Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad becomes a quite nice, decent sort of fellow who starts to hang out with American, Iranian Christian, Jewish, and even Iranian opposition chappies (who he apologises to for roughing up a bit with rubber hoses, which he concedes was somewhat unsporting). Saying nasty things about Jews becomes a crime, but because he has ended such unpleasant things as hanging, stoning, being beaten senseless by someone dressed in black leathers and riding pillion on a motorbike wielding bitumen-filled lengths of rubber hose, punishment instead consists of sipping pints of warm English ale (worse, stout) while talking about the rules of cricket and listening to Kenny G. for hours on end. Anti-Israel sentiment immediately fizzles away completely. Ahmadinejad also says nuclear bombs are quite nasty things actually, which the peaceful Iranian people don’t need after all. Unfortunately he offends some people when his government is caught smuggling arms to Israel through a tunnel under Lebanon and calls for the annihilation of that “illegitimate Islamist entity Hamas”, which he says should be pushed into the sea.
At last, the BBC renounces its instutitionalised liberal bias and infuriating programmes produced in the somewhat thinly-veiled guise of religious broadcasting (such as debate shows hosted by Nicky Campbell) immediately cease. Instead, the governors of the Beeb decide to place religious, and especially Christian, broadcasting at the forefront of their next next ten-year plan, with at least one Evangelical act of worship broadcast each week. Muslim programming now reflects the percentage of the British population it represents, which doesn’t cause any problems whatsoever because most of them are really pretty decent and understanding sort of chaps anyway, who are as nonplussed as the rest of us as to why Britain’s elites find Christianity so distasteful. Elsewhere in the media world The Guardian newspaper is bought by a Christian publisher and all columnists are required to sign up to the Thirty Nine Articles. Meanwhile, the editors decide the paper will become a leading climate change denial broadsheet.
In yet another breathtakingly cynical attempt to position himself for the forthcoming general election Gordon Brown’s government decides to push through new legislation aimed at protecting and promoting Christian values and institutions. The laws are rushed through with the enthusiastic support and office of the Leader of the House, Harriet Harman, who discloses she has been, after all, a secret Christian fundamentalist all her life. Unfortunately the plan proves a total disaster, failing to win a single vote, for the simple fact Brown took us all for idiots and failing to take into account twelve years of NuLabour anti-Christian bias. Nonetheless, incoming Prime Minister David Cameron invites Gordon Brown to dinner and thanks him profusely for pushing through legislation which he would never, in his wildest dreams, have dared consider introducing. Elsewhere Commons Speaker John Bercow is ousted by incoming Conservative MPs and the thoroughly decent Labour MP Frank Field becomes the new Speaker. Upon his electoral defeat Gordon Brown renounces spin, socialism, bullying, manages to smile at least once with genuine sincerity, becomes a committed Christian and Pentecostal minister and (here’s the most unlikely bit) apologises for at least one error he's made in the past.
Simon Cowell becomes a born again Christian and launches a new TV talent show to find the best preacher in Britain (he calls it the Homily Factor). Although auditions tend to be pretty long, with various wacky competitors (for example, the illiterate, the theologically-untrained, the plain boring, those who just like to hear the sound of their own voice, those who preach unnecessarily long sermons, or the nutcases who shouldn’t be let loose anywhere near a pulpit) the show immediately becomes a runaway success, with Brits by their millions tuning in to hear the finalists. Panelists consist of internationally respected leading world preachers. As a result of the show a new Top 40 preachers’ chart is launched and soon compilation albums of the best sermons hit the stores, with titles such as Now That’s What I Call Preaching 43, Totally Preaching 12, and for the followers of the prosperity televangelists who gather yearly at venues in Ibiza, the Ministry of Pound. Inevitably, Homily Factor captures the No. 1 sermon each Christmas, much to the consternation of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Elsewhere in the entertainment world, Richard Dawkins writes yet another book, this time positing the possibility of Intelligent Design after all (though he maintains it could only possibly be by intelligent aliens). Unfortunately for him some 50% of the population remain of the view that Dawkins does not exist.
In the face of a popular revolt, British institutional fixation with " ‘elf and safety" (translation: Health and Safety) finally melts away and life in the UK slowly returns to normal. At last people can see out of their bedroom windows now that window cleaners are allowed to use ladders again, families may video their children in school plays once more, British roads are no longer replete with masses of giant-sized and colourful road signs every few yards (an unintended consequence of this is that the number of road accidents falls steeply), children’s authors can now speak at school assemblies without having to have a CRB check, and tourists visiting London no longer fear being arrested for taking photos under anti-terror legislation zealously enforced by Community Support Officers. Meanwhile, churches can now replace light bulbs without the need for scaffolding costing hundred of pounds a day - a simple ladder is now permitted. Also, fathers and sons may now play Cowboys and Indians with toy guns in their gardens without the fear of nosey neighbours calling in the anti-terror police to raid their home. Police swiping of DNA for playing with toy guns is finally abolished.
May 2010 be a blessed and prosperous one for you and yours.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!