I didn't make pancakes for dessert last night, despite it being Pancake Tuesday. Today, however, I have seen photos of David Cameron dropping a pancake, or rather, not succeeding in catching the thing when he tossed it. And I have seen pictures of clerics in Ripon, looking silly running down the street in their red robes as they took part in a pancake race. I suppose I should give them full marks for taking part.
However, there is a part of me that feels that politicians, and clergy for that matter, should stop trying to convince us that they are just like the rest of us. I don't go around tossing pancakes in public. In fact I don't toss pancakes at all. I find less messy ways of turning my pancakes over. And there are a myriad other ways in which David Cameron is not at all like me.
As for the clerics, well, I sometimes wonder about the red robes, even the robes in general. And then I came across something from the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. According to the Bishop of Tenerife, there are adolescents, thirteen year olds, who not only consent to abuse, presumably by clergy, but actually want it to happen and set out to tempt the clergy. And here I was, thinking that clergy in the Catholic church took vows of chastity and abstinence and were supposed to resist temptation! Silly me! It's all down to those naughty adolescents! No suggestion that youngsters who do set out to tempt adults might need help rather than abuse.
What century does this bishop live in?
Obviously not the 21st, judging by his comments on homosexuality. He comments that it is no longer "políticamente correcto" to say that homosexuality is an illness but clearly he still believes it is. He goes on to say, "Eso que decía cualquier diccionario de Psiquiatría diez años atrás, hoy no se puede decir" (Nowadays one cannot say what any dictionary of Psychiatry said ten years ago.) I suspect his dictionaries of psychiatry are more like 50+ years old! What we should do, according to the bishop is "promover la educación e inculcar los valores de la feminidad y la masculinidad". In other words, education should teach and inculcate the values of feminity and masculinity.
That should sort it then!
I wonder what the Bishop Tenerife would think of the girls in this article from today's Guardian.
They are studying "boys' subjects", Computer Science and Engineering, so clearly they have not been inculcated with the values of femininity and masculinity. You would have thought that we might have got beyond "boys' subjects" and "girls' subjects" by mow, but apparently not. And it still seems that when a man works in a profession commonly regarded as women's work, he frequently rises quickly to the top while a woman in the reverse situation is regarded as a bit odd! We still have some way to go!
Finally, a correction. According to Phil, "navvies" are so called because the men who worked on the construction of canals were called "navigators". The contraction to "navvies" comes, he says, from "navigators" and not from "navigations", although he is prepared to accept that there is a connection. Well, I got my information from one of Phil's heroes, the journalist Paul Mason, but I stand corrected.