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1st May, 2020

By State Bank of the USSR -, Public Domain,

In a moment of revelation which the man himself has compared to St Paul’s falling off his horse and conversion on the road to Damascus and which some official commentators have likened to Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ‘illumination on the road to Vincennes’ the philanthropist entrepreneur and billionaire, George Sykes-Booth, happened, intellectually, on what he later dubbed ‘a mouth-watering opportunity.’ While being driven to Manchester on 15th October 1994 the astonishing potential of the suffering of the earth and the disadvantaged suddenly became clear to him. “I beheld a different universe and became a different man. I was overcome by a dizziness like that of drunkenness, my heart pounded and my shirt was drenched with tears.” Sykes-Booth had realised that the disadvantaged and the poor of the Earth represented a giant reservoir of a new commodity ripe for exploitation……

Jesus Christ himself had said that charity towards the poor and needy should come so naturally and spontaneously that the left hand should not know what the right hand was doing. Unabashed and nothing daunted by outmoded traditions like this which he sought to displace and modernise, Sykes-Booth saw in a flash how easy it would be to set the population in competition with one another regarding the selflessness and the quality and quantity of solicitude they exhibited towards the poor. Further, he courageously rejected the tired tradition that suggested that sane people know they are selfish and so seldom compete to show how unselfish they are. This seminal rejection took place at a momentous clash with a rival philanthropist that almost took on the nature of a theological dispute over orthodoxy and heresy such as took place at the Council of Nicea. Reassured by the fact that there is a bottomless well of lacrimae rerum and that dominant political ideologies had recast the world as an endless source of oppression narratives which could act as raw material he set to with gusto and conviction. Two short years later, the Sykes-Booth’s Compassion and Selflessness Olympics were inaugurated with governmental and media encouragement resplendent under the motto Pauperes - Media Ad Finem!

A wide range of event categories was established based on the diverse nature of the disadvantaged whose  distress was being assuaged, wounds tended to, or oppressions alleviated. Each event was to result in the award of bronze, silver and gold medals and was to be assessed by Judges on three criteria:

1) The ostentatiousness with which the competitor had broadcast his solicitude                                                                                                      20 points
2) The degree of shame felt by competitors who had performed less well                                                                                                                  20 points

3) The amount of good done to the unfortunates in question                                                                                                         5 points

Amongst the event categories in that first year were:

Tending to -

The mentally defective

People of different creeds

People whose skin-colour diverged from that of the majority

People whose sexual orientation diverged from that of the majority

Females of any stripe

The disabled and infirm

War veterans

The poorly educated

The impoverished

The vertically challenged

Those adversely affected by climate change


Beyond the Games proper Sykes-Booth was quick to advert to the fact that his eureka moment had yet wider applications. He soon realised that the dynamic established in Olympics could easily be extended to permeate the whole of society and to remake our culture entirely. From here it was a short step to the exercise of a new beneficially coercive power which few could resist and which no one, even politicians, for fear of being condemned as heartless and uncaring, would dare to challenge. Henceforth no political initiative would be free from manipulation in the name of charity. What had begun as competitive charity would end up transforming everything. No citizen from that time on would dare not to display busy virtue and constant loud concern for the unfortunates in the sublunary realm. A brave new world was born.

In a further seminal moment on his pilgrimage, during a stopover in the second city, Sykes-Booth and his entourage framed and instituted his pioneering Nine Edicts of Birmingham. These consolidated and codified his articles of faith; the ones by which we all live today as follows:

Because they bring us closer to the Promised Land of moral progress towards perfection the following things are justified and, indeed, desirable:

  1. The weaponisation of the suffering and the oppressed

  2. The ‘good’ bullying of politicians

  3. The ‘good’ blackmail of the citizenry

  4. The control of the media agenda

  5. The prioritisation of the artificial

  6. The prioritisation of the self-conscious

  7. The condemnation of the natural and the spontaneous

  8. The suppression of the idea that people choose to be good

  9. The liberal use of emotional incontinence to achieve these ends

Many were those who adhered religiously to these precepts and, consequently, became much fêted ‘athletes of charity.’

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