A redundant Portuguese administration worker, Snr Barolo, attempted to surprise British politicians this morning by talking out of his arse. Mr Barolo's bottom recited a traditional European children's nonsense poem before giving a chorus of 'My Old Man's a Dustman' in an effort to raise funds for the Portuguese economy. Snr Barolo is 67.
It will hardly come as a surprise that the Vatican has decided that thieves should be forgiven and loved, but that theft should not be legalised. Indeed, as about half of catholic clergy are inclined to theft and their sinfulness and frailty makes them better, not worse pastors and shepherds, and as Christ himself was crucified between thieves, the church can hardly have decided anything different.
Pope Francis has taken all the right steps. Last year he invited lay Catholics across the world to voice their opinions on a whole range of matters, including their feelings about thieves. Despite determined attempts by many bishops to distort and skew the process - with some episcopal blocking moves the equivalent of distributing a 60 page questionnaire written in Latin in very small print in light grey ink - the voice of worldwide Catholicism has reached the Papal bedsit. Last week was the bishops' turn to show that they heard and understood the voice of the flock. They had a shouty bit, agreed to disagree and decided to take a year to think about things. So far so good. Lay feelings are generally liberal towards theft. Most people reckon that thieves should not be persecuted, but wouldn't want their own children learning to steal, and would prefer stealing to be private rather than public. African Catholics detest stealing, and many want a return to the days of nose-slitting and ear removal for convicted thieves. All of which is unlikely to change the Church's current teaching - that many good people are tempted to steal, and the temptation to theft is widespread. Having a thieving tendency should be no bar to holy orders so long as one refrains from stealing. And in the event that the temptation proves too strong for human flesh to resist, there is forgiveness and a prodigal welcome for the repentant. (Dons kevlar hat ...)
Mendacity is so fundamental to David Cameron's character that a lie comes as second nature when faced with any difficulty. Take the European Arrest Warrant; it's inequitable, unfair and wholly alien to the British system of law and justice. It's hated by the majority of Tory MPs, civil libertarians and voters with passports. The government now has the chance to opt-out of it - a no-brainer, one would have thought.
Except for reasons known only to himself, Cameron is committed to confirming its application to British subjects by 1st December. Any corrupt, bribe-taking tinpot little magistrate in Greece or Cyprus can then sign a form to have a British subject dragged out of their UK bed, bundled onto an aircraft in manacles and consigned to squalor and the horror of a third-world prison. Why Cameron is so in favour of this defeats me - but he is.
In fact, so committed is he to the measure that he's just lied to give Tory MPs the impression that he's not yet made up his mind. The lie, he hopes, will get them off his back and allow him to agree the measure without further fuss. Except, I suspect, they are better acquainted with his tendency to mendacity these days and may just not let him get away with it.
The full text of Owen Paterson's speech yesterday is in the Speccie - and well worth reading. For what it's worth, I tend to agree with his position on GW; "Other things being equal, carbon dioxide emissions will produce some warming. The question always has been: how much?"
"I also note that the forecast effects of climate change have been consistently and widely exaggerated thus far."
And of course the facts and figures that condemn the EU and the government's bloody windmills as utter lunacy.
What links the riots in Kiev (below) to the trio of pics beneath showing (a) SS-Oberführer Fritz Freitag (b) a group of veterans dressed in typical British Farah slacks and polyester blazers and (c) a symbol exhibited by footie fans in Lviv in 2013?
There can't be many Britons who will be surprised at our government's suspension of aid payments to Tanzania because their government officials have been stealing it; surely, the predisposition of all African government officials to steal aid money is so well known that many imagine this to be the very point of overseas aid - bribing crooked African chiefs.
No one actually expects those billions to create wells, schools, hospitals or bridges. We pay it knowing full well that most of it will be spent in Knightsbridge and Mayfair's luxury bling boutiques as fat chiefs bring their string of wives and hangers on to London on shopping trips.
After all, if we really wanted to improve the lives of ordinary poor Africans, giving billions to their bloated corrupt chiefs would be the very last thing we would do, would it not?
With a general election only six months away, Prime Minister Nigel Farage thought this must be the worst time ever to agree a joint UK-Indian Marshall Plan to rescue the mess that the disintegration of the Eurozone had wrought. His party's slim overall majority of four in the house would crumble as at least twenty old UKIP diehards rebelled, and he would have to depend on the twenty-five remaining Labour Party members on the opposition benches to get the measure through ...
OK, it's weak fiction. But you take the point that this is a pivotal time in British politics, a time when almost anything could happen. The stable system of 2.5 State Parties that fools like Ian Kennedy wanted to legitimise in a quasi-constitutional role by crooked fixes such as tax funding is over. Not since the Labour Party upset the cosy duopoly of the Conservatives and Liberals has the national appetite for political change been so great.
As we start another week in which even the fall of Kobane will fail to shift UKIP's Rochester campaign from the news, the dying parties must rue the day they abandoned Britain's voters for a mess of metropolitan pottage. Political change in the UK is akin to a very large, heavy flywheel; it takes a lot of effort to get it moving, but once in motion the inertia is irreversible. And as long as the speed governor that is our unwritten constitution functions correctly, it will not run away with us.
It's one of the biggest cons ever pulled off by the corporates - robbing taxpayers of billions to 'subsidise' fake energy tech and bloody windmills that simply won't deliver the electrical power that the UK needs. The crooked corporates are strongly supported by Cameron and his corporatist coterie, many of whom have substantial personal financial interests in the con. For sheer front it surpasses the useless plastic wands successfully sold as bomb detectors by ATSC for $60k each - except that unlike McCormick, Ed Davey, the Climate Change Secretary acting as lap-dog to the corporates, is unlikely to face jail. Owen Paterson is one of the first serious politicians with real credibility to break cover and reveal that the King has no clothes. A strong contender for the Conservative leadership against Theresa May, Paterson's timing may be calculated, but he remains one of the very few politicians who earned real trust outside of the metropolitan self-regarding elite. And unlike jaded little urban Tory schills such as Matthew Parris, Paterson won't write-off rural Britain - or see it covered in bloody windmills that don't work.