Mr Ratzinger is to step down as Pope at the tender age of 85. It is only the fourth time a pope has retired. The Vatican’s pension plan must be very poor.
But who will replace him in the next few weeks? Needless to say, the bookies have odds worked out already. The front runners are all cardinals with the odd archbishop thrown in. But guess who Ladbrokes have at a whopping great five hundred to one? The man of faith and peace himself: Tony Blair is 500-1 to become the next pope. I can’t see that price lasting for long. It has to tumble faster than a clumsy person trying to climb up a steep cliff wearing flip flops and carrying a canoe under one arm.
Blair sounds a better bet than Richard Dawkins, who is 666/1 at Paddy Power. They may think that’s a joke, but if the Vatican are looking for a moderniser, he’s their man.
There is a comparison website for all the main bookmakers and I see that you can actually get a stonking 5,000 to 1 for Blair at a bookies called Stan James. That’s the kind of name that sounds like it should be prefixed with the word “Honest”.
You can get a thousand to one on Bob Gelfof and Bono at Corel. Jose Mourinho is also 1,000 – 1, and Madonna and Oprah Winfrey are 2,000 – 1.
Then it just gets silly! The two surviving priests from Craggy Island, Dougal Maguire and Jack Hackett, are 10,000 to 1 with Stan James – but Dougal is only 1,000 – 1 with Paddy Power, which suggests there may be money being wagered on him. Mrs Doyle’s probably been gambling away this week’s housekeeping money.
As for me, I haven’t gambled in about fifteen years and I don’t intend restarting now, even though a £200 bet on Blair with Honest Stan James could make me a millionaire. With Blair’s proven record as a gold star useful idiot and the Beast system being set up good and proper, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that this Hellish man could find himself with the job. A crook with a crook.
All this pope stuff has a very serious side to it, but at the moment I feel a bit like Jack Hackett after he’s drunk half a bottle of Toilet Duck, so I’ll leave the theological talk until later. I’ll probably wait until after Pope Antonio Bliar is elected.
£200 to make a million? Mmmm.
Nah. If you believe Malachy’s 16th century prophesy, this next pope is to be the last before the Judgment and his name will be Peter.
I wonder what odds I can get on Peter Mandelson…