Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Perimeter and other Problems

Our beloved realm, Flatland, is a treasured destination for travellers, though on occasions the natural hospitality of its citizens is strained by wild applications for political asylum from countries possessing more than two dimensions. The Chief Circle recently received a request from one Edward Snowden, currently located at the hitherto-unknown Sheremetyevo. Naturally he had to decline the request, since it would be impossible to squeeze the non-flat Mr Snowden through our entry portals. Furthermore, even his limited hand baggage would not be accepted aboard flatJet, which has just reduced the maximum carry-on dimensions to a pitifully-small rectangle. Any excess now requires an additional payment of frighteningly-large quantum. (Coins and notes issued by the League of Medland Nations are not accepted, for obvious reasons.) To our immediate south, the President of Vineland is skilfully steering the Ship of State unerringly towards the rocks. Expenditure is totally out of control, and before long either Vineland's creditors will be circling, or the local peasantry out in the boulevards setting fire to Flatland sheep or possibly stringing up a selection of local parliamentarians. Flatland's Finance Minister - a Heptagon of noted breeding - is seeking to unburden the state of its majority holding in the Royal Bank of Flatland. This was acquired during the darkest days of the finance crisis five years ago. Sadly, the RBF's Chief Executive was ousted a few weeks ago, since when its share price has tanked. No sane fund manager will touch RBF shares with a bargepole. News from Upside Down Land, where politics is exceptionally brutal, the Prime Minister has been knifed in the back by her predecessor. And in Pyramid Land there is much unrest; the army has issued an ultimatum to the various politicos to sort their differences, otherwise the generals will take control. All in all, Flatland is escaping lightly amid so much Circular discontent. The imminent birth of a royal babe should distract the Triangular classes from whatever grievances they are harbouring, and enable the Chief Circle to govern for a few more months. [Students of politics might be puzzled as to how the People's Democratic Republic of Flatland can maintain a Royal Family. It is, in reality, an intrinsic feature of all republics. Eagleland is burdened with at least three questionable dynasties: the Kennedy, Bush and Clinton clans.]

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