Monday 31 October 2011

Plot for a radio play

I offer his plot gratuitously to any author writing for Radio 4's Afternoon Theatre.

Scene 1: Heaven.

God notes with approval the work of St Paul's Institute in debating and producing reports on a "more excellent" New World Order, but fears few people are listening. He calls on His advisers, and they decide to inspire groups of young, trendy and attractive activists, good communicators all and with similar aims, to hold demonstrations.

Scene 2: major cities in the World.

Activists get together, not necessarily recognising that they are being inspired by God. They decide to take on the principalities and powers of the financial world whose activities are making poor people poorer. The London activists decide on a demonstration outside the Stock Exchange.

Scene 3: the London Stock Exchange.

God hardens the hearts of the Stock Exchange Council, so that they refuse to allow the activists to demonstrate outside their Exchange. God then inspires the activists to move to nearby St Paul's Cathedral instead.

Scene 4: Heaven

God rubs His hands in anticipation. Surely this combination of youthful enthusiasm combined with the intellect and wisdom of the current leaders of His church in England will make everyone listen and His Kingdom "on Earth as it is in Heaven" for which thy all claim to yearn will be established any day now.

Scene 5: The activists set up camp outside the Cathedral.

Scene 6: Huge numbers of police arrive to "protect" the Cathedral but a holy priest asks them, with an ironic twist, to move on.

Scene 7: The English speaking world enjoys the irony, which is well reported, and recognises that the Church is on the side of the poor.

Scene 8: Heaven.

God pats his stomach in satisfaction: the plan is working and the "Kingdom on Earth" may be just around the corner.

Scene 9: the Cathedral Chapter House.

The principalities and powers of the ecclesiastical establishment fail to recognise that his opportunity is heaven sent and, like the principalities and powers of the financial world, decide to put short-term financial gain before the long term achievement of the Kingdom they espouse. However, they realise that action against the activists will be unpopular with the masses. They recall the example of Pilate, and decide to shift the blame elsewhere, in this case onto the most popular contemporary scapegoat, "health and safety regulations."

Scene 9: outside the Cathedral.

God's senior representative in London, to whom few people listen, bizarrely offers to be the mouthpiece of the demonstrators if only they will go away.

Scene 10: Heaven.

God sighs. He is back where He started. He accepts the failure of his cunning plan, and calls his advisers to devise another mysterious way, His wonders to perform.

Scene 11: conclude as you wish.

1 comment:

  1. An interesting premise; I fear you beatify the wrong people for the right reasons though. A recent survey conducted of the Wall Street protestors concluded that over half of them were already politically active and over a third were happy and willing to use violence to achieve their ends.

    I'd be intrigued to see a similar poll carried out on the St. Paul's protest camp. I understasnd the much eulogised Brian Haw was known to have a disposition towards violence against those who did not agree with his views (much in deed like Ken Livingstone is in word, in fact: a proponent of a dictator like Hugo Chavez who locks up his opponents; a man who has told Conservative councillors they ought to go to prison for not agreeing with socialism, and hopefully burn in the fires of Hell too).

    The truth is, I fear that this (part-time) camp is less full of hard-working single parents sick of the state taking away what little help they have; or of small shop-owners squeezed into ruin at the margins; of families turfed out on the streets or of disabled people denied care or of dignified sufferers who've been denied medical treatment due to budget cuts. I fear rather more it is full of professional protesters and anarchists, activists and students who will jump on any bandwagon, and particularly angry anti-establishment individuals either young or by choice on the margins of society. Much like large numbers of the Greek people, they wish to define what they are against without supplying a valid alternative; many were happy to accept the proceeds of the City when times were good (and when the incumbent Government frittered away the cash).

    And of course, there's the trendy element of bashing 'capitalism' and 'the system', and particularly of 'cuts' - whilst such individuals display a total apathy to our membership of the EU, which has cost and is continuing to cost far more a year than we have cut in spending. Would these individuals support a withdrawal of all the cash we give to Europe and to the IMF to support Eurozone countries, in order to fund our own needs here?

    One suspects not.