Monday, 26 May 2008

The treehouse rules - with apologies to the estate of the late Enid Blyton

The atmosphere in the secret den in the treehouse was electric. Peter was in a foul mood.
"Oh whatever is the matter?" asked Janet

"It's that beastly oik from up north. He wants to become leader of the gang" replied Peter, sporting a brand new pair of elegant shiny black brogues which gave a slight squeak as he was pacing up and down with a frown.

"Oh no, not Cedric AGAIN, he is SO rude and SO poor" quipped Jack

"Yes, he doesn't go to a proper school like we do, he wears his father's hand-me-downs instead of flannels, brogues and a smart cap like we have do" added Colin

"Oh crikeys hand-me-downs, what a tramp" chipped in George, his queer accent suggesting he had come over from the colonies. "I'll wager he isn't even a boarder and has to go home each night to his hovel."

"A hovel without a bath" said Pam, holding her nose pretending to be offended by a nasty smell.
"And eat nothing but potatoes and cabbage" suggested Barbara

"Potatoes and cabbage" echoed the others as they roared with laughter,

"Woof woof" added Scamper.

The only person who wasn't laughing was Peter the leader of the Seven.

"No, shut up" Peter shouted, stamping his foot robustly. "No, no, no, Cedric is so very last year. Someone else wants to run the treehouse. Just when things were going so jolly well for us all. I mean we've got a jolly nice new treehouse now with a lovely larder. We have solved the mystery of the London Mayor and got lots of money from that case. We have added to our stash of equipment for all our secret missions and we have many new pairs of eyes to help us fight the forces of wickedness. Things have never been so good. Some peasant called Stan wants to take over and ruin all the good work we have done. He says he wants to change the rules of the treehouse to make it more open, wants to encourage new talent and wants to bring in those rotten rascals we kicked out of the club last year."

"Oh yuk" exclaimed Colin, "that sounds rather beastly. We don't want those rotters back in the club, they did say some ghastly things about me, they didn't like me being in charge of the store of invisible ink and postcards and the stamps we put on the postcards when we have to send secret messages to our spies in the field."

Peter looked on approvingly as Colin gave his comments. Was it his confident manner, the way he can always find the right word at just the right time, the way he gesticulated to reinforce his point, thought Peter, that boosted his spirits every time they met? Was it the way he groomed himself immaculately, the fresh smell he always exuded, the amusing choice of undergarments that was against school rules he saw Colin wearing when they were changing for rugger practice, or was there something else which both gave instant pleasure yet deeply disturbed Peter?

Peter was snapped out of his musings by Janet. They were supposed to be an item Janet and Peter but Peter would rather just get on solving mysteries and battling the forces of wickedness instead of being with a soppy girl all the time.

"Oh yuk," agreed Janet, "they were just beastly scroundels, very rude about my lovely Peter as well weren't they Peter dear. They said my lovely Peter was a bully and helped himself to money in the cashbox."

"Oh no, Stan, that's a really common name. Daddy has got a gardener called Stan, he has dirty fingers and wear overalls all the time and he smokes" pipped up Pam.

"I don't want a boy called Stan taking over the treehouse especially one who wants to open up the treehouse" said Barbara throwing Scamper a biscuit. "I want you to stay as leader Peter, forever and ever, you are the best ever Peter".

"So we need to come up with a plan" said Peter. "We must stop Stan from taking over the treehouse and throwing us out of the club".

"Yes" added Janet, "Let's open the ginger beer and the sandwiches and think hard to come up with a plan"

"Capital idea" said Jack diving for the ginger beer bottles, "I need a drink."

"Jack, you look after the money, so come on pray tell us, how much do we have" instructed Peter.

"Well chaps,.err.. bit sorry to say I don't really know. I've bally well gone and lost the key to the cashbox and well I think..oh dear, uhmm..oh dear I'm sorry you lot, I think I've lost the cashbox as well". He hung his head avoiding the expected onslaught of outrage.

"Oh no, you stupid idiot" chorused the other six together.

"Sorry" squirmed Jack and buried his face in his hands.

Silence reigned in the treehouse for several minutes as the Seven thought hard what they should do now. First the terrible news that Stan wanted to take over the treehouse and then Jack's admission he had lost the entire savings of the club.

"Jack. Don't be so upset old friend" said Colin, "I've remembered. A few days ago we had that jolly lemonade party and you brought that gorgeous girl Natasha, the one you met at the Pony Club Ball, you brought her back to our other den in your pater's garden shed. Well you definitely had the cashbox with you in your saddle bag on your bicycle. I remember you showing it to me. You said it was very safe in there and no one would find it".

"Oh how jolly stupid of me to forget" beamed Jack. "Oh course Natasha, she was helping me with my maths revision. I'll head over to the shed and find that dashed cashbox in the saddle bag. You chaps keep thinking about how we deal with Stan and I'll be back quick as a flash." Jack opened the trapdoor in the base of the treehouse and climbed down to begin his hunt for the cashbox. He thought how jolly capital it was having a chum like Colin who could always remember the very things Jack could so easily forget. He really liked having Colin as his friend.

"Could we just tell Stan we don't want him because he smells and we can't understand what he says half the time because he doesn't speak properly" suggested an earnest Barbara.

"Just not poss old girl" said Peter, himself thinking hard. "There are so many people like Stan who cannot speak the Queen's English properly. You see not everyone has parents who can afford to send their children to the kind of school we go to. We might not like the way these people talk and have to hold our noses because of their awful stink of boiled cabbages and beans. We have recruited lots of new spies to help us in our quest to defeat wickedness so I must be seen to be fair and not upset these jolly useful new spies even if they do smell a bit off and speak very queer."

It was George who came up with an answer. George was the newest member of the gang of seven and he had arrived at their school from another school a long way away. He spoke with an accent some of his chums thought jolly funny but was really very jolly clever and always came top of the class. The other boys would always go to George if they needed help with their prep. When the other boys were larking about in the cricket nets and jumping and throwing things on the sports field, George was pouring over books in the school library. George greatly impressed the other boys with his tales of big game, shooting rhinos and elephants and how he had seen men and women who he said were real live Hottentots. The other boys could only dream of such adventures, Hottentots and big game were the stuff of Saturday morning films at the town playhouse.

Peter could rely on George to have an answer for any problem and was really a jolly useful chum to have in the Club. George said he was jolly good chums with a lot of detectives and that helped the Secret Seven solve all sorts of mysteries and have spiffing adventures in the hols.

"Peter, I can't remember seeing the rules of the club. We must have some rules. If we don't have rules it all falls apart. If we don't have rules - why the poor children down in the village, those poor people in their hovels would take over the treehouse and steal our lemonade and kidnap Scamper here".

"Oh no.."shrieked a horrified Barbara tossing another biscuit to her faithful golden spaniel "not Scamper, please no..."

"Oh stop grizzling you silly girl" shouted Peter, his temper still not completely reformed.

"Yes George of course we have rules. We wrote them down years ago. Any of our new team of helpers can just ask to see the rules to make sure they don't come in and steal our spying equipment, drink our stash of pop and eat all our chocolate bars, squat in our treehouse and ruin everything."

"Good can I see them please" asked George. "I can't come up with a brilliant wheeze unless I see the rules can I?"

"Barbara, you are the secretary of the Club, where do you keep the rules"? enquired Peter.

"Uhm..err..well. I thought you had them Peter" Barbara sheepishly replied.

"NO I don't" shouted Peter with rage. "I wonder how we ever manage to get anything done. Jack loses our cashbox, you lose the rules, I despair I really do, you are all so useless. Except you George oh and you Colin, I didn't mean you are ever useless."

George smiled in his usual way and silently licked his lips.

"Sorry" the others shouted in chorus. "woof woof" barked Scamper.

"Here you are chaps" shouted a delighted Jack as he popped his head in through the trap door. He hauled himself in and sat down. I've got the cashbox here. I think I deserve a drink for that, pass me the ginger beer Janet there's a good girl."

She handed him a bottle of pop from which he took a great whoosh of the cold fizzy liquid.

"Jolly good Jack, so how much is there in our funds? We can't go on fighting wickedness without being able to hop on the omnibuses and trains and buying invisible ink and postcards and stamps to put on the postcards without a fighting fund" said Peter.

Jack tried pulling open the cashbox from the lid. He felt in all his pockets. His face was growing redder and redder. "Oh dear sorry chaps. I've only just gone and lost the key."

"Don't worry old fellow" chimed in a helpful Colin, "my guess is that it must have fallen out of your pockets when you climbed the tree to get back in."

"Oh no, you stupid idiot" chorused the other five.

"Well you had better go and look for it" fumed Peter

"Oh don't be cross with me everyone" Jack shouted back as he descended through the trapdoor to begin his hunt for the lost key.

"So we don't know where the rules are" said George. The others nodded in agreement.

"Well, gives me an idea."

"Oh please George let's hear it, you are the clever one" said Janet

"Well if we don't have a copy of the rules, then the answer is very simple, we make up the rules".

The others gasped at the capital simplicity of the idea.

"You see" George went on, "We just write down the new rules so that Stan the oik cannot stand as a candidate against Peter. We write the rules to say whatever we want. We write the rules so that Peter can stay leader of the club forever and ever. We write the rules so that no one else can come into the treehouse unless we invite them in and then they must not drink our stash of pop, help themselves to our larder of biscuits and chocolate bars."

The others gasped once again as they took in the stunning simplicity of it all.

"Can we have a rule that no one can feed Scamper except me and Pam" said Barbara as she nuzzled her rosy cheeked face into Scamper's fur.

"Woof woof" barked Scamper approvingly.

"Barbara dear girl, the beauty of my plan is that we can write anything we want."

"Actually, George" quipped a very happy Peter, "you mean anything I want", adding heavy emphasis on the word "I".

"Yes yes of course" chorused the other five, "anything YOU want".

"Here you go, I've found it" shouted Jack scampering back into the treehouse.
"Right now, once and for all how much do we have to buy our invisible ink and our postcards and stamps to put on the postcards?" asked Peter

Jack fumbled with the key, turned it in the lock of the cashbox and pulled the lid. It opened.

"Gosh it looks rather full" said Pam sitting next to Jack.

"Splendid news" said Peter already thinking of their next mission, the masterly plan to defeat the boss of a criminal gang based in Brussels. That would take a lot of money.

"Ah, well, look chaps don't get angry with me. see the cashbox is full. Take a look for yourselves" he turned the box around so the others could see inside and see the bundles of paper in the cashbox."but I'm sorry to say ...err..they are all IOUs, look there's one here from Barbara - IOU 5 shillings for Scamper's biscuits.

"Scamper looked in a very sad state last week" replied Barbara, her voice showing she was close to tears. "I bought him some extra biscuits to cheer him up."

"You stupid girl" roared Peter pushing Barbara over the edge into a flood of tears. "You jolly well know you can't just help yourself to the money in the cashbox. Jack has to give you permission for that."

"There is one here from Janet, an IOU 4 shillings and threpence for Boots the Chemist, it doesn't say what it is for".

"Janet, you jolly well know you can't just help yourself to the money in the cashbox. Jack has to give you permission for that. What was it for?"

"Uhmm, err, I'd rather not say, It's private, a girl's thing, you wouldn't understand" replied Janet biting her lip so she wouldn't blush.

"It was dated last Tuesday, the day before the Pony Club Ball" said Jack.

"Probably some make-up" suggested Colin, "that's a girl's thing."

"Lacy knickers said Jack, a line of dribble forming down the right side of his mouth "they are very much a girl's thing".

"You're being horrid Jack" shouted Janet, "just shut up you rotten beastly boy you."

"Yes get on with the job Jack, what are all these other bits of paper" instructed Peter.

"Pam has one here, 10 shillings and sixpence from Smith's bookshop".

"Comics I bet" quipped Colin, "Pam can only read comics."

"No they were not comics, you rotten liar, they were proper books, educational books. But don't worry Daddy will pay it back with interest. My daddy can buy every book in Smiths if he wants to" Pam assured the others.

"One from Colin, 3 guineas and 17 shillings for a million postcards".

The others gasped. Scamper growled.

"Quiet" roared Peter, "it is very obvious that Colin was doing something very special here. Gosh, a million postcards for just 3 guineas and 17 shillings. That sounds like a very good bargain to me. But I have to admit that 1 million is a lot of postcards. Come on Colin spill the beans old chap, it must be a roaring idea."

"Well I am not one to go around blowing my trumpet as you know but I've been very busy of late, working night and day." Colin answered breezily.

"Splendid, I thought so" approved Peter.

"You see I didn't want everyone else to know about my cunning wheeze, just in case the forces of wickedness got to hear about it. You see we need many more spies to defeat the forces of darkness so I've been up day and night writing thousands of postcards to not just our existing spies but many others. I borrowed the telephone book from pater and I have copied names and addresses of every one in the phone box. I plan to send out a million of these postcards you see to add to our growing ranks of spies who will help us defeat the forces of wickedness."

"What a brilliant idea" said Peter.

"Actually I have to tell you all that it was George's idea all along. The difference between me and George is that George has the brilliant ideas and I just do all the hard work. I don't want any thanks for it. I'm just doing what I know to be right."

"Wizard stuff" said Jack, beaming at his trusty chum.

"Gosh, that really is clever" added Pam. "How many names and addresses have you done so far?" she enquired.

"Why do you want to know that, it's none of your business how many postcards I have written" snapped Colin.

"Oh calm down old chap" said George, Pam has a right to know.

"Actually George, Pam doesn't have a right to know. Do you ask Pam about her work? Stop having a go at Colin on this matter." Peter banged his right fist down on the wooden box he was using as a table.

"No, no, it's perfectly alright, Peter, if Pam is so inquisitive about my work perhaps she would like to give me a hand this evening after supper. We need to get more telephone directories from other towns and villages of course. It's early days but I'm half way through the alphabet..

Gasps all round - "what a hard worker you are old fruit" said Peter

"err no sorry when I said alphabet I really meant to say the letter A." Colin quickly corrected himself

"Well maybe I can see what I can get from the school library. They might just jolly well have telephone directories we can borrow" added an enthusiastic Pam. She liked being asked to do useful work for the Club.

Peter however didn't hear Colin's correction, he was drifting away in thought, it was the spring hols and he was chasing Colin down the lane towards the apple orchard, Colin was just wearing his baggy undergarments printed with the faces of smiling snowmen, fragrant white apple blossom was floating through the air....

"Peter, Peter, hello Peter" it was Jack bringing him back into reality.

"There are.ahem a few here from.. Peter" stammered Jack handing over a bundle of paper.

Peter slipped off the rubber band and looked at each one. "Yes" he answered, "all above board old chap, travel on the omnibus to town, travel to London on the trail of the case of the London Mayor, travel by steamer to see Monsieur Brocard, the Chief Inspector in Calais on various matters. Then I had to pay some of the bigger boys in the sixth form to accompany me down to that place only last month on the case of the kidnapped schoolgirl you know to make sure I wasn't popped off by one of those Johnnies over from Arabia."

"So brave of you dear" chimed in Janet lustfully.

"You...err....didn't......err tell me you were going to be taking money......err....out of the cashbox" trembled Jack, he suddenly felt very queer, his stomach had butterflies.

Peter didn't say anthing but threw Jack a very dark stare which said all that he needed to say.

"So ..err..when can we.err.. get the IOUs repaid Peter" ventured Jack, keeping his fingers crossed underneath the cashbox that Peter wouldn't roar with anger.

Peter was now smiling.

"Well, I've a wheeze of an idea, Colin I know you have done a jolly decent number of your invisible ink postcards but here is a marvellous addition to your idea, can you ask the person to send in some money so we can continue to fight the forces of wickedness. The Secret Seven needs your help, you can make a difference, don't leave it to someone else. That kind of thing".

"Gosh it's simply splendid to have such a clever leader" murmured Barbara.

"I'm jolly well on the case already" replied Colin in his confident manner.

"Well what's left" enquired Peter.

"Just a couple more"

"What's this" asked Peter picking out a half dozen remaining bits of paper.

"Cherryade, lemonade, ginger beer, dandelion and burdock, cream soda. This looks like a drinks bill from the man from Corona" said Peter. "Jack, what have you gone and done, you know we already have our own suppliers, Mummy and Daddy get the housekeeper to order our supplies. Where did all this go? It looks enough to refresh a small army of our spies."

"Err, yes, that's it, treating our spies.. yes, well..err., no actually, I'll be honest, Sorry, just that I felt like a drink and so stopped the man in the Corona lorry when he came through the village last weekend. It was jolly hot..err a very hot day, just needed a drink that's all. I'll pay it all back soonest..I err..promise."

"Don't worry old bean" Colin leaned over and patted his good friend Jack on the shoulder "I'll help you pay the bill. You know I've got some of my trust fund coming through jolly soon. You have nothing to worry about."

"Oh cor thanks, what a terrific chum you are" said Jack.
"A splendid cove indeed" enthused Peter who thought he could just catch a sniff of apple blossom on the air, he imagined smiling snowmen dancing in front of his very eyes.....he gathered his thoughts in a commanding style.

"Right then, here is what we do. George, you and I will work on the new rules. Barbara you will take the notes and make sure the oiks get to learn of them so that jolly well scuppers that commoner Stan from barging in here changing the furniture and getting his hands on the cashbox.

"Pam, you can help our hard working chum Colin here after supper. Jack you see if you can come up with the correct wording of an appeal to our spies for money and Janet, you be a jolly girl and fetch us up some more cake and sandwiches. It's going to be a long afternoon in our fight to defeat wickedness. Are you with me old chums?"

"Hurrah for Peter" shouted the six in unison.

"Woof woof" barked Scamper.

THE END....................


Anonymous said...


It should be clearly understood that Nick Griffin is not contemptible, merely disappointing and politically useless. He is temperamentally unsuited to political leadership. A while ago I considered writing an article length piece for one of the internet forums, in which I would describe Griffin sarcastically as the shy and retiring Nick Griffin. At the time it suddenly occurred to me that I had more or less absent mindedly got to the basis of the Griffin problem. Nick Griffin is shy and retiring. His psychopathic self absorption makes it almost impossible for him to make policy decisions that dont clearly express his barely suppressed anger. And his psychopathic self absorption makes it almost impossible for him to appoint party officials, who could in his fevered imagination, become his rivals.

Nick Griffin is temperamentally unsuited to the demands of political leadership. He appoints the wrong people for the wrong reasons as party officials. And an amazing number of prominent officials, people who would be willing and able to be enthusiastic nationalists, dont last long with Griffin. One of the worst aspects of this sort of thing is that Griffin usually alleges that he has had to dump particular party officials because of character deficiencies, treachery and the like. Most BNP members could name at least twenty prominent BNP officials who have been dumped over the last five or so years because of supposed character deficiencies.

That is officials. What about councillors? The party has dumped about a third of elected councillors, or has at least parted with them on bad terms. What about party leaflets? They are usually an embarrassment to distribute. Angry rants based on crude generalisations. What about party ideology? Some flaky twaddle about Britain being full. Some flaky twaddle about Zionism. And some flaky twaddle about Peak Oil. What about party policies? Hate Pakis. Hang perverts. And hit children in schools.

What about council elections? There were three new BNP councillors in 2002, the break through year. There were thirteen new BNP councillors in 2008, the results in the council elections between 2002 and 2008 were not better by any significant order of magnitude.

It is no surprise that party officials and elected BNP councillors regularly make fools of themselves. There is a policy and ideology vacuum at the centre of the BNP. I heard one recently elected BNP councillor say on the radio, that the BNP is about ‘grown up government’. Nice try, I suppose.

Nationalist ideology is based on the idea of living space, the replacing of social and political institutions based on neurotic social hierarchies with social and political institutions based on territoriality and living space. Nick Griffin has not the slightest idea how that sort of thing should be applied to practical politics.

One of the basic failures of the presently organised BNP has been the way so many well motivated nationalists have performed badly. Many well motivated nationalists have had to withdraw in bewilderment or have simply had to go through the motions without much hope of success. This has been due to Nick Griffin’s personal failure to organise conditions, in which individuals could perform well.

One of the few appointments Griffin has got right was the appointment of Sadie Graham as Group Development Officer. It seems a reasonable guess to suppose Griffin made the right appointment for the wrong reasons. Perhaps he has a basic contempt for women and thought she could not possibly cause him any problems. It soon became clear to Sadie Graham that basic changes were needed. And to put it at its politest, she was shown the door.

It is important that a BNP leader has a positive attitude towards women. The suppression, in fact bullying of women has been one of the basic problems of British and world politics for at least the last two centuries. And even now there is a tendency for women to be more or less automatically excluded from political processes. This is wrong. And BNP members should make it clear that they dont go along with the idea that women should more or less automatically be excluded from political processes.

Colin Auty represents the get rid of Griffin faction. While most BNP members will not know much about him and there might be an initial reaction, oh no not another folk singer, Colin Auty is making all the right noises. He is committed to reforming the BNP constitution. He is committed to appointing the right party officials. And he is committed to trying to improve the way the Party is presented in the media.

While Sadie Graham would contribute, as her area of expertise, her ability to oversee administrative affairs, Colin Auty would be likely to contribute, as his area of expertise, an ability to develop the way the Party is presented in the media.

However Colin Auty’s greatest overwhelming asset as a BNP leadership candidate is that he is not Nick Griffin. To turn a bit of popular wisdom around, better the devil you dont know than the devil you do know. That is of course unreasonably faint praise for Colin Auty’s candidacy. There is every reason to suppose that electing Colin Auty as BNP leader would be a serious and pleasant step forward for British Nationalism. Robert Shaw, on the internet as Keine Ruhe.

peed off said...


I like this comment, well said.

Lynne said...

Re: Anonymous said..Nick Griffin, A Notorious Political Lepper.

A good comment backed up by Nick Griffin's public dismissal at a meeting after the expulsion of Sadie Graham as being a "useless pregnant woman",or words to that effect. I know I commented at the time that I hoped his wife had taken note of his opinion of women. I do remember that there was an outcry from those attending and Collett intervened for her membership to be re-instated and that was agreed by those attending. Of course she never was. The commenter is correct that she was brilliant in her field of expertise and was well respected and still is as an independent councillor. A great loss to the BNP.

Anonymous said...

The potential network of like minded people attracted by the BNP is a vital resource - beyond value.

No matter what crap and disrepute is heaped upon the BNP by inept leadership and foreign owned media - the network of like minded ACTIVISTS is what matters.

Find these activists and communicate with them.

The current"Leadership" becomes irrelevant.