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To precis Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion; its high time that atheists were a bit more pushy about their beliefs – and for starters should assert that established religions do not act in their name.

For example: if we were to actively renounce the religion we were assigned to, or associated with (rather than just not bother), then the bishops in the House of Lords might be on shaky ground – they are only there because they claim to represent us.

Well; I think matters may have progressed further than Mr Dawkins allows for; it seems to me that we may have a few moles on the inside.

Flicking through The Times yesterday; I was delighted to read that the pope has decided to reorder the stations of the cross – in the process removing one saint entirely. For those of you that care; Saint Veronica – who mopped the brow of Jesus along the route – is out.

Being something of a late addition (6th century addition and not even mentioned in the bible) her tenure was deemed feeble, she did however sponsor a nice line in holy cloths – a few of which remain scattered across Europe.

These new changes have been devised by a priest librarian living in Milan who, being a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, feels he knows enough to propose this.

Fantastic… 2000 years after an alleged event, someone, somewhere, in the present day, feels they have enough knowledge and insight to change the details of what happened and who was there.

As far as I’m concerned this is great news, the more revisions the better. Every change being further proof that the whole construction is a load of tosh, edited on ‘the fly’ to suit the prevailing mood of the day.

Better still; the ‘changes’ were announced at Easter, the very time it was all supposed to happen – brilliant. If you wanted to shake peoples’ faith you couldn’t pick a better time – I told you we had a mole…

I can’t wait to see what they have lined up for late December but here’s a suggestion: religious marketing needs a bit of a boost, the relic trade has dipped badly in the last 200 odd years and I feel a revival could be in the offing – however, it needs bringing up to date.
The wise men came from the east, so how about the addition of a fourth one – and his gift could have been a Play Station – that should be worth a few bob.

Its not been easy for organised religion lately, many ‘branches’ have been pushed into corners by new or revised laws that have exposed the leaders for what they are: hypocritical, bigoted, out of touch… ‘why can’t we be a little bit prejudiced?’

Excellent; keep up the good work people…

If you live in, or travel around, any of the UK’s larger cities; have you tried to get a simple cheese and onion cob?

Try if you want to – but it’s almost impossible to obtain this previous staple of the general publics’ lunch, I tried 7 or 8 bakers last week and none were able to oblige. There was a whiff of hope at one shop, when after having eyed me with suspicion, a member of staff offered to make one and disappeared round the back – only to return 5 minutes later (yes, really, 5 minutes) with the news that there was no onion…

Instead, you will be offered all manner of other rubbish, purporting to be an ‘improvement’ on your simple requirements.

There is a plethora of baguette retailers – most of whom wouldn’t know a real baguette if it bit them in the ass – the pale, undercooked rubbish they foist onto the public would shame a real French baker.

Cheese and Onion Cob

What lies behind this disappearance is of course the commercialisation of your lunch; most of the new breed of lunch retailers make a big deal out of freshness, but the bread is mostly delivered part cooked, to be finished off on site in a big fan heater.

Fillings are decided on by a panel of experts with a keen eye on the profits; a cheese and onion cob wouldn’t shift at £2.50, but a Tomato blushed, rosemary scented foot long ‘baguette’ stuffed with sun ripened peppers from the slopes of Kilimanjaro and dill scented wild salmon could go for £3.95.

The commercialisation is further evidenced by the appearance of chain stores, including that one that sells ‘subs’ – whatever they are – I have never managed to get in one of their shops find out – the smell emanating from the door makes me heave.

Another ‘ready to eat’ merchant now sells half a sandwich – ‘half the dough’, oh how I laughed…

A further ‘envelope pushing’ line is the ‘bread less sandwich’ – what the hell is a bread less sandwich? We used to call it a salad.

Is it me?…

The following misdemeanors are all attributable to members of an elite club in the UK whose numbers are limited to 636 members:

  • 29 accused of spouse abuse
  • 19 of writing bad cheques
  • 7 arrested for fraud
  • 117 directly or indirectly been bankrupted in at least two businesses
  • 3 served a prison sentence for assault
  • 71 cannot obtain a credit card due to bad credit
  • 14 arrested on drug related charges
  • 8 arrested for shoplifting
  • 21 currently defendants in a court case
  • 84 charged with drunk driving in the last year

The name of the club………

Houses of Parliament

The House of Commons

Source: BBC Radio 2 Monday 15th January 2007 The Wogan Breakfast Show & Mr B in Quinton

Sitting in the usual stream of never ending traffic – which turns a 10 minute journey into one lasting over 40 – you get to think about a lot of things, especially with the blank canvas of yet another van blocking all else from view.

If you are 10 cars back; and the lights change; what do you imagine are your chances of getting through?

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