Mrs Proudie
Meditation and Reflection

Mrs Proudie: "Do these politicians know how much they are loathed?"

 

One must confess the hottest gossip around the Cathedral Close in Barchester this week has been last week’s ‘Affair of the Missing Apostrophe’. Shame and embarrassment, together with an Archiepiscopal admonition, has kept me indoors pouring over Fowler’s Modern English Usage, so I have had to rely on the goodwill of others – and The Jupiter – to shed light on things.

At this point I fear I must announce to all my dear friends that the Bishop and I will be taking an extended trip abroad, leaving on 6th June, and will not return until the end of the month, cannibals and head hunters permitting. As we traverse mountain, swamp and jungle I shall be distribute my latest tract – ‘Always hire a porter to carry the White Man’s Burden’ – which contains practical evangelical tips for the intrepid adventurer, missionary and surgical appliance salesman. Mr. Slope will not be accompanying us, having decided to follow his Baedeker through the avenues, alleyways and back passages of Berlin in search of all that is thigh-slappingly gemütlich. He is packing his lederhosen and dirndl even now.

But enough of this domestic tittle-tattle – what of the world?

My Lord the Bishop, newly returned from the Upper House where he has been debating the ‘Convent Candles (Restricted Usage) Bill’, reports that knives are out for the Prime Minister over Project Fear fibbery and his associated slipperiness. Shadowy figures stalk the corridors of power barely concealing their stilettos, which rules out Dennis Skinner as he simply doesn’t have the calves for it. One senior Parliamentarian says he would never stab Mr. Cameron in the back, preferring to stab him in the front so he can watch his expression (‘Et tu, Brute?’) but the Bishop of Littlehampton is known for hyperbole and his threats are mere trumpery. A vote of no confidence has been mooted, however – does anyone have confidence in politicians these days? And one wonders who is pulling the strings? Swirling Earl Grey tea leaves in my cup this morning I could just make out the sinister profile of Mrs. May, the Madame Mim of the Home Office. Could it be she? But one has to acknowledge that Mrs May is an Islamic scholar of great renown, like many in the present government who are quick to proclaim ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ as soon as the dust from a suicide bomb settles. Mrs. May says many British people have benefited from Sharia Law but asking for a show of hands would be somewhat counter-productive. I say we all used to benefit from Common Law, but that seems to be consigned to the lumber room of history. Do these politicians know how much they are loathed?

Speaking of trumpery, Archdeacon Grantly is rather excited that the Republicans are falling in line behind ‘the Donald’ on his progress towards the U.S. Presidency and is confident, within the first hundred days, that walls will be built and slavery re-instated. I am not so sure.

“I tell you, Mrs. Proudie, the man has bottom. When I look at Mr. Trump I see nothing but a principled Whig.”

“You are quite wrong, Archdeacon,” I replied. “I am sure his quiff is quite natural, if somewhat outré. But pray, what do you see when you look at Mrs. Clinton?”

There followed a loud ‘Harrumph!’ and a reference to Revelation 17:4-6.

Goodness!

With the better weather, sport is once again the talk of the gentlemen here. Bertie Stanhope is forever going on about his last googly and I wish he would just go and silly-mid-off. Cricket is just about bearable, but I find the best way of dealing with football is to ignore it completely – it is a game for under-footmen, stable lads and Northerners – but concede it is useful as a device for letting off steam and preventing revolution. Dr. Thorne informs me that Brazil is hosting a world-wide football shindig this summer, despite there being an outbreak of Zika virus, carried by mosquitoes and particularly dangerous for pregnant women. I can’t imagine many such women would wish to compete in long jumps or shot putting in such an intemperate climate, but these are emancipated times – I blame Mrs. Bloomer and her new-fangled loose-fitting attire. Dr. Thorne is joining the medical team in Rio, but says there is no cure for Zika; one simply has to take precautions against mosquito bites. Advise liberal usage of a hobnob poultice worn under the vest at all times – I have always found it keeps my Lord the Bishop at a safe distance.

Ah, the Cathedral bells are ringing and good Barchester folk are gathering in the Chapel of the Duplicitous Eurocrat to pray for the right outcome in the Neverendum. My Lord the Bishop is delivering a short homily entitled: ‘Drive out the Money Changers and stick with the pound’, which should rally the troops. In a few days we shall be off on our adventure, so I must hand back the Quill of Humility and Temperance to His Grace. Until July, dear hearts, adieu!

  • David

    As usual both hilarious and most topical.
    Mrs Proudie, enjoy your adventures in foreign climes.
    Bon voyage !

  • Royinsouthwest

    Do these politicians know how much they are loathed?

    Perhaps not but they don’t really care as long as there are enough people stupid enough to vote for them.

    • Anton

      Self-interest is not stupid. The electoral system has become an auction of promises since the Welfare State grew.

      • Merchantman

        In 1945 we built the welfare state while Germany rebuilt their industrial base. Industry is warfare by other means.

        • dannybhoy

          Good point. The Welfare State has done a great deal of harm to our British character. By all means look after the elderly and vulnerable, but everyone else should do physical community work in return for benefits.

    • dannybhoy

      The people don’t really have an option though, do they?

  • ‘Mrs May is an Islamic scholar of great renown, like many in the present government who are quick to proclaim ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ as soon as the dust from a suicide bomb settles. Mrs. May says many British people have benefited from Sharia Law but asking for a show of hands would be somewhat counter-productive. ‘

    Laugh out loud moment.

    • dannybhoy

      “but asking for a show of hands would be somewhat counter-productive. ”
      Attached or detached?

      • Politically__Incorrect

        I suppose we should show them while we still have them

        • dannybhoy

          If you were a card player you could throw your hand in..

    • The Explorer

      In a strict Islamic country, a show of hands would include a show of wrist stumps.

  • Jolly Roger

    Do these politicians know how much they are loathed?

    Yes, your Grace, but it’s shades of the Old Contemptables.

    Members of our ruling caste wear this contempt like a community service worker (formerly know as a petty criminal) wears his community service orders – as badges of pride. The Order of the Garter has got nothing on these.

    Or as St Paul observed, their glory is in their shame.

  • Jolly Roger

    Your Grace,

    the declarations made by Mrs May and others of the Westminster aristocracy are meant to indicate to the would-be hand-showers that they have no power to keep their hands down even if they were asked to show them; as well as to indicate to them that they won’t be asked anyway.

  • len

    I think most people realise that Cameron and his followers know nothing of ‘ the man in the street’and are in power to look after the elites in our society and this has created a huge chasm between ‘them’ and ‘us’. ‘All in it together..’.not!.

    Best wishes on your trip Mrs Proudie.

  • IanCad

    Calm sea and prosperous voyage Mrs P

  • dannybhoy

    ” Mr. Slope will not be accompanying us, having decided to follow his
    Baedeker through the avenues, alleyways and back passages of Berlin in
    search of all that is thigh-slappingly gemütlich. He is packing his
    lederhosen and dirndl even now.”

    He’s a rum’n that Mr Slope..
    Are we to understand that you’re grammatical standard’s slipp’d in last weeks’ edition of the Barchester Echo?
    For shame madam. I suspect some here* were more focused on your crinoline slips to notice any grammatical failings.

    * yes, you know who you are…

    “…which rules out Dennis Skinner as he simply doesn’t have the calves for it.”
    Excellent!

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Mrs Proudie, you’ll be pleased to know I have found your missing apostrophe…

    “Islam is a religion of peace”. Hmmmm. Not sure about that. “A religion of pieces (body parts)” maybe. Sharia is the unofficial second legal system in this country which operates in the Muslim communities because our supine politicians lack the courage to do anything about it. Presumably Mrs May’s endorsement is to prepare us for the day when it becomes the official law of the land. That will be sad day Mrs Proudie, as you will be forced to Barchester Central Mosque dressed like a walking black letterbox. What do I see when I look at Mrs May? Total surrender to the caliphate.

    • dannybhoy

      That capitulation began the moment politicians and “dogooders” convinced themselves that they should feel ashamed of our past, our Empire and our Christian heritage.
      Fortunately some British people didn’t buy into it, and have no intention of going quietly into the night…

      • David

        Quite Dannyboy, quite !
        Some of us have no intention of hauling up white flags. Although many of the young are at present focussed on problems with careers and housing, as they mature a good proportion of them too will defend their culture. Early signs are that the young are decidedly more right leaning in their views. Hope springs eternal.

        • dannybhoy

          This is one of the great problems faced by finite human beings. Parents often fail to communicate to their children the values and opinions they hold, that were shaped by their life experience.
          Western young people often think their parents are out of touch, because as young people their experiences are so much more vivid and immediate.

          • David

            But as they mature the offspring often “discover” that the older ones were right. That process of growing into a little more wisdom as we age is all part of gaining maturity.

          • dannybhoy

            Quite so. It is the denigration of the (hopefully) benign authority and role modelling of parents which often causes problems. There are other faith communities that show a strong belief in family life and respect for parents….. ;0)

          • Merchantman

            Remember the Islamic Parliament? Remember the boast the Black flag of Islam would fly over the Houses of Parliament?
            Still our politicos tremble and sit on their hands. They were warned and did nothing while the intrepid Mrs P ventures into savage parts.
            Mrs P for PM.

          • dannybhoy

            I have been talking to my non Christian friends and neighbours. Patriots all, who want to see our nationhood and self determination restored. We Brits are a remarkable people with a remarkable history who have contributed a great deal of civilisation to the world in a way that many who flock here have not. We should not be ashamed of our past or our achievements, but rather remember our forebears who believed in Britain and try to emulate their example..

          • David

            Once again I agree. The worship of youth culture, as a part of the cult of modernity, lowers respect for both the wisdom of the aged and the soothing, binding effects of tradition on our society. Western society is in a state of near turmoil and confusion, a condition which of course has been deliberately engineered by the would be destroyers of our largely Judaeo-Christian based western culture.
            Many profess to eschew Christianity as they now follow “reason and science”, but their irrational, unnatural claims regarding the family and the nature of man and woman, proves that they merely claim that allegiance, to gain a tool by which to recruit gullible followers and attack the largely faith based roots of our western paradigms.
            Until relativism and multiculturalism is shown up, for the benefit of the masses, to be the hollow, false thing that it truly is, I see little hope of a return to a more purposeful, wholesome society.
            But God has infinite patience. So hopefully the tide will turn away from despair to life and hope once more.

          • dannybhoy

            I cvouldn’t agree more David. We have ceased to be citizens and have become ‘consumers’.
            Your views and mine are spookily similar. Do I know you?
            Were you ever in YWAM?

    • Anton

      The apostrophe is not a catastrophe.

  • carl jacobs

    But couldn’t we get a travel journal? Something like “Beyond the Edge of Civilization: Mrs Proudie in Paris.”

  • carl jacobs

    No, it’s widely recognized that Revelation 17 is a reference to the RCC. Reference any Chick tract for corroboration.

    • Anton

      Even I don’t believe that! The Catholic church was the best fit to Revelation 17 in the 16th century when European Catholic powers were conquering a good deal of the rest of the world and the Pope still had much political power. Not so today. The woman is either a New Age syncretist religious system or the world financial system; time will tell which, but kings could commit adultery with both. And Istanbul is also on seven hills. Jack Chick makes many mistakes; if you are going to criticise the Vatican, get your facts right.

      • carl jacobs

        Irony, Anton. Irony. 😉

        • Anton

          Who taught you that?

          • carl jacobs

            Well, not Jack, that’s for sure. But he’ll take credit for it.

            Jack was my actual target. Chick tracts are a sure way to annoy him. 🙂

          • Anton

            Duly noted, although I prefer reading history to fiction…

          • sarky

            Strange sentence for a Christian…

          • The Explorer

            What about Christian historians?

          • sarky

            Oxymoron.

          • Anton

            Why?

          • Old Nick

            I am neither an Oxy nor a Moron

          • The Explorer

            Herbert Butterfield?

          • sarky

            Ah yes, the man who believed that “historians couldn’t uncover the hand of god in history”.

          • The Explorer

            All historians have a theory of history, even if the philosophy of history is not their specialism. Think of Vico, Macaulay, Carr, Hegel, von Ranke, Marx…

          • sarky

            Chick tracts?? Is that like bibles for birds?

          • dannybhoy

            I liked the Jack Chick tracts! They laid out the basics of the Gospel in an easy to look at format and were a useful evangelical tool.

          • That’s a brave (if sad) confession.

          • dannybhoy

            I’m a brave if sad Christian Jack..

            “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
            Romans 1:16

            “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
            1 Corinthians 1:18

          • Surely you cannot be serious about Jack Chick? It was a joke, right?

          • dannybhoy

            Not at all. I came to faith through an evangelical Anglican curate – a most gentle and inspirational man. We used to go out knocking on doors, we were encouraged to witness to our workmates and to becomer disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
            Jack T Chick’s heart was in the right place, and he actually did something to share his faith.

          • Anton

            I know nothing about any evangelistic tracts that Jack Chick has written, but his critique of Roman Catholicism makes many basic errors. If you are going to criticise the Vatican, you should get your facts right.

          • dannybhoy

            “I know nothing about any evangelistic tracts that Jack Chick has written..”
            Well it’s kind of weird that you picked up on his ‘critiqueing’ of Catholicism yet you know nothing of his evangelical tracts… That’s what he was well known for -not his anti Catholic stuff.

            Please note the titles.. I don’t remember anyone who specifically sought out his Catholic centered tracts, but I do remember reading at least a couple; and Boy, the damage those things did me. It’s a wonder I didn’t get locked up for Popeophobia……

            1. This Was Your Life

            2. Greatest Story Ever Told

            3. A Love Story

            4. The Choice

            5. The Little Ghost

            6. The Empty Tomb

            7. Charlie’s Ants

            8. The Long Trip

            9. One Way

            10. You Have a Date
            http://www.chick.com/

            There are tracts on Catholicism, so here’s a Catholic website on the subject..
            http://www.catholic.com/documents/the-nightmare-world-of-jack-t-chick

          • Anton

            God bless his evangelism, but if you get your facts wrong about Catholicism then you don’t do protestants or Catholics any favours.

          • dannybhoy

            Anton, we’re talking 40-50 years ago and evangelical views on Catholicism were more robust. Were they factually wrong? I don’t know. I can’t even remember any of them.

          • Anton

            Five years ago and a committed evangelical but tired of seeing bad arguments about Rome I did my own work to find what critiques were valid and which were not. For instance, the book Vicars of Christ by Peter de Rosa (a priest who resigned/was expelled over Humanae Vitae and became a Father Ted scriptwriter) is hugely entertaining but inaccurate; he quotes as authoritative a man called Lehmanovsky who toured the 19th century USA claiming to have been in Napoleon’s army and liberated naked, light-starved, tortured, starving captives from the dungeons of the Inquisition in Madrid – dungeons which the inhabitants of the house in question existed but which were found by pouring water on the floor and seeing where it went. It’s nonsense: not a single detail matches public records of where the Inquisition was based in Spain. De Rosa was more subtle than most; much of what he said was in fact true, and for the rest he covered himself by using sources contemporary with the claims yet chosen as anti-Catholic. The largest myth about Rome (not in de Rosa but perhaps in Chick?) is that it is the worship of ancient pagan Babylon in disguise. This claim dates back to the 19th century pseudoscholarship of a Scottish protestant called Alexander Hislop who wrote a book called The Two Babylons. But it’s nonsense, and was debunked by another evangelical protestant called Ralph Woodrow who wrote a short book “The Babylon Connection?” knocking Hislop over and then presenting his own arguments against Rome. Then ther’s the apocryphal tale of Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) holding an orgy at which naked prostitutes crawled to eat roast chestnuts off the floor with their mouths, and were coupled with by the menservants present (or by cardinals). But unlike most of the diary of Johan Burchard, the Pope’s butler, which is its source, we do not have this scene in Burchard’s own hand, and the story is implausible given the presence in Rome at that time of representatives of the Duke of Ferrara, into whose family Borgia was proposing to marry his daughter Lucrezia. I find the truth about Rome shocking enough without embellishment and I do my best to stick to it.

          • dannybhoy

            It’s all a storm in a teacup Anton, and I just don’t get into that stuff these days. In fact I have more to do with Catholics than ever before. We have Catholic friends through church and being a member of Churches Together, I get to meet members of our nearest Catholic congregation and sometimes go to services.

            But I’m not an ecumenical in the strict sense of the word. First and foremost I am a Christian, and given the opportunity I will share with anyone why I believe in Jesus as my Saviour and Lord and why ‘ye must be born again..’
            What I realise now is that our Lord loves people, and so should we. So we try to see beyond the theological differences to the real person and love them without compromising our own beliefs.

            http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2013/06/03/pope-francis-is-under-attack-for-saying-that-outside-the-church-there-is-no-salvation-its-a-poke-in-the-eye-says-one-presbyterian-why-hes-wrong/

          • CliveM

            Peter de Rosa also wrote the Bless me Father books which became a RC sitcom starring Capt Mainwaring!

            In the main they seemed quite pro the RCC. Had a quite revealing episode in one of the books

          • The Explorer

            A type of chick lit.

          • Chicken shite, more like.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Manners !

          • Shite then.

          • carl jacobs

            They are these little comic books written by a guy named Jack Chick. They are about three inches by one and one half. You can find them online if you have a mind. They are notoriously anti-Catholic of the “Hitler was a Catholic plot” variety. I tell people to check the literature rack in a church. If you see Chick Tracts, you should not pass Go, and you should not collect $200. You should leave immediately.

            There is a good apologetic and there is a bad apologetic. Jack Chick represents a really really really bad apologetic.

          • dannybhoy

            Not so, anti-Jack T Chick person!
            Yes he did hit on the Roman Catholic Church, but he also illustrated the power and influence of Satan on the world, and the effects of sin. His view of the RCC was quite common amongst us non conformists at that time.

          • carl jacobs

            They represent a peculiar sub-culture of American Christianity – the true Fundamentlist. Anti-intellectual, isolationist, exceptionally legalistic. The Tracts are theologically shallow and often simply wrong.

          • dannybhoy

            Not so, O Snobby one. A lot of people understood what Jack T Chick was saying, even of they rejected it. It might also interest you to know that even today many many Christian people would not describe themselves as “intellectuals.”
            It’s not how much you know old Bean, but what you do with what you know that counts…
            Legalistic? Maybe, but there are still plenty of (intellectually) religious people who could be described as legalistic; whether it be in their devotion to theology or ritual…

          • carl jacobs

            When one responds to textual variants by declaring (on the basis of nothing whatsoever) that the KJV is a re-inspiration of Scripture, one has gone off the rails. Being anti-intellectual is not a good thing. Sourcing truth in human speculation is not the same thing as being an intellectual.

          • dannybhoy

            Oh stop being so stuffy! You don’t have any ‘duhh brains’ in your family??
            Look, God knows that some of us were at the back of the queue when the brains and looks were being handed out. That’s why God invented shepherds, field workers, and nightwatchmen. In His Kingdom everyone has a role and a responsibility..
            But none of us are perfect, Carl.
            Not even Jack T Chick… ;0)

          • sarky

            Don’t tell me. When god handed out brains, you thought he said trains and asked for a slow one.

          • dannybhoy

            You guessed!

          • Pubcrawler

            I daren’t ask who the fairy is…

          • dannybhoy

            :0)

          • Take credit for what? No thank you.

        • That’s sarcasm, Grasshopper. A very poor use of irony.

          Irony is used to convey, usually, the opposite meaning of the actual things you say, but its purpose is not intended to hurt the other person. Sarcasm, while still keeping the “characteristic” that you mean the opposite of what you say, unlike irony it is used to hurt the other person.

          • carl jacobs

            Only if you think I take them seriously. And you know I don’t.

          • The use of double irony, then?

          • carl jacobs

            The point was to discredit the assertion about the RCC being the woman by establishing it with a notoriously unreliable authority. I get the joy of taking a cheap shot at Rome while implicitly denying it.

            Not unlike a saying to your wife “Honey, we should become Mormon. Joseph Smith says I could have two wives.”. There will be consequences but by and large they are worth the moment.

          • So you were using sarcasm after all. The difference in the examples cited? Presumably you love your wife and she knows this.

      • dannybhoy

        Quite right. I was brought up to believe that the Pope was the Harlot, the Great Babylon etc. etc.
        Although I have reservations about some aspects of Catholic theology I have reservations about Anglican theology too. After all, the Anglican Church is but an estranged daughter of Rome…
        I think there is something else going on in the (true) Christian Church which is leading folk away from the authority of Scripture, salvation and repentance, into something more ecumenical and ‘New Ageish’..

      • Royinsouthwest

        Rome and Istanbul (or Constantinople as it unfortunately isn’t today) are not the only cities built on seven hills. Mecca is too, but then so is Bergen in Norway! According to Wikipedia there are lots of cities around the world that are supposed to be built on seven hills.

        List of cities claimed to be built on seven hills
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_claimed_to_be_built_on_seven_hills

        • Anton

          I too am aware of that list, but Hush – don’t tell anybody that Abergavenny is to become the capital of the world.

    • The Explorer

      It’s a reference to Kim Kardashian.

    • Coniston

      Surely, at the time it was written, the reference was to the city of Rome (and the Roman Empire).

      • Anton

        The Book of Revelation was written by John in real time as he saw the vision, and he was forbidden to edit it afterwards. It says these things.

      • The Explorer

        On the other hand, there are the references to Babylon. The first rider is given a bow: not an obviously-Roman weapon. The Beast is a composite of the four beasts of ‘Daniel’. Each Daniel beast represented a specific empire, but this one is a blend: suggesting political power generally.

        • Merchantman

          ‘…..but this one is a blend’ -Islam?

          • The Explorer

            My own view is that the Beast is hostile political power during the history of the Church, probably culminating in some form of Islam.

          • Anton

            The beast is political and the woman is spiritual. I strongly believe that Islam is a male spirit rather than a female one. I take the beasts of Daniel 7, who are blended here, to be the four empires that lead up to Christ’s second coming, just as Daniel 2 portrayed as parts of a statue the four empires that led up to his First coming. The first two beasts, the lion and the bear, are clearly the British Empire and the Soviet one. The fourth is the world empire that Christ returns to trash. The third, the winged leopard, I believe to be either an Islamic political entity or China. Time will soon tell which. But I am confident that the four beasts are not a recapitulation of Daniel 2, even though there are some parallels. For Daniel was told that the four beasts were in the future, whereas the head of the statue represented Babylon, which had already conquered the Jews at his time.

          • The Explorer

            Daniel sees a lion, a bear. a leopard and an unspecified beast with bronze claws and ten horns. They are sequential, representing different empires: the little horn that appears from the last beast being Antiochus IV Epiphanies. John sees a beast with ten horns, like a leopard but with feet like a bear and with a lion’s mouth. That seem to me a recapitulation of Daniel’s beasts, but the difference in order suggests they are not intended to be sequential but a conglomerate.

            I agree that there is a distinction between the woman and the beast on which she rides, and that ‘Revelation’ is concerned with spiritual as well as political corruption. Hence the woman Jezebel, and the second beast that looks like a lamb and talks like a dragon, and directs worship to the first beast.

            I am not dogmatic about an Islamic Antichrist. A global monetary system is emphasised, and that would fit a development of the EU/UN; so some sort of New-Age Antichrist is as plausible as an Islamic one. Or some development in the future, as yet unforeseen.

          • Anton

            If you think the little horn from Daniel’s 4th beast in ch.7 is Antiochus IV then you presumably believe that the 4 beasts are a recapitulation of the 4 parts of the statue in Dan 2; whereas I think that they are the 4 empires that lead to Christ’s second coming while Dan 2 shows the four that lead up to his First. There are some parallels, to be sure, but it is odd that God (through Daniel) would portray Alexander as a goat in another vision of Daniel’s yet as a different animal here. Above all, though, Daniel was told that the four beasts were in the future, whereas the head of the statue represented Babylon, which had already conquered the Jews at his time. We agree about the rest.

          • The Explorer

            Much of ‘Daniel’ relates to the future (for us, as well as for Daniel); so you may well be right.

      • len

        ‘Babylon ‘was the code word for Rome amongst the jews (not surprising seeing the immoral practices that went on there)
        A ‘harlot’ was in biblical terms an unfaithful wife or a prostitute who sold herself for a price.’Israel’ was described as such but more importantly it has to be someone who professes to be faithful to her husband but is not….this is obviously false Christianity Catholic OR Protestant being unfaithful to Christ either by their actions or their theology….
        Islam plays a part in Revelation (those beheaded by the sword) who would have thought these barbaric practices would be happening now in a supposedly civilised world?) But the Bible as always got it right no ‘allegory’ here.
        ‘The beast’ is a corrupt political system and’ the woman'(take your pick) attempts to use’ the beast’ for her own purposes but the beast turns on her and destroys her.
        As the EU has chosen some of the symbols of ‘Revelation’ to identify herself could anything be plainer?.

    • It’s a reference to Man City and Pepe Guardiola.

  • HedgehogFive

    As for Islam being totalitarian, here it is, from the horse’s mouth:

    How Islam Is Different From Other Religions

  • “I find the best way of dealing with football is to ignore it completely – it is a game for under-footmen, stable lads and Northerners – but concede it is useful as a device for letting off steam and preventing revolution.”

    You must be referring to Gridiron Football, that bastardisation of a game our colonial cousins invented as they struggled to comprehend FA Football and Rugby Football.

    “Dr. Thorne informs me that Brazil is hosting a world-wide football shindig this summer, despite there being an outbreak of Zika virus, carried by mosquitoes and particularly dangerous for pregnant women.”

    My dear lady, there is a Football tournament in France starting next week – Euro 2016. Brazil will be hosting the Olympic Games.

    • dannybhoy

      Football used to be a sport. Now it’s a business.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      France? Goodness…I take little notice of things over there since poor Louis Philippe was dethroned.

    • len

      “I find the best way of dealing with football is to ignore it completely” Totally agree with Mrs Proudie .Why should we all have endless football thrust upon us is a mystery to me.It is a game of two halves the first boring, the second more so….a trip up the Limpopo sounds quite exciting in comparison

      • Darts fan, Len?

        • len

          ‘Arrows ‘yes but large ones ….Archery

  • Uncle Brian

    Bon voyage, Mrs Proudie! If you can spare a few moments from time to time, please do send us a postcard, however brief!

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Well I don’t know if they have post offices up the Limpopo…but one will try

      • Uncle Brian

        I believe they do, Mrs P. Great grey green greasy post offices.

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          One shudders at the very thought of anything greasy. I have, after all, been to Italy.

          • Old Nick

            All set about with fever trees.

  • Inspector General

    Good travelling, Mrs Proudie. Don’t forget to boil the water once you’ve left these shores. And if its Calcutta you’re headed for, the best of luck…

    • dannybhoy

      Don’t drink the water, don’t eat the local ‘fast food’ because it really is..

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        I shall stick to gin and tonic, have no fear…

        • dannybhoy

          You take care of yourself Mrs Proudie.
          You have a genuine and delightful (literary..) talent that serves to lighten the mood, punctures balloons and makes us all chuckle and delight in our Englishness.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Bless you dear dannybhoy, that was so kind. So very kind….

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      I shall certainly take precautions, dear Inspector…but thank you.

      • Inspector General

        Good day to you, Mrs Proudie. If you are heading Greece way then the Inspector would gladly divert a few tons of rag clothing he has collected for distribution amongst the African unfortunates to you for victims of the EU therein…

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          Alas no, Greece would be lovely but we are heading to duskier climes and I have bags of beads to distribute…

          • Inspector General

            Ah, beads! Treasure to the picaninny! It quite moistens the Inspector’s eyes when he thinks of the happiness you will bring them…

  • O, dash it, my dearest Mistress P; the Royal Mail steam packet, RMS Trent sailed out of Halifax over a fortnight ago now, else I would have packed for you and your party a barrel of my finest wine cured salt herrings and loaned you my prize collection of blunderbusses! Our house herring recipe is supreme to sauerkraut and even lime cordial grog for fighting the dreaded Barlow’s Disease (most especially if the purser has been somewhat careless in properly victualling for the captain’s table or the gun room officers’ mess) and a good blunderbuss with a wide cone of pain and trouble is a lady’s best companion in the southerly latitudes and restless colonies. Do remember to pen me a timely message, Madam, when next you contemplate adventurous travels!

    Always delighted to read your droll musings and wishing you good westerlies and a pleasant and safe journey, I remain, your obedient servant, Avi.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Why thank you dear Avi, how kind – and how good to hear from you! The salt herrings would have been most gratefully received – as for the blunderbuss there is no need as I can hurl copies of Hymns Ancient and Modern with deadly accuracy having practised on the recent mice infestation in the Chapter House. I have written to young Tomasz Schafernaker (who reads the weather reports on the electric magic lantern) asking for good westerlies – alas he has yet to reply, dear boy, probably he’s spending too much time at the gym.

      • bluedog

        HMS Birkenhead was the very latest thing in transport to Africa during your own illustrious era, Mrs P. One counsels against accepting the offer of free passage, however dashing the officer concerned.

  • Father David

    Mrs. Proudie, as Perpetual Curate of Stopingum (Designate), may I say how shocked I was to learn that you resort to the reading of Tea Leaves (albeit – Earl Grey) – stick to the Good Book I pray and repent of your wicked ways. Next we may even learn that you are resorting to necromancy and to the unorthodox methods displayed by the Witch of Endor. Not only that we also learn that you are a toper (Gin and Tonic aka “Satan’s Urine”). I wish you well during your forthcoming Sabbatical to the Dark Continent but I fervently pray that you will utilise what remains of “Flaming June” as a time for amendment of life. Believe me, dear lady, I fear for your immortal soul.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      I have no wicked ways, dear David, only ways…and means. One drinks G and T for the quinine, most advisable when mosquitoes are about. As for reading tea leaves, fie…I simply noted a shape that seemed familiar in my morning Earl Grey. Fear not for my immortal soul – it is safely guarded by the Corset of Steadfastness and the Stays of Godly Endeavour.

  • Father David

    Thank you, dear lady, I am delightfully reassured by your response. I do have in my library an English to Zulu – Zulu to English Dictionary, if you wish to borrow the same you are most welcome to have it. Alas, when I was Chaplain to our brave boys out in South Africa the only phrase in the Zulu tongue that I mastered was – “Fasten my Stays, but not too tightly” – it proved to be of little use to me but you may well find it to be of assistance. How well, I remember the Relief of Ladysmith, she enjoyed the experience so much that she requested we all return the following day. So, do please take care in parts foreign, my prayers will be constant for your welfare and well being. I do so look forward to my future ministry in the Barchester diocese and having you as my Mother in God. Has a date been set yet for my putting in?

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      ‘Twill be on the Feast of St Anne of Widdecombe…

  • chiefofsinners

    So, Mrs P., you will avoid the referendum vote altogether through temporary migration. I trust you will commit your vote to the penny post? To omit an apostrophe is a small matter but if you withhold your X, it could be fatal. Remember that for want of a nail the kingdom was lost. Richard III spent 400 years under a car park as a result, and British sovereignty will fare little better this time around. Let us pray that you return to a Britain rejoicing in her freedom.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Ah dear chief of naughtiness, my vote is already cast via the postal service and I have no shame in saying it was for ‘Leave’…freedom and sovereignty were indeed my guiding principles

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Rest assured dear Chief, my vote is already posted (and I hope received) and yes, I voted to leave.

  • Father David

    Dear Mrs. Proudie, Am I to presume that the fd of St. Anne of Widdecombe falls on 4th October – the day of her Nativity, or may it even be on 23rd June when hopefully there will be balloons, bunting and dancing in the streets when we sensibly vote to REMAIN in the EU? The day when the Brexiters will be slain as surely as St, George slew the dragon. I knew that Ms. Widdecombe had crossed the Tiber in protest at the introduction of Women Priests into the Established Church (an innovation too far for her former Anglican stomach to bear) but I had not realised that she had been canonised. I once met the dear lady in the flesh at Witham in the County of Essex when another Brexiter (Patel the Priti) invited her to speak. Following the oration Ms. Widdecombe invited questions from the assemblage adding that she would answer questions on any subject. Only once before had she failed to provide an answer to a question when someone asked her – “Why would anyone want to have an affair with John Prescott?” Anne, unusually was stunned into silence.
    I know that the Blessed Virgin Mary’s mother is, by tradition, named Anne. Indeed, oft in a stressful moment I offer up the prayerful petition:-
    “St. Annie, God’s Grannie Pray for us!”
    Indeed such an invocation to the holy saint works wonders. As indeed does my plea on the rare occasions when I drive into Barchester:-
    “Hail Mary, full of Grace, save for me a parking place”

  • Eustace

    Do these Christians realize how much contempt they are held in?

    For their blatant hypocrisy, of course. “Love thy neighbour” translates as “hate thy MP” in Christianese, apparently.