The Curmudgeon


Sunday, September 30, 2018

Bad Theology

Text for today: Luke 22 xxxv-li

Shortly before His arrest, Jesus asks the apostles whether they lacked anything when He sent them into the world without so much as a change of clothing. When they answer that they lacked nothing, Jesus responds that He is changing the terms of the contract and anyone who has no sword should now sell his garment and buy one. The apostles have two swords between them which, as Jesus predicts, prove sufficient to cut off a man's ear when He is arrested.

Jesus states that the swords are required in order that Scripture may be fulfilled and He may be numbered among the transgressors. However, Jesus had been "numbered among the transgressors" ever since He blasphemed the Jewish faith and stirred up a riot at the Temple; there was no need for any new measures to fulfil the prophecy, since the transgressions for which He was arrested and executed had nothing to do with the possession of swords. Presumably, therefore, His words were intended at least partly as a deception to confuse His notoriously dim-witted and simple-minded followers for the purpose of preserving the holy mysteries.

When the Temple police arrive, one of the disciples attacks the high priest's servant, cutting off his ear. Jesus immediately rebukes the disciple and heals the injury. Since Jesus never healed anyone without an ulterior motive, His order for the weapons was no doubt motivated in the immediate term by His anticipation of this opportunity to demonstrate His power.

Symbolically, the cutting of the ear calls to mind the repeated injunction, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." By indirectly destroying and then personally restoring the hearing apparatus of a Temple functionary, Jesus indicates the need for those Jews who comprised the early Church to hear His message with new ears. By calling for weapons and thereby implicitly licensing His disciple's violence, then hypocritically rebuking the violence when it occurs, Jesus anticipates the moral rigour of His church when it joined forces with the Roman Empire; and by stating that two swords are enough, He ruefully anticipates His church's endless quarrels and schisms, which began with the factional squabbles between Paul and the original apostles and have continued ever since.

The Saviour's choice of words when ordering the weapons is particularly telling, and remarkably brazen in its contemptuous acknowledgement of His kingdom's moral emptiness. There can be few more naked emperors than a church with two swords and no garment.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Crime is a Disease, and He's the Cure

Sajid Javid, Minister for Denunciation and Deportation to the dead-eyed warden of HM Prison UK, has an exciting new policy to announce at the approaching Conservative Party rah-and-blah. As always, the country is being menaced by lawless youth, whose evil urges are neither complicated nor deep-rooted enough to justify any precipitate panic measures such as providing proper education, accommodation or employment. Although it is certainly refreshing to see Her Majesty's Government going after people who may actually do something wrong one day, the radical new Javid initiative appears to be a cheap rehash of an initiative by his predecessor, the Clegg-pledging race-baiter Amber Rudd, which itself appears to have been a cheap rehash of the brilliantly successful Prevent strategy, which involves ordering teachers and social workers to act as front-line security personnel in the search for Muslim extremists aged six months or more. In Javid's words, the Conservatives will take a "public health approach" to Britain's junior viruses: as with the NHS, they'll make a lot of noise, shuffle some money around, and go on as before.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Profoundly Ponderable

Must we be doomed at last
To living in the past,
Obsessed with Nation?

Festooned with governmental
Ursine excremental

Sir Thugley Maunder Sterling-Britton KCBE

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Unaccountably Stupid

As we all know, because they've rammed it down our throats so often along with their wage suppression and corporation tax cuts, the Conservatives are the party of fiscal responsibility, aways protecting the public purse from spending on silly things like the public. Doubtless it was thanks to similar concerns that Her Majesty's Government has spent £40,000 in public money protecting the public from the knowledge of its ministers' activities. The Guardian still seems to hold to the old-fashioned idea that politicians represent the public rather than the Government's sponsoring corporations, and requested an account of how much time the Minister for the Northern Poorhouse was actually spending among the plebs, proles and demi-wogs on the wrong side of Watford. The request was first ignored past the legal deadline, then refused and finally, after twenty-six months, answered with the embarrassing facts, which Her Majesty's Government had known since a month into the affair would almost certainly have to come out eventually. It was, of course, a foolish and disgraceful waste of taxpayers' money and Government time if not Government talent; and it could all have been comfortably avoided if only the Freedom of Information Act, like Brussels, the law of England and the public, didn't keep on interfering with the democratic process.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As Simple as Flogging Pepsi Online

Now that the impact assessments for our independence from the ghastly Euro-wogs have condescended to come into existence, a mere year or two after the blithering prima donna David Davis claimed to have them, it has finally occurred to Her Majesty's Government that cutting ourselves off from our biggest trading partner might result in some minor disruption, such as a few million proles going without for a bit. Presumably Dominic Raab, who claimed that British workers are among the worst idlers in the world, believes a bit of starvation will weed out the weaklings and motivate the hard-working families; but the party conference is coming up and even Tumbledown Tessie's government occasionally feels the urge to make some sort of show at governing. Hence the appointment of one David Rutley, a former virtual supermarket manager and sugar salesman, as Minister for Rationing and Hoarding. With its usual talent for reassurance, the Government immediately proclaimed that Rutley was "merely taking on responsibilities already held by other ministers," although it remains as yet unclear whether this translates as the other ministers being incompetent, Rutley being supernumerary or, in accordance with the present administration's glorious record and limitless aspirations, both.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Not At Home

From the hostile environment to the tens-of-thousands target to the Powellite Pantechnicons to the Windrush persecutions, the crusade against wogs has been one of the few issues on which Tumbledown Tessie has maintained a thoroughly consistent approach. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that she has maintained this courageous stance with regard to former genuine Britons who allowed the ghastly Euro-wog imposition of free movement to tempt them into living abroad. Neither Tumbledown Tessie nor the blathering prima donna David Davis nor his successor, the whining bully Dominic Raab, has condescended to meet with expatriates concerned at the possibility of being treated like migrants. The fiend Barnier and the horrid Verhofstadt, by contrast, have met with the representative group British in Europe several times; which only serves to emphasise the likelihood that some if not all of the ex-Britons have learned foreign languages, eaten strange food, married people below the necessary income bracket to excuse their importation into Global Britain, or otherwise gone native. Hence the necessary caution exercised by Tumbledown Tessie and her cohorts: should one of those infected with foreignness happen to brush against them or breathe air in the same room, there is simply no knowing how many votes might be lost among the genuine citizenry.

Monday, September 24, 2018

German Precedent

In a splendid gesture of hypocrisy, the Government is considering an invitation to Germany's head of state for the centenary commemorations of the Armistice. The president has already been invited to a service in Westminster Abbey, so Tumbledown Tessie and her fellow inmates of the Cabinet bunker are searching whatever passes for their souls over whether to invite him to the Cenotaph as well. The chief executive of the Veterans Association UK, while unfazed by the idea in principle, has dismissed it as "kissing arse to the Europeans"; and given the present administration's glittering record on truth, reconciliation and Vergangenheitsbewältigung in general, it is indeed a little difficult to believe that "Never Again" is genuinely uppermost in whatever passes for their minds. Naturally, the scumbag press has found at least one military buffoon to blather that careful consideration is required lest the sacred site be soiled by the hands of the Hun; and our more patriotic citizens will certainly be concerned at the prospect of a slippery slope. After all, Remembrance Sunday is supposed to be about the victims of all wars; and if the enemy is to be allowed to join in the rah-rah, the oblational obelisk might be swamped with Iraqis and Argies before you could say By Jingo.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Bad Theology

Text for today: Matthew 13 xliv-l

Jesus invokes three separate metaphors for the kingdom of Heaven. The first is a hidden treasure, which a man finds in a field and then conceals again before selling everything he owns to buy the field. The second is a pearl of great value discovered by a merchant, who sells all he has in order to acquire that pearl. The third is a net thrown into the sea, which draws out fish of every kind; the fishermen sort the fish into good and bad, just as the angels will separate mankind into the righteous and those who are to be burned with wailing and gnashing of teeth.

The three parables follow a progression which reflects the stages of the kingdom's approach. The first stage is private revelation: the man finds the treasure and keeps it to himself until he can get hold of it in full. The second stage is spreading the gospel: the pearl is found by a merchant, who presumably will sell it on in return for a suitable reimbursement. The third stage, and predictably the one on which Jesus dwells the longest and in most detail, is the new kingdom's torture and murderous purge of everyone who has neglected to behave with similar commercial acumen.

The first two parables encapsulate the kingdom's primary moral requirement of blind fanaticism. Since human beings cannot know the mind of God, they cannot know who will be saved and who will be damned. Therefore the value of the pearl and the treasure in the field are necessarily unknown quantities, and those who sell all they have to purchase them act out of blind faith in their own judgement, rather than from any rational comparison between the heavenly treasures and their worldly wealth. The third parable indicates the substance of the bargain: Jesus makes the usual threats of torment and grief for anyone who fails to be ruled by the correct master.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Putting Things Far Right

No-one could accuse the Conservative Party of failing to learn from its mistakes, although there might be room for debate as to which among its various acts of poor-bashing, cripple-kicking and witch-hunting were undertaken in error. The merely decent and civilised, for example, might consider arbitrarily depriving British citizens of their rights as British citizens to be, at the very best, a mistaken policy, especially as the Clegg-pledging race-baiter Amber Rudd eventually had to resign over lying about it. However, her replacement as Minister for Wog Control has now announced that, in compensation for the errors of the past, British citizens are to be arbitrarily deprived of their rights as British citizens, and that it is up to the victims to get things cleared up should they happen to disagree with their new racial classification. In a further orgasm of progress up the learning curve, Her Majesty's Government has ensured that no independent legal advice will be available and that the appeal process is not yet in place. The difference between present and previous Windrush persecutions appears to be that, instead of telling lies about it, the incumbent Minister for Wog Control is sneaking out some semblance of the truth last thing on a Friday afternoon, and hoping that only the racist voters will notice.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Brexit Fallout

Such have been the effects of the Osbornomic miracle and the wonders of free trade outside the chains of Euro-wog interference, that the Ministry for Wog-Bombing faces serious questions regarding its ability to collaborate in a radioactive global holocaust, should the opportunity arise. The Ministry is gallantly trying to dispose of obsolete nuclear submarines, which apparently the head-chopping House of Saud wasn't interested in buying, but has never tried the task before and can't quite get the hang of it. Also, and perhaps even less conveniently, the instruments of virtuous genocide are reliant on materials and engineers imported from the Continent and tainted with Brusso-Strasbourgian federalism. Also, it seems there are whispers of doubt as to whether Liam Fox, the vole-brained former Minister for Werritty, will be able to arrange for imports of equivalent quality from Ceylon or Rhodesia even if the mainland's entire production of Marmite is offered in exchange; so doubtless the public accounts committee's findings will rouse considerable parliamentary rumbles. It's all very well for Her Majesty's Government to destroy the National Health Service, put the proles on starvation wages and remove the protection of the law from anyone who can't afford to pay; but even the House of Expenses Claimants has its moral limits, and the threat of deterioration in Britain's weapons of mass destruction is likely to breach those limits with a bang.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Still Not Quite Getting It

In spite of Tumbledown Tessie's diplomatic skills, which are famous for being so subtle that nobody can detect them, it seems the ghastly Euro-wogs are determined to keep the Continent out of step with the will of the British people. The semi-literate fantasy-fiction clunker which was scribbled out at Chequers will not be regarded by the Brusso-Strasbourgian axis as a viable instrument of its own unconditional surrender, even though Chequers wasn't quite stupid enough to gain more than temporary support from Boris Johnson. As always, everyone seems to have forgotten who won the war, especially the Poles and French whose refugees did so much to tarnish the Conservative Party's finest hour by diluting the ethnic purity of the Battle of Britain; while the chancellor of the punishment-beaters tried to foil our plucky pragmaticism with windy neo-Heideggerian abstraction. "No one can belong to the single market if they are not part of the single market," was the gnomic proclamation of Angela Merkel, in a blatant though naturally futile attempt to blind Her Majesty's Government with the blindingly obvious.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

In the Name of Jeremy, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The continuing imprisonment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has moved the diplomatic editor of Britain's leading liberal newspaper to a saccharine eructation in praise of the hard work and compassion of Jeremy Hunt. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested for spying and had the misfortune to fall under the care of Hunt's predecessor, the then Imperial Haystack, who casually claimed that her story was false. According to the Guardian's resident psychic, the present Minister for Wogs, Frogs and Huns has been labouring tirelessly for her release, but "clearly feels he is not making progress" and has issued a warning to the public which "reflects the frustration" that Iranian intransigence has stirred in Hunt's compassionate soul. Hunt's feelings and frustration are unquestionably present as stated, and by no means mere schoolgirly speculation by the Guardian's diplomatic editor, because comment is free and facts are sacred. In all fairness, the Ministry's advice does constitute a positive action, in that it shifts the burden of responsibility away from the Government and onto the hapless traveller: it consists of a warning to those with dual nationality not to travel to Iran unless deported by Hunt's colleagues at the Home Office.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

All Righteous Together

Few genuinely pious god-botherers worry much about the beam in their eye when there is a neighbour to be blamed for the mote in his own; hence Tumbledown Tessie's sermon to the United Jewish Israel Appeal, in which she professed herself sickened by other people's antisemitism days after her own party's MEPs refused to censure an antisemite. Tumbledown Tessie proclaimed that she does not "underestimate the threat posed by those who promote antisemitism, or hatred in any form", which may explain her frequent vocal condemnations of the scumbag press for its traitor-hunts, Muslim-scares and migrant-bashings; not to mention her trenchant criticism of those who seek to deprive British citizens and long-term residents of their rights while dismissing political opponents as citizens of nowhere. Tumbledown Tessie proclaimed that she wishes to "fight racial and religious hatred" by defending the values of Israel, which apart from the minor matter of its illegal military aggression has recently legislated away the official status of its Arab citizens' language, and is governed by a man who blames the Holocaust more on an Arab than on Lord Rothermere's chum with the moustache. Tumbledown Tessie concluded by paying the Righteous State the ultimate tribute and comparing it to her own Recrudescent Imperium of fracking, food-banks and arms to the Saudis: "Israel is a country like ours that believes in liberty, democracy and the rule of law;" and certainly few would dispute that Tumbledown Tessie's belief in liberty, democracy and the rule of law is at least as sincere as that of the average xenophobic nuclear-weaponed war criminal.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Lying Everywhere But Down

While a certain desperation to be populist is understandable in the present climate, the ex-Deputy Conservatives may have pushed the bounds of good taste a little by staging yet another tired zombie comedy and allowing the sad remains of Nick Clegg to reek and gargle their way through the old, worn-out lines. Such has been the moral effect of fagging for the Bullingdons that the remains of Nick Clegg are now using the Conservatives' language of historical rah-rah to excuse his party's record in office. Like the Somme, the Bengal famine, the South African concentration camps and the slave trade, the coalition was all a very long time ago. Furthermore, the ex-Deputy Conservatives ought to be jolly proud of themselves, mostly on the pragmatic grounds that mea culpas don't win elections but also because the narrative that they "merrily went along with a savage, ideological approach to austerity which deliberately penalised the poor" is simply not true. Presumably the remains of Nick Clegg possess video evidence that the Deputy Conservative MPs whose seats he so proudly sacrificed did not always toddle through the lobbies with merry smiles on their faces; otherwise, much to our regret, we would be forced to suspect that truth and the remains of Nick Clegg have still not quite managed to get into the same rose garden.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Bad Theology

Text for today: Matthew 9 ii-vi, 12 i-xiii; John 9 i-iii

A paralysed man is brought to Jesus, who tells him to take heart because his sins are forgiven. Observing that some scribes regard this as blasphemous, Jesus heals the man as a demonstration of His authority on earth. Later, walking through grainfields on the Sabbath, the disciples start plucking heads of grain to eat. When the Pharisees rebuke Him for allowing them to do what is unlawful on the Sabbath, Jesus replies that He is lord of the Sabbath, and then proceeds to the synagogue and heals a man's withered hand. Asked whether a man blind from birth was afflicted because of his own sins or his parents', Jesus replies that he was afflicted in order to demonstrate the works of God.

With regard to the suffering of others, Jesus was at best indifferent and at worst vengefully enthusiastic. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that His healing is done less from any charitable inclination than from an urge to demonstrate His own power and authority, and as a rebuke to His enemies. The egocentric callousness behind His ostentatious philanthropy is particularly evident in the episode of the blind man, whose suffering Jesus regards as nothing more than an opportunity for Him to perform yet another marketing stunt on behalf of the family firm.

Jesus makes use of the blind man's predicament in a play on words, describing Himself as the light of the world as the blind man's eyes are opened. HIs method of achieving the cure is to rub the man's eyes with mud; and in a backhanded acknowledgement of the discredit which His words reflect on both the Saviour and His Father, the evangelist John spends the rest of his chapter slinging mud at the Jews.

God's answer to the flaws in His creation is to make occasional piecemeal repairs and then to demand the grovelling thanks of His victims - a similar attitude to that of the retired slaveholder who founds a hospital, or the senile tyrant who invests in a children's home. The healing carried out by Jesus is essentially a marketing strategy, with all the moral significance of a television advertisement for a private healthcare company.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

It's So Fiendishly Obvious

At the present stage of the American electoral cycle, to say nothing of such secondary matters as the generally febrile state of western politics, it can only appear suspicious that an FBI raid on a New Mexico observatory has been greeted by conspiracy theorists with such a devastating lack of imagination. Agents in Black Hawk helicopters have shut down the suggestively-named Sunspot Solar Observatory, doubtless with the usual calm efficiency and respect for ethnic minorities, which has spawned the usual speculation that the observatory has discovered proof of alien life. Support for this hypothesis lies in the fact that Roswell is only a hundred and twenty miles away, and nothing appeals to the alien mind so much as being discovered within a reasonable distance of the alleged frozen remains of another alien. A slightly less conventional idea is that the observatory discovered that the sun is dying, and presumably others have postulated equally likely discoveries such as the flatness of the world, the daily revolution of the entire Universe around Sunspot, New Mexico, and the role of Iran, the Heathen Chinee and assorted Democrats in fattening up Hurricane Florence.

What nobody has yet done, unless certain people have been conveniently silenced, is to connect the incident at the observatory with the FBI's continuing persecution of the Trumpster and the hydrophobic orange head-tribble which feeds him all his least earthbound thoughts. With the mid-term elections only weeks away, it was surely inevitable that head-tribble activity would increase to a level detectable even by mere scientists; and given the general malevolence of the FBI it was surely just as inevitable that clandestine counter-action would be taken. Are the conspiracy theorists in on the cover-up? I think I have said enough, and not only because one should almost never theorise in advance of the known facts.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Moral Leadership

It is of course fatuous to rebuke the Church of England for insufficient concern with the teachings of Jesus. If the Church of England had any belief in the Gospels, it would withdraw from the House of Lords and all its members would be wandering the country without a spare coat, doing psychosomatic conjuring tricks and proclaiming the end of the world. The charge of hypocrisy is a little harder to dismiss, even assuming sufficient faith to blind one to the fact that the Church greeted the onset of the coalition's assault on the poor by calling in the City of London's boot-boys to hose protesters off the steps of St Paul's. Since then the Church has been largely concerned with its various sexual problems; but a mere seven years into the disaster its chief salesman has delivered a sermon against zero-hours contracts and corporate tax-dodgers, only to find, mirabile dictu, that the Church employs people on zero-hours contracts and invests in corporate tax-dodgers. It is of course fatuous to argue that religion and politics should not mix, since both of these ancient professions are intimately concerned with essentially the same issue, namely the profitable duping of our fellow sinners.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Britain Stands Alone

Despite the late Head Boy's having taken them on a wonderful journey away from the mainstream conservative bloc and into bed with a bunch of climate-change deniers, Holocaust minimisers and just-plain-thugs, it seems that Conservative MEPs have somehow acquired a taste for bad company. The British Conservative and Democratic Unionist Party was the only sort-of-governing gang of right-wing cranks in western Europe to vote against a motion in the European Parliament censuring the antisemitic, anti-Muslim, anti-democratic government of Viktor Orbán in Hungary, with which the Tumbledown Tessie administration self-evidently does not have absolutely everything in common. The head of the Muslim Council of Britain accused the Conservatives of seeking support for their Brexit plans, but the party's armed camp in Strasbourg denied this; which seems plausible enough given that the Conservatives have shown no sign of having any Brexit plans. Clearly, then, the vote was a gesture of genuine fellow-feeling for Orbán, whose election campaign reached lyrical heights to which even Zac Goldsmith has never yet aspired. Here on the mainland, the party contented itself with pointing out that MEPs have their own whipping arrangements, and that Tin-Pot Tessie, champion of minorities up to 48% and sometime saviour of the Windrush generation, was not responsible for the vote; certainly not in the way that Jeremy Corbyn is personally accountable for the collected unbosomings of every social-media troll, ignoramus and crackpot these past three years.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Eliminate the Negative

It is of course generally accepted that climate change, with its attendant floods, wildfires and extreme weather events, may on occasion be bad for business; but only a traitor, a fool or a fake-newsing migrant-lover would claim that the undesirable effects have much to do with destroyed homes and destitute workers. As the rational state of North Carolina discovered some years ago, the reason climate change is bad for business is that mere experts keep on talking about it and saying how awful it will be, whereas in fact, of course, something or other might turn up and it might not be so awful after all. When the Coastal Resources Commission warned about the possible consequences of sea-level rises for North Carolina's long, low coastline, the wealth-creating community went all snowflakey about property values and insurance costs, so the state legislature ordered the scientists to use more optimistic data; and as if by magic, the problem began to look smaller. Unfortunately, the present state governor has reneged on his obligations as an American and has committed North Carolina to giving up its sovereignty to Paris, although according to one coastal geologist the basic plan remains the same: "wait until the situation is catastrophic and then respond." It remains to be seen whether the newly-greatened USA can match the civilised restraint practised by Recrudesent Imperium of Westminster, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands, where the plan is simply to wait until the situation is catastrophic.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Graybeing's Great Game

Yet again, it appears that some people need reminding who won the war. The fiend Barnier has rebuked the whining thug Dominic Raab over some letters sent to the twenty-seven non-psychotic states of the Euro-wog conspiracy. The letters were dispatched by the failed employment minister, failed lord chancellor, failed justice minister, failing transport secretary, sometime cyclist-clobberer and intellectual firebucket Chris Graybeing, apparently without Raab's knowledge and apparently on the assumption that the fiend Barnier would never know about them either. Why, after all, would even the most cunning negotiator be talking to a lot of foreigners when he was already basking in the conversation of Dominic Raab? The Graybeing epistles decreed that, in the event of a Rees-Mogg exit from the EU, the member states would all continue to engage with the UK exactly as before, except where the UK should deem it inexpedient; but for some reason the Euro-wogs seem to have as little understanding of their own interests as ever. It remains as yet unclear whether Graybeing had the letters translated into their recipients' respective languages, or contented himself with writing in English but very loudly.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Being Prepared

Whatever problems or conundrums may be thrown at us by the twenty-first century, the Conservatives can be relied upon to provide nineteenth-century solutions. Accordingly, the Government has decided that there is another solution to child poverty besides increasing child poverty, and this is to get them into uniform and teach them a bit of discipline and rah-rah. That will stop all the blubbing and reading of Socialist literature, and will also be a handy source of dupes for the next generation of wog-bombers, strongman-helpers and other peacekeeping forces. Far better that a new and debased form of National Service should be inflicted upon the fiscally subhuman, than that the Government should waste taxpayers' money on youth services in civvies, thereby subsidising vast Brussels-supporting cadres of the undisciplined and non-militarised.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Bad Theology

Text for today: Luke 16 xix-xxxi

Jesus relates a parable about a rich man and the leprous beggar who waited at his gates to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. When both men die, the angels carry the beggar to Abraham's side, while the rich man is condemned to torment in Hades. The rich man begs Abraham for a drop of water, but the patriarch refuses: the rich man has had his reward on earth, and nobody can travel between Heaven and Hell. The man asks Abraham to send the beggar to warn his relatives; God's favourite again refuses, as the relatives can always read the scriptures. When the rich man points out that a visit from the dead would be more convincing, Abraham states that anyone who remained unconvinced by Moses and the prophets would not be convinced by a resurrection.

The parable begins as a routine denunciation of those who place value on worldly goods. There is no indication that the rich man is particularly callous; in fact, since the beggar remains at his gate, we may safely presume that what falls from the rich man's table is at least enough to sustain him. Given that the beggar is covered in sores and so degraded as to be licked by dogs, a more uncharitable householder would surely have had him turned away. Nevertheless, the rich man is cast into Hell because he has failed to obey Moses and the prophets; possibly his sumptuous meals were tainted by forbidden food, or possibly he had a tattoo or suffered a witch to live.

The second part of the parable is more interesting. Jesus has Abraham assert that a great chasm separates Heaven from Hell, apparently to prevent the residents of Heaven from showing so much as a finger-end's worth of compassion towards those whom God has condemned. This hint that the mercy of God may be somewhat less than infinite is confirmed at the parable's conclusion, where the patriarch explicitly states that the Resurrection will not redeem anyone who has not already been convinced by Moses and the prophets. It is at least arguable that this statement, along with the later histrionics at Gethsemane, indicates that Jesus was somewhat lacking in the faith which He so uncompromisingly demanded of others. In any case, a clearer demonstration of the Saviour's reactionary and exclusionist agenda would be difficult to conceive.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Poisonous Shrimp Adrift

As yet more petty obstructionism from the perfidious Euro-wogs continues to hurl itself, Kamikaze-like, before the inexorable rise of the Recrudescent Imperium of Westminster, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands, it has fallen to the whining thug Dominic Raab to explain why the Brusso-Strasbourgian junta would do well not to get in Britain's way. Raab, who once put his name to a book describing British workers in British jobs as idlers, was due last week to instruct the enemy on its terms of surrender over the Irish border; but it seems he was too hard-working to hand in his homework on time. Perhaps, like so many other schoolboys on his party's watch, the poor lout just isn't getting enough to eat? If so, it was typically fiendish of the Euro-wogs to tantalise him with a lecture on some hypothetical seafood, rather than focusing on such genuinely relevant issues as reparations, technological solutions, and who won the war anyway.

Me at Poetry24:
Past Glories

Friday, September 07, 2018

Ever and Again

Predictably enough, the centenary of the 1918 armistice is to be commemorated by perpetuating one of the more vulgar and meretricious displays of patriotism from the centenary of the war's breaking out. A tide of ceramic poppies, to the exact number of significant lives lost, is to be recycled for the appropriately-named Imperial War Museums in London and Manchester. Originally placed at the Tower of London, the installation has been gracing various sites across the country, including Hereford Cathedral, where doubtless much repentance was done for the Church's role in recruiting dupes for the crusade to save little Belgium from the baby-eating Hun. It's appropriate enough, in a shabby, bungled, British sort of way, that the interlude between the end of the fighting and the Treaty of Versailles should be commemorated by recycling a bit of exclusionist rah-rah associated with the beginning of the holocaust. Certainly there could be few more poignant ways to show precisely what lessons were learned at the time, and continue to be learned.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

It Just Wouldn't Feel the Same

Despite the liberating effect of WTO rules, as gushed over by Jacob Rees-Mogg and endorsed by Dominic Raab, according to the empty suit at the Treasury Her Majesty's Government is neither aiming nor expecting to avail itself of this freedomising opportunity. After a leaked document revealed that the Treasury puts Tumbledown Tessie's policy in the same category as floods and epidemics, the empty suit droned that certain governmental reprioritisations would inevitably be contingent upon the availing circumstances. Still more fascinatingly, the empty suit took particular care to point out that in the event of availing contingencies maintenance of confidence would need to be perpetuated because providers of financial services don't like to feel uncertain about things and might throw a hissy-fit should they suspect they were being treated like nurses, teachers or other immigrants. Translated into Standard English, the upshot is that in the event of the Rees-Mogg dream coming true the Conservatives will impose cuts on everything except bankers, tax dodgers, slum landlords and wog-stompers. The difference is that under the freedom of WTO rules they will be forced to do it, instead of continuing to do it by choice.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Ouvertures Amusantes

Faceless bureaucrats of the Brusso-Strasbourgian dictatorship have reportedly intervened to prevent diplomats from EU member states meeting independently with representatives from Her Britannic Majesty's Recrudescent Imperium of Westminster, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands. Since the fiend Barnier has dismissed proposal after proposal as unworkable, on the specious and trivial grounds that the squealing prima donna David Davis and the whimpering thug Dominic Raab have confined themselves entirely to unworkable proposals, the minions of Tumbledown Tessie have tried to approach the member states separately. Unfortunately, it's a bit difficult to divide and rule the enemy when the energies of one's own government are largely consumed in trying to bite its own head off. Still, the Government has made every reasonable attempt to swallow its hatred, even going to the lengths of having its documents translated for the benefit of those Euro-wogs who cannot afford translators of their own, since foreigners are famous for being unable to understand English. The faceless bureaucrats made no objection to this, but it seems that private meetings are a step too far; possibly because the continual diplomatic sniggering has started to cause distraction.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Blackest Ingratitude

Officials at the Ministry for Wog Control have displayed a disturbing lack of reverence for local religious truths by recommending that detainees should be paid more than one pound an hour for undertaking menial work. Until the Government achieves its long-term ambition of forcing all the proles to accept similar conditions, it would cost seven times as much to contract the work out to British workers doing British jobs; nevertheless, the compliant Sajid Javid and his minions consider a pound an hour too high. The rate has remained the same for ten years, but hopes that the deadlock could be broken with a twenty-five per cent reduction were cruelly dashed by fears of a Stalinist witch-hunt from the prisons inspectorate and other trendy lefties. Doubtless thanks to interference by Brussels and the non-respectable working class, unauthorised wogs cannot legally be starved or made to sleep in the open, and therefore receive food and accommodation at the taxpayers' expense; yet when out of the goodness of their hearts the turnkeys offer a few hours of intellectual recreation and profitable amusement unplugging a drain or cleaning a toilet, the resulting gratitude is sometimes not entirely unadulterated. In the face of such callous provocations, one wonders where the Ministry of Wog Control finds the fortitude to maintain its basic British decency.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Gove Ploughs On

For the jabbering homunculus that is Michael Gove, life is just one pestiferous blob after another. No sooner have teachers, lawyers and (temporarily) Boris Johnson been dispensed with, than the metropolitan farming élites start making a fuss, apparently because Britain's best advertisement for entomophagy once expressed a vague interest in keeping the country fed. Not only the beastly Euro-wogs, but even the Recrudescent Imperium's crazed Celtic fringes, have implemented measures to help their own farmers through the recent extreme weather; but as Secretary of State for the Environment the jabbering homunculus that is Michael Gove has many more important things to do than worry about the environment. Accordingly, his department extruded a spokesbeing to proclaim that the beastly Euro-wogs are even now being put in their place on the matter and are expected to fall into line by next week; so if Britain's food production should screech to a halt just in time for Britain's food imports to be held up in a lorry-jam the size of Kent, it is to be hoped that the rustic malcontents will know precisely who is to blame.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Bad Theology

Text for today: Mark 9 xxxviii-xli

The apostle John informs Jesus that someone has been casting out demons in His name, and that the disciples tried to stop him in order to protect the franchise. Jesus replies that anyone who performs miracles in His name will be in no hurry to speak evil of Him, and that whoever is not against His cult is for it. He proclaims that whoever gives a drink of water to the disciples because they are His disciples will be rewarded.

Here Jesus magnanimously implies that those who show charity will be spared the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, provided that their charity is shown to the right sort of people. He is also generous enough to recognise the value of good publicity, and to restrain His disciples from persecuting those for whose good works Jesus may one day receive credit.

Few tyrants regard themselves as bound by covenant to their own word, and it did not take long for the kingdom of Heaven to declare this particular bargain null and void. As recounted in Acts 19 xiii-xvii, during the ministry of Paul in Ephesus some exorcists attempted to expel a demon in the name of Jesus, only to be attacked and humiliated by the unfortunate possessee. Evidently God had decided by then that those who performed mighty works in the name of Jesus were expendable after all, since the name of Jesus was being duly magnified in any case.

Significantly, the Ephesus demon claims to recognise the name of Paul, founder of the Roman church, as well as that of Jesus; and the unsuccessful exorcists are Jewish. This foreshadows the approaching transference of God's favour away from the Jews and towards the Roman Empire, whose unfortunate symptoms of religious tolerance the name of Jesus would do so much to heal.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

One Small Misstep

When right-wing snowflakes start squealing about a film, it is usually because they want it banned or cut; so the righteous indignation at First Man's leaving something out makes for a refreshing change. The omitted scene depicts the moment when Neil Armstrong placed the Stars and Stripes on the surface of the moon: a moment neatly pre-satirised by Franklin Schaffner, Rod Serling and Charlton Heston in the original Planet of the Apes film the previous year. Apparently the sacred act was removed from First Man because the film-makers wished to show that this expensive if inconclusive bit of Cold War showmanship was a giant leap for everyone; doubtless including those uppity gooks whom the US government was doing everything it could to persuade that they, or at least their countries' resources, belonged to America first.