This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Friday 30 December 2022

The Book of Numbskulls 1 - the fall of Bosis

Continued from here.

1. In my earlier writings, O Theophilus, namely the books of Brexodus and Covidicus, I told the story of how Bosis led the children of Bri-tain out of the land of EU-gypt, and how they were hit by a great plague.

2. Now I must tell the tragical history of the downfall of Bosis and his replacement by his servant Trusshua.

Boris Johnson

On the way out...

3. For by the seventh month, Bosis had lost favour with the people.

4. First, because of his love of cake. For he had held a great feast, at which there appeared on the wall, written in letters of fire, the words MENE PEPEL ARUN HARPE, which is to say "The people of the Beeby Sea have found thee wanting and wish thee to go."

5. Second, there was a man named Pincher, who was accused of pinching two men.

6. But Bosis refused to believe in his iniquity, defending Pincher by saying, "Doth Raab rob? Doth Mogg mug? Is Eustice useless? Well, perhaps yes in this last case, but I cannot believe that Pincher doth pinch."

7. But the end was in sight, for Sajidiah, the bringer of health, and Rishi the Sunakite, the bringer of wealth (or not), now resigned from their offices, followed by many other ministers.

8. And even the aged patriarch, John of Magdala, who had led the Conservatites thirty years earlier, spake from his tomb, saying "It is time for the 1922 B.C. committee to intervene, they that wear grey suits and dwell in smoke-filled rooms."

John Major

The spectre of the late John of Magdala.

9. So Bosis admitted that the game was up and a new leader was needed. Besides, he had led the people out of EUgypt (except perhaps for the Irish of the North), reduced their footprints of carbon, and brought prosperity to all. Or so he said.

10. Then there came forth eight brave heroes, all willing to lead the children of Bri-tain into a glorious future.

11. But soon the candidates disappeared one by one, as in the fabled book of Anima Christi, known as "Ten little Tories", which was known throughout the land of Bri-tain.

12. So that only Trusshua and Rishi the Sunakite remained.

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak

The race for power.

13. Now the people of the Western Minster preferred Rishi, but the Law of Profits told them that they must consult the humble Conservatites who dwelt among the grass roots.

14. And the lot fell upon Trusshua, and what a lot it would be, as I shall relate next.

Continued in Chapter 2.

Sunday 25 December 2022

The 2022 Catholic Advent Calendar

In the end, this is what I saw after opening all the little windows.

For the record, this is what was revealed:

1. We start off in party mood with Cardinal Coccopalmerio.

2. We see the return of another great religious figure (complete with a new hairstyle). Blair.

3. Jolly old Uncle Wilt is here to celebrate a TLM with you. Or not.

4. Now, Advent is traditionally the season for synods, and we ask "Who is missing?" Are YOU doing enough to change the teaching of the Catholic church?

5. Out pops one of the greatest theologians of our age - or, indeed, any age - Mike Lewis of the "Where Pacha Is" blog.

6. Music is an important part of worship, and the vuvuzela won a recent Twitter poll on the subject. Enjoy!

7. A real heavyweight today - Cardinal "Rhino" Marx enjoying the LGBT surroundings.

8. Devout Catholic Nancy Pelosi heads into retirement, vowing to spend her declining years in performing good deeds.

9. Ooh look, it's Tommy Reese, the very model of a modern liberal Jesuit.

10. It's Cardinal Maradiaga. In a world of financial and sexual scandals, here is someone we can really believe in.

11. This new cardinal, Robert McElroy, is described as a "kindred spirit of Pope Francis". Need we say more?

12. A spiritually nourishing picture of a drunken man surrounded by custard pies (World meeting of families). By Father Marko Ivan Rupnik SJ, who is in a spot of bother right now.

13. Unlucky 13. We begin the second half with Bishop Gustavo Óscar Zanchetta. Pope Francis has backed him all the way, so it's rather unfortunate that Z's been sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison.

14. No prizes for recognising Devout Catholic Joe Biden, seen here doing his Mussolini impersonation. In his spare time Joe tells me he is President of the Thing c'mon, you know man. His views on marriage and infanticide are truly fascinating.

15. Cardinal Becciu (my financial adviser) says he could have been pope if only the newspapers would stop writing about him. Better luck next time, Angelo!

16. We haven't had a distinguished theologian yet - unless you count December 5th - so here is Massimo Faggioli ("Max Beans" to his friends), a modern Aquinas, winner of the "Top Theologian named after a vegetable" prize for 10 years running.

17. Cardinal Farrell, a friend of the famous McCarrick, is Camerlengo of the Church. I was wondering who Pope Francis had told him to appoint as his successor, but he hasn't told us yet. Probably one of the people on this calendar...

18. We all love genial Archbishop Paglia. Vincenzo ("Paggles" to his friends) has brought a new mission to the Pontifical Academy of Life, commissioned a homoerotic mural in which he features, and is a supporter of charitable donations.

19. Although he is now almost entirely forgotten, the devout Boris Johnson was the first Catholic prime minister of the UK. In 2019-2022 the country went through a golden age in which Christian doctrine dominated public life. Possibly.

20. Blase Cupich, winner of a recent world cup of cardinals. Universally loved.

21. We welcome Austen Ivereigh, author of "Pope Francis, the great Redeemer" etc. and now an "expert" charged with writing up all the moans and grumbles from contributors to the Synod on Synod on Synods. Whoopee!

22. Father James "Jimbo" Martin LGBTSJ. Known for his, er, imaginative Catholic teaching, and for bringing "gay" and "trans" issues into as many debates as possible.

23. At this time of year we wait for the fat man in red in whom nobody really believes. "Santa" Roche knows whether you've been bad (TLMs) or good (NO masses)!

24. We open the last window on the Catholic Advent Calendar to reveal a symbol of happiness and joy.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all readers!

An unreligious baggage writes about Christmas

A guest post from Apollyon Toynbee of the Guardian.

Christmas comes with good cheer. The tragedy is the religious baggage.

I love Christmas! It's the time of year that all we Guardian writers are filled with good cheer, as we migrate to our villas in Tuscany and take part in all the usual traditions. Hot cross buns! Easter eggs! Drinking ourselves sensible!

I watch "It's a pretty rotten life", that movie in which a rich capitalist decides to kill himself, and we all cheer him on. (I turn off before the last bit, which is about a fascist creature called an angel, who stops him.)

I also watch "A Christmas Carol" in a special feminist version in which Ms. Scroogy goes to Bob Snatchit's House and steals all his food becase he is a SEXIST PIG.

No religion in any of these films, you will notice!

It's a wonderful life


No, it's the attempt by Christians to hijack the event with their nonsense about a baby being born in Nazareth, or wherever it was. Why, they've even hijacked the traditional name "Christmas", deciding to call their imaginary baby "Christ". I haven't gone into this in detail, but it seems that they also worship other imaginary children called East and Pente!

My atheist great-grandfather, Gilbert N. Sullivan, a classical scholar and also president of the humanists, called Christmas “Mithras' birthday”, because Jesus usurped this winter festival from him. (Hang on, Eccles, she really said that!) Of course the shops refused to sell him Mithras' Birthday cards, which just goes to show the level of bigotry in our society.

And don't get me onto the subject of the three "kings" bringing gold, frankincense and myrrh, when - so they tell me - ordinary citizens can't afford these luxuries and have to rely on myrrh banks! I blame Rishi Sunak.

In general, I am very tolerant of religions, provided that they are practised behind closed doors where nobody can see them. (And no cheating by making silent prayers in the streets! My friends in the Police have stocked up with tear gas, rubber bullets and tasers, just in case anyone tries to pray while thinking - or do I mean tries to think while praying?)


The anti-prayer task force has spotted a lady praying silently!

No, at this time of year I show my religious sensitivity by wishing all my Muslim friends a "Happy Hanukkah", since I know that in their gurdwaras they are celebrating that moment - sacred to them at least - when Krishna did whatever it is he did.

Admittedly, they sometimes utter a discreet "Ali Baba!" ("God is great") as they go about their traditional stabbing activities, but we can overlook such solecisms because we all believe in diversity!


Confucius he say "This is brilliant, Polly!"

Christianity is the worst, though. I dug into the Guardian bag of insults and out came "homophobic", "transphobic", "pro-life", "preaching" and "smashing and decapitating a vast statue of Athena". So there we are!

Give me the badly behaved quarrelsome gods of Valhalla, the Greeks and Romans. (Hang on, Eccles, she really said that as well!)

But worst of all, is the fact that organized religion has robbed us of the right to bump off Grandad when he's being a nuisance (The "right to die"). A lot of these do-gooders wear crosses - an instrument of torture - but whenever I suggest to them that I should be allowed to crucify Grandad Gilbert, who has a nasty dose of arthritis, they hurriedly change the subject.

So Christmas comes with good cheer, enjoy it. But know that it also comes with grandparents - I mean, religious baggage - that we should shed!

Will this do? I have recycled some of the best bits from my 2006, 2015, 2019 and 2021 articles on the subject, but there are one or two new bits as well. Apollyon.

From the desk of Katharine Viner (Editor). Not bad, Polly, but couldn't you have mentioned the fact that Christianity was invented by bronze age goatherds like C.S. Lewis (I think it was)? Love, Kathy.

Tuesday 20 December 2022


With apologies to George Orwell.

Winston Smith's route to Mass took him past the People's Aborturama. Here, citizens were encouraged to punish their unwanted children with painful execution, so that their organic components could be recycled for the good of the state. Seeing officers of PrayPol, the Prayer Police, standing nearby, Winston hastily put his hands in his pockets and arranged his features into a large smile. That way, nobody would accuse him of praycrime.

A scene of explicit praycrime.

Naturally, Big Brother had no objection to the use of prayers, provided that they were taken from the Synod 2021-2045 Handbook. This had been compiled by the late Citizen Ivereigh of the Ministry of Religion on the instructions of Pope Francis the Godly, whose remarkable brain was now operating for eternity thanks to the miracles of science.

The Pope (aged 148) continues his work.

State-approved prayers were mostly addressed to Pachamama, the People's goddess, and involved repentance for environmental wrongs, such as plasticstrawsinning or candlecrime. Unauthorized prayers outside the People's Aborturama, the Youthinasia retirement home, or DragonQueen, the children's gender reassignment playground, were of course severe examples of praycrime, and the offender was liable to compulsory re-education.

A doubleplusungood example of praycrime.

Re-education mostly consisted of the guilty citizen being imprisoned in the Greta Thunberg Education Facility (formerly Oxford University), where the offender was forced to listen to endless lectures on Critical Race Theory, Gender Theory and of course Climate Change (scientists had recently revised their estimates, revealing that the World would be consumed by fire no later than 2090).

Winston arrived on time at the Pachamama Cathedral Mosque. Mass would start with a two-minute Hate of White People, who, it had been established by the Big Sister of Oceania (formerly President Meghan of the United States), were responsible for all the evils of the world...

To be continued? I hope not. Just read the newspapers if you want more.

Monday 19 December 2022

How to get rid of a turbulent priest

Probably several of my readers will one day become pope (Hi, Blase! Hi, Arthur! Hi, Tina!) and will need me to advise them on how to behave. Today's topic is the vexed one of getting rid of a priest you don't like. These days, popes don't often poison priests - in fact Francis has been a model non-poisoner - and the most common solution is simple laicisation. But of course we don't laicise everyone who offends.

For example, Cardinal Cocaine, who wears a lampshade on his head and knows all about "gay" orgies can't really be said to be a problem!

Cardinal Cocco

Not a problem.

Likewise, Father Jimbo SJ, who can't take a cup of tea without relating it to LGBT issues, and whose Biblical teaching is best described as "imaginative", is to be welcomed into the Vatican and asked for his advice! Then there's Archbishop Paggles, who stars in homoerotic murals, doesn't really understand what a Pontifical Academy for Not Bumping People off is supposed to do, and seems to be in all sorts of other troubles. He's safe. Even Fr Rumpy, who won a prize for the worst ecclesial art ever seen, who has trouble keeping his vestments on, and who solves his problems by absolving the people he has sinned with, only gets a brief slap on the wrist from the CDF.

Rupnik's rubbish

Rumpy's masterpiece - a drunken man surrounded by custard pies.

But what's the point of being pope if you can't sack a few people? Aha! I have it! There's this Pavanne chap of "Priests Against Murder", who is admittedly rather eccentric in his methods. Worst of all he is very very very pro-life! Emma Bonehead isn't at all happy! Mariana Mozzarella has complained!

Sack him! But do it in a Jesuit way - i.e., don't say exactly why you're sacking him. Mutter something about blasphemous communications (Uncle Wilt has explained to you that backing Donald Trump is a hideous blasphemy) and accuse him of disobeying his bishop (a catch-all, as sometimes you have to choose between God and your bishop).

Frank Pavone

Public Enemy Number One.

You are, of course, a merciful pope (as well as a humble one), so you won't be sending the Swiss Guard round to do a Thomas Becket on him. Well, not this week. Thank Heavens that the art of removing turbulent priests has evolved since the days of Henry II, and you can simply cast him into outer darkness!

Sunday 18 December 2022

What the Prodigal Son did next

A sequel to the earlier parable.

1. So the prodigal son, Harry, with the prodigal daughter-in-law, the sorceress Meg-han le Fay, parted from his father a second time, and went into the wilderness to seek an even bigger fortune than he had already.

2. "Leave us alone!" cried the happy couple. "We have told you many times, by means of interviews, epistles, paintings, interpretative dance, commemorative mugs, even by means of the Metropolitan Oprah, that we are humble strolling players who wish to preserve a dignified silence."

Prince Harry

Harry painteth a self-portrait in the style of Van Gogh.

3. But it was not to be. "I am going spare," said Harry, "and the only way to be ignored will be to write the best-selling story of my life, also to be called 'Spare'."

4. Meanwhile, the grandmother of the prodigal son, who happened to be the Queen, died at a great age, and his father became King.

5. This Queen had responded to the claims of Meg-han Le Fay by saying "Recollections may vary", which is how queens say "Thou art a silly cow and everything thou sayest is as the droppings of the bulls of Bashan."

6. But now that the Queen was dead, the prodigal couple decided to invent more stories about life at the royal palace.

7. "For I am black but comely," said Meg-han Le Fay, "and thus I am the victim of racial attacks by the late Queen and her corgis of war."

8. Which was not true, for the people had greeted her with "Who is this that appears like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, majestic as the stars in procession?"

Queen and corgis

"Boris! Liz! Rishi! Keir! Attack!"

9.But Harry was also much grieved. "Once when I was three years old, my brother William called me a 'pest', and it hath traumatized me all my life. What can I do?"

10. And Meg-han le Fay replied, "Let us arise and go unto the men who flick the nets, and ask them to make a powerful twenty-six-part entertainment about us.

11. Thus can we remain private, as we have always wanted; we can be revenged on the wickedness of William; and, best of all, we can be rewarded with much gold."

12. And it was so.

bored people

The people are entertained by the story of the prodigal couple.

Sunday 4 December 2022

Magi "traumatized" after being asked where they came from

Bethlehem, 4 B.C. approx.

The three Magi, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar (real names: Chas Parr, Mel Keir, and Bill Tazzer), have declared themselves "totally stunned" after they arrived at the stable in Bethlehem and were asked where they had come from.

Adoration of the Magi

The question you must never ask.

After travelling for several weeks from Persian lands afar, the three kings presented their offerings of gold, frankincense and myrrh, which they claimed to have bought in a gift shop in Bethlehem, even though the items were in a bag bearing the legend "Ali's Bazaar - eveything for your Adoration needs".

On being asked "Where do you come from?" they originally replied "Hackney" (a suburb of Jerusalem), although it was later revealed after a gruelling 15 seconds of traumatic questioning that their background was more exotic.

"We're not angry with the Holy Family," said Chas. "All we want is for them to be driven out into Egypt."

It was later revealed that the three men had a history of baiting royalty, and that King Herod himself was deeply upset by what they said when they visited him. However, Herod did not ask them about the origins, so history is sure to look kindly upon him.

Magi on horses

"Well, winding up King Herod was a good start. What shall we do next?"

Thursday 1 December 2022

The next conclave

Cardinal Farrell (camerlengo): By popular demand, I am stepping down from the organization of this conclave, and our brother Cardinal Eccles will run the proceedings. He tells me that his agenda will produce white smoke within just a few minutes...

Cardinal Farrell

"Only one man can sort out this mess."

Eccles takes over.

I have invited all cardinals here, even ones too old to vote, as they may still be elected pope.

First. Calling all frauds, embezzlers, people who say "The money was just resting in my account", and investors in dodgy property schemes. Please leave, we don't require you any more.

Several cardinals leave, Becciu loudly protesting "I'll sue someone - I was intended to be the next pope!"

All homosexuals, trans-cardinals, friends of Father James Martin LGBTSJ, those with beach houses, those who cover up abuse... oh hang it, and all Jesuits. Please go.

A mad rush for the exits.

Uncle Ted's rice

Who let him in?

All Germans, Belgians, and - yes - Argentinians (we don't want to make that mistake again!) OUT!

Some times you pull up the wheat with the tares. Pope Emeritus Benedict (aged 108) goes out with a sigh of relief. Cardinal Müller looks less happy.

All those soft on abortion and euthanasia, those associated with the Pontifical Academy for Death. GO!

A few more leave.

All cardinals who think that synods about synods are a GOOD THING. HOPPIT.

There were never many of these, and most have left already. But one or two creep out synodically.

Synod poster

And take that scarecrow with you!

Anyone associated with that scandalous deal with China. No not you, Zen, dear Eminence.

Is that Parolin I see leaving?

All fat clowns who hate the traditional Latin Mass. BEGONE!

Roche waddles out with one or two friends. Most of the others have left already.

Phew! Well that just leaves Sarah, Pell and a VERY few others. Can you sort it out between yourselves now, guys?

Pell and Sarah

"We don't suppose you'd take it on, Eccles?"