Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The economic importance of getting your sums right

You may have read the news of the 28 year old student (how long do youngsters need at school these days?) who discovered that two Harvard professors could not add up properly.

Rather an important issue, given that goverments appear to have decided to base their policies on their findings!

It brought to mind the scandalous mystery of the Badfort Rate Rebate - another case of figures just not adding up right.

I remember, one morning, getting a very agitated telephone call from the King of the Badgers.

"You must come over, at once, Uncle - it is inexplicable problem - it makes no sense at all. We need a great mind, such as your own, to find a solution!" he wept.

I arrived at his Palace to find him in a very distraught state.

"My economists have tried again and again, but the sum still works out the same - as you can see there is one blue ball still in the deficit column - they say that it means I owe Badfort one million pounds as a rate rebate !" he cried. "I do not know what we shall do - I suppose I shall have to sell the crown jewels!"

"I see...can you remember when the Badfort Crowd last paid any rates?" I inquired.

"Ummm, well, no actually? - 1964 I think?" he responded in a perplexed manner.

"Well then, unless they overpaid by a considerable amount, the calculations would seem somewhat unlikely" I replied "Let me have a look at this abacus your economists have been using"

I soon spotted a fundamental error in the economists calculations.

"It seems to have escaped their notice - but I deduce, from a quick perusal, that your abacus has 11 blue balls. Where did your economic professors acquire this device?" I asked.

"Fetch the economists!" demanded the King.

Two rather fusty old men were brought before the King. They were rather irate and irritable and one began a tirade against me:

 "Let me begin by saying that we are both highly qualified Harvard professors, we do not need the advice of some amateur elephant, with no economic qualifications, telling us how to conduct our business. We have no doubts of the facts - the King of the Badgers needs to pay the Badfort Crowd one million pounds and must adopt austere measures to do so..."

"Enough!" I interrupted "Where did you buy this abacus?"

"In the interests of austerity we did, of course, buy the cheapest model available. We bought it from a rather grumpy man in a sackcloth suit at the market - he assured us of its fine qualities!" retorted the other economist, with the long beard.

I picked the abacus up and observed the "Made in Badfort' sticker on the bottom.

Mystery solved.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

How should we honour her?

I was very sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher.

She did so much to help us here at Homeward.

The 1980's were a particularly difficult time for our Gold mining industry. The dwarfs were exhausted - there was just too much gold buried deep beneath my vast domain.

Luckily, for us, she decided that mining coal in the United Kingdom was a complete waste of time - so, lots of jolly hard working miners emigrated here to help out the dwarfs. They were very pleased with the assistance - not least because this meant they had much bigger tunnels to work in !

We have decided to commemorate her memory by erecting a statue of her dressed as a miner - to symbolise the great service she did for dear Homeward !

Apart from helping us out with mining, the emigrants from Great Britain have also enabled us to have one of the best Brass Bands in the world.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Uncle and his Good Deeds

The Old Monkey and I had a meeting, today, with Mr Marcus Gipps - regarding the forthcoming republication of my biographies in the United Kingdom.

We all agreed that a good title for the 6 volume opus would be 'Uncle and his Good Deeds' - it helps convey the many charitable works I undertake during the biographies.

I think Marcus was also in agreement that far too much of the biographies are taken up with the antics of the Badfort Crowd. It would be much better to concentrate on my civic work and the toils, tribulations and organisational skills involved in running a vast domain.

There is always the danger that young, impressionable minds will find the Badfort Crowd's louche behaviour, disreputable and sordid as it is, appealing- in a rakish way.

Look at how history has rewritten the appalling thievery of Robin Hood - he is now seen as some sort of heroic outlaw!

I don't think it would be a problem to rewrite sections of my biographies - perhaps the Badfort Crowd could be seen to see the error of their ways and decide to spend their lives, henceforth, aiding me in my charitable works?

There will be those, I suppose, that will argue that it is wrong to rewrite the past. My simple question to you would be - What is more important? historical verisimilitude? or the hearts and minds of our young people?

It was very good of Marcus to make time, on this first day of the month, a bank holiday, to meet with us and discuss these improvements.