Monday, March 02, 2020


For the past two months, Flatland has been threatened by a new and mysterious disease - Tizervirus. After much hand-wringing, and a meeting of the powerful MAMBA Committee, the current Chief Circle has issued the following proclamations:

These are forbidden, under penalty of exile. Only Jazz Hands will be an acceptable form of greeting.

Buses will be parked in garages for the foreseeable future. Trains and trams to be left immobile wherever they happen to be. (No change there.)

Meetings of two or more persons are VERBOTEN. All schools to be closed. Supermarkets may remain open, provided customers maintain a five-metre gap to any other person, and selfcheck out.

The use of double beds is forbidden, with enforcement by drones. Bedroom curtains must not be closed, in order to facilitate compliance checks.

These will all be closed in December, for reasons that even a Triangle should be able to work out.

All banned. Only flat drinks to be permitted.

These emergency restrictions apply to all citizens below the rank of Circle.

Also, the Chief Circle and his girlfriend are pleased to announce the expected birth of a baby Circle in the summer.

In other news, Flatland has finally left the League of Medland Nations (LMN), though details have yet to be thrashed out. The LMN has threatened Flatland in the usual terms - plagues of frogs, boils, hail, and Death of the Firstborn. The Chief Circle is unimpressed, and has replied along the lines 'Bring It On'.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

We have found a witch. May we burn her?

The People's Republic of Flatland is preparing to leave the League of Medland Nations (LMN). The Chief Circle, however, is not of the same persuasion as the populace, and has proposed several 'deals' whereby membership of the LMN will be extended whilst border arrangements are put in place.

In truth, each of these deals involved total, abject surrender to the LMN, whose negotiators have been licking their lips at the prospect of Flatland's prospective humiliation. Principal blame for this sorry state of affairs lies with the current Chief Circle - Mrs Maybe. Within the innermost political circle of Circles, much plotting has taken place, but an attempt to defenestrate Mrs Maybe failed last December.

Recently the population of Triangles, Squares, and others has become restive. Can it be long before Terry Jones is required to rule on whether Mrs Maybe weighs the same as a duck?

"It's a fair cop!"

Friday, April 11, 2014

Bleeding Heart

Flatland's computers have all been compromised by a software security vulnerability, hight Bleeding Heart. Consequently, most passwords will need to be reset; the Chief Circle will change his password from CCircle to ChiefC, thus confounding potential hackers for all eternity. Lately this political titan has been busy accepting ministerial resignations and appointing a bunch of halfwits in order to fill the vacancies.

President Input continues to taunt his rivals, farting in the general direction of FlatUS and the absurd League of Medland Nations (LMN). President Input holds the most bizarre of concepts: that Flatkraine should pay for the vast quantity of natural gas that Northland has supplied. Moreover, that, if Flatkraine will not play ball politically, Northland will cease subsidising its gas price. This is not music to the leaders of Flatkraine, and 80,000 crack troops of Northland are poised to restore Northland sovereignty to eastern parts of Flatkraine in a latter-day Anschluss. Meanwhile the ludicrous O'Bama of O'Bama stands helplessly by, muttering imprecations into thin air as Flatkraine vanishes into a miasma of hypocrisy.

Court reports from the Land of the Flat Mountain tell of the distressing murder trial of the legless athlete Oscar Flatorius, accused of shooting his girlfriend. Given the needle-like shape of all females, it is surprising that he ever managed a direct hit on the unfortunate deceased lady. His trial has garnered global circular media coverage, as he paints himself into a hole with his testimony.

The Chicken Bank (see post of 18 June 2013) has finally confessed to annual losses of 1.3bn Flatbits in 2013. Various associated individuals have resigned or been forced from office, though the latest crop of banksters are collecting bonuses of breathtaking quantum. More assets will be sold in order to shore up the Chicken Bank's finances to the satisfaction of the Flatland Chicken Authority.

Alex Codfish continues to advocate independence for the northern region of Flatedonia, pretending to believe that a newly-independent Flatedonia would be retain the benefit of using the Flatbit as its unit of currency. In reality, there is not a whelk's chance in a supernova that Flatland would come to the aid of Flatedonia's rotten banking sector, which would collapse immediately upon independence.

Senator Chromatistes

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Every Hottentot and Every Eskimo ...

Once a year in Flatland, its Chief Financial Officer stands up and spends an hour boring its citizens with news of how much he will extract from their purses in order to line the pockets of his friends, hordes of public officials, and hangers-on. The average Triangle is clueless about the fashion by which his pocket is thereby picked, and even the Square and Pentagon classes have an imperfect notion of where they are about to lose out. So dysfunctional are Flatland's politicos that they didn't notice for years that one of their number - a female of the Blue Faction - was making dodgy expense claims. Whilst this is a hanging offence if committed by a member of the proletariat Triangle class, it is standard behaviour for Circles, who make up the majority of the political class.

President Input's merry men continue to provoke havoc in and around FlatCrim. His army stands ready to move further into Flatkraine, once a plausible disturbance is generated. It can only be a matter of time before Northland claims the entire Arctic Circle as its historic and indivisible territory. Once every Eskimo has become a Northlander, the plains of Southern Africa will inevitably be annexed, along with its Hottentot tribesmen and their whistling language.

Correspondents in FlatUS report some technology news - the MicroFlat Corporation is no longer going to support its ageing Slits XP operating system, potentially rendering a third of existing computers unusable.

The Democratic Peoples' Republic of Flatland has sent some of its Royal Family on tour to a far, far nation - AllBlackLand. Here they are subjected to bizarre ceremonies involving fierce scantily-dressed warriors. The youngest scion - Prince Eggfrith Louis Crosscheck-Doors James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree - was displayed briefly to the curious local inhabitants, when whisked away out of sight whilst his mother rubbed noses with some dignitary. Such are the indignities to which Flatland's royals are subject. They would be advised to learn Northlandian before their next foreign trip.

Senator Chromatistes

Saturday, March 22, 2014


The hastily-arranged referendum in FlatCrim duly took place, and the result was no surprise. President Input got his desired result. The FlatCriminals cannot wait to be reunited with Northland. Various politicos from FlatUS and the League of Medland Nations (LMN) will huff and puff, but nobody will be sufficiently motivated to blow Input's house down. La Merkel is acutely embarrassed by the whole annexation episode, which is redolent of a previous local difficulty involving her own nation. President Input is even now negotiating a Sino-Northland natural gas deal that will enable him to turn off the gas pipelines on which many LMN nations depend, just to show them who is top banana.

Following a multiplicity of banking scandals, various FlatUS bodies are preparing to sue the major Flatbanks for rigging benchmark rates. They had better be quick about it, before all the Flatbanks disappear in a puff of illiquidity, and depositor bail-ins become the order of the day.

Flatland's Chief Financial Officer - a toff known as Gorgeous George - has caused a stir by effectively unlocking pension pots, From 2015, silver-haired savers will be siphoning off pension money and buying buy-to-let homes, which will delight readers of the Daily FlatMail, who think of little other than house prices. How Daily FlatMail readers reproduce is an arcane mystery, by stark contrast to FlatSun readers, whose every waking moments are dominated by beer, burgers and biology.

In his Budget, preceded by a photo-opportunity of him holding a red rectangle, Gorgeous George pulled a rabbit out the hat, with the reintroduction of the twelve-sided Flatbit. Apparently Decus et Tutamen has not been sufficient security for the existing Flatbit, and numerous forgeries are in circulation. Also, the Flatbit has depreciated in purchasing power very much to the level of the threepenny bit fifty years ago, during the height of Flatlemania, a nearly eightyfold change in value. Doubtless the new Flatbit will lose value just as rapidly, and in due course be replaced by some other fictional store of value.

Senator Chromatistes

Friday, March 07, 2014

Input, Output

President Input of Northland has had a busy couple of months. Firstly he was the smiling host of the Winter Flatlympics, on which a prodigious amount of Northland Rubles was spent, some of it honestly. Then, after a fortnight of sliding around and general jollifications, he sent his trained thugs into Flatkraine, a benighted nation suffering from chronic kleptocracy. In truth, none of the participants in this episode emerge with credit. That nation is a strangely divided territory containing deeply-polarised communities. After Input's men have done their thing, Northland will have re-acquired a bunch of Cossacks, and the League of Medland Nations (LMN) will be invited to pick up a very large bill, since the previous rulers of Flatkraine had thoroughly plundered whatever assets it controlled.

In Flatland itself, there have been problems with flooding - the clue lies in the name. Whoever buying a house or farm in the Flatterset Levels imagined for a moment that a prolonged rainy period might lead to their homes becoming wet? But grandstanding politicos have been keen to pledge millions of Flatbits in order to buy the votes of those chancers who made a bad call, and are now looking to slip the bill to some unsuspecting taxpaying patsy. As usual in such matters, if you haven't worked out the identity of that patsy within ten minutes, it's you!

Much has been written lately about Flatbits. Several Flatbanks have examined their virtual vaults, only to find them totally empty. Their depositors are of course livid, and even Janet Flatten of the FlatUS Reserve Board is unwilling to bail out these deadbeat enterprises. Meanwhile, a media circus has formed around the home of one Satoshi Flatamoto, based on the premise that this harmless citizen might indeed be ... Satoshi Flatamoto. The mind boggles.

A strange report arrived last month from a correspondent in Flathagen, which all Flatlanders have difficulty in comprehending. There are claims that there exist strange life forms, only part of whose bodies are visible within Flatland. One extreme example of such life forms, a beast named Marius was put to death last month, then paraded in front of the local children, and fed to lions. Presumably all this makes sense to the cognoscenti. Your humble correspondent would have preferred to have been given the opportunity to grill choice cuts of Marius, rather than see him making a meal for non-taxpaying members of the Feline family.

Another self-aggrandising politico has been prognosticating at length, as only members of his tribe can. This Celtic firebrand is hight Alex Codfish, and argues for independence for his, and many other clans that infest the northernmost regions of the Democratic People's Republic of Flatland. Naturally Mr Codfish does not intend to pay his bills, but instead aspires to the position whereby his southern neighbours meet all his obligations, whilst he throws oodles of newly-minted Flatbits at his voters. Flatlanders are unanimous in their objection to this boondoggle, and insist that he create a separate currency - Northern Flatpounds - which would trade at a substantial and increasing discount to Flatbits. Moreover, any bank remaining in that new territory could expect no favourable treatment from the Bank of Flatland, or its Governor, Mark Carnivorous. Naturally, a not-very-orderly queue of banks has formed, each of would will relocate to an exotic location at the first whiff of electoral support for the aspirant Emperor Codfish. All this hoopla gives good cause for rebuilding Hadrian's Fence.

Senator Chromatistes

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Flat New Year

The Chief Circle and his ministers are getting agitated; as from midnight the Ruritanians and Vulgarians will be completely at liberty to immigrate and take advantage of Flatland's relatively-generous social service benefit system. Various ministers have been charged with finding cop-outs in order to discourage an anticipated influx of benefit-seekers, thimbleriggers and assorted human detritus. Meanwhile, for impenetrable reasons of its own, the nation of Flatvia is to adopt the bizarre currency of the League of Medland Nations (LMN).

Flatland's Supreme Court recently came out with an unwelcome judgement: two Flatologists were permitted to solemnise their union in the Flatland headquarters of this controversial organisation. Those in the know confidently predict an imminent application for charitable status that would allow the Flatologist organisation to reduce its rate bill by 80%.

Economic news has been fairly favourable, and the Flatbit has appreciated somewhat against the FlatUS Dollar. The stock exchanges of FlatUS and Flatland have both enjoyed strong runs during 2013, assisted by their respective central banks. This has not translated into joy amongst High Street retailers, and the leading chain store Flatenhams has issued a profits warning. Its shares now trade at only some 35% of the price at which it was refloated a few years ago, after spending a short but profitable period in the tender, caring arms of public-spirited venture capitalists. Who would have imagined during that IPO process that the public was being offered a pup?

With the turn of the year, the LMN acquires a new presidency - none other than Hellenland, the country that in recent years has had such difficulty in meeting its debt commitments. Some jokes write themselves.

The Chief Circle has commanded me to send fraternal greetings to all readers, and best wishes for 2014.

Senator Chromatistes