The Blessed Kevin by Barbara Nadel

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This week it’s social media that has got me down. Specifically social media comments on the Israel/Gaza conflict. I think you’re supposed to pick a side or something and if you’re ‘for’ one, you automatically ‘hate’ the ‘others’ and want them dead.

This is of course the kind of bullshit that got Arabs and Israelis into this current situation. Or should I say this is what set Netanyahu’s right wing government on a collision course with Hamas. Personally, I support both Israel’s right to exist and the Palestinians right to self determination. I’m for the ordinary decent person who is, at the moment, paying a very high price for the ambitions of his or her leaders.

And it’s getting worse. And what makes me, personally, SO mad is that the god rhetoric is ramping up every day. We’re doing this because God says we must/can/will do on pain of death. And it’s all nonsense. This, like every other conflict everywhere, is about money, land and power. That’s it. God, if he/she/it exists, is a cover story used by both sides to justify barbarity. Sorry genuinely religious people who don’t go out and shoot guns at folk, you are not included in this. It’s my belief that people at the top of these organisations do not have the fine religious credentials they claim. In fact I’d go so far as to say that’s a given. Why would you take on another group of people knowing that your own people (not you yourself) are going to suffer?

So in the spirit of the age, which is clearly one of delusion, I’d like to propose my own deity for consideration. He’s called The Blessed Kevin and, in life, he worked as a messenger in the City of London. Born in 1938 in Whitechapel, The Blessed Kevin had a very ordinary early life amid the rubble of the London Blitz. In 1943, a five year old Kevin and his older brother Nev brought an unexploded shell home from a bomb crater at the end of their street and were beaten by their father who then went on to sell the weapon to ‘dodgy’ Derek the Ordinance Man down Rathbone Market. The family were poor, but miserable which made The Blessed Kevin, once his revelation was complete, believe passionately that only the power of the ‘cuppa’ could save mankind from ultimate disaster.

In 1958, Kevin, then a full time lazy git at a machine works in Dagenham, married The Exalted Her, who was five months pregnant. Darren, The Son, was born in early 1959 which was when Kevin had his revelation. While waiting for The Son to be born, The Blessed Kevin noticed that the only thing, apart from several packets of Woodbines, that kept him going, was strong tea. And so was the idea of the life giving Holy Cuppa born.

According to Kevonian theory, it is only through tea, the more the better, that true enlightenment can be obtained. In times of trouble the more tea that is consumed the further the problem will recede into the distance. Fighting is useless in the face of tea, botox and plastic surgery, pointless. Tea is the only route to salvation and is a blessing and an end in itself.

Apart from a personal teapot and some decent leaves, there are no relics in the Kevonian cult. There is also no holy book, only a selection of sayings of The Blessed Kevin and a few that may be attributed to The Exalted Her. These include, ‘Put the kettle on’, ‘Let’s have a nice cuppa’. ‘Why don’t you bleedin’ well wotsit’, and ‘I’ve got to do me hanging baskets’.

After a life of only mild dodginess, the Blessed Kevin died at his council house in Dagenham in 2012, the Blessed Her following him just six months after. Leaving nothing, save a few teapots and some hanging baskets for The Son (who has a villa in Marbella), the Blessed Kevin left this world as he had entered it, skint. Although not spiritually. Now the cult of The Blessed Kevin stretches from Basildon in the east to the bits of Aldgate East that are not gentrified in the west. There are even outposts of Kevonian devotion in parts of south London and as far north as Milton Keynes. A gentle cult, it doesn’t have millions of followers and of course world leaders all condemn it as a heresy. Some have even stated that all Kevonians should have their teapots removed and then be given a hundred lashes with a wet tea towel. This excessive reaction is probably because the Kevonians are very clear about the benefits of non-violence. I mean, why would any world leaders be interested in that? That’s an absurd notion.

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