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Monday, April 04, 2005


The Mourning bandwagon

Had a two-minute look at the TV this morning (Bad move), then again ten minutes later (Even worse). Wall to wall coverage on the death of Pope John Paul II. Okay, if you’re a Roman Catholic, I’m sure this grieves you deeply as he was the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Wait a moment, at the last time of asking, the UK was not, and has not been since the 1600’s, a Catholic country. At the moment I think we’re supposed to be a ‘Multicultural’ society. So why is even the left wing leaning Daily Mirror running effusive coverage? I seem to recall articles from not so very long ago in that very publication, which were less than kind to the old gentleman. For no matter what you might think about the man’s church, at least he believed truly. Which is not what might be said for the media in one of its regular fits of sales figure led hypocrisy. Kind of like the Sunday Sport seriously actively promoting sexual abstinence.

Not being a member, past or present, of any organised religious belief I find these effusions slightly reminiscent of an old ‘Not the nine o’clock news’ sketch from the 1980’s. The scenario was a TV political chat show where (Correct me if I’m wrong) Griff Rhys-Jones and Mel Smith were playing the part of opposing politicians. Right in the middle of a virulent slanging match, Mel’s character drops dead of a heart attack and Griff’s character turned his abuse into an emollient speech about how sadly missed this ‘great statesman’ will be and what great friends they had been.

Our managers don’t seem to think we’re all that bright, but even my colleagues were commenting slightly sniffily that “Didn’t they have a go at the Pope over his stance on contraception or something?”

Now I personally don’t agree with the Catholic Church on issues such as contraception, HIV, and who holds the keys to heaven; but neither do I rejoice in, nor mourn John Paul II’s passing excessively. I say only this; John Paul’s most enduring legacy will be his work at the end of the cold war in the late 1980’s in support of the democratisation of his native Poland. Hang on a mo’ - didn’t certain left wing dailies support the type of socialist regime his efforts helped bring down? The press and politicians seem to think the electorate have short memories. Not this part of it. There are some things I wouldn’t put in the bottom of the Hamsters cage.


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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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