Monday, February 24, 2014

ConHome: "The bishops are blind"


The Great Benefit Row: Chapter 5.

ConservativeHome has now waded in, with Priti Patel MP telling us that the bishops are "blind". Specifically, they are "blind to the moral message of IDS’s gospel of work". She says their criticism is "disappointing", and their focus and claims "misplaced".

You see, this is what happens when one side bawls at the other: it simply barks back. Everyone is hearing the undignified clamour, but no one is listening.

The allegation that the bishops are blind to morality is quite possibly one of the most offensive that a Conservative political site could make. Christian leaders spend their lives in moral reflection: when they believe the social effects of a political policy are unjust, they do so not because they are blind, but because they are seeing or have seen. And their appeal is to a criterion that transcends the electoral cycle. Their conscience at its deepest may be informed by socialist thought, but the Christian God, being three in one, is undeniably social. The bishops are concerned with the expression of faith in concrete existence: it is their sensitivity to the plight of individuals which drives them toward change. You may think them misguided, or a product of primordial political thinking, but they are not blind.

Blindness is not only the inability to see; it is indifference and inaction. The bishops who signed that letter to the Mirror (and those who subsequently agreed with them) pray daily that the blind will see: they seek the co-working of divine grace and human endeavour; their goal is moral striving which is exhibited in the depth of their love. The politicians who berate the bishops are as blind to the love revealed in Jesus Christ as they believe the bishops are to the moral message of IDS's "gospel of work". The politicians look at creation and their urge is to reform it in order to achieve their political Utopia: the bishops look at creation and urge reconciliation before the consummation. Both are concerned with the end, but they differ on motive and means.

There is nothing at all to be gained from Christian pronouncements and political broadcasts which reduce complex social issues to simplistic soundbites. We are dealing with human beings, and these bishops - whether you agree with them or not - are concerned with the justice and love of a social theology. Tory politicians may think them blind, and yet this so very often is what they see:


This is the Rev'd Giles Fraser's church in Newington, near the Elephant and Castle, feeding the poor and doubling as a homeless shelter. You may think this Guardian-adoring priest and its lefty bishops to be a political blight on the Church of England, but their theology is operation-centred and emerges from reflection on their very real experiences. They observe and act, and sometimes they speak. You may not agree with their actions or proclamations, and they may only see IDS's reforms through a glass darkly, but the task then is not to hurl insults or berate their visual impairment, but to turn their eyes to the light in order that they may see and understand for themselves.

114 Comments:

Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Both sides proceed from compassion and a genuine desire to help, in this sense they depart from the same shore, but they are clearly following different bearings. On the IDS side is a deeply held belief that the socialist utopia of state provision is a myth. That the benefits provided are necessarily inadequate, the lifestyle afforded by them one of dependency and hopelessness, with no real possibility of social mobility (especially for the children of those living off the largesse of the state). Bringing people out of dependency and into employment, where they may enjoy the dignity of spending their own money, becomes a moral mission in itself. It may be painful, like wresting an addict from alcohol or drugs, but the purpose is a noble one – freedom from dependency and servitude to the state.

The bishops are operating at the sharp end, seeing how difficult it is for people whose income from the state may have declined, or seen their benefits devalued by the rising price of essentials (food, fuel, etc). Many of these people are helpless (not useless), having failed in school and grown with the expectation that, somehow, the state will always provide. They quite literally do not know what to do. The bishops are therefore reacting much as Christ would have reacted – not caring too much about the longterm effects of political policy and national solvency, instead reacting with genuine Christian compassion to someone in need, someone actually standing in front of them.

In church this morning the reading was of Christ healing the young man possessed of a demon that struck him dumb and inflicted seizures, a man the apostles could not themselves heal. Christ, in one of his moments of frustration, bemoaned the peoples' lack of faith; however, despite His disapproval, He was still moved by pity to heal the boy.

24 February 2014 at 10:27  
Blogger baker st jones said...

Like the Bishops themselves, I think this piece is well intentioned but flawed. If the Bishops want to contribute to political debate, they either need to be credibly non-partisan (ie vocally also supporting conservative positions such as not spending money you don't have) else they will be attacked as if they were labour. I think the error the bishops have made is not to intervene on this point, but to have failed to establish their non-partisan credentials elsewhere. I just think, these guys are labour voters.

24 February 2014 at 10:53  
Blogger Martin said...

Funny how the bishops are so alert to so called poverty in a land where people will buy a TV before feeding the children but there morality fails to deal with the state sponsorship of sexual sin.

Where were the bishops when the vote on SSM was called? Cowering in their bunkers with the Queen for fear of creating a constitutional problem.

The sooner the CoE collapses into itself the better. It has ceased to be a Christian church.

24 February 2014 at 11:31  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

It is a shame on the church when the state has to step into the gap that WE should be filling.

24 February 2014 at 11:41  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Thomas,

A very good point and really the one IDS is making (also known as the 'Big Society').

It's a good old Conservative maxim - why on earth should we expect the state to ensure that our elderly neighbour has enough food, fuel, etc, to see her through the winter? It is our job.

This is, of course, one of the understated but vital functions of the local church - a full congregation enables everyone to look out for each other. The emptying of the churches and the failure to put anything adequate in their place has caused inestimable loneliness, isolation and misery.

If only the government had the courage to promote the vital centrality of the local church...

24 February 2014 at 11:52  
Blogger Anne said...

Martin, when the vote on SSM was called, the bishops were voting and speaking against it.

24 February 2014 at 12:01  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Let's look at the politics and practicality here.

In terms of the politics-

Whatever IDS's personal commitment of seeing welfare reform as a 'moral' action, it appears to me that the bulk of the Conservative Parliamentarians aren't bothered about creating a better society or getting people into decent employment, as being a moral outcome in its own terms,but have an entirely different game plan. To them the prospective outcome is more to do with

1. Scapegoating the poor as it is popular and the poor don't vote (pensions soak up a larger % of welfare payments, but the elderly vote in large numbers, so it would be political suicide to cut there).

2. The outcome is more to do with cutting the deficit and this is seen as an easy way of doing so (see 1 above, poorer people don't vote). The problem here is that the Tories are seen to be paying for the looses of the [Rich] city via the banking bailouts and the subsequent recession and making poor people pay for it.

3. To put the opposition into a situation where they have had to become more rightward than even IDS. Hence Rachel Reeves saying labour would be tougher than the tories on welfare reform. This is good politics, but is it good policy?

In respect of the practicals, these are -

1.The Tories are not communicating their ideas and actions in an effective manner. IDS himself walked out on a parliamentary debate in respect of 'food banks', which leaves the impression he is unable to articulate or defend his own policies and ideology; in the same debate the near gloating over the plight of poor people was noticeable. I watched the bit when the Tories almost to a man spoke over the MP's who raised the situation when police had to be called to a supermarket over a fight over the discounted scraps of food. [As a Conservative I felt ashamed with this conduct].

2. The lack of a practical backstop to cutting welfare. If you belief -as I do- that it is better to work, if you are able to do so, cutting benefits is the tip of the iceberg. Someone (government?) has to provide for re-educating people back into work or in some cases training for work for the first time. There also needs to be jobs to be filled for people to go off welfare. If you are a socialist, the answer is for government to do this via a commitment to 'full employment'.

By contrast, a conservative answer would be to reform the taxation system- e.g. taxes on business significantly reduced to allow for higher profits and better wages, a refocus on educating the workforce[teaching people in a classroom of pupils with numerous languages doesn't help] and, say, not forcing people with degrees to work in poundland when they have got a voluntary position within their field. We waste too much talent in this country.

3. In respect of food banks, this is a private charity, it isn't doled out welfare and as far as I am aware you have to be referred (say by a GP) and the amount you get is limited. So it is not as some suggest 'something for nothing'. I am in some respects uncomfortable with the idea of the 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor (I will come back to this later, possibly).

4. The idea of food banks in a first world country is a disgrace. It shouldn't happen here, as we have the means to make sure this doesn't occur. Why are we spending billions funding the fast growing economies in China and India,who frankly no longer need the money or to corrupt African governments, where the monies go straight into their elite's pockets, when this could and should be redeployed here in great Britain.

I think that there is also the religious dimension, which is important, to this as well, but the above is my initial pondering.

24 February 2014 at 12:41  
Blogger Len said...

I suppose that despising those who are 'financially challenged 'is one of the offshoots of Darwinism (survival of the fittest where the weakest go to the wall) We have done it with abortion and now they are scanning round to see who will be next on the list?.
What a nightmare World we are entering and the fruits of Darwinism will be displayed everywhere for all to see.
Christian attributes such as charity and compassion will be ditched in favour of those who are strong enough to trample the weak in the struggle for survival.

What next 'eugenics'?....wait a moment haven`t we been down this road before?.



24 February 2014 at 12:56  
Blogger Martin said...

Anne

The bishops failed to vote on SSM.

24 February 2014 at 13:05  
Blogger Len said...

Someone said" we cannot spend money which we don`t have".

But that is exactly what we do!.

the words of Lord Stamp (1937):
‘If you want to be slaves of the bankers, and pay the costs of your own slavery, then let the banks create money.’

24 February 2014 at 13:05  
Blogger Martin said...

Len

And there we have another subject the bishops have been strangely silent on. We know that the abortion act has been widely flouted and fraud has taken place on a wide scale to produce abortion on demand. I've seen very little from the bishops protesting about the failure to prosecute those responsible.

24 February 2014 at 13:09  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

ConHome has now waded in, with Priti Patel MP telling us that the bishops are "blind". Specifically, they are "blind to the moral message of IDS’s gospel of work". She says their criticism is "disappointing", and their focus and claims "misplaced"." Ernst is utterly disappointed himself, but with the comments of Pritti (one of Ernsties fav lass..she a real looker) as one word sound bites convince no one and only lead to backbiting and inflammation of the debate.

You see, this is what happens when one side bawls at the other: it simply barks back. Everyone is hearing the undignified clamour, but no one is listening." Tell me about it YG. Ernst tries to reason debate with facts to the RC's here, but it ends up coming back that Ernst hates Rome, etc. etc rather than answering the claims that show why we are divided.

"The allegation that the bishops are blind to morality is quite possibly one of the most offensive that a Conservative political site could make. " Seeing that the moral disintegration of the nation has accelerated under their 'Coalition' seems glaringly obvious, even Blair did not dare go this far with a suicide note to his core voting cabal.

"Their conscience at its deepest may be informed by socialist thought, but the Christian God, being three in one, is undeniably social. The bishops are concerned with the expression of faith in concrete existence: it is their sensitivity to the plight of individuals which drives them to change. You may think them misguided, or a product of primordial political thinking, but they are not blind." Most excellently expressed, YG.

"The politicians who berate the bishops are as blind to the love revealed in Jesus Christ as they believe the bishops are to the moral message of IDS's "gospel of work". "Verily, Verily.

"Tory politicians may think them blind, and yet this so very often is what they see:"EXACTLY!.

"They observe and act, and sometimes they speak. You may not agree with their actions or proclamations, and they may only see IDS's reforms through a glass darkly, but the task then is not to hurl insults or berate their visual impairment, but to turn their eyes to the light in order that they may see and understand for themselves. " Ernst believes and hopes that BOTH turn to the real light and see that one side reflects the flaws inherent in the others position rather than both look at the facts and act accordingly.

If old Ernst may wade in here. The problem with the "moral message of IDS’s gospel of work" is that it is all being seen and heard without the real doing.
The real problem is that there are scroungers and there is the genuine. There are the lazy shirkers seen and heard by thought and deed and the Disabled not seen or heard from thought and Capability.. How can you round the square here.

By the doing, but based on evidence and fairness.

The problem for thatcherites such as Ernst is that many (IDS etc) claim to be so but are not, but attach this well known label for their action as a sort of Benedictus and it will come from the faithful.

Her funeral saw the clamor to say Spartacus style, I am 'Thatcher' but a week later they were distancing themselves from her and her 'TOXIC' brand.

24 February 2014 at 13:18  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Further, "Mr Duncan Smith, who declares that Lady Thatcher was “the reason I came into politics, full stop”, takes his inspiration from the former prime minister as he undertakes what will be if, it succeeds, a seismic shift in British life: the wholesale reform of the welfare system under the guiding principles that work must pay and nobody should be better off on benefits than they are in a job. "

And then this;

“She was fantastic. What she showed us was that you should never accept it when people tell you things can never be done. You should work to see if you can change it, and if you can, you must go ahead and change it.” The article states "Even Lady Thatcher’s government did not attempt the root-and-branch welfare reform that Mr Duncan Smith is introducing."

As she was the most courageous leader in modern history, ever wonder why?

Firstly, these Pratts done understand how she worked and that fairness and reasonable mattered greatly.

She was always seen, heard but most importantly, GOT THINGS DONE because she knew the FULL BRIEF involved in actioning the change.(The reason Frank Field said no other PM matched for for completing a project and demanding it was done properly) No soundbites allowed, MR IDS!!!

All that IDS is doing is following a soundbite and hoping that when the buttered slice lands on the floor, it's butter face up.

The old, vulnerable disabled and needy are being dispatched, 'Opted Out' from benefits post haste under the useless sifting method employed and they are being forced to 'Opt Back' in under extremely hostile circumstances.

Over 30% of the claims dismissed by the DWP and ATOS are reassessed as genuine claimants by the Tribunal courts specialising in these matters.

How many are accepting the decision because they are too tired or ill to challenge it and have no advocates such as the feral and feckless, who have their own social worker to 'work for em'.

Ernst doesn't want to hear Mr IDS' gospel of morality..He wants to see the righteousness supposedly shown by Mrs T affecting his decisions and how the DWP works.

'But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.'

Please take note carefully that Matthew 6:33 does NOT say, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and OUR righteousness...” Rather, the Bible says ... Seek HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Justice is one of God’s attributes and flows out of His holiness. Justice and righteousness are often used synonymously in the Bible.
Since righteousness is the quality or character of being right or just, it is another attribute of God and incorporates both His justice and holiness.

Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?

Can we not do likewise or is this too difficult to act upon.

E S Blofeld

24 February 2014 at 13:23  
Blogger David Hussell said...

There are so many excellent responses here already, especially the first two paragraphs of Ars Hendrik @ 10.27 ... plus other very useful points.

But the point that, as as far as I can see, everyone seems to miss is this. A simple comparison of our situation now, to the ones confronting Jesus then, misses so much. To do that is comparable to reading everything in The Bible literally.

He was not living in a society where it was possible to debate the appropriate level for government taxation and spending. There was obviously no democracy of any kind. So the argument about the long term moral effects of excessive taxation, which include stifling economic activity, therefore jobs and therefore inducing poverty, dependency and hopelessness, was not one he had to factor into his moral balance. He only had to weigh in his moral balance the options of being compassionate or not, with the situations that presented themselves before him.
The present situation is more complex and direct comparisons are unhelpfully simplistic. Reading the Bible literally or always transposing from it directly, is perilous in my opinion. Restoring dignity, self-reliance and attacking worklessness are important longer term moral aims that can be undermined by inappropriate, albeit compassionate, responses that consider only short term needs. It's the old adage about, give a man a fish and you only feed him for a day but teach him to fish and he can feed himself forever.

Two potentially conflicting moral issues are acting here, and as members of a society that likes to consider itself democratic we have a duty in both directions. Therefore an appropriate balance has to be struck. The simplistic approach is no longer adequate and the mature observer must recognize that or fail to address the total, strategic, societal picture. The alternative is to endlessly name call, which is what Yaa Boo politics feeds off, to society's detriment.
Time for a more grown up approach I suggest, including from the politicians and Bishops, or are they locked into an unrealistic, one dimensioned l morality? I suspect they are, as it's good for maintaining Yaa Boo politics and for the clerics, appearing whiter than white, avoiding real world choices.

24 February 2014 at 13:24  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

IDS's "gospel of work" via the DWP unlike the one proclaimed by Him that he supposedly follows;

“He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” (Luke 4:18).

He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.

You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.

“‘Cursed be anyone who misleads a blind man on the road.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.

You see, people don’t gather together within the walls of a church building because they have it all figured out and know who is a fraud and who is genuine.

They don’t seek out the assembly because they see within themselves some sort of righteousness.

Those seats are filled with people who have also been broken spiritually and who have also felt hopelessly lost in every area of their lives.

The destitute, the dirty, the downtrodden, the diseased, and the disabled and dying came to and always find solace in Jesus of Nazareth.

This is our 'Gospel of Work-ING FOR HIM'

24 February 2014 at 13:42  
Blogger Len said...

I don`t think human nature has changed at all since Jesus`s time on Earth.
The systems are just as corrupt as in Caesars day, only thing is the elites have got a lot cleverer at taking ever large slices of the cake for themselves.
Since the absolutes of Biblical morality have gone its' everyman for himself'.
Our whole financial system is getting nearer to total collapse.Financial systems are based on trust since we left the gold standard.Paper money and figures on computers are only as good as the trust we put in them.
We no longer trust any political party enough to give them a majority and our trust in bankers has had several hard knocks during these recent times.
Seems a few bankers are having unfortunate accidents recently as well?.

24 February 2014 at 13:49  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

When IDS had finished instructing the faithful of the party, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities and constituencies the good news.

Bishops expressed concern that he was not acting righteously to those within these blessed lands as he claimed.

However, IDS answered them, “Go and tell Cast Iron Dave and Gideon what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight back via an ATOS assessment and the lame miraculously walk when called in for an interview, society's lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear after the assessor shouts in their ears, and the dying and dead are raised up from hospital beds to work even coffins and crematoriums are asked to provide them to the gospel of work, and the poor have good news preached continually to them or else they lose their benefits. And all the people who claimed to know Thatcher shall all say, ‘Amen.’

Blofeld

24 February 2014 at 13:52  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

David Hussell,

Some interesting ideas from you there. The other aspect of this debate is the classic left/right split over who is responsible for the general welfare of the needy: is it the state with much of "private" charity being an add on or a de facto quango (left view) or private individuals in society (conservative).

The answer is that it is the individual's responsibility for welfare protection, with a 'but', this being that years of government- which is responsible for this mess- need to provide a framework to enable the state to loosen its burden of providing for welfare, e.g. as I've said above a radical change to the taxation and education system, as well as providing for a free and fair justice system and polity*.

My guess is that, despite the huge generosity of the British public, the Bishops are aware that the Churches can hardly support themselves as an institution (clergy, pensions,buildings) let alone take on the role of welfare agent. Perhaps this is why they prefer to argue that the state should involve itself in welfare with additional 'top ups' from the private sector?

*[For me as a religious Jew, it is an obligation, not a choice of benevolent generosity, to provide for the poor and needy as I am able to do so (called 'Tzedakah', which means 'justice', 'righteousness', 'fairness')].

24 February 2014 at 13:54  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

David Kavanagh..

"*[For me as a religious Jew, it is an obligation, not a choice of benevolent generosity, to provide for the poor and needy as I am able to do so (called 'Tzedakah', which means 'justice', 'righteousness', 'fairness')]." You seem to ignore the fact that the Torah was imposed on the individual and The Nation also, to honour.

Blofeld

24 February 2014 at 14:01  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Blofeld,

I'm glad to see that your illness isn't preventing you from being as vibrantly argumentative as ever! (:

24 February 2014 at 14:19  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 February 2014 at 14:45  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

btw, Blofeld,

I didn't suggest that Torah was just for an individual Jew and not for the Jewish nation as a whole. I was stating that my religious beliefs tell me I am obliged to provide for the poor,not because I'm an all do-goodin', warm in the heart kinda guy (he says modesty,'of course I am!')... it should follow that others of my religion do so as well,or it is what "we" should do. And of course, I'd agree that part of being Jewish is to be a 'light unto the gentiles'. In respect of the idea of Torah being 'imposed', well there is one view of the Sages and Rabbis,that suggests that G-d offered Torah to all the nations of the earth and that Jews were the last ones, the only ones who said 'yes' (after a mountain had been held over our heads, see Avodah Zarah 2b, Exodus 19, 17) *.

*Another view is that we got chosen because we were the lowest of nations, so anything we got right was attributed to the almighty and not ourselves.

Hope you are as well as you can be.

24 February 2014 at 14:47  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dear David

Blofeld,

I'm glad to see that your illness isn't preventing you from being as vibrantly argumentative as ever! (:.. *Snigger* I do my best lad, to keep my hand in.

Psalm 33:12
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!

Proverbs 14:34
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

Psalm 89:15-18
Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face, who exult in your name all the day and in your righteousness are exalted. For you are the glory of their strength; by your favor our horn is exalted. For our shield belongs to the Lord, our king to the Holy One of Israel.

Acts 17:26
He "hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation"

Psalm 22:28
For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 33:12). “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).

Nations that take their obligations lightly are due a comeuppance, my fellow.

Blofeld

24 February 2014 at 15:19  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Some job seekers are sanctioned and then don't have any money other times the DWP may be slow in processing claims. These and other reasons are why there is "food poverty"
In 1988 there was a famine in Burma, a world away from Britain of today where tons of food gets dumped.

24 February 2014 at 15:20  
Blogger Richard Lawson said...

Could it not be that the Conservative Party has simply taken upon itself the responsibility to make sure that the Word of the Lord, when he said "The poor shall be always with you", remains true to this day and in the future? Is this not a wonderful thing? And is it not also a blessed thing that him that hath nothing, even that which he hath shall be taken from him?

24 February 2014 at 15:38  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

An anthem for the next EU and General elections.

"We want Ernst (Repeat 3 times)

AII over the land the OAPs are finally startin' to get the upper hand.
They're out in the streets coz we can't turn on the heat and soon we could be completely in command.

Imagine the sensation
Of Old Age occupation
At 20 we were learning
And at 60 now we're burrrrnin'

But there's something in the air of which we all will be aware.

Chorus
But we don't care
No, no, no, no, so

Come join the revolution
Get yourself a strong constitution
Come join the revolution now
And recognize your age, it's an old age rampage
Turn another page on the old age rampage now.
So recognize your age, it's an old age rampage
Turn another page on the old age rampage
Now now now now now now now now . . .

We're getting it on, won't be voting it wrong, but we're gonna do it
It won't be long, Dave.
We're gotta be heard they got the UKIP word we really belong
And now we're going to be comin' on STRONG.

Imagine the formation
Of old age legislation
At sixteen we were fooling
But at sixty we're not droolin'
And there's something in the air
Of which we all will be aware

Chorus

And there's something in the air
Of which we all will be aware yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah so

Come join the revolution
Get yourself the constitution
Come join the revolution now
And recognize your age, it's an old age rampage
Turn another page on the old age rampage, now.
So recognize your age, it's an old age rampage
Turn another page on the old age rampage, now. . .
Recognize your age, it's an old age rampage, now. . .
And recognize your age, it's a silver haired old age rampage, now now now now now now now now now ..."

*takes off glam rock makeup and lays leather suit to floor*

24 February 2014 at 15:40  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Blofeld,

Glad to read you are *chortle- ling*; keep it up!

"Nations that take their obligations lightly are due a comeuppance, my fellow"

I wholeheartedly agree that nations, people, communities should indeed take their obligations seriously. Well said old chap.

-PS- family all likes that anthem. Hannah suggests that Sharon Cohen aka Dana International, could do the vocals...

24 February 2014 at 15:52  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

-PS- family all likes that anthem. Hannah suggests that Sharon Cohen aka Dana International, could do the vocals...

*chuckles and giggles* A song for Eurovison, be gadds?!

Well if old Tom Jones can do it, why not old Blowers..It's not unusual? * Sniggers crazily*

24 February 2014 at 16:09  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Extra Sensory,

You'll have then dancing in the aisles and on the pews soon ---- keep doing it !

24 February 2014 at 16:12  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Blofeld,

Well it would be better by a mile than the Humbledink effort, in my humble opinion. Now of course Dana International is a fantastic singer, Tom Jones- a Welsh legend!- I'd get lynched if I say anything bad against our- Tom by my Welsh in- laws, but credit where it is due. I personally enjoy the songs of the late and great Ofra Haza.

24 February 2014 at 16:23  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 February 2014 at 16:25  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

PS- Note to self, future posts shall be on topic, albeit in the same way as the Darnet is to the Thames.

24 February 2014 at 16:26  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

" David Kavanagh said...

PS- Note to self, future posts shall be on topic, albeit in the same way as the Darnet is to the Thames."

Dear Lad, Ernst is stumped by your comment.

Where has it gone off topic.

Ernst has answered the main gist of the HG's post that two opposing opinions are being held.. both supposedly Christian/Gospelistic.

Ernst has stated both are polarised with half an argument.

Some are claiming Christ and socialism, others Christ and Thatcherism. Neither hold water!

Ernst has stated both are myopic and fail to see the full picture.

Ernst then castigated that IDS claims Benedictus Maggie whilst missing the intrinsic nature of Thatcherism from her.. He may claim it by word, but most definitely NOT by deed..

Ernst then produced an anthem that the elderly are sick to the back teeth (Well, if I had some?!) of being between two polarised views.

You respond, Ernst gesticulated etc on the argument Enough is Enough.

Blowers, my self flagellating chap.

24 February 2014 at 17:00  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

ps

"You respond, Ernst gesticulated etc on the argument Enough is Enough."

Hmmm. Perhaps old Ernst picked the wrong song as an anthem?


"No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" by the gloriously talented and Yummy Donna Summer!!!

Blowers the Disco King

24 February 2014 at 17:04  
Blogger Matt Lavaquar said...

@ Kavanagh,

Perhaps I have misjudged you? How can an Orthodox Jew appreciate a transsexual person's music? I thought you'd be saying LGBT people should be stoned to death as it says in the Old Testament, which you apparently follow, or are you picking and choosing?

24 February 2014 at 17:13  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Blowers,

No, no no! I wasn't attacking your good self, I was thinking more of my musings on various singers, at 24 February 2014 16:25. I think we've both stuck on topic mostly. And as I noted, sometimes a thread diverts, but is still relevant. As the Darnet is a tributary of the Thames...

Carry on as you were Blowers!

24 February 2014 at 17:17  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Blowers,

No, no no! I wasn't attacking your good self, " Didn't think you were in a Sec.. Only that we had expanded argument and position with humor... Which HG is not averse to using profusely to make a point himself.

Ernst has been reminiscing about his music and was watching the early 70's on YouTube and finds the similarities striking prior to Thatcher.

A useless Tory government with that old duplicious chancer Heath, labour enthralled to the unions despite stating the opposite and Liberals,.. Well, being Liberal.

Watched The Sweet and was shocked that 40 years had passed in the blink of an eye.

Where did they all go so fast.

It's like I'm a character in Groundhog Day and it doesn't look like it will get any better soon.

Blowers

24 February 2014 at 17:30  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Your Grace, as much as I agree with the thrust of your arguments, the image of a sanctuary turned into a bed and breakfast facility for the homeless may be photogenic, one that makes a good point, but it cannot be accepted either as a good way to meet a growing emergency, nor as a proper way to run a house of worship.

Those who have participated in such projects will tell you that volunteers can not always manage an influx of the homeless and poor day after day, week after week, especially in urban centres. Theft, fights, threats and bullying, sexual predation, drunkenness, drug use and drug sale, illness, damage and destruction of property, dirt and lingering stenches, psychotic episodes and a growing core of dependents on an unreliable source of aid pose serious challenges. This in addition to a loss of worshippers (and donors and volunteers) who are afraid to bring their families through a tunnel of lingering panhandlers by the main doors and who find they can no longer escape their own troubles in the peace of a once dignified sanctuary...in the full meaning of the word. If money and volunteer hours are available, it is far more efficient and merciful to direct these at existing or new dedicated hostelries with experienced staff. As an aside, if that be your parish church, Your Grace, and that loosely placed icon near the altar piece is an original painting, please rush back to secure it before it finds its way to a downtown pawnshop.

24 February 2014 at 17:38  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

, Happy Jack likes your little song. Perhaps this could be the 'B' side:

Now I'm an elderly man
Amazed at what I am
I say what I think, that IDS stinks
Yes I'm a elderly man

When we meet in the local hall
I'll be voting with them all
With a hell of a shout, it's
"Out Lib-Cons, out!"
And the start of the Government's fall

Oh, you don't fool me, I'm one of the oldies
You don't fool me, I'm one of the oldies
You don't fool me, I'm one of the oldies
Until the government dies

And as an older man
I'm wise to the lies of the Government spies
And I don't get fooled by the ATOS rules
'Cause I always read between the lines

And we'll get our way
If we limp on assessment day
And when I show my pension card to the DWP
This is what I'll say

Oh, you don't fool me, I'm one of the oldies
You don't fool me, I'm one of the oldies
You don't fool me, I'm one of the oldies
Until the government dies

So though I'm an older man
I can ruin the government's plan
And though I'm not hard,
The sight of my pension card
Makes me some kind of superman

Oh, you don't fool me, I'm one of the oldies
You don't fool me, I'm one of the oldies
You don't fool me, I'm one of the oldies
Until the government dies

24 February 2014 at 17:42  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

That was to Blowers - but his name disappeared.

24 February 2014 at 17:43  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

@Lavaquar,

Your views are your views; they are incorrect and bullshite, it's Torah, not 'Old Testament' for a start. I've had this discussion with numerous others here and I've got nothing to add to that.

BTW- It is no-one's business but my own as to whom and whose music I enjoy. You don't know this, but I have a lesbian sister, so why would I want to 'stone' her?

Anyway, I'm an equal opportunity employer- regardless of 'sex, religion, sexuality, orientation, disability' etc and et al...

24 February 2014 at 17:43  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

@Blowers,

I'm more an '80's bloke, as they were my 'formative' years. But yes Heath was a witless moron, who decided to 'federate' us to the EEC, which is the modern Austro-Hungarian Empire- without the sexy bits- as a certain Germanic Iron Chancellor [Bismark] noted of Austria -Hungary, he didn't want to tie his Prussian Frigate to the worm ridden galleon of the Habsburg Empire (then proceeded to do so with Dual Allianz)....

24 February 2014 at 17:52  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

@ Happy Jack,

That's better than a 'b' side. You just need to get someone to write the music to the lyrics (my sister is quite a good pianist).

24 February 2014 at 17:54  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

David K, the Strawbs have already written quite a catchy tune - "Union Man".

24 February 2014 at 18:07  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

@Avi,

Agreed. I guess it is a matter of finding the right places, tools and resources to meet the problems, when and where, how we meet these people and how we respond to them; it isn't always the best or right solution to turn your Church/Shul/Mosque etc, into a homeless shelter, but on the positive side, at least these guys are trying to do something practical (however misguided or not it may be).

Although I do get bemused by the irritating 'do gooders' who tell me off for giving a homeless guy I know a light; lung cancer is the least of his wows and if I can lighten his day with that and provide food or a drink, it's better than the often lofty platitudes some of the upper echelons come up with.

24 February 2014 at 18:15  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 February 2014 at 18:16  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

@Happy Jack,

Well you ARE the music man from Durham!

HJ : "Happy Jack is the music man,he come from Durham, and he can play!"

Communicants: "What can you play?"

HJ: "Happy Jack plays the piano!"
Sing- "Pia-pia-pia-no, pia-no, pia-no; pia-pia-pia-no, pia-pia-no" ....

24 February 2014 at 18:20  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

PS - 'the Strawbs', sounds like an alien race from Dr Who...

24 February 2014 at 18:27  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

From Wiki. This is not a comprehensive list, but one of notability. It does look though that the poor were last investigated in 1909. One is of the opinion that considering the great draw on resources the current ‘poor law’ is on the tax pot, an update is well overdue, and the sooner it is up and running the better, as it could well take 5 or 6 years to complete.

Of particular interest would be exactly who are the poor today. Presumably, benefits rich families are no longer classed as poor, or are they ? As it is, all the arguing that is going on at this present time is seemingly based on scant information and anecdotal evidence - sure you’ll agree…

The nation needs to know. The truth MUST out, what !

Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and Relief of Distress 1909
Royal Commission on the University of Durham (1935) — Lord Moyne
Redcliffe-Maud Commission (1966–69) on local government
Royal Commission on Trade Unions and Employers' Associations (1968)
Royal Commission on the Constitution (1969–73), also known as the "Kilbrandon Commission" or the "Crowther Commission"
Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (1970-2011)
Royal Commission on the Press, United Kingdom (1947–49), (1961–62), (1974–77)
Benson Commission, or the Royal Commission on Legal Services (1976)
Pearson commission (1973–78), Royal Commission on Civil Liability and Compensation for Personal Injury
Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure (1981)
Royal Commission on Long Term Care for the Elderly (1998)
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru) (2008)[8]

24 February 2014 at 18:33  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Incidentally Your Grace, can your box of tricks turn your man’s crosier white for added effect ?


24 February 2014 at 18:34  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

David, on that topic, one of my kids' teachers who recently got involved in one of those social media-orchestrated "acts of random kindness" idiocies, had her class of eleven and twelve year olds (unbeknownst to a very cross me) buying and personally handing sandwiches and pizza slices to fellows who were panhandling for money. She was very hurt when one character took the offered pizza slice and in front of the astonished class, threw it on the sidewalk.

As a twenty-something year-old idealist, it didn't dawn on her how patronizing and deeply wounding to a guy's dignity and sense of self it is to take away his last bit of control and choice. So, in her mind's eye she saw herself as a Good Person, a concerned citizen sacrificing her time and money to feed an irresponsible unfortunate, whereas the fellow saw a snooty, expensively dressed chick half his age effectively saying, "this is what you'll eat, as much as I give you and at the time of my choosing."

24 February 2014 at 18:43  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 February 2014 at 19:16  
Blogger MFH said...

If only the bishops and clergy were as expert in proclaiming biblical truth, Sin and Salvation, as they seem to be in welfare. ( Exceptions noted).
We can but pray for them.

24 February 2014 at 19:21  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Avi,

Well you have my deepest appreciation with that situation.The teacher shouldn't have done that undertaking in the first place. A teacher has a duty of care toward their charges and putting them with homeless people is not (in my view) a sensible idea (he says with his English -half understatement). The do gooders have a lot to answer for there... to be sure there is an obligation to provide for the poor and needy. But to me that doesn't mean one is obliged to conform to do gooding actions.

I'll freely confess that I do scrutinize the charities, so am making a conscious judgement on whom I give to, Jewish or not. I've cancelled my donation to one,after they attacked Scarlett Johansson over Israel.

I'll also admit my own unease about being 'hands on' with actual charity work. Some people did say to me something along the lines of 'write the cheque anyway, as these people need food, bedding and shelter and don't care /your views/ don't matter'. I still feel a twinge of guilt there, for just being a wallet machine, for not wanting to mix with the 'great unwashed'... except for 'my' homeless guy whom I give cigarettes and a coffee to..

24 February 2014 at 19:24  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Happy Jack @ 17.42,

Thank you. You have given us a very good, most entertaining take on the old Strawbs lyrics, "Union Man" - I remember it well, catching as it did some of the attitudes prevalent then.

Maybe you should try your hand at a spot of hymn writing, suitable for the more contemporary forms of liturgy ?

24 February 2014 at 19:25  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 February 2014 at 19:28  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Avi

24 February 2014 17:38

You are dead right. I don't think that many people who talk about helping the poor know what they are talking about.

The worst part of the poor in Africa, what not the sores, the ragged clothes, the skinny arms and bloated bellies, but something that you do cannot "feel" on the TV screen. The smell.

If a real poor person in desperate need came to your door you would smell them coming up your drive long before they knocked on your door and sat on the floor with their heads bowed.

The smell from some people was often so bad that it made me gag as I opened the door. They were NOT asked to work for their food!

I completely agree. You cannot turn a Church into a homeless shelter and expect single women and families with children to attend.

It is highly irresponsible in my mind to try.

BTW I think it is also highly irresponsible to allow the drug addicts, the psychotically ill, the perverts etc free reign in society as currently happens.

Phil

24 February 2014 at 19:29  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Avi

The best place for pizza is the bin in my opinion.

How insulting.

I know you are starving, so have some crap food to make you sick!

Phil

24 February 2014 at 19:33  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Phil,

*Health police alert*

24 February 2014 at 19:46  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

David H, funnily enough Happy Jack thinks many pop songs, with an odd change of word here and there, can be spiritual in nature. Take "To Know Him is to Love Him" as a one example. Jack often changes words in his songs. Another Jack enjoys changing the words to and singing is "Try and Catch the Wind".

However, Jack would not like to mess with the liturgy and doesn't really go along with folk music in church. He likes the old fashioned hymns. No harm in good Christian songs though and festivals where they are sung out loud.

24 February 2014 at 19:57  
Blogger Albert said...

I think it's a bit dim for politicians to attack the bishops in this way. In the end, both the CofE and the Catholic Church have clergy living in every community in the country. Clergy do not commute to their places of work, they live there (unlike MPs who so often live outside their constituencies and then work in Westminster anyway).

When the bishops pass on what their clergy are saying therefore, they are pointing what is actually happening on the ground. When the politicians respond by saying the bishops are wrong because of this or that moral reason or how much money they are spending, what they are showing is that they do not actually know what is happening on the ground.

There is a problem here - as Cardinal Nichols said last week "My priests are telling me X" - and that is based on people knocking on their presbytery doors. How often do the poor knock on the home doors of MPs to ask for food? I defy our MPs in Westminster to show that they have a better more immediate view of the reality of individual's lives than your average vicar.

24 February 2014 at 20:12  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Happy Jack @ 19.57


Well said HJ !

To quote whoever (General Booth maybe, or was it a Methodist ?), "why should the Devil have all the best tunes?".

24 February 2014 at 20:34  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Phil, about ten years ago a Montreal synagogue opened up its doors and more precisely, its posh social hall to an "In from the Cold" program for the homeless in the mistaken belief that there were not enough spaces in homeless shelters. After some priceless pre-War silver antiques were stolen (and thankfully recovered), they spend thousands of dollars building a separate entrance and a stair case to their social hall to prevent their "guests" from wandering around and rooting about the large synagogue, with its sanctuary, day school classrooms and offices. A wheelchair ramp to the new entrance had to be then added a couple of years later when a municipal accessibility by-law was introduced. Ok, those problems solved, but then the stench of unwashed bodies and snuck-in cigarettes and joints gradually built-up in the social hall and soaked into the butt-burnt fancy carpeting and the place started losing bookings for weddings and bar and bat mitzvahs, so a significant revenue stream for the operating and charity budget dried up. Just before they gave up on the bad idea, one "guest" sexually assaulted another and the synagogue was sued for not providing proper supervision and security. In the end, they had wasted at least a couple of hundred thousand dollars which donated as cash, without the grand optics of hands-on generosity, would have gone a lot further in the hands of the city's expertly run downtown homeless shelters.

24 February 2014 at 20:49  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

David H, it was also a Cliff Richard song!

While looking it up, Happy Jack came across this quote of William Booth:

"While Women weep as they do now, I'll fight. While little children go hungry, as they do now, I'll fight. While men go to prison, in and out, in and out, I'll fight. While there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, While there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I'll fight. I'll fight to the very end!"

And Phil R, he didn't mean locking them away. He meant actively caring for their bodies and also their souls. He also said: "Go for souls and go for the worst."

24 February 2014 at 21:05  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Happy Jack, that's a nice quote, but Phil surely didn't mean locking everyone away. However, how humane the liberal ideal of "releasing" the mentally ill and heavily addicted into the "community" (transl.: throwing them out on the streets) without supervision, medical assistance and housing is up for debate.

24 February 2014 at 21:12  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Avi. Your post @ 20:49 has this man remembering of what the, well let’s call them the “proactive and resourceful poor”, did to the victim the Good Samaritan helped. (The fact that the Samaritans were held in such reduced esteem that it merely took an act of decency to propel one of their number into the OT is another matter that may be discussed here in the future. - “The good UKIP member” anyone ?)

Cheery pip, that man !

24 February 2014 at 21:13  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Greetings, Inspector, while long ago I undertook a study of the Gospels in order to understand the complex symbology in Western art, I am a bit rusty in that area. I do vaguely recall the bare outline of the parable and more vividly a Rembrandt etching on that subject matter though, and as far as I know, there were serious theological divides between the Jews of Yudah and the Shomron (Samaria) regions, leading to lack of cultural sensitivity, one might say. But then, the purpose of parables, whether in my Talmud or your Gospels seems to have been not so much to describe an actual situation, but to provide a morally illustrative example. I'm sure there were a few good Samaritans hither and yon....as there must be a few good UKIP members about such as yourself for example ;)

24 February 2014 at 21:37  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Avi. Yes, “serious theological divides”. We have those in Christendom, sadly. As for the story, the Inspector remembers it as the parable of the ‘seven shades’, for reasons best not discussed on a public site. {AHEM}

24 February 2014 at 22:03  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi, to be honest, Happy Jack cannot really fathom Phil R's position on outcasts and criminals.

However, his words suggest a punitive approach, "I think it is also highly irresponsible to allow the drug addicts, the psychotically ill, the perverts etc free reign in society as currently happens."

Jack agrees that "care in the community" is often "neglect in the community". That said, have you ever been in a psychiatric hospital? Scary places, let me tell you. And there is no effective treatment for drug addicts and alcoholics unless they want to change and often this means them hitting rock bottom.

Jack knows many street people and each has a story to tell - if someone takes the time to listen.

24 February 2014 at 22:20  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Right then chaps, can we come to agreement here. There are in fact three types of poor...

The deserving

The idle, feckless, tattooed, obese, drug addled and drunk undeserving

And the plain nasty, whose ultimate judgment, by causes natural or by cause scaffold, can’t come a day too soon.

Let any man who objects make his objection known now, or forever hold his peace...


24 February 2014 at 22:24  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Fragments from the lost Gospel aacount of IGOr {Horses Whinny}

And Jesus, looking at IGOr, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” IGOr answered, " Well, I..That sounds all nice and dandy but I have sinners and beggars to keep tabs on and chastise..ER, Any chance of a rain check on that offer..Must dash, think I left the lights on and the front door unlocked, you know, what with all these sinning scroungers around here?"

There is a partial fragment that details a scene of Jesus with the adulteress but the conclusion is different from the other four gospels. It appears someone actually did stone the adulteress but the only fragment mentions two words from the stoner..AHEM and Toodle Pip?


Jesus said,"I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." Igor asked Jesus confusedly " Are you sure about that, sounds very uncatholic to me" as he eagerly fingered his way through his Catechism.

Blofeld

24 February 2014 at 22:34  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Blowers, Happy Jack chuckled over that and agrees with you. And the Inspector's views are very uncatholic.

Inspector, Happy Jack regrets to inform you that the offer of an Honorary Doctorate has been withdrawn by Durham University. Shame, as we were all looking forward to the ceremony.

24 February 2014 at 22:53  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


Blowers, are you till compos mentis ? Ah, better correct that as ‘are you still with us ?’ Don’t worry about those earlier now confusing words.

One notes that you yourself have DEFIED the Christ’s command as you still have a valuable WWW communication device you are hanging onto. Just think, you are denying the piss poor a multitude of pints and reefers thereby. Shame on you sir !

Anyway, you can make amends by handing over your shirt to the next Big Issue seller, and perhaps your car keys ? Yes, your car keys, and why not ?


24 February 2014 at 22:55  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Does anyone know the plural of horse’s arse.

Is it horse’s arses, or horses’ arse

Note the position of the apostrophe.


24 February 2014 at 22:58  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Prov. 29:7. The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor; the wicked does not understand such concern. (ut what if they are just, AHEM, plain nasty?)

Prov. 19:17. He who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his good deed. (Some here may need that in writing delivered on papal letter headed paper)

Prov. 14:31. He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who is gracious to the needy honors Him. (Perhaps that is a chance worth taking to make a stand against the idle, feckless, tattooed, obese, drug addled and drunk undeserving )

Lev. 19:15. "You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly." (Well, that's Igor banged to rights)

But

"Acts 2:44. All those who had believed were together, and had all things in common; and they began to sell their property and possessions, and share them with all, as anyone might have need." What, no one likes do gooders

"Acts 4:32-35. And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles' feet; and they would be distributed to each, as any had need." Commie pinko monsters!

Blofeld, NOT holding his peace...

24 February 2014 at 23:01  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Happy Jack, yes, as a young man I took a psych course and towards the end volunteered in a psych ward with several others in my class. I wriggled out of that one as soon as it was decent to do so.

That being said, life on the streets is far worse for the mentally ill and the drug addicts, from what I have seen. The "hosting community" with its children and women should not be endangered by society's rejects either. Almost every beautiful park in Toronto's downtown core is now inaccessible to mothers who want to take their children there even in the middle of the day with rubbies and their goods monopolizing all the benches, garbage everywhere, vomitus and needles in the grass and play grounds, all sorts jerky-twitchy types hooting and hollering about and the inevitable connoisseurs of pretty children lurking around the bushes. The low-income parents and moms in those areas must go long distances or pay for public transportation to take their children to a decent, clean green space. Is that fair? To the desperately ill and poor or to the public?

We needn't think of this as a choice between the 19th century madhouse or workhouse and life on the streets. Mandated supervised living in halfway houses with curfews, routines, health and hygiene inspections and real responsibilities would be far more preferable to the chaotic mess and misery compounded by impractical ideas about human rights and freedoms.

24 February 2014 at 23:12  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Blofeld, you insane thing, there’s going to be something bloody unpleasant in your pessary tomorrow night, I can tell you...

24 February 2014 at 23:14  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Does anyone know the plural of horse’s arse....Is it horse’s arses, or horses’ arse...

Hmm, one would imagine neither, Inspector, as one has yet to see a single horse with a multitude of arses or a multitude of horses sharing one arse. Thus, "horses' arses"? Suggestions from fellow pedants are welcome.

24 February 2014 at 23:16  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Avi,

As usual much to think about you old yiddisher kop. But rather than worrying about horses bums, just give inspector a Yiddish insult to use, such as bupkes, Beheyme, or a cutting expression such as 'Lign in drerd un bakn beygl!'...

24 February 2014 at 23:25  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

David, you really don't want to wander into the old Catholic-Protestant hornets' nest, old chum. We would barely make it out with our peyes, tzitzit and whiskers singed.

24 February 2014 at 23:30  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dear IGOr {Horses Whiny}

How to make that heart of yours like Flint.

Try to lose even more friends than you have so far.

Working towards being a complete loner helps.

To accomplish fully losing your emotions, you must (at least at first, coz, go on, you want to) eliminate some factors of everyday life that stimulate them.

For some people, like your good-self, who seek that knowledge and skill, this won't be a problem at all.

Develop a dark sense of humor. Learn to appreciate cruel jokes, like Hellen Keller jokes or Dead Baby jokes. Losing all sensitivity and human compassion is key.

Speak without emotion but interject with crass nonsense.

Although obviously it is your mind that controls the emotion in your voice and not vice versa, you must work in baby steps with your physical factors in order to change your mentality.

Likkle right foot forward, then likkle left foot forward.

You don't have to use a monotone or sound like a robot though this helps. But do try to not raise or lower your blog voice, and say things that would normally be said in surprise calmly. Aaah, or Oooh. This will also help put some distance between you and what few friends remain.


Try not to have someone "special" in your life, as you have stated you have successfully achieved. WELL DONE THAT FELLOW, CARRY ON REGARDLESS!!!.

As Ernst stated previously regarding friends, this might not be a problem for such as you, but for those who do have someone that they don't think that they can let go off, try this simple exercise.

Remind yourself constantly that they are just another human, a lump of animated flesh. SIMPLES!.

This may seem cruel and uncaring. It is. That is the whole point.

When going about this process of removing emotion from oneself, the first place Ernst suggests you start with is happiness. It's a killer to the killjoy!

It will get in the way more than any other emotion in your being, until it is completely removed.

Now remember, that EVERYTHING and Everybody is worth losing if you can take away your pain and suffering without the tedium of the confessional box.

Start by being aware of the reactions you have to people, to situations that are in your life daily, as you display here on the xlog.

Remain cold and calm. Always.

About a week into this process you may rid yourself of emotion completely. *EUREKA *

Do not be alarmed if it happens more quickly or slowly than this. You'll get there!

Everybody is different but you are a unique person so keep saying that to yourself. BECAUSE YOU'RE WORTH IT!. BECAUSE YOU'RE WORTH IT!. BECAUSE YOU'RE WORTH IT!.

24 February 2014 at 23:39  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Ay Avi,

Yes, I forgot the hundred years war is still going in cyber space....

PS- I have visited Nigara on the lake and the falls, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec and Ottawa. Got lost in Ottawa near the governor general's palace and nearly got bitten by a rodent creature that looked like a beaver, but wasn't as it created 'mole hills'; I liked Toronto, with its nifty underground, again I got lost in the distillery district- or was it distracted?- but I still say I have the directional instincts of a homing pigeon.

24 February 2014 at 23:43  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

At this point it is now time to get rid of anger.

If you are generally not an easily angered person (your own opinion may be biased, so ask someone else that you trust will answer completely honestly, then tell them to P&** off once they have answered honestly but not before.

You may want to skip this step and try the next one first.

Now the reasons for this will be explained later now in English and later in classic Latin for the die hard RC's here.

Ways to rid yourself of anger are seemingly simple, however overall this challenge (depending on the person that is trying to overcome it and you are exceptional, even if you do say so yourself) may be the largest in this process.

When something irritates, you breath slowly, in through your nose, out through your mouth (Saying 51 hail Marys or Weasel repeatedly can help the more mystic RC's among us).

Now here is something that you won't hear in most anger management sessions though.

Do not try to ignore it. In fact, INTENTIONALLY put yourself in situations near the object or person that upsets/irritates you is, especially Len.

After long periods of time not reacting poorly but assertively to the situation, you will have much more patience, and will subconsciously set a pattern for yourself to follow in the future.

Then you can let blast with pure unadulterated hatred towards the object of your wrath or just humanity in general. "Revenge is a dish that tastes best when it is cold," said that good RC Don Corleone or was it Khan " Kirk, old friend, do you know the Klingon proverb, "Revenge is a dish best served cold"?

Klingon or Katholic what the heck. IT WORKS!!!

Definitely become desensitized to sad things.

If you are often times depressed, twiddling that tache repeatedly and looking for the nearest poofter to irritate, try to think about the things that depress you in a neutral mind-setting.

Soon after this step is completed, you will find yourself nearly emotionless. Continue with this knowledge for the rest of your life.

It's a life skill and one that, should it become an event at the Olympics, we could hold out high hopes for gold from you.

Toodle Pip, that heartless B&$&*RD

24 February 2014 at 23:46  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Look Blofeld, don’t go all maudlin.

I dished it out in spades, in retort, as I thought you could take it.

I’ve known intense physical pain, though not to the continued extent that you do. Retain your sense of humour old man, otherwise much is lost...

24 February 2014 at 23:56  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

You must have been in T.O. fairly recently, David in the last ten years or so, as the Distillery District was completed not too long ago. I'm flattered you liked what has finally become my town. Certainly nothing in age and grandeur like Quebec City, but with a vitality and even certain charm. Having lived in stunning Prague and sophisticated Vienna before, I found it hard to adjust to the place at first, especially as the dull "Hogtown" it was back in the 70s, but now it's my home with all of its familiarities. Gotta love our Mayor Robbie Ford, eh?

25 February 2014 at 00:00  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

IGOr {Horse Whinny}

"Look Blofeld, don’t go all maudlin." Lachrymose, Ego. EYE-GOR {Horse Whinny}

"I dished it out in spades, in retort, as I thought you could take it." It appears you cannot.

"I’ve known intense physical pain (Me too, as an avid reader of your commenting), though not to the continued extent that you do (Do you re-read your posts also?). Retain your sense of humour old man (It's going no where), otherwise much is lost (Indeed it would)..."

Now stop weeping like Jacki Pallo or Mick Mcmanus, down on one knee on the canvas, begging for mercy and answer the questions.

"How to make that heart of yours like Flint." has it helped?

Blofeld

25 February 2014 at 00:06  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Blowers, care old friend there's rebuking and then there's condemning. A thin line lies between them.

Avi, Happy Jack agrees with you and admires your insight and compassion. You are able to see the situation from both sides and this is an admirable quality.

Inspector, Happy Jack will talk to you man to man.

I have spent 40 years in the company of murderers, rapists, paedophiles and the criminally and non-criminally insane. I have also spent equal amounts of time with the families who are the victims of murders and people who are rape and child abuse victims and survivors. I also know about poverty, actual and relative, and know the difference between ignorance and fecklessness. I've been on 'sink estates' and in leafy suburbs. I've been in the company of thieves and villains.

In all this time, I have met very few truly unredeemable evil people. They do exist and are hard to detect. The quality I see that can turn people's lives around is forgiveness - both of self and of others. And the path to this can be long and tortuous and some people die without getting there. And to have the space to achieve this they have to have a certain standard of living and a certain standard of accommodation. And they people who care about them. Some, of course, need the colder winds of homelessness, imprisonment and detention in hospital.

You don't have to be a "God botherer" to help people put their lives together but you do have to show them compassion and kindness in whatever setting they need to be for their good and for the good and protection of wider society.

Albert, Happy Jack says these priests and bishops should be mobilising local projects to assist the very needy and not whinging to the government. That's what churches used to do and not only brought aid to the poor but also brought an opening to conversion too.

Communities and families have suffered under welfarism The move from welfare dependency to individual, community and family reliance is going to be hard and difficult. Then the agrarian and industrial revolutions were no piece of cake either.

25 February 2014 at 00:07  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Never let it be said this man does not practice revision.

There are thus three types of individual we should all be losing sleep over...

The deserving poor

The undeserving poor

The evil poor

That is an end to it. There will be no more mitigation considered.

IS THAT ABSOLUTELY CLEAR !


25 February 2014 at 00:17  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Happy Jack said...

Blowers, care old friend there's rebuking and then there's condemning. A thin line lies between them."

"There are in fact three types of poor...

The deserving (Of what? Twenty pence dropped in a hat an must they busk for the pittance)

The idle, feckless, tattooed, obese, drug addled and drunk undeserving (States of depravity NOT poverty)

And the plain nasty, whose ultimate judgment, by causes natural or by cause scaffold, can’t come a day too soon."(*The poor are just plain nasty?)

It's called admonishment with rapier-like humour and the commenting above about the poor condemns itself, my fine lad and is unworthy of any religious adherent.

Blowers

25 February 2014 at 00:20  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Greetings Avi,

As far as memory serves me it was 2005 (I think) , the last time I visited Toronto. It was a biz trip, but hey I'm the boss and I get curious and tend to wonder about places when I'm not in meetings; it was bloody hot as well, as it was August and a mega heatwave. I liked Quebec, when I went there on another occasion, but my French is shitty and our tour guide had a bee in his bonet about 'The Englishe occupation' and 'the revanche of the cradle'. A bit like a French Corrigan. The silver lining was I got holed up with a bunch of English speaking old timers (in a bar*) who liked my 'proper' English accent as I sounded just like the guys from 'Coronation Street' ( I'm 'Northern', but NOT Manky!).

* The waitress got pissed at me smoking a fine Cuban, so I was 'rescued' but your old folks who produce a smoke and the rest was an enjoyable night.

25 February 2014 at 00:21  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Blowers, true.

25 February 2014 at 00:22  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Happy Jack,

A powerful post there and an interesting insight. I've only glanced over the debate between you and Inspector and Blowers. I'll read up tomorrow morning when my mind is a bit fresher and I can be more appreciative of what is being said.

Shalom!

25 February 2014 at 00:38  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Jack lad.

THe poor amongst us are no joking matter, least of all deserving of silly remarks that have no basis in truth.

Ernst, as you may have gathered is no RC, however, I feel that if IGOr {Horses Whinny} dared say this in front of Cardinal Nichols, the fellow would be taken outside by him and given a bloody good thumping for bringing the RCC into disrepute!!

There are the genuine poor/disabled who I know and there are the fraudsters/feckless who deserve punishment for their ways..never must the two be confused as is happening now and the silly polarisation of a society that needs justice admonished fairly not based on divide and conquer along tribal lines!!!

Blowers, my lad.

25 February 2014 at 00:44  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

David,

Ah, you were in TO when the Distillery District was just tarted up for the tourists. For the longest time the old warehouses and factories were just boarded up and were going to be knocked down, as the architecture isn't that valuable as a heritage resource. I was taking a break from driving and applied as a masonry restoration specialist, but there was no budget for such luxuries; facades were blasted clean, cracks were repaired with strong Portland mortars and now the damage is starting to appear. Not my kind of place to hang out...fancy non-kosher restaurants I can't eat in and super-expensive fancy stores I can't afford to shop in...so I've been there only twice since the place was fixed up. But I'm surprised you liked our retarded subway system which has left huge gaps and doesn't cover most of the city.

25 February 2014 at 00:47  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Blowers, Happy Jack says we all started off as degenerate, in its real meaning. Jack grew up hearing this expression and he noted it, "There but for the Grace of God go you or I."

Inspector, Happy Jack says be thankful for the situation you are in and for the benefits in your life, past and present, your own effort included, that facilitated this.

David K, that post was just Happy Jack letting off some steam.

25 February 2014 at 00:51  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

And Jack meant to add that he has met as many degenerate people in the 'corridors of power' and in churches and other institutions, as he has on the streets.

25 February 2014 at 00:59  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dera Lad

A degenerate is a person who has declined, as in morals or character, from a type or standard , so consider The Almighty?.

"Jack grew up hearing this expression and he noted it, "There but for the Grace of God go you or I." Indeed Lad but even If IGOr {Horses Whinny} cannot care or state if he has been born again as a new person from his degeneracy, surely he should know the Catechism he says he holds to.. VI. LOVE FOR THE POOR...http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a7.htm

A scoundrel and reprobate miscreant.

Blowers

25 February 2014 at 01:06  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

2446 St. John Chrysostom vigorously recalls this: "Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs."239 "The demands of justice must be satisfied first of all; that which is already due in justice is not to be offered as a gift of charity":

25 February 2014 at 01:08  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Right.

Drunk the last dregs of my Irish Cream Whiskey...An uncomfortable nights sleep calls/beckons to old Ernst.

Nighty Night Y'all.

blessings to HG for an interesting and thought provoking post.

To all the pretend Thatcherites in Cabinet..Do get real and stop using her name for crass soundbites and hurting the genuine needy poor and disabled, when comined you couldn't find you're own @rses with both hands and a map or couldn't pour p^** out of a boot if the directions were on the heel!!

Shame on you and the sooner you're gone the better.

Blofeld

25 February 2014 at 01:35  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Blowers, we are all works in progress. Jack has a suspicion that sometimes Inspector likes to exaggerate his views for affect.

25 February 2014 at 01:57  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Inspector
There is a considerable amount of discussion about poverty recently.
Look at Joseph Rowntree Foundation
http://www.jrf.org.uk/work/poverty

25 February 2014 at 02:16  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Greetings Avi,

It wasn't a bad way to spend an early evening, but I hunted down a place that did bagels, rather than spend me dosh on posh. I don't have your artisan's eye for all things built, but OK I did get it wasn't the hanging gardens of Babylon. The metro system, it was about 10 years ago, so perhaps I'm seeing things with rose tint.

25 February 2014 at 09:58  
Blogger Albert said...

Happy Jack,

Happy Jack says these priests and bishops should be mobilising local projects to assist the very needy and not whinging to the government. That's what churches used to do and not only brought aid to the poor but also brought an opening to conversion too.

I agree - and this is happening. My local parish has a food bank for example. My guess is that there is a feeling that the Church is only managing the help the minority of those who need it.

A further issue relates to natural law. Natural law tends to the view that when the common good cannot be achieved at one level a higher level of authority is required, otherwise the common good cannot be achieved. This plays into the Catholic response - the state must help as a matter of natural law. At least, that's how it has seemed of late.

25 February 2014 at 10:29  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Happy Jack said...

Blowers, we are all works in progress.(Indeed. It looks like IGOr {Horses Whinny} has not yet placed his piece on the GO square and rolled the dice, to get started) Jack has a suspicion that sometimes Inspector likes to exaggerate his views for affect.(STREWTH. I'd hate to see him being subtle *Sniggers*) "

VI. LOVE FOR THE POOR is what is stated, NOT the idle, feckless, tattooed, obese, drug addled and drunk undeserving.

25 February 2014 at 10:37  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

.... "the idle, feckless, tattooed, obese, drug addled and drunk undeserving."

They all need the Gospel message Blowers; who can judge what causes their situation?

The spirit of the Lord is upon me. Wherefore he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the contrite of heart.

To preach deliverance to the captives and sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of reward."

25 February 2014 at 11:01  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"They all need the Gospel message Blowers; who can judge what causes their situation? " Indeed they do but the question being asked is, are they entitled to benefits as truly poor or disabled, if they do not genuinely qualify?

It brings the system into disrepute and polarises sides wrongly and the genuine therefore suffer without a voice, as Christ and Thatcher are put at odds over the matter.

Blowers ,My fine lad.

25 February 2014 at 14:37  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack agrees Blowers and that's why he's saying we should get back to Christian intervention in the lives of the captives and the poor, the bruised and the contrite of heart and bring them deliverance.

25 February 2014 at 14:49  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

The Inspector wishes to thank all who corresponded with him on this topic yesterday evening. Especial thanks go the couple of smug and pious specimens who lounge around on this site who informed us all that the feckless, and it dared be said at the time, other somewhat evil examples that are found among the poor, who should be subject to all manner of sanctions to help them out of their unhappy existence, are in fact to be revered as perfect examples of the children of God. Bless ‘em.

There was this man thinking that the young, able bodied, and mentally sound, had a duty to themselves to rise up from their poverty, temporal and spiritual, as much as they can – helped or otherwise.

Now, you must forgive the Inspector – He’s off. Indeed, he can’t get out of this thread quick enough. There’s only so much black is white and white is grey a fellow can take.





25 February 2014 at 17:36  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, from what Happy Jack has come to understand of your temperament, it is unusual for you to surrender the field so graciously. Clearly, although endowed with high intelligence, you have missed the points being made.

Toddle pip!

25 February 2014 at 18:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Blofeld: "{Horses Whinny}"

I don't really get that but for some reason it makes me really laugh every time I see it. In fact, in my head I actually make the noise now.

25 February 2014 at 18:39  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

DanJo, the whinnying has been happening ever since Blofeld was correctly identified as a horse’s arse on this very site. A judgement that was brought to the Court of Appeal. The Lord Chief Justice of Appeal confirming the integrity of the sentence, dismissing the case, and awarding costs against the scoundrel. In his summing up, he said, “If the fellow’s unreadable posts are anything to go by, then a horse’s arse he be”

25 February 2014 at 19:13  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

In Happy Jack's case, the Court of Appeal found in favour of the appellant.

*chuckle*

Ps - Jack laughs when he sees IGOR.

25 February 2014 at 19:57  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

25 February 2014 at 21:53  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

DanJ0 said...

Blofeld: "{Horses Whinny}"

I don't really get that but for some reason it makes me really laugh every time I see it. In fact, in my head I actually make the noise now."

DanJO lad. You would have to be an aficionado of the humour of Mel Brooks and Young Frankenstein.

Let Ernst assist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdIID_TGwhM

The joke behind the whinny...http://www.snopes.com/movies/films/blucher.asp

Blofeld

and IGOr {Horses Whinny}... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxxSIX3fmmo


Heh Heh Heh

25 February 2014 at 22:37  

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