This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Monday, 4 August 2014

Do mention the war

This is a very ecumenical blog: we have occasionally featured guest contributions from Anglicans, Calvary Chapel worshippers, Atheists - even liberal Catholics. Thus, to mark the centenary of World War I (at least as far as the British Empire was concerned) we decided to invite a contributor who could be suitably enthusiastic about war and bloodshed. So please welcome Slugtrousers the minor demon!

a slug

Our guest blogger.

Thanks, Eccles, it's great to have an opportunity to present my views here: obviously many readers will have read some of my contributions to the Guardian and the Tablet, and heard me on the BBC's Thought for the Day - I've been invited to blog for the Telegraph as well - but appearing on Eccles's site must be the highlight of anyone's career.

Well, as a demon, I must say that World War I was a spectacular success. Starting with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria - a man known for his fine moustache, but scarcely of any great interest to the average Briton - we managed to persuade numerous countries, including Austria-Hungary, Russia, Germany, France, Britain and their empires, and (eventually) the USA to sacrifice millions of young men in the most pointless way possible.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand, who missed the best bits of the war.

So after killing off about 16 million people, those silly humans decided to call it the "War to End All Wars". Well, we couldn't have that, could we? So we kept the pot boiling - World War II was another highlight, I remember (40 million or so, but we managed to spread them around the world better, rather than concentrating them in Europe). Of course, it's been a bit quiet recently - yes, 2 or 3 million in the Congo War of 1998 is encouraging, but they were only Africans, so they don't make the newspaper headlines, do they?

Checking our records, it seems that the Muslim Conquest of the Indian Subcontinent killed 60 million people, but that was spread over 500 years (say 1000-1525), and people in the West didn't really know what was going on. Chalk up another 30 million during the Mongol conquests, if you like... Good fun, but not likely to be taught in schools when there's Mary Seacole to write essays about!

Mahmud of Ghazni

Mahmud of Ghazni enjoys a poem after a hard day's massacring.

Anyway, that's enough history: let's see how the preparations for World War III are getting along. Russia and Ukraine, yes, a very promising conflict there. Israel and Gaza, yes, with the added bonus that both sides have got some genocidal fanatics playing for them. Then - and you being a Christian, Eccles, you'll enjoy this one - we have the Christians being wiped out by ISIS in the Middle East. I always get a kick out of massacring Christians - they're the real enemy of us demons, you see - and we get extra brimstone on Saturday nights to celebrate their murder.

"Foreign policy is a piece of cake!" says Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Actually, the world has not been entirely silent over the ISIS massacres. François Hollande, who is normally one of our keenest supporters, has broken ranks and offered asylum to the Kurds. In England, the church of England as a whole seems to think that ordaining women bishops is the answer to all the world's ills; however, some of its male bishops (e.g. Manchester, Worcester, Leeds-Ripon-Wakefield-Bradford-'arrogate-'alifax-'uddersfield) have spoken out about the massacres. On the Catholic side, we've not heard a great deal from Cardinal Nichols: "peradventure he sleepeth," as your man Elijah once put it. The same applies to Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor.*

*But within a few hours of my writing this, Bishop Declan Lang has sprung into action.

Cormac the cook

"I may be a useless cardinal, but I'm a great cook!"

Well, in conclusion, I'd like to congratulate the human race on the bloodshed of World War I, and all that has happened since then, and to wish all humans well in their future attempts to beat the Hell out of each other. For those who feel like a sing-song now, may I recommend this jolly piece from Flanders and Swann?

No doubt Mars among his chattels has got some really splendid war
Full of bigger and bloodier battles than we've ever enjoyed 
But until the time occurs, Sir, when that greater war comes on 
   the scene,
The one that I on the whole prefer, Sir, is the war of 14/18!
Yes the one that I still prefer, Sir, is the war of 14/18!

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