The United Grand Blog of England

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Royal Objects Go On Display At The Freemasons HallThose who watched Spooks will believe the building pictured on the right is home to many sinster goings-on. But in real life, it’s not the headquarters to MI5 but is home to the entirely un-sinister United Grand Lodge of England, the central body of Freemasons in the country.

Unusually for a secret institution, it had an open day last Saturday (courtesy of the wonderful Open House London scheme) so its strange innards were laid bare to public scrutiny.

My first impression was that the Freemasons are really, really not helping to dispel Jewish conspiracy theories:

who controls the british crown

A small gallery contained various historical artefacts and exhibition displays, one of which was a model of a Masonic ‘chapter room’. A card nearby helpfully explained: “This miniature chapter room is set up as it would be for a full-size chapter.” Really? I thought that full-size Freemasons would still use chairs the size of safety-pins.

A more serious note clarified that the model only related to “the Aldersgate ritual”. Rituals originating from other districts of London – the Ponders End ritual, perhaps, or the Tolworth ritual – are altogether different.

who keeps the metric system downAs I strolled through the Grand Temple (left), I overheard a passing American opining, “I honestly think it’s just like hanging out in the pub, except they do it in a beautiful temple.” Yes, and they do it in ludicrous clothes, with ludicrous titles (‘Enlightened Knight Commander’ indeed!) and basically demonstrate exactly what the world would be like if every schoolchild’s secret club had loads of money and adult immaturity thrown at it.

But it seems that the world of masonry is not without petty theft and the compensation culture of the modern world:


Yeah, I hate it when I leave my Masonic Regalia somewhere and find it’s gone when I return.

The way out took visitors through the building’s small shop, offering said regalia at rates which surely cannot have been competitive – “30th Degree Eagle Insignia, £32″, absolute bloody bargain – as well as the books Scouting and Masonry: Two Parallel Movements? and The Templar Code for Dummies (yes really).

As I passed, a man stopped me and muttered in a foreign accent, “Where did you get your shirt?” I happened to be wearing an LJY-Netzer movement shirt (available at a substantially lower cost than a 30th degree eagle, I might add) and explained to this odd gentleman, who was covered in Masonic badges, that it was from my employer.

“Ah,” he said, “You see, I am in Masorti movement. There are many Yehudim in the Brotherhood you know!”

Bloody typical. Only I could be standing in Freemasons’ Hall, exchanging secret symbols… of non-Orthodox Judaism.

School of hard knocks

A couple of weeks ago, Ofsted inspected JFS (a Jewish school) and found that its standards had slipped so severely that it should be downgraded two categories. Then on Friday, all my dreams came true and there was a letter in the Jewish Chronicle actually arguning that Ofsted is an anti-Semitic organisation – see also Oxfam, the Lib Dems, the AA, Wagamama, Clinton’s cards etc.

This isn’t that letter but it might as well have been:



Of course, ‘requiring improvement’ is no shame. But it’s no great honour either! So would it spoil some great eternal plan if the JFS had been outstanding? Click the circley thing below to find out.


We are the 55.3%

MAIN-Loch-Ness-monster-says-no-to-the-Scottish-referendum[1]Well, David Cameron got off Scot-free when the good people north of the border voted to remain part of the same country as him. But now it turns out, rather to his surprise, that he’s now expected to make good on his promises of enhanced powers for Holyrood, and not just pretend they never happened and sing a song about it to get off the hook.

However, he’s planning a constitutional shake-up and a devolution smoothie that extends beyond Scotland. He’s planning a solution to the West Lothian Question (whereby Scottish MPs get to vote on legislation that only affects England). He calls his grand reform package Conservative Votes on English Laws.

Alex Salmond, meanwhile, is a different story. Despite his initially gracious acceptance of defeat, he’s become increasingly restless. This is a headline from the BBC last week:


Well if no voters were tricked there’s no problem.

On Her Majesty’s secret Bat Mitzvah service

james bond mossadWhile we’re talking about the Freemasons, everyone’s second-favourite group bent on world domination, the Israeli secret service Mossad, is recruiting! According to a new advert on their website:

All are welcome, regardless of religion, nationality or occupation, to contact our organization – Mossad – to work for us or to be involved in activities which could bring great personal benefit.

Regardless of ‘occupation': that’s Mossad all over. The website continues:

Rest assured that all approaches will be treated with the utmost discretion and confidentiality

It’s almost as if they realise that they’re running a secret organisation!

So who thinks I have the necessary qualities to apply?

The news from Sussex

Fear not, I’ve not forgotten my roots and am happy to provide an update from my former homeland; we remember thee, Falmer.

Sussex IT Services has had a characteristically busy start to term with some new students causing them a bit of a headache. A news article posted on their website reads:

New students have been posting photos of their new IDs to Instagram. However, if the barcode and reference numbers are sufficiently clear, the pictures could easily be used by hackers to gain access to University services.

I know, why don’t IT security experts all over the world post public announcements of security flaws and advice to would-be hackers. Just run that past your internal psychiatrist.

Sussex security regrets setting up an exchange programme with Isis

Sussex security regrets setting up an exchange programme with Isis

John Duffy, meanwhile, is no doubt regretting his decision to get a job at a British university. An investigation by the US Chronicle of Higher Education has revealed that American colleges are allowing their security teams to stockpile high-velocity assault rifles, bayonets, armoured tanks and – in the University of Central Florida – a grenade launcher.

Oh John, oh John; if only you’d read that article before March 2013.

Picking up the PCCs

Sussex’s Police and Crime Commissioner, superior person Katy Bourne, has had a busy summer taking a grand total of four decisions since June.

Last week though, she rose from her taxpayer-funded stupour to write a furious response to “misguided proposals to scrap PCCs”. This was especially interesting because of her argument:

Under the Police Authority the target for solved burglary was just 17%. As PCC I have represented public opinion and challenged Sussex Police to improve on this.  As a result, solved rates for burglary this year have increased across the county by 26%.

katy bourne sherlock copyI can’t help wondering: for what proportion of this increase does she personally take credit? How many burglaries did she go out and solve by herself? Or in fact, was her sole contribution – and her main argument for why she shouldn’t be scrapped by Parliament – ‘representing the public’s opinion’ that they want the police to solve more crimes? You decide; the election’s in 2016.

katy bourne book

Five of the best IS BACK!

To the worshipful Master, Wardens, Officers and Members of The Gabrielquotes Lodge No. 45895:
Being a Free Man and of the full age of Twenty-one years, I do declare that, unbiassed by the improper solicitation of friends and uninfluenced by mercenary or other unworthy motive, in tonight’s episode the ridiculous childishness was provided by the United Grand Lodge of England. The Jewish Free School was inspected by Oxfam – sorry, Ofsted. Alex Salmond was played fairly well but in the end lost out to David Cameron. Katy Bourne frolicked at public expense. This was an Gabrielquotes production!
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Another Fine Ness

IS militants threaten to behead United Kingdom

A militant from proscribed group IS (Independent Scotland) has released a video online in which he threatens to behead the United Kingdom. Believed to be a British citizen, the masked figure has been nicknamed ‘Aberdeen Alex’. He told the camera: “We’re going to cut the top bit off Great Britain and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Prime Minister David Cameron, in a reversal of the government’s previous position of never negotiating with terrorists, fell over himself to appease the Independent Scotland group.

The ballot continues.


Untitled-1 copyThis blog post has been interrupted to bring you an astonishing piece of news (and incisive political commentary) courtesy of The Mirror website:

which-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-unionAccording to the latest polls from IPSOS-Tory, this man’s chicken find clinches the vote for the Yes/ No/ Don’t Know contingent, and means that we can expect to see David Cameron/ Alex Salmond/ Nick Robinson resign/ be knighted/ get stoned forthwith.

Good news all round – not least for KFC with the free advertising.

An impassioned plea for the Union from Mr Bernard Cribbins

Tearful for the end of the UK

Tearful for the end of the UK

Furniture mover, time traveller and all round good sort Mr Bernard Cribbins would like to take this opportunity, so he tells me, to make an impassioned plea for the continuance of the United Kingdom. He calls it Hole in the Union. Click the red circly thing below to hear it.

There I was, running this land,
Land of ’ope and glory,
Some lefty bits but mainly Tory.
And there I was, running it good,
It was OK in Scotland as I understood.
When along comes this bloke in a sporren
And a tartan ’at on ’is ’ead,
Oh along he did trot, poor demented Scot and he said:

“Do you mind if I make a suggestion?

“Don’t stay here, this is the pits.
We ought to be Scots and not merely Brits.
The government’s crap, it’s in a flap
And the Union’s something that we should scrap.”

I ask, what a liberty, eh! Nearly bashed him right in the tam’o’shanter.

Well there I was, touting for votes
Looking for support, ’cos time is runnin’ short, I was,
And there was ’im, standing up there
So grand and Celtic with ’is nose in the air.
So I gave ’im a look sort of sideways
And I looked at the polling and sighed:
Well I saw I was screwed,
So thinking on my feet I replied:

Alright I’ll concede to some added powers
For health, transport, welfare – but defence remains ours.
And under devo max, you can collect your own tax
But you can’t expect us to plug your fiscal cracks.

Well there we were, discussing this deal,
Devolving the lot, to get me out of this tight spot.
But will it be? I do not know.
I want to stop this independence woe.

So vote ‘no’.


Mint Imperial

A stamp of approval from Sir GeorgeLast week, the Royal Mint launched a competition for us commoners to come up with a design for the new £1 coin, which will be released in 2017.

“Your design should symbolise Britain,” explains the Mint’s website.

So one wonders why they chose to launch the competition one week before a referendum on Scottish independence.

Other helpful advice is: “Above all, try to imagine how the design will look on the coin in your pocket!” I’ve actually no idea what a coin looks like in my pocket, I’ve never been small enough to look.

Prize money of £10,000 (hopefully in gleaming cash) is available for the winner, who – according to the terms and conditions – has to grant the government a “royalty-free” licence to use the design on the new coins… which will feature a similarly royalty-free portrait of Her Maj on the other side.

Post-Cameron stress disorder

Cameron[1]Rumours are already circulating that, should Scotland vote ‘yes’, David Cameron (pictured) will be forced to resign, as the Prime Minister who presided over the break-up of the Union. Here are the runners and riders of who’s likely to replace him:

Don’t forget the devo

divorce1[1]There’s something vaguely exploitative about England’s relationship with Scotland.

In Orthodox Judaism, divorces can only be initiated by the husband giving his wife a document known as a get. And she can talk the talk and do the do, but she can’t get the get without her husband’s agreement; and if he chooses to be spiteful, she spends the rest of her days as an agunah (‘chained woman’) doomed to remain single for the rest of her days.

But if only the rabbis of the Talmud had come up with ‘devo max’ as an option.

“I want a divorce!” “Erm… well before you make up your mind, dear, how about I give you full fiscal autonomy? You can have your own credit card and everything!”

Great stuff.

#IndyRef Radio Times

There’s been nothing else in the news for days, but even beyond BBC News 24, the airwaves are full of referendum fever…

  • Littler Britain (shown on Skye 1 HD)
  • The Dram Busters
  • Bridge Over the River Clyde
  • The Balmoral Maze
  • Ghillie Elliot: the Musical
  • Only Fools and Horses: Demographics of the Scottish National Party
  • The Great British Break-Off
  • Mc The Week
  • 10 Flings I Hate About You
  • James VI and I and the Giant Peach
  • The Importance of Being Irn-Bru
  • Friday Night with Jonathan Caber Toss
  • Salmond Fishing in the Yemen
  • The Famous Fife
  • Loch Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  • Fear and Lothian in Las Vegas
  • Gordon Brown’s Boys
  • The I. Tunnock’s T-cake Crowd
  • Video Kilt the Radio Star
  • ‘You Take the Highway to Heaven’ by Laird Zeppelin
  • London’s Birnam Wood

(That’s enough insults against the Scottish people. -Alex)


If you have a vote, vote ‘no’ to show that you’re not petulant and that you don’t just think it’s all like well unfair.

Meanwhile, if Gabrielquotes isn’t back before, we wish all our readers a shana tova and a joyful and sweet new year.

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