View from the Pew
BY JAKE THACKRAY ONE OF OUR LOCAL politicians who shall be as nameless as he is graceless and witless and useless, visits our little :lurch on the great feast lays of our calendar. He only :omes when the place is packeroo. He wants to raise ils profile.
On Christmas Eve he is ilways there in the front row rying to get his genuflectings right and when to stand up and sit down and when to took devout and do some 'owing down. He doesn't mow the words or meaning ,ut he can't half mouth it.
As the rest of us go down he aisle in the queue for the ;rand sacrament of our Communion together he waves and smiles at us and ;hakes our hand and whis,ers "God Bless." Me, I want o hit him but my friends tell ne no.
"Just go up and take the 'oily of Christ, Jake" they whisper to me, "and then go sack to your place and pray br the silly old hypocrite." 3o I do what they say, which S wise. He shows up at the great Easter Sunday Mass, the Ascension and the Pentecost, smiling and waving ,and God-blessing us and patting us on the shoulder.
Dear Lord, on one of these wonderful feast-days, if he turns up showing off like this I'm going to go and fill him In there and then in front of the altar. Sweet Jesus, help me not to. But somebody ought to sort him out.
Similarly, he elects himself to open the batting for the town XI on the first match of the season. He assumes that we would say "What a Jolly good chap. He is just like the rest of us, really." Again, he wants to raise his profile.
Just how little like the rest of us he is showed up when he walked to our beloved crease wearing a Cricket Club cap with a little fluffy yellow duck on top. He did a comical walk and went Hi di-Hi! to the stumper and the slips and the umpires. Their faces were set in stone.
He was assuming that the glorious summer game was not a serious business as our glorious feast days were not serious business. He was assuming that these were the simple pastimes of his lumpen electorate. Like our fun runs, our egg and spoon races at the town fete, our Morris dancings and Wellington boot throwing at our agricultural show, our splash dashes at the baths to raise money for our hospital and our school not to mention the white elephant stalls and coffee mornings and jumble sales for Croatian Aid and Somalian Support, our vigils and masses for the people who agonise and die in earthquakes in Russia and starvation in Angola. We are very serious people.
The lumpen open bowler was very serious indeed. His first delivery to the elected member was a quicky, just short of a length with evil dip and swing from the off to leg that reared and hit him in the face and certainly raised his profile. He sat on his stumps and we carried him off and dumped in the back of the pavilion which was the best place for him. And his duck.
Our politicians. They join in what they think are our games but they do not know how or why we play them. Did you see Virginia Bottomley on the Big Breakfast Show? Who does she think she is? Who does she think we are?
Have you seen Neil and Glenys Kinnock on the charades gameshow? Very good they were too and draw your own conclusion. Last year I caught Baroness Thatcher talking to some nine-year-olds about the uses and abuses of our sewage system. Honest! And, honest again, there she was on Radio 3, intoning the Gettysburg Address to the music of Aaron Copeland, her latest release.
We switched to Radio 4 and, blow me, there was Lord Hailsham telling jokes ("Two goldfish in a tank. One of them says to the other How do you drive this thing? Haw! Haw! Hawn Haw?"
Roy Hattersley Is on The News Quiz. Austin Mitchel is on Quote, Unquote, Heseltine went on Blind Date.
There they are, our politicos, on our televisions and radios, on our cricket pitches and some of them very nearly in our prisons. I do wish they'd keep out of the front rows of our churches.
As I say, who do they think they are? And who do they think we are? t