Friday 22 June 2018

The Farage Argument Sketch

With apologies to John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Micahel Palin.

(Nigel Farage walks into Broadcasting House.)

Farage: Ah. I'd like to have an argument, please.

Receptionist: Certainly sir. Have you been here before?

Farage: No, this is my first time.

ReceptionistI see. Well, do you want to have a five-minute argument on the Radio 4 Today Programme, or were you thinking of making regular appearances on Question Time?

FarageWell, what qualifications do you need?

Receptionist: Well, you just need to be prepared to take an contrary viewpoint and be available for the Today Programme but you will need to establish a narrow-minded and chauvinistic point of view for regular appearances Question Time. 

Farage: Well, I think it's probably best if I start with The Today Programme and then see how it goes from there, okay?

Receptionist: Fine. I'll see who's free at the moment.


Receptionist: Mr. Naughtie’s free, but he's a little bit conciliatory. Ahh yes, Try Mr. Humphrys; room 12.

Farage: Thank you. (Walks down the hall. Opens door.)

Holy man: Let us spare a few moments of thought for somebody in yesterday’s news.

Farage: Well, Well, I was told outside that... 

Holy man: When Jesus was in a completely different but not dissimilar situation he would talk in pointless riddles

Farage: What? 

Holy Man: So just think how wonderful it would be if everyone was as lovely as Jesus.

Farage: Yes, but I came here for an argument!! 

Holy Man: OH! Oh! I'm sorry! This is tedious platitude for the day for listeners who still think that people who believe in invisible sky fairies have a greater sense of morality than people who favour science, reason and critical thinking.

Farage: Oh! Oh I see! 

Holy ManAha! No, you want to come back at about five to eight, I’ll be finished by then.

Farage: Oh...Sorry... 

Holy Man: Not at all! 

Holy Man: (under his breath) amphibious git. 

(Farage waits a few minutes and then re-enters.)

Farage: Is this the right room for an argument where two entirely unequal points of view can be debated as if both arguments where equally valid.

Humphrys: Yes.

Monday 11 June 2018

Better Things for Christians to be Offended By

I’ve written on this blog before about my frustration with the recurrent religious practice of taking offence and claiming persecution as a mechanism for avoiding valid criticism and debate of bigoted, outdated and frequently hateful beliefs. Although not wishing to target moderate religious believers who wisely update their opinions in the light of more recent knowledge and wisdom, alas many extremely unhelpfully opinions still persist in more fundamental Christian minds due to the inability of the belief’s iron age authors to include a suitable mechanism for improvement and correction for a set of heterosexual and patriarchal predispositions that were sadly popular at the time. We’ve therefore probably all witnessed a Christian getting unnecessary irate over something wholly innocuous or inconsequential whilst not being overly concerned about far more serious issues that failed to trouble the privileged minds of their religion’s ancient architects.

Rather than once again bemoan this trait of taking offence at pointless prejudices, I thought I try instead to propose an alternative and related notion that might actually be worth taking offence about instead.