back to article Yule goat's five-year flame-free streak ends ignominiously

Some traditions ought to be set on fire, but sadly for Sweden's Gävlebocken – a giant Yule goat made of straw – setting fire to traditions has become a tradition in itself. After five arson-free Christmases, the goat succumbed in the early hours of 17 December and a man in his 40s was arrested, Reuters reports, despite efforts …

  1. GreyWolf

    The Point of November 5th

    The whole point is to remind our elected representatives that if they don't behave themselves...

    IT COULD HAPPEN AGAIN

    [And if you think our elected representatives currently seem to have forgotten the message, it is your responsibility as a voter to REMIND THEM]

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: The Point of November 5th

      Looks like [dear]leader is on notice and 2022 may be the reckoning for him at the hands of the 1922 Committee. The problem is who they'll put up in his place

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: The Point of November 5th

        Liz Truss is in the running, apparantly. I KNOOOWWW!!!

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: The Point of November 5th

          If Liz Truss becomes PM we'll probably end up at war with France by February.

          Still, at least that means we'll get Bastille day off as a bank holiday this year.

          1. Chris G Silver badge

            Re: The Point of November 5th

            " war with France"

            Only France? I think there is a fair chance that she won't want China or Russia to miss out on her wrath.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The Point of November 5th

              She'll teach those Johnnie foreigner upstarts a thing or two when she unleashes her Park Markets on them

              1. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

                Re: The Point of November 5th

                We'll tax all foreigners living outside the country! Just like the "good" old days.

        2. Dave 15 Silver badge

          Re: The Point of November 5th

          Please, not a remainer pretending to be a leaver, we had that with the slimey toad May and look how it worked out.

          Frankly where is Screaming Lord Sutch, he did at least make sense.

          1. Adam Wynne 1

            Re: The Point of November 5th

            "where is Screaming Lord Sutch"

            He died 20 years ago. Sooo.... probably do a better job than Boris.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The Point of November 5th

              Low bar.

              But... would 20 years in his grave Screaming Lord Sutch *still* do a better job?

          2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: The Point of November 5th

            Frankly where is Screaming Lord Sutch, he did at least make sense.

            If he were alive today, I'd have joined the Monster Raving Looney Party. He was much less Looney than the shower with the rains of power at the moment - the worst lot who've gotten elected ever since I was in school/had a cursory interest what the muckers get up to in Westminster - They wouldn't have been out of place in Robert Mugabe's cabinet.

          3. cyberdemon Silver badge
            Mushroom

            > Please, not a remainer pretending to be a leaver, we had that with the slimey toad May

            No, the "Slimey Toad" May was a Leaver pretending to be a Remainer, as far as I could tell. "And look where that got us." indeed.

            (I firmly believe that the only reason that Theresa May joined the Remain side was because she knew full well that everyone hated her. All her policies as Home Sec prior to Brexit time were aimed at establishing a police state in Britain, and removing that pesky Human Rights Act)

            I don't know what the hell Truss is nor what she is pretending to be.. Except a clown pretending to be a government minister. She could be a Russian stooge for all I can see (along with cummings, Raaaab Gav, Mogg et al). She and her 1922 Brexit chums are certainly furthering the Russians' goal of destabilising the west very nicely indeed.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: > Please, not a remainer pretending to be a leaver, we had that with the slimey toad May

              "All her policies as Home Sec prior to Brexit time were aimed at establishing a police state in Britain, and removing that pesky Human Rights Act"

              Strangely enough, that seems to be the case for every Home Sec over at least the past 3-4 decades, whatever their party.

              1. cyberdemon Silver badge
                Holmes

                Re: > Please, not a remainer pretending to be a leaver, we had that with the slimey toad May

                I can't argue with that. The post of Home Secretary seems to be one that is only attractive to megalomanaical psychopaths (much moreso than PM).

                But my point was, such a person who wishes to push Britain in the direction of a totalitarian police state resembling soviet-era east germany, would certainly NOT want the oversight of the European Parliament, the ECJ, the ECHR etc. as they are all set up primarily to prevent that kind of corrupt, oppressive system from ever being possible again.

                Therefore I can only conclude that Ms May must have been a Leave supporter in disguise.

                And before we stray too far off-topic: Under Priti Patel's new regime, it will soon be illegal even to protest peacefully against government corruption.

                So if peaceful protest is made illegal and the crony governent are free to abuse their "sovereign" powers to line their own pockets at the expense of the nation, then future would-be peaceful protestors will have nothing to lose and everything to gain, by "setting fire to the goat" (or parliament) and escalating to violence.

        3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Fizz with Liz

          The article does not mention if the lunch menu featured roast pork with crackling, but whatever it was, it needed washing down with expensive drinks. Trebles all round.

          https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/jan/02/liz-truss-hosted-3k-lunch-for-us-envoy-over-civil-service-objections

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: The Point of November 5th

        Indeed, the problem with politicians is that no one who should be one, wants to be one and all those that shouldn't do and are.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Point of November 5th

      Hopefully, the next time, the people in the conspiracy will be a little less inept. A good starter is for one of your members to not say to one of his acquaintances, "Hey, you REALLY shouldn't go to parliament tomorrow. Nudge nudge, wink wink".

    3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. JassMan Silver badge

        Re: The Point of November 5th

        Its a shame that we dont have a tradition of shooting the civil servants and ministers

        I think you'll find that civil servants are only trying to do their best under trying circumstances of not having enough budget and having a minister in charge who doesn't actually know what he is there for and a government that never thinks though the consequences of their grand schemes (actually applies to govs of all flavours). The main problem is that lots of policies change every couple of years and instead of keeping the bits that work and changing bits that don't each minister wants to make their mark with a total overhaul of everything the department does. What is needed is evolution not revolution.

        The only exception to the civil servants above are some of those in the home office, where they seem to think that they need to keep Britain "pure" by making life difficult for any minority, forgetting that it is generally the minorities who work hardest. Even in the home office, the majority are probably doing their best to be compassionate but they do have to follow the rules set out for them.

        I don't think that shooting is appropriate for ministers either, but they should be fired when it looks like they a being naff, BEFORE they actually enforce stupid money wasting, degrading and inhuman policies. This should be decided by parliament not the PM (who should be subject to the same rules). Eventually we may get an executive capable of planning their way out of a paper bag, although I won't hold my breath.

        Discalimer: I am not, nor never have been a civil servant, nor involved in any government office.

        1. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

          Re: The Point of November 5th

          I think you need a refresher course - please watch all episodes of Yes, Minister!

        2. Snapper Bronze badge
          Facepalm

          Re: The Point of November 5th

          I have, it's worse than you think!

        3. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Re: The Point of November 5th

          Eventually we may get an executive capable of planning their way out of a paper bag, although I won't hold my breath.

          I think the irony of democracy is that those most qualified to run the place really don't want to, and they're busy doing other things. So you get actors, failed businessmen, and other useless idiots.

        4. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: The Point of November 5th

          Keep Britain "pure" by continually allowing invaders to cross the channel? Ah, the comedy.

          The Civil Service have been fighting hard against the democratic will of the people for years, and are now getting upset that they're being called out for it. Perhaps if they actually did their jobs the Government would waste less money.

          There are some good people in the Civil Service. They're heavily outnumbered, waste is rampant, the bureaucracy is insane and we've had multiple instances of intentional subversion of Government policy. Wholesale change is needed.

          Frankly a flammable goat would do a better job.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The Point of November 5th

            The civil service tries really hard to apply the law. Sadly, the great British public has no sympathy for law, they just want the enemy of the day to be smitten, right now, whatever it takes.

            Yes, there's lots of waste in the civil service. Of course. But without it you'd very quickly see exactly why so many people don't want to live in Poland or Pakistan. (Of course those countries have civil services of their own, but their priorities are, let's say, different.)

            1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
              Unhappy

              Re: The Point of November 5th

              No it doesn't. It applies the law as it sees fit, whatever the directions of the supposedly responsible minister. Whilst the waste is frustrating, the active subversion of democratically elected representatives is horrifying.

      2. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: The Point of November 5th

        The parliament then was little more than the kings chosen friends.

        .

        Not in the slightest...

  2. SgtFalstaff
    Flame

    > No one really knows why we set off fireworks on 5 November but it's good fun and generally accepted that the guy on top of the bonfire is a bad egg. ®

    To be fair he was honest about his intentions in going to Parliament, unlike pretty much everyone before or since...

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      To be even fairer, Guy Fawkes has at leaat left us with something to look forward to each year.

      That's more than you can say for the majority of those who have worked in or under the houses of parliament.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Oh, I dunno.

        For causing the agitprop shitheads to have an aneurysm and go off on one to this day every time she gets mentioned, Margaret Thatcher is the gift that keeps on giving.

        Always gives me the giggles, watching some self-appointed "right on" Guardian of The Truth have a full-bore, spittle-flecked meltdown, highly reminiscent of a certain WWII leader's infamous rants.

        1. jonathan keith

          Excellent piece of agitprop. Have a downvote.

        2. John 110

          @TeeCee

          ahahahahahaha!!

          Wait, were you serious?

          Naaa, you couldn't be...

        3. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
          Flame

          THATCHER!!!! THAT *&%^&$(**^*((* ING (*&(*^()*^*%(£&)£&"("&*("*^&(")*^(*^(*£*&£(&!¬!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Actually my hatred of Thatcher started when she was the milk snatcher.... then escalated quickly when I left skewl at the height of her 'revolution' (and watched the company that had just offered me an apprenticeship go down the tubes thanks to her policies) 3 million unemployed and she wasn't finished yet....

          Also it didnt help around here when in 1979 the tory party people went about going "Labour will shut down the docks and put everyone out of work"... only in 1981 for the tories to do it.

          <<still remembers the people that helped put together and supply the Falklands fleet in record time and then were given their P45s by a grateful tory party

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            Apparently when Liz "Pork markets" Truss did the recent Tank stunt, trying to evoke Mrs T, it did not go down too well in some quarters of the Conservative Party.

            Now that she's tasted flesh of high office, there's no stopping her...

            1. X5-332960073452
              Devil

              She will forever be Liz "cheese" Truss for me

              1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
                Alert

                Upvoting you to cancel out the downvote from the Liz Truss Fan Club.

          2. Dave 15 Silver badge

            The Falklands

            Yup, the Falklands. Sometimes people forget the yanks shoving their dick in our collective backside over that one just to prove that they are allies only when we are helping them.

            The civil servants who actually caused that conflict by trying to give the Falklands to the Argies behind everyones back werent sacked either, still in post trying to give other bits of UK territory away.

            THe navy saved our bacon over it and look at them now, so hacked back they couldnt create the task force today if they sent the WHOLE damned navy there!

            And yes, as per the Gulf war, the Falklands served to cull the numbers of the armed forces because widows pensions are so much cheaper than redundancy cheques.

            Politicians and civil servants, not one in the UK that I would piss on if they were on fire.

          3. Martin Silver badge

            But one thing about Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet - they actually had integrity. They truly believed that what they were doing was the right thing to do, for the good of the country. I might disagree with them (and I did, vehemently!) but she did what she did for what she believed were the right reasons.

            The current lot have literally NO integrity. They are doing what is best for the Conservative Party and their rich mates. They couldn't give a fuck about the country.

            1. Insert sadsack pun here Silver badge

              "But one thing about Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet - they actually had integrity. They truly believed that what they were doing was the right thing to do, for the good of the country"

              This is complete rubbish. The Thatcher cabinet was just as filled with sycophants, backstabbers and grifters as the present cabinet. David Mellor, Ian Hamilton, Jonathan Aitkin - they all had their snouts in the trough. Even the "decent" ones like Geoffrey Howe and Ken Clarke were perfectly happy to stick up for Section 28.

              I think you are right to say that Thatcher herself may have been convinced of her own policies, in contrast to Johnson who believes in nothing.

        4. James Anderson

          Thatchers policies all ended up as ignominious failures.

          Take for example the triumphant privatisation of the gas and electricity boards.

          No long term planning for the end of North Sea gas has left us in hock to Putin and some rather unpleasant Shieks.

          Our electricity supply chain is now owned by the French and German governments and your bills are doubling every year.

          1. Dave 15 Silver badge

            Yup, she really was brains of Britain wasnt she

            Unfortunately lots believed her lies and still do. Lots say BL folded because of the workers, no one remembers the 3% pay offers for the workers while Edwardes was taking over 20%, no one sees how that could have caused some upset especially when model after model, factory after factory was being closed instead of doing what the Germans were doing with VW and the French with Peugeot and investing in mew plant, new machines and new models.... look at the outcomes and how they differ.

            1. tip pc Silver badge

              Re: Yup, she really was brains of Britain wasnt she

              To be accurate, the Germans and French had little choice but to invest in new factories as their old ones where bombed during the 39-45 spat.

            2. veti Silver badge

              Re: Yup, she really was brains of Britain wasnt she

              Rubbish. BL did invest in new models. The Ital, Ambassador, Acclaim and Maestro all launched during Thatcher's first four years. That's a lot of models in such a short time.

              The problem was that they all sucked. Partly because they were outmoded designs that simply didn't appeal when viewed side by side with a contemporary Renault or Volvo, but more importantly because the build quality was stuck in 1971, at a time when everyone else in the market had learnt to do better.

              1. John Jennings

                Re: Yup, she really was brains of Britain wasnt she

                I had a Maestro.

                With its single stromberg carb, it could barely pull its self up hill.

                I also had a Triumph (years later) which was built in the late 60's - a real car, once the rust was replaced..... Though mechanically - absolutely great....

        5. Dave 15 Silver badge

          Ah Thatcher

          That stupid stupid stupid boneheaded idiot. The ladies not for turning.... yes the economic stupidities I claim to be policies are f*****g the country totally but I wont accept the evidence and alter course, no way, that would be weak... why the hell would you want to look at things, decide they are going badly and sort them out when you can go on making things worse. She reminds me so much of my dear mum, fell out of secondary modern at 14 barely able to add two numbers together but thinks she has the world worked out.

          1. Claverhouse Silver badge

            Re: Ah Thatcher

            Above her desk at Downing Street she had a portrait of Oliver Cromwell to look up to whenever she needed inspiration.

            .

            .

            He too left the country worse than when he found it.

          2. John Jennings

            Re: Ah Thatcher

            to be fair, the UK was totally screwed when she came to power. It was on a downward trajectory from 1951 when its bets on Persian Oil failed (it was making 3 times the income from the persian oilfields than Iran was at the time!) - not to mention war-debt accrued to the US. Then Suez, and the world saw it was neither an honest broker, nor a Great Power.

            Finding North Sea oil saved the UK for a few years (discovered in '69, with proper exploitation starting in '76).

            It was the North Sea finds which funded the UK through the worst of its reforms.

            TBH, the tories then couldn't finance (and would be ideologically opposed to) creating a sovereign wealth fund like Norway.

            The victory in the Falklands was the final thing that enabled her to keep winning general elections.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "That's more than you can say for the majority of those who have worked in or under the houses of parliament."

        It's probably not a majority, but quite a few do go there with the best of intentions, but they very quickly get absorbed into Borg Collective.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          The Borg Collective has non-denominational, cross party tentacles to gather up the well intentioned; seen it in action.

      3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Holmes

        "Whitehall knows best"

        Majority of officials who downgraded northern rail plans don’t live there

        Only a quarter of those who wrote Integrated Rail Plan rely on north of England’s sub-par services

        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/dec/31/majority-of-officials-who-downgraded-northern-rail-plans-dont-live-there

  3. b0llchit Silver badge
    Facepalm

    A dare... futility results

    It is just like putting a Big Red Button in a public square with a note saying "Please do not push the button".

    Just make that button explode already. Darwin awards are available for the fortunate who have not yet procreated.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A dare... futility results

      Like this? :)

    2. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

      Re: A dare... futility results

      > It is just like putting a Big Red Button in a public square with a note saying "Please do not push the button".

      Or having a referendum on exiting the EU.

  4. Michael Strorm

    > arsonists dressed as Santa Claus and the Gingerbread Man burned the goat to the ground. They were never caught.

    Looks like he was right when he said "You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

  5. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    Official sanction

    Wouldn't an official burning date just challenge pranksters to get in first ?

  6. G R Goslin

    Well

    Well, an large number of Nov 5th bonfires get anonymously lit, well before the 5th!

    1. Snowy Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Well

      Please remember to check bonfires for hedgehogs before lighting them (or just build it just before setting it alight) or if big only set fire one side and keep an eye out for them escaping.

      While we may think it is a bonfire it looks like a cosy bed for the winter for a hedgehog.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well

        Re: Hedgehogs

        At the very least have some BBQ sauce handy….

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Well

        We used to burn several tons of wood for our bonfires but we always made them on the day - basically moving a pile of wood to another spot. Caution was then thrown to the wind with several gallons of petrol being hurled into the pile and rockets launched from a distance to light it - we piled a lot of heavy stuff on the outside - the party started not with a bang but with a loud woof and a 100 foot pillar of flame which pulled in the pool of fire that rolled out along the ground for a moment or two.

        Always had great bonfire parties there - and you could bake spud in the ashes the next day which were sometimes annihilated by unexploded fireworks as we threw everything we could collect from around the large garden which had entertained maybe 30 families who all turned up with unreasonably large collections of fireworks. Uni science departments seem to be filled with idiot pyromaniacs!

  7. G R Goslin

    And!

    And, there'd be many more pre-lit fires if it were not for the fact that, in this country, a bonfire prepared some days before, becomes almost impossible to set afire, even at the appropriate time.

    1. Wally Dug

      Re: And!

      And not only that, but due to fly tipping, it grows in size exponentially.

  8. chivo243 Silver badge
    Devil

    Say it with me children!

    BURNING MAN! Now go have some fun!

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Say it with me children!

      Burning Goat! Sounds like a pretty good piece of Playa art, in fact.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Say it with me children!

        I've had curry goat that lived up to that name and hope to eat many more!

  9. JDPower666 Bronze badge

    The "heart feels heavy when I see that someone has attacked you" tweet referred to another much smaller nearby goat - there are two.

  10. iron Silver badge

    > the guy on top of the bonfire is a bad egg

    To me he was an unfortunate Catholic scapegoat who was fitted up by the rozzers to appease a paranoid King.

    1. Exact Circus

      More perhaps to feed the paranoia in order to control the monarch.

  11. harmjschoonhoven

    We can do better

    https://www.euronews.com/2019/01/01/new-year-firenado-threatens-dutch-seaside-resort

  12. Skiron Bronze badge
    Flame

    Where was...

    Edward Woodward?

  13. clyde666

    A proper fire

    Here's how it's done in the centuries old tradition in rural Scotland.

    https://www.peeblesshirenews.com/news/18138424.burning-bright-biggar-welcome-new-year/

    As a sign of the times, Covid has extinguished the flames which even the war ravages of the 1940s never did.

    It's built over the month of December, and lit by the oldest resident in the town just before midnight on the 31st, after a torchlight procession through the town.

    Nobody has ever set it alight in advance.

    1. JassMan Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: A proper fire

      Nobody has ever set it alight in advance.

      That will probably be taken as a challenge by some Swede in a Santa suit. You should probably not been so boastful.

      I have never liked fires in any form so I think the real challenge would be to pull them apart and take all the burnables to the nearest biomass energy producer.

    2. -v(o.o)v-

      Re: A proper fire

      Gots nothing on Norway https://designyoutrust.com/2019/12/slinningsbalet-the-battle-for-the-biggest-bonfire-in-the-world/

  14. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Happy

    All they have to do...

    All they have to do is make the goat out of asbestos... simples.

  15. jake Silver badge

    Don't burn the goat!

    Keep that spit turning so it browns nicely on all sides.

    Serve with rice, beans, salsa verde and home-made corn tortillas ... yum!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One should always keep one’s goat wet

    Or so I’m told…

  17. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Obvious risk

    The problem with setting fire to the goat is the obvious risk to public safety. It's also the usual trade-off between one man's "bit of fun" and the tradition the goat represents: don't think too many people would be pleased to see the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square torched every year.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: Obvious risk

      Oh, I don't know – I'd say that might be a good tradition to start. Perhaps it'd be a bit of a middle finger to the cynically enforced consumerism of the season.

  18. Exact Circus
    Pint

    But are we sure this whole thing isn't some veiled attempt to bring a return to ancient rites ?

  19. highdiver_2000

    Tower of wooden pallets

    Is the Norwegian practise of burning a giant tower of wooden pallets still on?

    https://aleteia.org/2018/06/18/the-catholic-roots-of-the-worlds-tallest-bonfire-in-norway/

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