Wednesday, 26 October 2011

You thought they were dead?

In good olde Britain, many years ago, there was a bunch called the Puritans.

They started out with good intentions; they wanted to strip away all the ritual and flummery from Church services. Good on them, we cry!

But then they got into power. And, big surprise, they didn't stop there. They ended up being extremists. They banned singing, dancing and enjoyment. "You are here to praise God, not to enjoy yourself," some of them might have cried. Then we had the restoration; King Charles I, the Merry Monarch, came back and all was well with the world. The Puritans slunk away into the dark, and all was well.

Aye, and all manner of things would be well. No more puritans. The world would never hear of them again.

Did you think that? No more puritans?


They are back, and they run our lives - or try to.

Oh sure, they don't step up, bold as brass, and say "We are Puritans, and we will now control your lives!"

If they said that, OK, fair play, they set themselves up as a target to fight against. But no, not these new puritans.

They sneak in, via unnoticed bye-laws. They infiltrate well-meaning special interest groups. They crawl into local government, or perhaps masquerade as innocuous MPs, disguising their true intent until they have a sniff of power. They recruit naive but eloquent speakers on their behalf.

How to spot one?

Their message is always the same: "Thou shalt not..."

I write this as a man, straight, approaching sixty. I eat meat and fornicate with women. I am of middle height, fat (though I prefer the words stocky or robust), don't exercise much, drink alcohol and smoke.

They hate me.

Daily I am exhorted, stridently, to do things for the sake of: the planet, the environment, my neighbours, my society, my friends, information security, the future of mankind (sorry, personkind) and above all, for the sake of people living in places I can't even pronounce.

If I don't comply, I will be shunned, reviled against in general, and probably taxed. My carbon footprint will be held up to appall the doubters; I will be denounced, heaven forfend, as not green.

These new puritans go further. They will dumb-down any TV serial I might enjoy, because it might give offence to vegetarian, one-legged, vertically-challenged, differently-sane one-parent Esquimaux.

Now, to all vegetarian, one-legged, vertically-challenged, differently-sane one-parent Esquimaux out there who are outraged by my life-style choices, I say: get a life.

To the new puritans out there protesting on their behalf I say: leave your life.

To the rest of us I say: be warned. They haven't gone away. The bastards who would stop you living as you wish are still around, and they mean to stop you.

Give them the sign - you know, the one that means they're number one!

Yes, that finger!


  1. And a pox on the sour-heads, a pox be upon them!