December 18, 2004
Hunting Wild Mammals With Dogs.
You may or may not know this but one of the varied carnivals that roam around the blogosphere is the Storyblogging Carnival. I’ll post a link to the next edition when it comes out. What lies below the fold is my most recent entry. 5 geek points to the first person who guesses whose stories I am
ripping off borrowing from.
It probably won’t make much sense to someone not au fait with British politics but there we go.
If anyone actually knows of any markets for stuff like this please do let me know.
The following is the summing up in a case recently heard by Lord Justice Mussellbeet in London, a case which turned on a tricky part of law which is why it was heard by His Augustness.
" In the case of Rex v. Otis we originally faced a certain trepidation, for we know all of the participants in the case from that more minor world outside these august Halls of Justice. Ever mindful of how the crawling worms of the gutter press would represent the matter we did think, for moments, of recusing ourselves. Fortunately our normal sanity prevailed, for everyone knows that an English Judge would never allow such trivia as personal matters to interfere with the even-handed adminstration of justice, indeed, even to think such a thing is of a treasonable nature. When applied to a Lord Justice such as ourself it is of course blasphemous. Having set your minds at rest on this matter, as might be necessary for those of you unaware of the spirit with which the law is administered in this pleasant land, I shall now proceed to the matter and case at hand.
Put simply, the dogs of Otis killed the elderly pet of Miss Booth, Spinster of Islington. He is therefore being prosecuted under the new Hunting Bill.
Fleshing out the personae dramatae as it were, we also have Chief Steward Prescott who has had the joy of serving me many a gin and tonic during our peregrinations on the Cunard Liners. Mr. Prescott lodges with the Good Spinster when ashore. The prosecution barrister, acting for the Crown in this case is that nice young Mr Blair, who for once appears to have laid aside his pamphleteering for the Fabian Society to actually practice some law. Scribble, scribble scribble,eh Mr Blair? That in a previous case we threatened to feed his wig to the bailiff if he flashed his toothy grin at the jury again is of no matter, you are confident enough of our impartiality.
The defendant, Otis, has defended himself which is not a course we usually advise but in the matter of this young shaver we have no doubt it has been the correct decision. The expense of a lawyer would have been wasted.
We first met this young man after he had broken into Parliament with the intention of biffing a politician on the nose, indeed we were there when the Lord Mayor presented him with the handsome sum of 25 guineas from public funds for his actions. This capital, along with further smaller sums raised by public subscription is what enabled him, as he had to under that Hunting Bill, change his business from one of ridding the countryside of pests in the form of foxes, to ridding the city of them. Under the name of the Fleet Street Pack we have found him most useful in recent months.
We have been upbraided during the course of this trial for continually referring to Otis by that name, Mr. Blair arguing that it shows some measure of disrespect. So sad to see that this Scottish interloper misunderstands the English so badly, for it is one of the glories that binds us together as a nation, that the honest working classes and the aristocracy change their names through their life according to a well understood set of rules. Viscount at birth, Earl or Marquis in middle age, attaining the rank of Duke in the fullness of time when finally the patriarch of the family. Just as with those who have the honour to tug forelocks, at birth, young Otis, when his grandfather has passed on, Otis, and becoming Mr at the point that his father expires and he achieves his full patriarchal majority. That his father was seduced by the bright lights of boogie woogie and bobby soxers does not diminish the fact that Otis is from solid Lancashire mining stock and would both expect and glory in such nomenclature.
We don’t really understand why Mr Blair finds these things so difficult, for he is well aware of the progressions of the judiciary, Recorder, Justice, Lord Justice, Lord Chief Justice, and knows that the existence of four ranks makes us quite obviously superior to the others. He is also aware of my progession through these ranks well within the course of recorded history. You really are going to have to learn these things if you want to get ahead in your political career you know Mr. Blair.
What, what’s that muttering in the court? Bailiff, I told you to keep the doors close...Oh, our word. It appears that we have something of a celebrity in the court. It is that star of the musical stage, Mr. Peter Mandy, famous family man, father of seven, scion of the Brazilian beef importing family and apparently taking a short break from his European Tour of the show "Rent" to support his friends, Miss Booth and the Chief Steward. You will know him best of course as the writer of that marvellous song, "How Much is that Housie in the Window".
Settled now? Good, we shall proceed, for you have arrived just in time for the denouement of the case.
This prosecution was brought under the new Hunting Bill which we perceive to be something of a mistake. For it is very clear that this Act refers to the hunting of wild mammals and it is difficult to stretch the meaning of that phrase to include an elderly, blind, house pet. We are aware of the care and attention that was given to this animal , even to the extent that he was recently allowed to breed a new litter at his advanced age, not withstanding his physical infirmities.
So, we find that the killing by the Fleet Street Pack of Miss Booth’s pet, Blunkers, was not in fact a crime, merely a regrettable incident.
Otis, you leave this court without a stain on your character.
God Save the King."
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Tracked on Dec 21, 2004 8:29:00 PM
J. B. Morton. Presumably the only red-bearded dwarf in this version is Robin Cook.
Tim adds: We have a winner. Later epsiodes possibly.
Posted by: David Gillies | Dec 20, 2004 12:27:19 AM