1980s >> 1988 >> no-1004-april-1988

Running Commentary: Getting a message

I always watch breakfast television to see if the Revolution has started without me. Every day I wait for Gordon Honeycombe to announce that the working class have finally emancipated themselves. Well, this particular morning he didn’t say that. Instead we got Batman repeats, followed by the usual mind- numbing mixture of self-publicising nonentities and heart-warming human interest stories. The aim of this early morning junk is to anaesthetise the thought processes of the workers before they set out to perform their capitalist employers’ bidding.

Undaunted, I turned to the newly delivered newspaper. I nearly choked on my toast. “‘Jesus lives’ to adorn Britain’s letters for six weeks,” the headline read. One of 3000 Intercessors for Britain, who have vowed to pray for an hour a week over the moral state of the country, has paid the Post Office fifty thousand pounds to postmark every letter, parcel and periodical with the slogan “Jesus is alive”. Expletive deleted, I thought to myself. I read on. A Post Office spokesman said. “The scheme in no way confirms that we agree with the contents of the slogan. We do not consider the slogan contentious but a fair and reasonable message generally to the public”. Well it’s not agreeable to me, matey. It adds a new dimension to “unsolicited mail”. My indignation quickly subsided when I realised that it was yet another triumph for crass commercialism.

I had thought of writing on my outgoing mail, “Jesus is alive and well in America, providing homophobic bigots and racists with well heeled lifestyles made possible by screwing millions of dollars out of those members of the working class who need an emotional crutch to help them cope with capitalism, a system of society that produces war. poverty, economic insecurity and unemployment”. Then I realised there would be no room left on the envelope for the address. So I think I’ll write “Abolition of the wages system” instead.

Dave Coggan