New Supreme Court Appointment Spells Dire Prospects For Democracy
Letter from Llanaber
Global politics seen through life in this strange tiny village in West Wales...
I have a confession to make. Today I bunked off work for half an hour. The stress of the job of being parish Foreign Secretary of late has become almost intolerable. My esteemed leader, the boss of the parish council, Mrs. Dorothy ‘Binky’ Trim is growing more insane by the day. Each meeting I have with the old bat is like stepping into Caligula’s office holding a sign saying ‘I Hate Your Horse.’
I had a nerve jangling session with her this morning in which she demanded that all copies of Madeleine Albright’s new book about Fascism had to be burnt and the ashes thrown into the enormous sink hole in the high street, including all the e-copies! I asked her if she had actually read the thing, bearing in mind the village has neither a book shop, a library or internet access. She replied in the negative but added, “But I know it criticizes the most wonderful man in the world (the Duck), and I won’t have the village contaminated with her filth.”
I told her I would ‘get right on it’ and slipped out of her office. It was then I bunked off. I could take no more. I nipped out of the back door of the parish council building and headed for the sea front (at least I thought I did. The perpetual fog was down so I could have been heading in the wrong direction). Anyway, I was walking through the swirling fog lamenting my woes when who should I bump into (literally – the fog was especially thick) than the official village gossip, old Mrs. Winfrey. She grabbed me by the collar in a vain attempt to stop herself from toppling over and whispered in my ear as she tumbled, “Have you heard the latest?”
She then went on to tell me one of her usual conflated stories, most of which was garbage. I repeat verbatim what the old girl hissed in my ear as her massive bulk inexorably sank to the ground:
“Donald Trump is working with the Jurassic Park people to genetically recreate Adolf Hitler and Atalla the Hun, so he can make them fight each other for the job of the next Supreme Court judge when John F Kennedy retires.”
I rather ungentlemanly left the old girl lying there in the mud and fog, struggling to raise her massive carcass back to the vertical, and ran back to the office. I had to get to the news feed ticker tape room ahead of Mrs. T. If she saw what I thought the actual piece of news was likely to be, it would spell big trouble for the village.
I feared that the news clip would be about Judge Anthony Kennedy announcing his retirement, and that the baldy comb-over and anorexia denier Trump would be lining up an ‘ultra-right winger’ for the Supreme Court team. This would determine the future of the US for decades to come. America would lurch even further to the right. The age of US ‘red neck’ supremacy would be upon us.
But why should this bother me so far away here in Llanaber? (I hear you cry).
Lord Justice Brown-Envelope!
Justice is dispensed in the village once every ten years by the above named peripatetic judge. He is a hundred and six years old if he’s a day, and is due to either retire or be embalmed any day soon. If Mrs Trim sees that ‘the Duck’ can manipulate the justice system to ensure his personal choice of Supreme Court judge gets the post, then she’ll do likewise here.
Imagine it, dear reader, Mrs. T with her hand up the back of the ventriloquist’s dummy she would put in charge of dishing out justice in the village. It would be yet another giant stride towards her ambition to make Llanaber her totalitarian state, her thiefdom, her very own kleptocracy.
Who in Llanaber would be the puppet of which Mrs. T would pull the strings? (I hear you ask again).
It would undoubtedly be none other than her blubby-hubby Mr. Leonard Arbuthnot Trim.
Yes, it would be him I have no doubt about it. She would give him the job for the following reason:
He has an ‘O’ level certificate in Business Law (Packaging & Labelling).
The truth is out.
To everyone in the village, Leonard is considered a brainless imbecile and professional glutton that couldn’t think his way out of a bag of crisps. The fact is, relative to everyone else in the village*, he is by comparison a ‘legal eagle.’
I have seen his ‘official file.’
Late one night after a parish council meeting, I fell asleep on ‘the can’ in the restroom and accidentally got locked in the building overnight. For the want of something better to do I snuck into the ‘human resources’ office and read every one of Mrs. Trim’s ‘secret dossiers.’ (She likes to keep the dirt on all her staff in case she needs to twist the occasional bollock now and then to ensure she gets her own way).
It was there I discovered that, despite the ‘dumb as a brick’ fascade, Leonard actually had been to school. Further, he was a veritable dab-hand when it came to the legal complexities of yogurt pot labelling, and the intricacies of cigarette carton legislation. He’s a natural. His certificate confirmed his pass was of the highest grade, A1.
*Obviously, Mrs. Trim’s personal lawyer and village pervert, Solly Weinstein (no relation) is the most qualified in legal matters but he would be prohibited from holding such high office as he has a criminal record. He was given three months community service (cleaning the garbage from around the top of the sink hole) for measuring the village maidens’ belly buttons without their prior consent.
When I arrived back at the parish council building my heart sank. Mrs. T was in my office clutching a string of ticker tape in her hand and wearing what I can only describe as a nauseating grin on her face. I did not need to read the news clip. I instinctively knew what it was. She looked at me with a sick-making sneer on her face and said, “If he can get away with it, then so can I.”
She turned on her heels and walked out of my office cackling insanely.
I want no part of any administration that would so manipulate justice as to bring about a right wing fascist totalitarian state to be plundered for the sole benefit of one individual and her (or his) immediate family and friends.
It is too much.
It is intolerable.
I cannot countenance living in a society so bent out of shape that the very foundation of democracy, the justice system, is controlled at the whim of a despot.
As I write, I have in front of me an envelope. In this is a single sheet of paper. It is a letter addressed to Mrs. Dorothy ‘Binky’ Trim, and confirms my resignation as Llanaber parish council Foreign Secretary.
I will move to Spanibont and join the rowdies. Better to live outside the law than be subjugated by it.
Besides, they’ve got a pub in Spanibont, the ‘Abandon All Hope.’ The best Llanaber can boast is Trevor the Trots’ Trattoria, and their beer’s shite.
That’s it… possibly forever.