caper on the straight rope, at least an inch higher than any other lord in the whole empire. I have seen him do the summerset several times together, upon a trencher fixed on a rope which is no thicker than a common packthread in England. My friend Reldresal, principal secretary for private affairs, is, in my opinion, if I am not partial, the second after the treasurer; the rest of the great officers are much upon a par.
UPDATE: Absolutely pointless comment coming up:
Jack Maturin on May 15, 2010 at 09:38 AM
> David Cameron's coalition, born of failure, may make the new politics succeed
No it won't Charles, who are you kidding?
It's all about the same old politics of self-interest for politicians, trying to ram their pet projects down the throats of the rest of us, at our expense (and lining their own pockets at the same time, from the public purse).
There are so many ways this coalition could break down, it's laughable.
My own bet is over the growing monster of fascism, a.k.a. the EU.
Or over the pathetic levels of debt reduction, where we ought to cut government consumption spending by at least £200bn a year, and which because of the 'Glorious Coalition' the government will only manage about £10bn, if it's lucky.
I know those of you with access to Downing Street in the Westminster Bubble want this 'Project' to succeed, for all your own licensed-media reasons, but Charles, please, do us a favour and stop puffing this nonsense up.
Nobody voted for this. Tory voters voted to scrap inheritance tax and Lib Dem voters voted to get rid of Trident. Tory voters voted to cut down the client state. Lib Dem voters voted to protect the client state.
This is going to turn into a shambles, and the sooner it does so, the better.
Personally, I hope it's going to be dead faster than the Dodo.