Ole Moonbeam

“Ole George Moonbeam…innit”


“Moonbeam is trying to ban farming…”

This is the sort of delicious aural titbit one cannot but overhear in the snug of a proper pub. I’m currently doing my impression of a vapid wastrel who has nothing better to do than drink pints of Spingo next to a log fire in the back bar of the Blue Anchor in Helston. At lunchtime.

My long suffering partner is next door in the town’s Methodist chapel attending the funeral of someone distantly related to someone in the family whose historical links are lost in the deep recesses of Time’s library. There is an entry in a dusty leathery bound book among many volumes entitled ‘Family Connections in the West Cornwall Agricultural Community (Mullion-Wendron Parishes) volumes 1-10.’ Nobody knows who wrote it because no one reads it because no one knows it’s there so it provides knowledge no one wants for nobody. 

Except for the odd funeral.

Ann says that I’m better off in the Blue Anchor than festering in a pew next to her while muttering blasphemies in a less than hushed tone as the Minister intones something about God’s grace and ashes. I’m the one muttering for clarity’s sake. Given her reasonable argument and fine judgment, I concur. I have had to make a detour towards a pasty shop as the venerable ale house does not sell food and welcomes pasty eaters. 

The log fire sits within its soot stained granite lintel lightly crackling in the quiet of the snug bar. There is thankfully no music, no TV and no loud hen parties high on Prosecco, disinhibition and latent infidelity. The only noise is the gently pouring of a Spingo and the intellectual discourse at the bar. One can hear the old wooden chairs creaking under the weight of their patrons’ lardy arses. 

The first bite of the pasty is to be relished in the sure knowledge that there is plenty of pasty to go.  The anticipation of a pastry and meat based degustatory ecstasy, is electric. The pint of ‘Middle’ sits in accompaniment awaiting its call to the banquet, a call which will surely come.

Log Fire. Pasty. Pint.


 With the nearby talking of bollocks as entertainment. 


“George Monbiot…him of  the liberal self satisfied Guardian, ‘ee wants to ban farming.” 

Two gentlemen of a certain grey headed, grey bearded, beer bellied, wonky walking stick age, sit at the bar and take it in turns to suggest opinions whose certainty of expression is inversely related to evidence of veracity. Their, no doubt arthritic and gout fuelled, demeanours are tempered by ale, reminiscence and lack of spousal correction. 

I don’t find out why or how George wants to do ban farming at first…it is just opinion dressed as fact. Turns out that old moonbeam, according to old git the first, is ‘anti cow’. It is opined that he suggests (no he doesn’t) that cows are the cause of carbon emissions because they fart carbon. The fact that they fart methane, a greenhouse gas which traps heat far more efficiently than carbon dioxide, escapes them just as methane escapes a cow’s arse: silently while increasing the amount of hot air.

However, a core feature of pub talk is its loose relationship to fact. Facts just get in the way, as does science and expertise. This is what makes pub talk fun; bar the fact that pub talkers also vote. There is a theory that democracy requires an informed public, something which seems to be, along with tomatoes, increasingly in short supply.

“That bleddy shit sadiq khan, see what damage he’s done to London”. 

I’m imagining a damage of Luftwaffe proportions, or the release of plagues of locusts or relentless acid rain. Maybe Khan has forced Millwall supporters to eat Halal vegan beef testicles or he has made bum sex mandatory in Kensington and Chelsea coffee shop toilets? 

The three old chaps at the bar continue to channel the Daily Mail. I’m just waiting for a bit of ‘little boat’  based racism caused by remainers along the lines of ‘send in the Navy’. 

“We can’t grow tomatoes because we can’t afford to heat the greenhouses because of zero carbon”. 

Because of net zero policies? Our salad plates are incomplete because ‘someone’ wants to reduce carbon emissions. Nothing to do then with supply chains that affect the U.K. but not the rest of Europe. 

The conversation then makes a broad sweep through Middle East politics, Ukraine and ‘that bastard Putin’, and Keir Starmer. I suspect a Kalahari bushman herding his cattle in a fly infested desert, is as well informed and less opinionated as the gentlemen at the bar or the Editor of billionaire owned newspapers.

I blame Spingo for unleashing their inner moron. But to be fair, if your source of information is limited to the inane ramblings of goons, lunatics and cockwombles who fear the British way of life is under threat by dark hued purveyors of Tikka Masala, jerk chicken and goat, then your world view will be tainted towards the halcyon days of the 1930s when we we were free to rule the waves, laugh at pooftahs and slap the wife a bit in a ‘domestic’. 

Perhaps I exaggerate. 

It takes all sorts it seems. 

Published by Lance Goodman

Freelance writer, bon vivant and all-round good oeuf.

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