George Walford: The End of Work (11)

The Pope has been reported (Sunday Times 3 May 87) as urging that available work be distributed fairly; he believes those without it would be happier if given some.

In our youth the religious people used to be keen on a book they called the Bible. It had a lot of stories about an old man – sorry, mustn’t be sexist – an old person (with a long white beard), who used to get terribly cross with people and call out things they all had to do. One of them was “In the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread.” Work was invented as a punishment.

The Pope says (more or less): “No, S/He got it wrong; work is nice, it keeps everybody happy.” As Popes go this one is still young, it is likely to be a while before he meets the old person face to face. When he does, he’ll be in trouble.

from Ideological Commentary 29, September 1987.