Your Emperor's Christmas Message

The Text in Full

Ave Britons!

It is I, your Emperor, Caesar Nefarius Vexus, addressing my loyal minions of the province of Britannia from my luxury fallout shelter, whose location must be withheld for security reasons.

As you know, I recently chose for you a new Governor to replace the slightly mad Cameronius Conservitus after he so manifestly failed to suppress the revolt of the tribe of the Brexix under their leader Faragus, which nearly led to the calamity of secession from the Europa branch of the Empire of the entire province of Britannia.

This secession was only narrowly averted by the political tradition of Exit Negatum et Imprisonem Imperium or, in layman’s terms, “Nobody’s going anywhere unless I say so”.

While that reality sinks in I have of course meanwhile installed a new governor, Theresa “Darth” Mayder – the iron maiden of Maidenhead - who basks in the relative popularity of not yet having pissed everybody off and remains for the time being innocent of the crime of lying unconvincingly. As she takes office she is ably flanked by a new team of cohorts of the calibre of Borus “Nonsens” Johnsens and Hammondonius of Runnymede.

These appointments have been duly ratified by the ritual of the Dupem Electus and they replace my cohorts of the erstwhile Coalitium Desperandum in taking over the reins of power of this troubled province.

So in this address to the multifarious tribes clinging precariously to life in these adeptly impoverished islands, I give you the traditional Platitudinus Bollux, and pay tribute to the out-going governor, Cameronius, popularly known as Cameronius the Awful, who so recently fell - or was pushed - onto his sword.

Cameronius brought to the task of provincial management the wonderful gift of blandness so in keeping with the mood of the times and oversaw for many years a smooth transfer of the province's wealth into the Imperial coffers.

The transfer was presented in such a masterly way that Britons the length and breadth of the land were convinced the whole time that someone was managing affairs on their behalf and submitted to the pillage of their islands with such acquiescence not a drop of their blood was shed - except abroad, which doesn't count.

Cameronius I am told, will be working in retirement upon the traditional Scratchus Backus, in which the merchant elite and money lenders award most lavishly the outgoing Governor for services rendered during what was, from their perspective, a most successful tenure.

He will also be publishing his memoirs, provisionally entitled, "It Was All Somebody Else's Fault." A preview of the manuscript suggests that Cameronius has some scathing things to say about his predecessors, Anthonius Lytoous and Gordonicus Laborius, whom he will blame – along with the infamous Faragus Brexix - for just about everything in the time-honoured way.

It seems appropriate at this juncture to address you, the plebian masses, directly now that things are trundling along as smoothly as a loose chariot on a sharp incline and before the high hopes that attend the assumption of a new governorship have completed their traditional evaporation.

The first thing I should point out – and let me be very clear about this – is that when I used the term “reins of power”, I was of course speaking symbolically.

Those in high office do not actually wield power as such, except the power to follow the dictates and edicts of I, his imperial majesty Caesar Nefarius Vexus and the Illuminati of my imperial council, the Hiddum Agendum.

Doubtless the new governor will sooner or later look back with some nostalgia upon the halcyon days she spent in the Oppositium as do they all in the end. Her responsibilities were joyously confined to heaping scorn upon the hapless Gordonicus, looking smug on the steps of the Senate and dreaming up policies that sounded different to the ones that already had the slave-galley of state holed below the water line and sinking fast.

It is always a source of amazement that almost everybody else in the country except the new governor had already sussed out that you now enjoy a Constitutional Democracy. This is a new kind of democracy that has replaced earlier fictions in which trappings and quaint rituals are kept alive for the tourists while its true function is to ratify and enact the edicts of the Emperor as conveyed to you harshly (but fairly) through the Scrolls and Tabloids of my loyal Barons of Journalisium.

This knowledge had somehow been let loose upon the land and delivered into the hands of a small and troublesome minority of no more than sixty-four million people who had no right to it - and many of whom did not want it - thanks to the irresponsible agitations of the renegade faction, Conspiricus Theorus.

All this has plunged the slaves, artisans, plebs, small merchants and other ne’er-do-wells of the land into sullen resentment and has the activists among them hurling abuse at the Televisium or subjecting those who incur their ire to public blogging.

But such is life. Nobody can be expected – or assisted – to know everything and there is scant time in the busy schedule of most of those in politics to acquire an understanding of economics, the real world in which we live or indeed the people in it. Besides we have hundreds of years of history to attest to the fact that these are not necessary skills for the leaders of nations.

Be all that as it may, now that I in my lofty pomp and majesty have made Myself known to the incoming governor and the realities of life have been impressed upon her in no uncertain terms, she will doubtless feel obliged to make some minor adjustments to the plans she and her cohorts made when they thought they would be in actual control of a sovereign nation.

The main, very tiny, adjustment in her thinking has already occurred and that is to switch from making decisions and trying to run things to not making any decisions or actually doing anything unless instructed by me, her Emperor, or my primary agencies such as the World Debt Emporium or the Complex Militaria Industria.

Fortunately, many of the new regime’s policies, known as the “Adjustmens Cosmetix,” were pretty much more of the same policies already used by Cameronius and his predecessors: political and economic measures that had proven so successful in the bloodless subjugation of Britannia, her giving up the will to live and her consequent incorporation into the Empire.

As such, these policies already bore the imperial stamp of approval and I quite like people to come up with creative ideas as to how to dress up the verbiage surrounding, or indeed concealing, them.

It is quite an art to make the same fundamental policies look and sound different yet again but apparently the new team has managed it. This was why they were chosen: I want regional administrators who are able to soak up the wrath of the natives on my behalf and at least look as if they are to blame while they slot haplessly but nevertheless disappointedly into the smooth-turning cogs and grinding stones of the Imperial mill. I certainly don’t want people with ideas of their own, lest the whole empire be thrown fatally out of gear!

Provincial Management’s, sweeping vision that so fires the public imagination and sets a majestic new horizon before the nation - to “balance the books by cutting all non-essential services such as hospitals, schools and the police and driving the citizenry of this great nation into penury” - had to go . . . well, at least the “balancing the books” bit, which everybody knows is actually impossible.

The rest of the Great Vision remains inviolate. We shall therefore press ahead obliviously with sweeping reforms that, like all the best reforms, will avoid bringing actual change into the equation, except of course where we are able to make things worse.

We are confident therefore that we can pour coals on the failures of Cameronius whose tenure saw the province plunge to fifteenth most powerful in the Empire. We fully intend to see Britannia sweep to sixteenth or seventeenth position, although ultimately the fortunes of any province depend pretty much on whom I happen to like at the time – if anybody.

Be all that as it may, it falls to me now to address you as your Emperor and to brief you on all the great strides forward that have been made by the Empire to which you find yourselves subjugated and my immediate plans for this Province.

There is much positive news to convey to you, news which, while it may not give you cause for celebration, will at least convince you to keep your heads down and refrain from rocking the boat.

This is despite the minor blips of the Brexix rebellion in Britannia and the rise of the notorious Trumpet the Wall Builder in the Imperial heartland of America. But worry ye not, the tottering edifice of the Empire remains standing unhindered by the slight inconvenience of crumbling foundations, its walls as sound as the ramparts of Jericho.

The Guild of Usurers, for instance, and their global network of Debt Emporia have continued to prosper beyond all the dreams of avarice, while the agents of Onerus Incumtax, the Imperial Proconsul for Threats and Extortions, have come up with increasingly ingenious ways to crowbar from the plebian purse money the aforementioned plebs would otherwise have frittered away on food and clothing.

The apothecaries of the Pharmacopeia, from whose ubiquitous dispensaries flood forth magic pills and potions, known in the popular parlance as Serius Sideffex, have flung open their doors to the nation’s children and thus prosper beyond all imagining. Or at least they would, did not those very pills and potions remove from their beneficiaries the onerous capacity for imagination.

It is a similar success story for the manufacturers of fortifications, tridents, claymores, slave collars and gravestones, all of who report soaring profits.

Which brings us to our peacekeeping operations: Britannia’s auxiliaries continue to brave friendly fire in their selfless and indeed often pointless sacrifice in support of the legions of the Complex Militaria Industria, which campaigns tirelessly against the barbarian hordes who under their leader Holdus Toransum threaten at any moment to sweep down upon the Empire and force upon us the ignominy of not invading anybody.

That support, I might add, puts to shame that forthcoming from other provinces such as Gaul and Germania, which seem quite unable to enter into the spirit of the thing.

Detractors may argue that our peacekeeping efforts have resulted in prolonged and incessant warfare but that surely is a small price to pay for true peace, by which I mean of course giving the populace something to think about other than stringing up their lords and masters, who can then go about their business of amassing wealth, feasts, orgies and bacchanalia in peace.

Besides, the peaceful sandal maker of today could easily become the blood crazed terrorist of tomorrow unless we take firm steps to prevent it – preferably before the idea has even entered his head.

As you know, a great deal of heroic mendacity and manipulation, not to mention drugging, went into re-establishing the Empire along with a great deal of human sacrifice, which I am sure the sacrificees would have been only too pleased to make, had they been given a choice.

It has been pointed out to me that, unfortunately, empires - or indeed human sacrifice - are difficult if not impossible gigs to pull off if you hang around waiting for permission because there is always the danger that you won’t get it.

While the willing self sacrifice of large numbers of human beings would be convenient, one would be na├»ve indeed to expect it from what is, let’s face it, a rabble motivated largely by self-absorbed preoccupation with being happy.

We must reluctantly accept the fact that the contribution of the majority of human beings to the great schemes dreamed up by the brilliant minds of the Hiddum Agendum must of necessity be limited to the role of victim.

Those blessed by the gods must be left alone, after all, to execute unhindered by the anguished squeals of the riffraff and hoi polloi, the tasks the gods have set them, which mainly involve the Reductio ad Subjugatum of those not blessed by the gods, whose sorry and inferior ranks include, as it so happens, almost everybody. For that reason Soporifix, the god of mass anesthesia, gave us the twin blessings of the Televisium and the Media Subserviens.

Great success has therefore been achieved in thrusting the Pax Neworldorderus on the plebs of all nations and those who have survived can now enjoy the stability and prosperity which that Pax guarantees, with artificial limbs and antidepressants for all – except, of course, those who are still being shot at, those who are afraid of being shot at, those being shot at by people being shot at or people afraid they might be shot at, the dead, the poor, the plebs, the middle classes and the millions of slaves that are necessary for the existence of any great, enlightened civilization.

This culmination of decades of coordinated hard work by Imperial Agencies such as the Drugus Addictus, the Media Hysteria, the Dubius Economix and the high priests of the Emperor’s beloved Temple of Psychobabbylon, has established an Empire every bit as worthy as Caligula’s Rome, except with drugs.

Plans are afoot to consolidate these gains and to carry them to fruition. In so doing, I will be relying heavily upon some of the nation’s most influential agencies.

Among these are the aforementioned Pharmacopeia and its network of apothecaries and dispensaries (Britannia branch) under the aegis of general manager Oblivius Senslus, the renowned inventor of child doping. Mr. Senslus announced recently plans to triple the profits of the Temple of Pharmacopeia and extend its membership to include everybody in the province from birth. As you know the Pharmacopeia’s role in furthering the imperial idyll of a land basking in the golden silence and inactivity of the graveyard has been heroic.

The Pharmacopeia’s sister organization, the Hoaxacopeia, a branch of the Temple Psychobabbylon of the goddess Dementia, is also making similar, coordinated strides forward. Her high priest, Devius Lunatix, recently announced publication of a mighty tome which is designed to assist the Pharmacopeia in carrying forward its mission of “Euphorium et Oblivium,” while raking in the sesterces.

The Tome is entitled the DSM, the Diagnostix et Statistix Mendacicon, and lists over three million “agues of the psyche” that can only be cured by giving the sufferer large amounts of the pills and potions churned out by the Pharmacopeia, the so-called Serius Sideffex I mentioned earlier. For this service the Pharmacopeia has promised the Hoaxacopeia a “juicy slice of the profits.”

I’ve had a preview of this new holy book and it is something of an eye-opener I can tell you. It is written in terms so simple almost anyone can understand it, provided they have had twelve years of training at the Hoaxucopeia’s Academy of Ludicrus Fibs.

It is very clear from a quick glance through the holy book that the land is in the grip of a plague that afflicts the brain (known as “Chemicus Imbalens”) and which has already infected almost everybody, for scarcely a person in the land (apart from the priests of the Temple of Dementia apparently) does not have the symptoms of one or more of the “agues” listed in the book. Such agues include:

• The Vapours,

• The Fevers,

• The Humours,

• Depressium (feeling of being fed up, suffered largely by followers of Televisium)

• Optimisum

• Possessium Demonix

• Slavery Resistance Disorder

• Infantium Irritatum (behaving childishly – mostly suffered by children)

• Amphora

• Abacus

• Orgy Disorder (inability to enter into the spirit of things at public events such as orgies, crucifixions and stonings).

• Sandalium Nervosum (wearing sandals)

• Discus

Fortunately for all of us the Pharmacopeia just happened to be on hand with the full panoply of its Serius Sideffex. Talk about a stroke of luck!

Even more fortunately, the priests of the Temple of Dementia have been working on more cutting-edge research and have developed a branch of necromancy known as Bunkum, whereby the future mental health of children can be accurately divined by examining the brains of dead monkeys. With this new technology they have been able to accurately predict that all children will need to be sedated by the age of four (Docilis Infantium) and the esteemed Devius Lunatix has informed me that copious funds will have to be forthcoming from the Treasury so as to ensure mandatory treatment is available to them for life (Medicatium ad Delirium).

There are those who allege however that there is neither proof nor science behind any of the agues in the DSM, that Devius Lunatix and his henchmen made them up so as to persuade the masses to go “peacefully and without protest into the malleable state of Oblivium.”

To denounce this allegation, I can truthfully say that I asked the priests and mages of Dementia about it and they have all promised me, hand on heart, their publication is most definitely based on truth and science and that they will let me have their research notes just as soon as they de-kludge the office and find them.

Well, that’s good enough for me. I am but a layman in matters of the psyche after all and must trust my advisors on the basis that if I like their advice, it is probably correct. Funds will therefore be made available for the mental hygiene of the province.

The program is already underway and producing miraculous improvements in the mental health of the Britons, according to the provincial agency Disingenuus Statistix and as attested by a dramatic increase in the number of people taking their medication and a decline in the consumption of cheaper but less addictive, illegal drugs.

Which brings me to another matter of concern: the heretical new creeds that are sweeping the province and stirring people up into refusing to drug their children and heaping sarcasm upon every utterance of the Media Hysteria.

Such dangerous creeds as the Nutritium and Dianetix are everywhere and a tad too popular for the Emperor’s liking. They threaten to disrupt entirely the Imperial programs so favoured by the Emperor and his Illuminati, some of which I have alluded to here and which collectively are known by the epithet “Slumbrus Acquiesens.”

We can’t have people just running around destabilizing the status quo by irresponsibly tossing new ideas about willy-nilly, even if they do make sense - and especially ones that undermine the Pharmacopeia and Hoaxacopeia in their efforts to make money for the Temple of Dementia, of which I and my chums are, as you know – or at least suspected - the primary shareholders.

I ask the people therefore not to listen to scientific arguments or believe everything they see with their own eyes, nor to rely on their own common sense or good judgment if they can possibly avoid it, for such behaviour, being listed in the DSM under “Ipso Facto” (a tendency to base one’s conclusions on facts) will surely get them into trouble, if you get my drift . . .

The leaders of these new cults, such as the infamous Doous Afava and the annoying Sensibal Dietts will soon be brought to book and rebuked for their troublemaking ways, probably by being nailed to the tree that stands in the main square of the Forum.

We have in this country as you know a fine tradition of free speech and that right should not be misconstrued by some venal twist of logic to imply freedom of action. People can speak all they like, provided they do so quietly and do not assume they have a right to do things, such as publishing blogs or addressing audiences.

While we are on that subject, let me lay to rest the unfairly accurate criticisms leveled by the aforementioned Sensibal Dietts at the Hoaxucopeia’s Chemicus Imbalens theory. The validity of said theory has been proven time and again by a string of advertisements in the Media Hysteria and, besides, it was developed by hours of research at the exalted Academy of Ludicrus Fibs which, being a very impressive building with lots of books in it, is not really to be questioned by anyone with an eye on his political career.

Undeterred by the overwhelming weight of public relations in favour of the Chemicus Imbalens theory, Mr. Sensibal persists with his perpetual and vociferous carping and moaning and tiresome cries of “where’s the evidence?”

Evidence, quite obviously, has nothing to do with it but Mr. Sensibal has insisted on pointing out, quite seditiously, that an examination of the brains of corpses during recent “studies” at his renegade Academy at Betta Thanpils, revealed that the brains of an inordinate number of residents of the Province are contaminated by high doses of poisons such as lead, mercury, cadmium, strontium and wine – not to mention drugs – and quite often glow in the dark.

“It is hardly surprising,” he has stated, hysterically, “that people’s brains have chemical imbalances when we keep shoving dangerous chemicals into them that don’t belong there. And given that they have been poisoned, forced into slavery, taxed, fed an endless diet of bad news by the Media Hysteria and told they are bonkers by the Hoaxacopeia, it is hardly a source of wonder that they do not on occasion feel all that chirpy. This is no reason to poison them with even more chemicals, even when said poisons are addictive and guarantee the Pharmacopeia tons of repeat business.”

The Hoaxacopeia’s rebuke has been swift and decisive. A spokes-priest for the Temple of Dementia, Devius Bonkus said: “Sensibal Dietts’ Temple at Betta Thanpils is not accredited by the Temple of Dementia and is, quite frankly, a bit mad. Mr Dietts should spend more time in the real world of profits and mass sedation and less time trying to save the lives of people who are going to die eventually anyway.”

He then went on to warn that traditional ritual of Smearem Discreditem, which tends to be quite effective in subduing populist troublemakers, particularly when the danger arises that people might start paying them some attention, is “coming Mr. Sensibal’s way in the very near future. Let’s hope he takes the hint.”

Well, I think that lays Mr Sensibal to rest once and for all. So let us move on briskly to the matter of education.

Plans to bring education, education, education to all the people of these islands are moving ahead quite smoothly.

Once again, we have the cunning minds of the Temple of Dementia (sub-temple of Dumandumma) to thank for new, innovative education methods with which we hope to keep illiteracy levels rising on a healthy trend.

This year we will be issuing certificates to every school child who can hold a pencil and get out of bed in time to attend the exam, attesting that they have “passed everything with an A,” which saves on the administrative costs of things such as marking exams and teaching and proves that we have been successful in issuing certificates.

It also removes from children the unfair stress of having to achieve something and sets them up well for a life of slavery, drudgery, penury, soldiery and other worthwhile careers.

The system is also proving successful in keeping young minds out of the dissident clutches of the peddlers of “information” and “facts,” such as Sensibal Dietts, by removing from them the ability to read either Sensibal Dietts’ publications or the works of other malcontents such as the warning labels on the products of the Pharmacopeia or the products of Poisonus Additivs and other food manufacturers.

I come now to the vexing matter of the barbarian hordes pressing upon our borders or landing on our beaches by dead of night in small boats. Euphemistically referred to as “Itinerant Workers” or “Immigrants” or “Refugees,” these hordes from the Middle East then proceed to ravage the land by stealing our jobs, eating our pets and raiding the Treasury and making off with large piles of cash (“benefits”).

We already have enough trouble with indigenous tribes such as the Brexiters, Truthers and Bloggers disturbing the peaceful order of the Empire (and by “peaceful order” I mean of course “mayhem”) and so we are taking steps to embrace these desperate people and find them a valuable place within the economy.

As I pointed out earlier, any great civilization needs slaves and while we have been working hard through our traditional economic mismanagement to home-grow our own, there nevertheless remains a shortage of people who will work for nothing and new arrivals from the far-flung provinces we are currently dismantling to make way for state-of-the-art wastelands will cover the short-fall nicely.

This may mean some of you will have to sacrifice yourselves to the greater good by taking early retirement at fifteen or sixteen on account of the fact that people who demand wages can be replaced by people who don’t, but we are taking steps to ensure that those with five or six decades of time on their hands don’t get bored.

Thus we are stepping up army recruitment in preparation for the commencement of another war, whose manufacture and inception traditionally falls upon each new government. For those who don’t want to get shot at for a living or are uncomfortable with the idea of killing people with whom they have no quarrel, rest assured we will keep you entertained: the BBC (Britannia Broadcastus Crappus) is preparing new series of classics such as Neighbus, Eastendus and Up Yer Forum to keep you amused, or at least beyond caring.

And if that doesn’t quite hit the spot, remember the products of the Pharmacopeia are as ever at your disposal if you still need to dull the edges a bit.

Remember too that the DSM is also at your disposal, with the Hoaxacopeia’s new mail-order system making insanity even easier. Simply browse the DSM in the comfort of your own hovel, pick any disorder that appeals to you and a diagnosis and prescription will arrive by return of post.

If you have trouble choosing – and let’s face it one is rather spoiled for choice – your local priest of the temple of Dementia will only be too happy remove from you the trouble of making a decision by picking a brain disease for you.

And in closing, a final word from me before I return to affairs of state: given all this good news and the Promised Land that is, as ever, just around the corner, it may come as a surprise to many of you - except perhaps the adherents of rebel factions such as the Majoritus Silens and Votem Apathia or followers of Conspiricus Theorus - that I could be displeased about anything.

Well, let me disabuse you of that notion in no uncertain terms: I am in fact more than a trifle miffed at the rumblings of discontent that emanate from these lands.

Despite everything that has been done for you: the drugs, increased leisure time, mental hygiene and . . . er, drugs, you are still not happy. And if you are not happy I am not happy – unless you refrain from voicing your misery.

So, perhaps you could make an effort by smiling occasionally.

And if you could also refrain from throwing dung at my chariot every time I drive through the Forum on my way to the Senate, that would be appreciated too.

Nefarius Vexus