Hullo, Justin here.
As many of you know, before I heard the still small voice of calm calling me to this ministry, I was a banker. I also have significant experience of the oil industry, a place awash with money and the sometimes dog-eat-dog machinery of high finance. And so it was with dismay that I heard today that the spectacularly failing Co-operative Bank is to pay its top executives millions, nay billions, in bonuses. Let us remember that very recently, the same bank divested itself of the services of its Chief Executive, a troubled soul who dabbled in drugs hard and soft, was often seen in the company of inappropriate female persons and regularly went on expensive fact finding missions, usually to sunny places noted for drugs, libidinous music and inappropriate female persons.
And so, faced with calls from my flock to react to this news of unearned bonuses, I asked myself, “What would Jesus have done?” The young man with the wire in his ear suggested, “Shoot the bastards” whilst my lady wife shouted “Bring it on!”, spilling quite a lot of last year’s elderberry/vodka brandy on the fireside rug.
But of course, as the leading cleric in this country, I cannot support such extreme views, so I sat with my companions and began thoroughly to analyse the Co-operative story so far. Had the bank overreached itself? Had it been led by greedy financiers who had secured bonus-rich contracts from Chief Executives who dabbled in drugs and sought the company of inappropriate female persons? Have the fortunes of the Bank been turned around after its near-collapse? Has, in fact, the situation become very much worse? The answers were obvious. YES,YES, NO,YES.
These sobering facts stared bleakly back at me. Through the good offices of the young man with the wire in his ear, I obtained the private number of the present CEO of the Co operative Bank and asked him how on earth he could justify bonuses for people who were doing such a bad job. To his credit, he did not trot out the usual excuse that if these incompetents aren’t paid eye-watering bonuses, they would go abroad. Instead, he told me to sod off and go sing a hymn.
Now, I am a mild man. I am slow to anger. I will always seek the way of mediation. It is, after all, that is what Jesus would have done. And so, I prayed. Prayed with all my might. I prayed for over an hour, by which time, the fireside rug was ruined and the young man with the wire in his ear was snoring loudly.
So, after appeal, prayer and soul-searching I must reluctantly agree with the young man with the wire in his ear and indeed my lady wife (who appears now to be drinking our Lidl mouthwash) and recommend that we should indeed shoot the bastards.
Yours in inadequacy,