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Religion, "Nutters", and Mr Bean - The Bitch! - Articles Surfing

Well Readers,

After seeing "darling" used twice on forums this week with a new derogatory meaning, I am still avoiding my traditional opening in case anyone should take it as an unsuitable salutatory address. I do hope this new usage is only temporary, a short-term fad, and the word not in danger of suffering any permanent added or change of definition as that would be sad. However such has happened before to words, "gay" is an example, where they have changed almost overnight. In this instance, just imagine what such a change might do to all those treasured romantic love-letters of yesteryear. "My Dearest Darling" becomes a bit of a travesty when interpreted along the lines of: "My Dearest Well-Shafted Glove-Puppet", doesn't it? One has to admit there is a certain loss of endearment, but that's life, and I suppose we must carry on.

Has anybody been watching The Blair Years on television? No? Well, I am suffering it. Tony Blair's television "confession" this week that, despite Alastair Campbell telling journalists "we don't do God", behind the closed doors of Downing Street it was much to the contrary, cannot really be news to anybody, can it? I find it strange such "a revelation" has been made of this, when it is very old news. Tony tells us he was reluctant to discuss his faith publicly whilst premier for fear of being seen as "a nutter". Really? He thought it would take God to do that? I am surprised!

So what has changed? Has he now accepted he is a nutter? I mean, in this mini-series he appears to me to be rewriting history everywhere he can - he DID discuss his faith with us at that time. Who could ever forget the way in which, after that incredible Sunday morning television interview, the tabloids condemned him for telling us God guided his decisions on Iraq? Hallelujah! Glory be! It was a miracle! We had a chosen one to lead us who God alone spoke to and revealed the truth. The weapons of mass destruction did exist, it was a just war, and he was being given the strength to wage it. Yeah, right! I guess that strength was the sickly Cheshire Cat grin, those haughty eyes, and that egoistical waggling head with which to convince (does it need Vince?) the rest of us. No doubt it was God who arranged for that infamous dossier to be sexed-up too! The Big Guy was certainly kept busy, wasn't He?

One has to wonder: why are we being subjected to all this claptrap now? Some may say these programmes have been sanitised - I prefer: blatantly fictionalised! - but whatever, they are about a bad time in Britain's history, one that internationally many families won't want to remember, and which are probably best left behind us. I find it all somewhat in bad taste, and I am having difficulty in imagining why it has been dished up now, so soon after we were pleased to be rid of the man. Did perhaps Tony manage to convince somebody because he was missing the limelight? Prima donnas do, don't they?

If anyone ever needed a reason why religion and politics should never be mixed, this war that Tony Blair dragged us into must be the perfect example. It is bad enough that, directly as a result of this war which with a little more patience may have been avoided, thousands of people died or were mutilated, and that is still going on today. We really should not be making matters worse by claiming God had any part to play in it. He didn't. We know there were no weapons of mass destruction so, if there is a God and He by His very definition would not lie to us, we must make no mistake about it: anyone believing they were receiving Divine guidance based on those weapons existing would likely have been suffering some kind of a psychosis - in the vernacular: they are "nutters".

Having a religion does not to most people automatically make anyone "a nutter", not even in this country. Strangely it often commands some respect, so perhaps Tony Blair has been a little paranoid (a condition?) in thinking it would ridicule him. Would anybody say Cliff Richard has suffered for his beliefs? Of course not, if anything I think he has benefited. There is nothing at all wrong with being a deeply religious person, it is only what some people do with their religion that can make them unacceptable.

When someone reveals they see signs, hear voices, or find feelings and strengths are being gleaned from their religion which guide them to do what others may consider to be either stupid or bad, then that is when they become the "nutters" to everybody else. It is not unknown for murderers to claim they heard voices directing them, is it? Delusions are quite common, and people who suffer from them may deserve our understanding, help or pity, however I believe they should never, never, never, not under any circumstances, be encouraged. When later, as they invariably do, these people try to justify themselves to their critics they will often appear even more weird and unacceptable. Whatever is rightful and truthful rarely needs justification.

For any religious readers - and if you are not one please don't bale out now, this will be short and painless, I promise you! - I would like you to consider this scripture that many might say could have been written for a certain person:

Proverbs 6:16-19

16. There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to Him:

17. haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

18. a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil,

19. a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

Considering where in the world that scrawny finger is wagging today, and the delicate nature of that area, just in case this man's convictions should again prove deceptive, would somebody please take the limelight off him? If not for our sake, do it for God's sake!

Phew! That all got a bit deep for a while, didn't it? Still with me? Good! It is time to move on: I know, let us jump aboard Gordon Brown's elevator again, but I must warn you: some of the buttons don't appear to be working. It has become a seemingly one-way vehicle - down!

If you remember, last week we stopped off at that titanic floor marked: "Insecurity and Incompetence", so this week, passing the one for: "Military Funding Shortages and Lack of Appreciation" without stopping off - it was packed out, and promising all the excitement of a grenade found with its pin missing following the devastating attack launched by five former army chiefs who claim the armed forces are ignored by the government, unappreciated, and left to run on empty - we have today descended further to arrive at the floor which with all its flashing signs and howling sirens can only be: "Sleaze".

Could this floor be larger than the previous one we visited? It certainly appears much hotter. Oh, look! There's Gordon Brown, but who is that stood behind him with the dagger? Is it not that north-east property developer and financial supporter of the Labour Party, David Abrahams? You can see from his face he doesn't want to do it, but that arm seems to have a mind of it own and he's having an awful hard time preventing it plunging the knife between Gordon's shoulder blades. It must be something to do with that '600,000 of donations which are going to be returned to him - he'll have to pay taxes on that money now, and you don't get much back for your taxes these days, do you?

Gordon Brown's government, which I suspect suffers some disability that prevents it learning by its mistakes, ran true to form by repeating the mistake it made on being confronted with the data-loss crisis - which incidentally has worsened as discs are now being missed by other departments too! It hoped to pass off the whole scandalous affair of these origin-hidden donations as being the fault of one person, this time not some insignificant junior but Labour's General Secretary, Peter Watt, who doing the honourable thing immediately resigned. However, like with the data-loss, the buck has refused to stop at just one person. Many others are in danger of being implicated including high-ranking names like: Jon Mendelsohn, the chief fundraiser, and: Harriet Harman, the deputy leader and party chairwoman - whose husband, Jack Dromey, embarrassingly is the party's honorary treasurer. Some of them are undoubtedly far too close to the prime minister for his comfort, and people are already wondering how he could not have been aware of the illegalities - we are, after all, talking about some of their largest donations.

Perhaps at this time the only one we can be confident about not knowing of the irregularities is fast becoming: Sybil, the Downing Street cat. With the purrfect alibi - she doesn't do anything for money - this feline must think she is living in moggie heaven what with all the "fishy" goings on!

At Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, Gordon Brown arguably suffered one of the most humiliating and ferocious attacks known to a British premier. David Cameron went for the jugular, suggesting he was a control freak with no control, a man whose integrity was now under serious question and whose arrogance prevented him from taking the latest crisis seriously enough. With a noticeable venom he added that, frankly, the prime minister was simply not cut out for the job he had wanted for over a decade. And just when Gordon must have been thinking: it cannot possibly get any worse - it did.

Vince Cable, the acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, came out with a joke that may yet go down in the annals of parliamentary history as one of the most apt of the moment. To an eruption of riotous laughter from ALL sides, he nonchalantly noted Mr Brown's "remarkable transformation in the last few weeks from Stalin to Mr Bean, creating chaos out of order rather than order out of chaos". Even members of the prime minister's "inner circle" were openly seen to be enjoying the joke - and THAT, not religion, should Mr Blair still be interested, is true ridicule! Gordon Brown, a shadow of himself, left the chamber an insignificant fading grey man that day, with backbenchers commenting he may have a major illness ' and we all remember how it ended for John Major, don't we?

Two internal inquiries have been set up within the Labour party into Mr Abraham's dubious donations, the Electoral Commission will also be investigating, and it now looks inevitable the police will too - and that only months after they concluded investigating the "honours for cash" scandal where, surprisingly - including to those who carried out the actual investigation - the Criminal Prosecution Service (CPS) failed to charge anybody.

There are weeping wounds here that will not heal for a very long time, and the chances of them proving fatal cannot entirely be ruled out at this stage. The government's whole future could be resting on what the police and the internal inquiries find out, what remains (successfully?) concealed and, should there be a case for the CPS to prosecute, who exactly is involved.

It's a Hell of a ride, isn't it? I wonder: has anyone yet worked out how many more floors there are to go before we reach the "Great Inferno" in the basement? Of course, if or when we do finally arrive there, nobody should act surprised to find the guy stoking the furnace is sporting a humungous Cheshire Cat grin!

"The Bitch!" 29/11/07.

Submitted by:

Michael Knell

Michael Knell

"The Bitch!", a weekly UK News Review column, is hosted by the author and columnist Michael Knell. These articles appear on the Blackpool Gay Directory website, but are not usually specifically gay in content. More information on the author: http://www.michaelknell.com and on the directory: http://www.astabgay.com.



Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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