Monday, January 18, 2010

Sectarian bunfight!

It can be strange to watch the in-fighting between groups that you assumed were all on the same side. As they denounce each other for letting the world go to hell in a handcart it's possible to see that the issues are really, really important to them but it's just not possible to work out why.

Such was my reaction when listening to the news tonight where a Scottish bishop was denouncing Devonshire monks for 'leading people into sin'. This is not within the remit of being a monk and is, therefore, a serious charge.

It seems the monks produce Buckfast, a potent mixture of caffeine and booze. Bishop Bob Gillies (pictured) has had enough of the licentious and criminal behaviour conducted under the influence of Buckfast and has called in the big guns in the form of an old white man in a beard saying “St Benedict, I would have thought, would have been very, very unhappy with what his monks are doing nowadays.”

That's not really him in the picture, obviously. This is him.

On PM the good Bishop went even further than the claim that someone most people know little to nothing about would not have approved by claiming that Christians should not be involved in producing harmful substances at all. That's quite a strong claim and I look forward to his coming denunciations of the cigarette industry, bacon sandwiches and channel five. Let no one put this man in charge of the economy, we'd all be on the dole.

You don't get Buckfast round my way much but apparently it's a popular tipple in Scotland where it is affectionately known as "commotion lotion", “liquid speed” and “wreck the hoose juice”, at least it's known as these things according to The Times, and they move in those circles I'm sure.

Part of the problem is that this is no ordinary wine but a rocket powered 15% brew injected with an impressive dose of caffeine, presumably to ensure you don't fall asleep in a bush on your way home. A bush you are almost guaranteed to have ventured into if you've had a few glasses.

The local police certainly seem to think it's the devil's lubricant, linking it to a large number of crimes - including with the bottle. It may well be that this is the mischief makers booze juice of choice but can we really lay the blame for Scotland's woes at the door of the wrong kind of monk?

Come on guys, Bishops and Monks shouldn't be fighting each other, you should be picking on the Jews, Muslims and Buddhists surely.


David Cox said...

So is the good Bishop asking for Scottish whiskey producers to cease their activities? Or is it only Devon producers he has a problem with.
Pax Vobiscum

Jim Jepps said...

I think it's only Christians he has an issue with

Dougie Kinnear said...

Paul, Buckfast is cheap which is why 12 year olds are learning how to be alchoholics by using it (and other crappy cheap drinks) rather than whiskey.

Jim Jepps said...

As it happens Buckfast isn't cheap and it would avoid any legislation about alcohol pricing.

What it is is potent, which makes it good value for money if your sole aim is to get wasted. Like sherry.

Dougie Kinnear said...

Maybe cheap was the wrong word, affordable, is probably more apt although it's certainly cheaper than whiskey. I doubt alchohol pricing will make a difference to the issue, restricting availabilty is the way to go but sadly no government has the bottle to upset shareholders (no pun intended)

Dave said...

I think there's a world of difference between a drink being produced for mass consumption and producing a drink for which the customer base are alcoholics and kids looking to get rat-arsed quickly. The latter is purely exploitative and is in the same vein as any superstrong cider or lager that caters for the same market.

The majority of producers of such drinks are doing it because they're not know to let morality and human misery get in the way of the shareholders, but I think it's a legitimate question to ask of some monks supposedly sworn to bear witness to Christ's concern and compassion.

Dave said...

Obviously, it's legitimate to ask questions about the mismatch between theory and practice of most religions :-)

David Cox said...

Dave the stuff tastes awful!
I’ve only ever seen it drunk as medicine. It seems to be in parts of Scotland that they drink it by the bottle; the stuff is exported around the world. Buckfast Abbey is in the district I live, yet I’ve never seen it bought by anyone under 60, cider is the most cost effective method of getting drunk (good to see our drunks supporting tradition Devon industries). If Buckfast Tonic Wine is no longer available do you think the mainly young Scots drinkers will become teetotal? How long before an enterprising chap creates an imitation.
‘mismatch between theory and practice’ how many teetotal Catholic clergymen have you met.