Monday, December 18, 2006

Let's all go down the pub with the Bishop of Southwark

I TRY not to be resentful about those City bankers (rhyming slang) who have just collected their million-pound bonuses, but it can be a bit difficult. At least I need not envy those who’ve booked a “trip of a lifetime” to Australia to watch what remains of The Ashes.

I can only imagine that they’re busy cancelling their hotels as we speak and instead booking a fortnight at Sandy Lane in Barbados, despite the risk of bumping into Michael Winner in his Speedos.

One group of people who aren’t going to worry too much about their Antipodean odyssey turning sour are the 14 MPs (and their wives in the case of the rare heterosexual ones) who are flying out on a subsidised tour tomorrow which includes bungee-jumping in New Zealand, shopping in Hong Kong and the odd bit of cricket in Melbourne and Sydney.

To you, Squire, a snip at £3,000. Actual cost, once all the freebies and hospitality have been removed, nearer six grand. Nice work if you can get it.

Of course, £3,000 would be beyond the pockets of most ordinary people, but not if you’re on £60k (demanding an increase to £100k) and “expenses” of a further £130,000 on average.

You know, there used to be an afternoon’s amusement in the House of Commons on the day that our elected members had to argue their case, in public, for an inflation-busting pay rise. I seem to remember people like Enoch Powell and Tony Benn causing huge embarrassment to their colleagues by objecting to any increase that would take the dishonourable members beyond the minimum wage.

These days it’s all different. Because they didn’t like having to argue their case in the full glare of the public eye, the issue of MPs’ pay was passed to a sub-committee of the civil service. Now they can bleat away about deserving the same money as GPs without having to stand up on their hind legs while exposing themselves to the ridicule of their constituents.

It’s snouts in the trough as usual. Nothing ever changes, except that they now get to fill their pockets without blushing when they’re next trying to explain to Mrs Trellis from North Wales why Gordon Brown’s run off with her pension.

NOW HERE’S a rare thing for this column – a true story. I was invited to the House of Lords for lunch last week as part of a charitable concern in which I’m involved. (No, it’s not Chinese Girls With Herpes.)

As it happens, I had to leave the house in the dark and only realised once I’d arrived at the station that I was wearing a blue pin-striped suit jacket and grey pin-striped suit trousers. Under normal circumstances, I’d have killed myself rather than undergo the embarrassment of such a fashion faux pas. But instinct told me that I might just get away with it.

Dear Reader, I need not have worried. I spent the best part of three hours in the House of Lords without anyone giving me a second glance. To be fair, I looked more normal than most of the Upper House. There were people in carpet slippers, smoking jackets and the kind of tweed suits that have not only seen service on the grouse moor, but have been used to carry back the dead birds as well.

But what did impress me was the honesty with which these people went about their jobs. They might be hereditary peers or they might be NuLabour placemen, but there was a genuine feeling that their role was a very real check and balance on the simplistic, knee-jerking, law-making process of Mr Blah’s glib and gutless government.

It’s something to think about the next time you’re told that there’s no need for such back up.

THERE’S SOMETHING inspiring about life when there’s a drunken Bishop running riot in London.

I refer, of course, to the Right Reverend Tom Butler, the Bishop of Southwark, who overdid the cheeky Rioja at a reception at the Irish Embassy and was later found rampaging around the streets trying to climb into the back of people’s cars and then, the next day, claiming that he’d been mugged as a means of explaining away his UDIs (unidentified drinking injuries).

Let’s face it: who hasn’t done the same, especially at this time of year. I find it encouraging that the Church is taking greater steps to get in touch with the common people. Coming next, the Archbishop of Canterbury offers to sort out anyone who might have been looking at him a bit funny while the Archbishop of York staggers through a crowded Weatherspoons shouting: “Did you spill my pint?” Marvellous stuff.

WOOH! STEP away from the spontaneously combusting children!

There has been a Christingle service held at Chelmsford Cathedral since 1747. In all that time, there is no record of a small child catching fire due to the “candle stuck in an orange” combo that is customary at these events.

Let’s fast forward to 2006, where a man called Richard Spilsbury, one of the organisers, has decreed that this year the kids must carry fluorescent glow-sticks rather than the traditional burning candle. “Some parents have raised concerns about their children’s hair catching fire,” he says.

Liar, liar, pants on fire. Show me a single parent who has “raised concerns”. It’s the Health and Safety Nazis in action again. And let’s face it, if we do lose the odd five-year-old in a tangerine inferno, isn’t it worth it just to maintain these old traditions?

Meanwhile the Jokeforce, the government-funded organisation that provides material for satirical columnists, has been out and about in Preston, where a pantomime society has been banned from throwing sweets into the audience in case they injure someone.

So there you go. Never mind your child being mown down by a 4x4 outside their school. Never mind your child being murdered by the East Stranglia. Let’s just worry about them being consumed by Christingle flames or being laid low by a flying Werther’s Original.

It’s enough to make a cat laugh.

O The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this website, of anyone surprised that Mr Blah arranged to be interviewed by the police at the exact moment the Princess Di report was unveiled, of anyone who doesn't think that Jonathan Ross has jumped the shark, or of anyone who hasn't heard about the dyslexic Santa who's been leaving prossies under trees in Ipswich.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its been very cold in the red light district of Ipswich lately.

Its minus five at the moment...

Arf Arf

Anyone noticed how prostitutes are now called Sex Workers by some papers and the BBC.. Sex Workers. . where the tax and the HSE gonna get involved then.

Oh yeah sorry - heroine addicts. They get benefits the poor souls.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous AdeV said...

Barry said: It’s enough to make a cat laugh.

It would be, if the cat hadn't already had a stroke brought on by skyrocketing blood pressure caused by furious anger at the imbecilic behaviour of those who "deign" to lead us. The cat could, of course, have been saved to have his laugh - had the NHS not been crippled by the fact it can only afford to employ one nurse, despite record splurges by the Fat Chancellor.

Did anyone see Blair don a Jewish skull cap today? What a moron! What planet is he on? It's a bloody good job for my liberty that I don't know him, because he'd be nursing a few broken teeth just now. Ooooh, it makes me mad.

You must excuse me, I have to go now - my cat is either having hysterics or a heart attack - I'm not sure which.

3:48 PM  
Blogger The Weardale Militia said...

By gum lad what has it come to when so called honest citizens are dobbing the RNLI dummies for not having a trading license to collect money. Well I do hope the aforementioned honest citizens set sail in a leaking boat and are never heard of again. I cannot believe that we have reached this pathetic level of paper pushing, jobs worth crass stupidity. These dummies don’t cold call on the telephone offering me ludicrous loans, double-glazing, kitchen and bathroom modernization packages. A dummy (Mannequin) has never mugged me – although a dummy from Sunderland did try once. Dummies don’t cheat on insurance, council tax and claim they are separated from their spouse in order to claim more benefit from the government (tax payers).
I think the only saving grace is the fact that they are not involved in the cash for honours scandal other wise Tony (I am looking older ) Bliar would probably have to distance himself from them. However I understand the dummies have not been cautioned and when questioned did not say anything.
In closing I think Tony needs to put these two dummies into the front bench, oops the front bench is full of dummies already.
It is also incredible to read that “The Royal Regiment of Scotland” has 5000 personnel and only 320 kilts between them. Do they have to share body armour and weapons as well?

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bazza, It's nice to see Christmas time doesn't interfere with your ability to produce your weekly pile of dross - nice to see the recycled 'prossie' "joke" from Popbitch ! Well done !

Happy Christmas you unfunny bunghole x

3:07 AM  
Blogger forester said...

I always read the diatribe, and love it.
Baz for PM, IMHO.
However, I don't laugh quite as much as I used to for the simple reason that the things which this so-called government get up to, and the antics of the PC councils and elf-and-safety lunatics, are beyond parody.
For every stupid new ruling which Baz derides, a new and even more stupid item pops out of the woodwork - banning Christingle candles????
Oh pur-leeeeze! Cat hyterics.

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHY do people who obviously dislike Bazza's stuff still keep coming here and whining? If you go to a pub or restaurant, and you no like, then surely you'd just.....not go there again?

12:29 PM  
Anonymous adev said...

Ah, the wheels are coming off big time, it seems...

Brown's airport tax hike looks like it might be illegal (at least until Budget Day:

And in other news, the Scare-yourself-witless Mail reports that Labour are busy spend spend spending in Labour constituencies while starving Tory & LibDem land:

IMHO, Blair & Brown (in particular - a few other choice individuals spring to mind also) should be put up on charges of High Treason.

4:05 PM  

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