Lots and lots of news coverage about the fire in Notre Dame cathedral. It looked bad, but nobody was hurt. Not strictly true. Since a firefighter bought it*. One of the risks of the trade.
Now there are moves afoot for the UK to put some dosh into the restoration. Oh no, I don’t think so. Let’s start at the top and work down, shall we?
First up. There are 73 families still without permanent housing after the Grenfell Tower fire, where 72 people died. Don’t you think the money might be better spent there? I do.
Next. The Roman Catholic church is one of the richest religious establishments in the world. I’m fairly sure they’ve got the dosh to do the restoration work. They don’t need any more money. It’s awash with moolah.
Next. There’s a lot of ill mannered harrumphing at the moment about how much the UK ‘squanders’ on foreign aid. Then we seem set to help France, one of the richer nations in the EU. I’d like to see the money used on well digging projects in some drought stricken bit of the world.
Next. It’s a church, nothing more and nothing less. I dislike and distrust religion, and I don’t want my, or anybody else’s, tax pounds to bail out a church in France. It can take years for parish churches in the UK to raise enough to repair the east window or re-lead the roof, then suddenly we can unleash enough money to help repair something not even in our bailiwick.
Next. Back in 1534, good king Hal VIII split from the Catholic Church so he could divorce and shag somebody else with a clear conscience. There’s a good reason we have a Church of England headed by the monarchy. I disapprove, but there it is.
Next, perhaps last. I disapprove of religion, but I do like churches, in general. But I have always detested Notre Dame. I don’t care it’s burned down. It was, is, a blot on the landscape, an eyesore, hideous, one of the most inelegant cathedrals ever built.
*Firefighters were dashing in and out rescuing artefacts, including the Crown of Thorns, and if you believe that’s real you’re dimmer than I give you credit for.