Programming note: I'll be doing double-duty on both sides of the Atlantic tomorrow - hosting The Mark Steyn Show on GB News at 8pm BST/3pm North American Eastern, and immediately afterwards joining Mr Snerdley on WABC New York at 4pm Eastern/9pm BST.
With the Monday Steyn Show put to bed, welcome to Part Twenty-Three of our latest Tale for Our Time: it's Anthony Trollope's only venture into dystopic fiction. In tonight's episode of The Fixed Period, the soon to be exiled "President" Neverbend reflects on the loss of his republic:
"My fellow-citizens," I said, "a sudden end has been brought to that self-government of which we have been proud, and by which Sir Ferdinando has told you that 'ignorance has been expelled from your shores, and poverty has been forced to hide her diminished head.' I trust that, under his experience, which he tells us as a governor has been very extensive, those evils may not now fall upon you. We are, however, painfully aware that they do prevail wherever the concrete power of Great Britain is found to be in full force. A man ruling us,—us and many other millions of subjects,—from the other side of the globe, cannot see our wants and watch our progress as we can do ourselves. And even Sir Ferdinando coming upon us with all his experience, can hardly be able to ascertain how we may be made happy and prosperous. He has with him, however, a company of a celebrated English regiment, with its attendant officers, who, by their red coats and long swords, will no doubt add to the cheerfulness of your social gatherings. I hope that you may not find that they shall ever interfere with you after a rougher fashion.
"But upon me, my fellow-citizens, has fallen the great disgrace of having robbed you of your independence." Here a murmur ran through the hall, declaring that this was not so. "So your new Governor has told you, but he has not told you the exact truth..."
If you've only joined our club in recent days and missed our earlier serials (Conan Doyle's The Tragedy of the Korosko, H G Wells' The Time Machine, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, plus Kipling, Dickens, Gogol, Kafka, Conrad, Baroness Orczy, Louisa May Alcott, John Buchan, L M Montgomery, Scott Fitzgerald, Victor Hugo and more), you can find them all here in an easily accessible Netflix-style tile format.
If you have friends who might appreciate Tales for Our Time, we have a special Steyn Club Gift Membership that lets them in on that and all the other fun in The Mark Steyn Club. To become a member, please click here.
Please join me tomorrow for Part Twenty-Four of Burning Daylight. And, as Colin Brazier mentioned, on Thursday I'll be guest-hosting for Nigel Farage for a full hour on GB News.