This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Have you sold your soul to the Devil?

Let me make one thing clear before we start: do not try this at home. Selling your soul to the Devil is a very bad idea, and is likely to lead to great inconvenience later on. Assuming that none of my readers has tried this, can we identify any people who have?

Obama and Kenny

I can't imagine what that photo is doing here.

Clue 1: People who sell their souls to the Devil will normally have got a good price. They will almost certainly be rich and famous. So, although we may think that Tina Beattie is beyond the pale, nobody is going to sell their immortal soul just to become a professor at Roehampton, so I think it's safe to assume that she is beyond the pale for other reasons.

The same goes for Michael Coren, who - we might think - has been renting his soul out on and off, on a time-share basis. But all that just to get a few newspaper columns and a TV show? I think not. Likewise, Fr Timothy Radcliffe hasn't managed to cut a deal - for who wants to sell their soul just to become the Vatican consultant on paperclips? Why, he hasn't even made it as far as bishop.

Radcliffe and Mephistopheles

"Sorry, I'm hanging on for a better offer."

Clue 2: People who sell their souls to the Devil will normally lead very evil lives. So someone in a position of great power, such as the Pope, Queen of the United Kingdom, or publisher of Spectator Health, Money and Life, will not be assumed to have made a diabolical deal unless they start acting in an evil manner. Despite what some bloggers say, the Pope is not that bad, although he seems to have good days and bad days.

Richard Dawkins, then? He's got a fairly good deal from life, becoming an expert on zoology, genetics, philosophy, theology, poetry, honey, etc. And all that without significant quantities of common sense. But a man who spends his declining years in howling at the Universe via Twitter is surely not getting a very good bargain, even if he does have a pretty wife from Gallifrey.

Clue 3: People who sell their souls are supposed to have all the women (or men, or whatever) that they want. So we can rule out Tony Blair after all, for, despite being rich, famous, powerful, evil, etc., he is saddled with Cherie. (That wasn't very gallant, Eccles.)

Cherie Blair

Phew! Proof that Tony Blair didn't sell his soul, after all.

Maybe, then, nobody has sold his soul to the Devil recently. Not Richard Branson, not Cardinal Nichols, not Russell Brand, not Enda Kenny. Well, maybe Enda Kenny. We'll see whether he wins that referendum...


  1. I don't particularly know any who have sold their souls to the devil. I do remember this morning's Gospel in which Jesus thanks the Father that all those He had given to Jesus would save their souls except the one who had chosen not to. It is a fearful thought that many have not and also will not choose to take up on the promise of eternal salvation.

  2. From "Screwtape Proposes a Toast" by by my very own creator

    " can use the word democracy to sanction
    in his thought the most degrading (and also the least enjoyable) of
    human feelings. You can get him to practise, not only without shame
    but with a positive glow of self-approval, conduct which, if undefended
    by the magic word, would be universally derided.."

  3. Not so sure about Tony Blair. He seems to me to be a classic case of Matthew 4:8 with his own tanning salon thrown in. I doubt if the continued presence of Cherie provided much counterweight to all that.

  4. There is a school of thought that the Devil sold his soul to Tony Blair and gave Tone the gift of an old flame .....

  5. No, but New Labour sold its soul to the B.Liar.