The Curmudgeon


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Bad Theology

Text for today: Matthew 5 xiii; Luke 14 xxxiv-xxxv

On two occasions Jesus compares His disciples with salt. According to Matthew's gospel, He makes the comparison near the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, immediately after commanding His disciples to rejoice when they are persecuted. According to Luke's gospel, He rounds on a crowd of hangers-on and, with His usual humility, warns that they must give up everything for His sake and count the cost before they do so. On the first occasion He explicitly calls His disciples the salt of the earth; on both occasions he notes that salt which has lost its flavour cannot be re-salted and is therefore entirely worthless.

As many theologians have noted, Jesus made exemplary use of homely and practical metaphor; and never more vividly than in this case. By comparing His disciples and followers with salt, Jesus combines flattery with the standard blood-and-thunder warnings against straying from His doctrine. As God's chosen, the disciples constitute something of rare and useful substance; but even God's chosen only get a single chance. Persecution is no excuse for backsliding: if they lose their usefulness, their loving Father will neither protect them from temptation nor deliver them from evil, but will trample them into the earth along with those who have disregarded His Son's preaching, or even failed to hear it altogether.

The primary use of salt was as a preservative; hence the Saviour's metaphor piquantly emphasises the disciples' function in the world. They are commanded to prolong the life of flesh that would otherwise rot and become food for God's humbler creatures. Their office is that of kitchen drudges, keeping the world's meat fresh for the approaching fire.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Impartial Benevolence

Benign Britain basks in balmy BBC blush

Temperatures across Britain turned from bleak to balmy today as the annual cosy cloud of middle-class smugness rose to cover the country in a warm fog of self-conscious virtue.

Mere days since the BBC showed its impartiality by reporting the diatribes of some Australian along with the Government's rebuttal before moving on to more immediate matters, the organisation's annual Children in Need appeal raised a record sum for Britain's foundering self-esteem.

Children in Need epitomises the private charity which it is believed will replace the Stalinist state in looking after 21st-century Britain's deserving poor.

The BBC's news programmes are noted for impartially facilitating democratic debate between the Conservative government and the Farage Falange, which constitutes the officially acceptable opposition.

In the interests of impartiality, no comment was made on claims of an alleged link between child poverty and depriving people of money in order to fund vital tax cuts, even when the day was further warmed by the appointment of Amber Rudd, former minister for deportations, to the ministry for starvation and induced suicide.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Always Read the Label First

Is no deal better than a bad deal if it harms sick old ladies, no matter how vile their character? Tumbledown Tessie has been indulging her talent for connecting with the public by defending her proposed Brexit deal on a radio show. Amid the usual guff, including some wild fantasies about NHS funding which exceeded Boris Johnson's great bus fib by £44 million, the dead-eyed warden noted that the insulin she uses to treat her diabetes is manufactured in Denmark. Her sudden interest in making peace with Brussels, even at the cost of losing statesmen of the calibre of David Davis and Dominic Raab, suddenly makes more sense. If only she had been curious enough to examine the text on her insulin packaging a year or two ago, the whole grisly mess might well have been avoided.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Sajid Seizes the Day

Whatever else may be said about the present Minister for Wog Control, no-one could accuse him of lacking opportunism. With ministers resigning right and further right, and the dead-eyed warden maniacally clattering the gears of a leopard-printed JCB in order to dig herself a deeper hole, the compliant Sajid Javid has risen above the frenzied excavations and seen nothing more ominous than the chance to bury bad news. As might be expected, the news in question is simply that his department continues to be as efficient as ever: having blithely deported or detained an unknown number of Britons, the Home Office has now admitted that its efforts to determine that number have been somewhat compromised by the equally blithe classification of innocent people as criminals. A few of the victims have also had the bad sportsmanship to die in exile, thereby putting themselves beyond the reach even of the Ministry's most heartless deadheads, though predictably few citizens of nowhere seem very happy on their behalf. At the time of writing, the Government has lost the whining bully Dominic Raab and the Minister for Starvation and Incentivised Suicide, Esther McVey, along with a handful of still lesser organisms; should the jabbering homunculus Michael Gove receive instructions from Rupert to abandon the foundering plague-ship that is Tumbledown Tessie's cabinet, no doubt we may expect yet further compliant revelations.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

At Last, Someone Thinks of the Children

Brazil's president-elect has made a fine start at dragging public healthcare provision to the sort of level a civilised and responsible government would consider sustainable: he has barked orders at some foreigners and now blames them for the consequences. Thousands of Cuban doctors working in poor and remote parts of the country will be removed because Bolsonaro has unilaterally withdrawn from an international agreement whereby the said doctors, quite aside from being foreign, connive financially in the un-American atrocity that is Cuba's free public healthcare system. Interestingly enough, his tactics were a mirror image of those used by Tin-Pot Tessie and Jeremy Rhymes-with-Hunt: rather than proudly depriving the migrant medics of their pay and families, Bolsonaro claims to be acting out of concern for mothers separated from their children and doctors who have to send most of their pay back to Cuba: a concern so sincere and profound that it persists even in the face of his doubtless equally sincere and profound scepticism about their medical qualifications. Fortunately, as with most of these battles of principle, it is mainly the poor who will suffer.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Gone South

Some disagreement has arisen between environmental scientists and the Inuit people in the Canadian Arctic. Increasingly frequent and dangerous contact with polar bears has led the Inuit to conclude that the animals' numbers are increasing, while the scientists say that the problems result from a shrinking population of bears being forced into close proximity with human beings because their habitat is disappearing even faster than they are. Some Inuit are sceptical of this argument, perhaps because they fail to appreciate their progress from being oppressed and ignored to being consulted and then ignored. In any case, the question is of course academic, since no measures will ever be taken to preserve the Arctic in anything like its present state. All that remains unclear is whether the policy adopted will be a Trumpster one, with Inuit and bears alike conscripted into filling the Arctic Sea with oil rigs and submarines; or a more moderate British version, with the Inuit deported to Mauritius and the Arctic declared a nature reserve which can be exploited only by reputable and responsible friends of the Crown, such as BP, Cuadrilla and the head-chopping House of Saud.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Black Operations

Those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear; which presumably explains why Her Majesty's Government's plans to employ the National Health Service as an informer for the Ministry of Wog Control were sneaked into agreement between the Government and NHS Digital and have only been suspended because of a merely legal appeal to some enemies of the people. The understanding between two Whitehall departments and the NHS would have enabled the guardians of Britain's racial purity to use medical data in the furtherance of their crusade against the Windrush generation and those wogs who have the impertinence to marry Britons without being rich enough. Doubtless the data would have been valuable in ensuring that those dutiful G4S people were not unduly endangered through manhandling persons in an excessive state of health; but thanks to the legalistic quibbling, the full modernisation of the NHS into a surveillance and detention database has had to be postponed until a later stage of the dismantling.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

A Richer Dust

You've tidied up the wounds, cut down the pain
To prove we dug not, nor were mown, in vain.
A century's a handy clot of years
For soil and saccharine to soak up tears:
A decent shroud for grief, to bury it
In settled sediment of native grit.
Long thrilled and spilled, our opiated blood
Blooms black-red glory now our brains are mud:
Two hundred minutes, generously lent
To sell our ghosts, that more flesh may be spent.
You grateful nations, noble monarchs, gods
Who made of us such useful, silly sods;
Our patriotic, hero-moulding bosses:
We thank you for the clean and pretty crosses.

Clay Marter

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Slow to Chide

As the most senior Catholic cleric in England prepares for examination by the secular arm over his church's various little indiscretions with suffering children, it is encouraging to observe a belated note of penitence in the rhetoric. Archbishop Vincent Nichols recently published a letter in which he took personal responsibility for the abuses; although he did commit the gaffe of invoking the family, one of the few social institutions with a worse record of child abuse than the Church. Still, it cannot be denied that there has been some improvement in his Grace's attempts to protect his employers' taxpayer-funded temples of learning: a decade ago his initial response to the revelation of priestly pleasures in Ireland was to extol the courage of the abusers.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Uncle Tom Javid

Since there is nothing much going on at the Home Office, it appears the Minister for Wog Control has spent the past three weeks thinking up a justification for emphasising the ethnic background of a paedophile grooming gang. As one would expect from the compliant Sajid Javid, the result - most paedophile gangs are Pakis and it stands to reason - does not really justify the effort involved. Aside from the usual posturing - "not on my watch" - Javid apparently feels that the Conservative Party, in which racism, Islamophobia and Soros-baiting antisemitism are so blatant that even Lady Warsi has noticed, has been too politically correct and overly considerate of the snowflake sensibilities of melanin-flaunting potential deportees. He is also, of course, thinking of the approaching post-Brexit environment when, amid such relatively trivial issues as economic collapse, permanent political crisis and escalating social misery, the moment will at last arrive to stick the knife in Tumbledown Tessie. If he is to have any chance at the supreme leadership of the Recrudescent Imperium of Westminster, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands, Javid knows he will have to overcome his own racial handicap and, morally speaking at least, pass for gammon.