Friday, 30 March 2018

I hear you're a racist now, Father Jez...

Image result for so i hear you're a racist now father 



Father Jez Cilly and his loyal, but simple, young priest, Father Kevin Maguire, were contemplating the utter mess that covered the sitting room of their Old Labour Party parochial house headquarters, on Maggie Island. There were bits and pieces of litter and rubbish everywhere.
  Father Jez's rickety old 1970's desk, that Old Father MaoDonnell had cheerfully signed Gulag expulsion orders on, back in his GLC days when he was purging 'counter-revolutionaries' with Father Livingstone, was almost buried under paperwork.
It was swamped with flyers for Owen Jones' endless pop-up protests. Invitations to visit tyrannical, socialist despots around the globe.  Long passed Klaus Fuchs Islington Allotment Tenants Association schedules.
Faded posters depicting soviet iconography of strong and determined agricultural and industrial peasants, uniting in service to the Motherland and World Communism, had peeled from the Beer and Sandwiches stained, grubby walls. And fallen unto the unfashionable and dated 1970's 'Austin Maxi beige' carpet.
  Mrs Chakrabarti, the housekeeper, usually tried to straighten and tidy the considerable mess the socialist priests were always making of things. But she had recently injured her back whilst trying to apply several coats of whitewash to the entire Labour Party.
 The clutter wasn't going to clean itself, thought Father Jez...Or maybe it was?..Old Father MaoDonnell was always saying things would pay for themselves. Maybe they would tidy themselves too?
But then again he had waited ten weeks already and there was still no sign of the 
self-cleaning-miracale-of-public-ownership happening with the wastepaper bin.
No. They were just going to have to clean up themselves.

"Come on now, Father Maguire. Help me tidy this room. Mrs Chakribarti is too poorly to do it."
"Ok so, Father Jez. But..like..how do we do that? Do we renationalise the Hoover or something?"
"I don't think that will work."
"I know. Give Mrs Chakribarti a payrise then..£10 an hour !? She does like a bribe, doesn't she, Jez?"
"No..Father..that..won't.."
"£20 then..That's a living wage in anybodies book. Why, Jez..I'd be happy to get £20 an hour just for making a a high pitched whiney noise, eh?"
"You already do. No. A payrise won't help us here."

A spluttering, and groaning came from the foul smelling chair at the back of the room. Father MaoDonnell opened his cold, bleary eyes and shouted "Shoot the Cleaner!"
and then slumped back into his stupour.

"Ahh..shooting people is his answer to everything. That's the old, old, old socialist way, Father MaoDonnell. We don't do that sort of thing in the New, Old, Old-Labour Party. We just deselect them. But that won't work either. .."

"Its a tricky one," said Kevin thoughtfully. "What would Lenin do?"
"He'd probably just shut the door and tell everyone it was fabulously clean inside.
But no. We are going to do this. I mean it can't be that hard. Not if a woman can do it, eh?"
"Too right, Jez," chuckled Kevin Maguire. Who had self-identified as Male-Female-TransQ and been on labour candidates 'All Female-but Some-Males-if they are union faithfuls looking for a cushy number '  shortlists so many times, Father Jez no longer really knew what sex he/she really was.

"Right, let's start," said Father Jez as he stood up from his armchair. He was still wearing his stripey pajamas and wanted to get this done before he had to change for the evening 'appeal to the Mass.'

He surveyed the room. Where to start?

 He spied a piece of a christmas costume that had been left on the floor since December.

A Father Christmas beard. Jez had been persuaded to go to a children's hospital at Christmas. He'd dressed as Santa. Only with an empty present sack. To show that even sickly kids suffered Tory Austerity. The costume had hung in the corner. Jez had briefly considered sewing a hammer and sickle to the outfit and insisting Tom Watson wear it as part of his ongoing humiliation.
But in the end the oversize clothing had been too tight for Tom. So it languished on a coat stand. And the beard had fallen to the floor.

Father Jez picked it up. Both the priests smiled. This wasn't going to be so bad. in fact. It was going to be easy. Another triumph in the march of socialism.

Jez looked at the long white beard in his hand. He smiled as he had an idea.

"Hey, Kevin. Look at this." He attached the beard. "Guess which revolutionary leader I am." He puffed out his chest and stroked his long white beard with a reflective, deep in thought expression on his face. "Come on..guess.."

Father Maguire looked puzzled. Then finally asked, "Is it Demis Roussos?"
"No! I said revolutionary leader. Father of the struggle." And he stroked his beard more.
"Are you Sting? No? .. Pudsey..are you Pudsey Bear?"
Kevin Maguire, what's the matter with you?" Asked an exasperated Jez. His foolish and dim-witted associate was ruining this. "Why..How..and ..I mean..for heaven's sake..Why would I be Pudsey?"
"Ohh, yes right. Of course. Not Pudsey. You wouldn't impersonate him. He's BBc. And not with them photoshopping your whole hat and everything...Soo..Socialist revolutionary icon..Ohh..ohh..Salvador Allende!"
"No..he didn't even have a beard. I'm Karl Marx..Look..Karl Marx! "
"Ah right, so. ..Which one is he again?"

"You really must try and learn these things. Its very important to know," Jez told him mildly. He knew from experience that simple Kevin Maguire wouldn't remember anything.

"Really?"
"Nah. not really. Just Marx and Lenin. You can blag the rest by mashing any German and Russian names. And randomly 'ism' a word. 
'The theory of Actualism-Emperio-Suspicionism by Hans Kuriyakin.'
 See..its easy. I once gave a lecture on 'Upsydownism in the socio-state-mannerism.' No one noticed it was all bollox. Anyway......Now we have the hang of this cleaning business..Let's crack on." said Father Jez enthusiastically.

And as he bent down to retrieve a discarded bathroom hand towel from the floor, promptly smacked himself in the face with the edge of the bookshelf. 

He clutched his swelling nose, bent double in pain. A copy of The Communist Manifesto wobbled on the very top shelf. It was a particularly heavy version of the voluminous tome. It had lots of pictures in it too. Karl at the beach at Brighton. 1878. Karl and Engels laughing with ice creams on the pier and taking a rowing boat out.
 The swaying book finally lost the battle with gravity and plunged onto Father Jez's head. Adding considerably to his pain.

Father Maguire scooped up the towel and placed it across Father Jez's shoulders. As some blood flowed from a cut on Jez's head he thought Jez could use the towel to mop at it. 
 Kevin then spied an old black, knitted Balaclava that had been a gift from Gerry Adams. It had a smiley face logo on the back. With the inscription 'Provo's do it with Semtex.' Father Kevin  picked it up and placed it over the swelling bump on Father Jez's head. He helped him to the chair at the desk. At that moment, as Jez moaned in discomfort, there was a knock at the door.

"Who can that be," asked Father Jez, weakly.

"Oh that will be the Jews for Labour contingent, " said the younger priest.

"What? Jews for Labour? I didn't know there were any Jews in the Labour party?"

"Oh yes. Hampstead Heath has long been popular with Jewish Labour supporters. Do you not remember Father Ed Miliband ? He met a fellow up there. Said he was going to buy a cottage or rent a badger off him..Gareth his name was..Miliband told the media. For some reason.."

"Kevin, I can't see them now. I've been whacked on the bonce. My nose is swelling up enourmously. It hurts an awful lot even to breath. I just want to sit quietly and read some Das Kapital to get over the shock. 
 Can you ask them to maybe come back later? Make up some excuse, now. Don't say I've been injured in a tidying up accident. Or I'll look a complete ejiit. And see if you can find some Dettol for this cut. I'm definitely going to need antiseptic. Look in the medicine cabinet. And see if there's some asprin for my head. And a glass of water, please. Water. Not juice. That orange juice in the fridge has gone off.  "

"Right-ho Jez. Count on me." Father Kevin Maguire left the older priest at his desk by the window. Whimpering softly to himself.


*****

Father Maguire knew just what to say. That Jez was unwell. And that he would reschedule the appointment. But as he walked the short distance to the front door, he confused himself with the ringing words of Father Jez. 
Appointment and then the Ointment.

Ointment  was a word Father Maguire had always found funny. When he was a little boy his mother had always called it 'Oinkment.' The memory of it made him smile. He was still smiling as he opened the door to the group from Jews For Labour. 
Image result for jewish labour group

"Hello," said the leader of the Labour Jewish committe. An elder man who had long been in the Labour party. And was used to its peaks and troughs and radical changes. "We are here to see Father Jez about a little problem."
He smiled kindly at Father Maguire.

Kevin smiled back. Though more dumbly, than kindly He wasn't expecting to see so many from Labour's Jewish community at his door. And he was still thinking about 'Oinkment,'.

There was a silence.

A younger, more angry looking member pointed at Kevin. "We're here to see Jez. About him facebooking Zionist conspiracy groups. Is he here? We need to speak with him urgently!"

"Allegedly face time-link-blog.tweet.snapchoppy. Or whatever it is called." said the elder man. "I'm sure its all just a misunderstanding and Father Jez can explain what happened.

His younger colleague gave a loud snort of derision. He wasn't so sure it was a "misunderstanding." Thirty five years of Father Jez's parliamentary actions in favour of any enemy of Israel made him very cynical. 

The silence continued. A smiling, though simple looking Father Kevin, opening, yet blocking the doorway. 

The group looked puzzled for one to another. The young man snorted his annoyance again.

It was that snort that did it. The snort on top of the 'Oinkment' and the larger than expected crowd with banners and funny hats. It triggered Father Maguire's easily distracted brain to engage his mouth with whatever he was thinking.

"Oink!" he exclaimed.

"Beg your pardon," the group elder asked. Imagining he had misheard.

"Oink!. oink..oink oink oink." Said Kevin. And then added a further 'Oink."

The group were startled. "He's..he's ..is he being a pig ?" Asked one man.
"How offensive" said a young woman, crossly.

Kevin realised what he'd done. He hurriedly tried to correct himself..

"No.erm..sorry about that..I was just thinking about what Jez had just said to me, you see..And I got confused with you and what he wanted me to tell you."

The group looked baffled.
Eventually the leader asked gently, "What did Father Jez ask you tell us?"

But the long silence and the hostile staring had done for the young priest. He really wanted a good look at Father Jez's map of World Communism. The one with 'Reality' and 'Dreams' clearly identified upon it. But all he had at this moment were his own wits. It wasn't much.

"Ahh you see now. Er..Jez wanted me..to..erm..tell you he was in need of erm..what did he say now? Oh yes..I remember now..He said .. "We have to get rid them all. Make them go away."

He smiled broadly as he remembered what he had just been told.

"What" gasped the group." He told you to tell us that? Was there any explanation?"

Father Kevin thought hard. There had been something else.. What was it? Something about metal. Or De-tox? No..Dettol ! He said he needed some ..what was that tricky word he used..A bit like the ointment one, it was..his brow creased in painful thought. And then he remembered it.
And beamed like a child.

"He said, 'Get rid of them. And remove them. And he asked me instead, to get him..
 something. ..Anti-Semitic! ...
And then he said something about "Don't bring me any more Juice. I've gone right off them, or something like that."

The committee stared in silence at the junior priest. No one said a word. Which Father Maguire took as a good sign that they had understood.

"Bye then, " he said.

And he closed the door on the stunned Jews for Labour committee.

He set off for the medicine cabinet for the antiseptic before he realised he'd said 'remove' instead of 'reschedule.'
 Sure, he thought, they probably understood just the same.

The association outside stared at the now closed door. Finally the younger one crossly said, "Come on. let's go. I told you this was a waste of time. He's a racist."

The group turned and began walking back to the gate. The leader couldn't believe it. He was sure there was some mistake. Jews had been prominent in the labour party for decades. He was about to suggest they try knocking at the door again. To see if Father Jez would come to speak in person and explain what had happened. But before he could speak, the party heard a low wail coming from the window they were passing. They peered through.

Inside Father Jez sat at his desk. His bashed nose swollen to a grotesque size. His Santa Claus, slash, Karl Marx beard, still attached, unnoticed by Jez, to his face. 
The bathroom hand-towel still across his shoulders.
His head throbbed in pain so great that he couldn't bring himself to read from his favourite words. So he just moaned to himself a little . And swayed in time to the pounding.
Image result for Image result for tallit and rabbi grey beard reading
Father Jez calming his pain


"He's dressed up as a Rabbi?" Said one in surprise.
"Is he pretending he's at the Wailing Wall ?" asked another.
"He's wearing a fake nose. It looks like putty? He's caricaturing us!" Said another.
"He's taking the piss. That's what he's doing. The Antisemitic old racist!"
And he led the group away. Condemning the unknowing Labour party leader all the way.

All Jez knew was when father Kevin brought him some unasked for antihistamine and said that the Jews had gone.
Would they be back today, a weary Jez asked Kevin.
"Oh no. Certainly not today," he told Jez.
And added rather oddly, "And probably not tomorrow or the day after."

*****


[to be continued]


4 comments:

John Miller said...

Gosh, that's a long one, Bill, as the Bish... Oh, wait, wrong religion.

Good stuff. No-one can survive being an object of derision (See, Kinnock "A Welshman's life" passim) . Luckily, the Tories would never use it as long as they have their own joke-on-a-stick leading them.

Bill Quango MP said...

Jes, John.
It should have been two posts.
One for each day of the Easter weekend.

The others are shorter.

Anonymous said...

No one in the Labour Party, Blairite or Corbynite, gives a toss about Jezza having the IRA round to tea after they'd killed a load of British in Brighton.

But Jezza feeling, rightly or wrongly, that the Palestinians have had a pretty rough deal over the last 60-odd years, is IMHO the #1 reason for the internal Party opposition he faces.

Most odd.

Anonymous said...

According to Bevan(deceased)Liebour mythical NHS hero 'politics is the language of priorities.'
So I suppose it's all about one's priorities.