My lady wife and I don’t watch a great deal of television, what with official engagements, dressing up, opening things, blessing things and generally being seen about the place, we simply don’t seem to have the time.
Recently, on one of the rare occasions we were able to spend an evening toasting muffins and watching “the box” (we’re both particularly fond of “Flog It”. My lady wife often remarks on the programme’s enthusiastic presenter’s come to bed eyes, whatever that means. It probably refers to the hard work he puts in valuing peoples’ knick-knacks), we took one of our rare forays into commercial television. We tend only to view the BBC, because those commercial channels are so bound up with Mammon.
That said, you can imagine my shock, nay horror, when, commercial break after commercial break there appeared advertisements for MONEYLENDERS! – companies offering something called “pay-day loans” whereby comparatively small amounts are made immediately available to honest, hardworking folk who have, in the words of the young man with a wire in his ear and a bulge in his jacket who follows us everywhere, come up a bit Royal Mint. Apparently, this means “skint”, which my driver tells me means to have no money. On the surface, this appeared to me to be a worthy, nay philanthropic business until I noticed the interest rates! Thousands of percents! Thousands!
As you might imagine, my first thought was, “What would Jesus have done?” and of course Our Lord did indeed encounter this sort of leechery and he took the moneylenders and physically grasped them, and threw them out of the Temple. He was like that, Jesus. Contrary to the meek and mild image put forward by some religious agencies, there was something of the Jack Reacher about him in certain circumstances.
The following morning I suggested to Jocasta that I might do the same thing; that I and a few burly curates, male and female could turn up at Wonga.com and throw their personnel out into the street. Both Jocasta and the young man with the wire in his ear thought this terribly funny. They explained that most of these sorts companies didn’t have offices as such and that they only existed on line and probably operated out of Liechtenstein or somewhere equally obscure.
So for the moment, I am stumped. But I am determined to do something about this shameful state of affairs wherein rich people exploit poor people. This very afternoon I shall pen a letter to our Prime Minister informing him of my findings. I feel sure that he will be as horrified at this rampant – for want of a better word – Capitalism as I was.