Tuesday, November 28, 2006


An idea promoted last week by the Daily Telegraph was of a new club for people who are so proud that they haven't done things most other folk have, like seeing the Sound of Music, that they want to announce it to the world. The Society of People Who Have Never . . .

Before you too easily dismiss this as so much sanctimonious drivel, let me assure you that this is not necessarily the case. I myself, as one not given to sanctimony, and dwelling permanently far above the realms of drivel, have been known to list my 'nevers' with touching humility.

Never have I bought a lottery ticket, withdrawn cash from a machine, owned a microwave, carried a mobile phone, sent a text message, smoked pot or donated blood. Not because I believe any of the aforementioned is morally wrong or that not having done them makes me more acceptable to the great God above. I just haven't got around to or wanted to do them. One day I might. But then again I might not. The reason they are on my list is that they are things that most people, as far as I can tell, have done.

I think it's about who we are, and how we define ourselves. It works the other way round, in terms of what we do and have done. For instance I have often thought that I must be one of a very small minority of vegetarian (I count this as a positive) Anglican priests, who read the Guardian, vote Labour, support Israel, and follow my local Speedway team, the Belle Vue Aces.

Not that I want to start a club or form a society. Like Groucho Marx, I don't want to belong to any group that would have people like me as a member.

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