Well, it finally happened, and we have a new Pope. I say “we” when I suppose I mean “they”, but gosh, one cannot deny the deep joy which emanated from the packed crowds in St Peter’s Square when white smoke issued from the Papal Chimney. And here I stand corrected. That smoke isn’t from the burning of unsuccessful candidates as I suggested the other day, but from the Cardinals’ ballot papers. That piece of wonky information was given to me by a young know-it-all curate in my employ – well, used to be in my employ but who is now back doing prison visits at Broadmoor.
Interestingly, the new Pope is from Argentina, a faraway land of which we know little beyond childhood memories of Fray Bentos corned beef – although I much preferred boiled ham sandwiches with the crusts cut off – and all the present argy-bargy regarding the Falkland Islands. Apparently the new Pope’s home country lays claim to this quintessentially British territory and Argentina’s political leaders have been jolly rude about us. Hopefully, the new Pontiff will be able to have a word.
Meanwhile, here at home I have been deeply impressed at the way Mr Cameron has recently dropped plans to increase the price of alcohol, just as he advised that odd little fellow Gove to drop plans for a Baccalaureate exam for 16 year olds. I mean, Heavens Above! How many 16 year olds can even spell “baccalaureate"?
But the alcohol about-face is no bad thing. I mean, if you’re in a dead-end job, or even unemployed, how better to forget your troubles than going out and getting a little squiffy at the weekend? British peasants and yeomen have been doing that for centuries. And most street furniture is made of plastic these days anyway and is easily hosed down.
Let’s not forget the huge contribution made to our struggling economy by the drinks industry. Why, I myself am partial to an aged Rioja, or a few glasses of Barolo, retailing, I am told, for as little as £32.50p per bottle.
And Red Nose Day is imminent. I shall be eagerly taking part from the Palace, reading out several jokes I am having explained to me later today.