The Second Coming and Going

From BBC TV New Year’s Eve retrospective, 31st December 2019:

“As we reflect on what was the most truly remarkable election campaign in living memory, indeed in all of recorded history, it is important to recognise the fact that we as human beings, as inhabitants of the planet Earth, have been fundamentally changed by the incredible events of December 2019. We are no longer the people we were before he came. When Jesus Christ revealed himself to us on December 6th, not long into the election campaign proper and whilst standing on top of a soapbox in the middle of a Tesco car park on the outskirts of Milton Keynes, nobody could possibly have predicted the tumultuous events that were to come.

Surrounded by TV and radio news journalists, their proffered microphones picking up his every word, Jesus was asked if he had come to replace the sitting Pope in Rome.

“Rome…at Easter? Ooh no,” he said, clearly horrified, “I’m not too keen on the Romans. I can still feel those nails – ouch! I’ll stay in my nice little two up-two down terrace in Northampton, thank you very much.”

Jesus was asked if he had been living in Northampton for the last two thousand years.

“No, no,” he replied with a laugh, “I have been sitting at the right hand of God.”

“I never saw this Jesus guy in my life!” tweeted Donald Trump immediately.

“Jesus, why have you chosen to live in the UK?” asked a journalist from Milton Keynes Hospital Radio.

“The meek shall inherit the earth but I will start with the UK, which, as you all know, is in a mess and in desperate need of a moral leader.”

On hearing of the second coming, Jeremy Corbyn grasped the political nettle by declaring that Jesus was the first socialist and had returned to his natural home in the Labour Party. As it turned out, however – and this came as a surprise to many – it was to the Liberal Democrats that Jesus turned. At an extraordinary general meeting of the party, and amidst immense popular support from the public at large, the Liberal Democrats immediately elected Jesus as their leader, unceremoniously displacing an outraged Jo Swinson.

“Replacing the first female leader of the Liberal Democrats with a middle-aged male is a backwards step for feminism!” she protested in anger and humiliation.

“Do not be consumed by bitterness, my child,” urged Jesus.

“Oh, bugger off back to Galilee, you misogynist, immigrant scumbag!” replied the embittered Ms. Swinson, before professing her undying love and support for Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party.

“Beardy do-gooder with a messiah complex!” was how Boris Johnson described Jesus just before a head to head TV debate, not realising that his microphone was switched on and his comments were being broadcast to the nation. Upon realising that his election campaign was now obviously doomed to failure and his bid to be re-elected Prime Minister thwarted by divine intervention, the Tory Party leader railed against the new order.

“This is the end of democracy as we know it, what a mess – Jesus Christ!!”

“You called?” replied Jesus.

We all know what happened next – the revitalised Liberal Democrats were elected by a landslide and Jesus became our new Prime Minister. In his acceptance speech, he announced that his most pressing priority was to eradicate world hunger, beginning with the replacement of food banks in the UK. Whilst there was initial delight at the free loaves and fishes, nutritionists expressed their dismay at the lack of vitamin C on offer and warned of a dietary apocalypse. McDonald’s, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a whole host of other fast food chains went bust almost overnight, precipitating fears of a possible world recession, and the City was horrified as shares in the nation’s alcohol and tobacco companies were rendered worthless. The FTSE Index fell 15 per cent – its worst one day drop in history – and this was replicated on stock exchanges all over the world. While economists warned of an imminent deflationary spiral, churches the length and breadth of the land were full to bursting and august City institutions were now clamouring to invest in charitable causes.

The new prime minister’s next initiative was to propose a vote to limit MPs’ salaries and expenses, but this motion was defeated 653-1. He managed to perform a less ambitious miracle, however – League Two football club Northampton Town, Jesus’ local team, managed to attract new free-transfer recruits Christiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos, all of whom pledged their undying allegiance to their new club, which is expected to win the Champions League in 2022.

Just before Christmas a fatwah was declared on Jesus by the fundamentalist Islamic leader Abdul Ahmad Codadudi and there were warnings of nuclear annihilation from a clearly rattled President Xi Jinping of China. The population of the United Kingdom, however, and indeed the just under five billion people around the world who had converted to Christianity since the second coming just a few days before, appeared to be unconcerned. But there were further clouds on the horizon. When Greta Thunberg urged Jesus not to fly to the upcoming NATO conference in New York, he responded by saying ‘certainly, my child – I’ll take a stroll over the Atlantic or get my father to give me a lift.’ Environmental movement leaders levelled accusations at Jesus that he was out of touch with concerned millennials who didn’t have the luxuries of supernatural powers and an all-powerful parent. In response, Jesus raised his hands to the heavens, his eyes fixed on rays of sunshine appearing between the parting clouds.

“Lord, my work here is done, there is no hope for these ungrateful wretches. Let’s have a go on another planet. Beam me up, if it be your will….”

And with that, as suddenly as he arrived, he was gone. Will he return? Nobody knows, although there are some who think they know, or perhaps pretend to.

So, what of the future? There lies the question, the same question we always ask at this time of the year, and the answer… well, fuck knows. Let’s all go and get pissed.”

Bleep — Blank Screen


Steve Ellis is a technical author by training and an author of fiction by inclination. He lives near London, amidst the ongoing furious debate regarding the future of his country, but nevertheless tries to stay sane. Read other articles by Steve.