I know it shouldn’t any more – but what people say, the words they use and the underlying assumptions such words reveal still has the power to shock me.
Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic, for example, has this to say of the future nature of the priesthood:
“It is a free world and I realise that many priests have found it very difficult to cope with celibacy as they lived out their priesthood and felt the need of a companion, of a woman, to whom they could get married and raise a family of their own.”
I notice two things here – both of which serve to shock me. Firstly, the reassuring reminder that it’s women these free spirits are looking for as companions. Secondly, that it’s a free world Cardinal O’Brien is observing.
Amazing, isn’t it? And there was I, thinking the real problem has been a not insignificant number of priests who – through the decades – have demonstrated how they’ve wanted anything but the onerous obligations of marriage and family, when engaging in the perverse delights of illicit flesh.
These words are almost as revealing as the following comments on the poor. Again, we get a representative of the powers-that-be uncovering their most primitive prejudices:
Germany’s development minister has suggested food tainted with horsemeat should be distributed to the poor.
Dirk Niebel said he supported the proposal by a member of the governing CDU party, and concluded: “We can’t just throw away good food.”
A German church concurs:
[...] Prelate Bernhard Felmberg, the senior representative of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), has backed the proposal.
“We as a Church find the throw-away mentality in our society concerning. How and whether to distribute the products in question would have to be examined,” the priest said.
“But to throw away food that could be consumed without risk is equally bad as false labelling and cannot be a solution.”
Quite. No solution at all.
So how about, instead, we serve it up for as long as it lasts to all those politicians, church representatives and other moneyed members of society who believe, in their innermost sanctums, that the poor are truly deserving – but only of the crumbs from the high tables that clearly plague us?
This is verily beyond the palest of pales. If the poor are deserving right now of receiving “tainted” beef, if – as the German development minister argues – “unfortunately there are people [in Germany] for whom it is financially tight, even for food [...]“, then these very same disadvantaged were also just as deserving before recent events took their sorry course.
That the powerful now argue the poor have suddenly become deserving of our charity, and at exactly the same time that metric tonnes of mislabelled horsemeat need to be summarily shifted, is a rank duplicity of the very worst sort. One hardly needs to be an expert in stratospheric spin to understand that heavy business interests will be pulling in all sorts of favours from their meek and puppet-mastered politicians, as someone tries to salvage as much resource as possible from the disaster. And what better way than make the poor pay for their poverty?
What better way than via taxpayer-funded graft?
We’re back, I fear, to those prejudiced Tories of yore – for they’re all the same, whatever political allegiances they pointedly profess – who are always trying to slap taxes on plebeian caravans, Cornish pasties and grannies.
We’re back, in fact, to those very plebeian sausage rolls.
Money buys everything.
It just doesn’t buy it for everyone.
Now does it?