Alone And Asleep

ABOUT The Author And Historian Ron Gattway

The author and historian Ron Gattway
Eye am an author/historian/publisher/satirist. Eye was born in Fulford Maternity Hospital because there was no room at the inn. Eye am the product of a mixed marriage: my mother was a woman, and my father was a man, so I had a difficult upbringing. Eye am also a racist, as eye am particula More...



***This is a book extract of 'ALONE AND ASLEEP' by Oh Sam Bin Laden

Saturday April the 23rd

Last night I saw a short film depiction of the torture that was inflicted upon the Saviour. It was very graphic, much in keeping with 'The Passion Of The Christ' and a far cry from the sanitised Hollywood epics of yesteryear. Yet, while we recoil in horror at His unjustified suffering, the spectacle that we witness is but a fifteen minutes or less snapshot of His final gruesome hours.

I remember several years ago watching 'The Robe' starring the late great Richard Burton. There was a scene in that where a couple of Roman soldiers were discussing their assignment to a crucifixion. The old hand asked Burton if he had ever presided over this spectacle. He then advised his partner to consume some alcohol. Clearly the inference was that being up close and personal with the pain of the victim was more than even the soldiers could bear. The alcohol would thus numb the senses of the perpetrators, and conveniently rob them of any feelings of compassion or mercy. Perhaps this explains why it has been reported that the death squads in eastern Europe during the Holocaust were themselves under the influence of alcohol as they shot in cold blood hundreds and thousands of men, women, and children into mass pits.

The alcohol, if it was indeed taken, might explain why there was so much mockery and scorn poured on the Messiah. A crown of thorns and a purple robe and various blows to His body all bear the hallmarks of drunken soldiers. This, I suspect, explains partially why Christ then stated “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Perhaps they had drunk themselves into such a state that they were indifferent to His agony. Of course most folk believe that what Jesus really meant was 'Father forgive them for they know not who they do it to'. Perhaps this is so. Imagine the reaction of these brutes on Judgement Day when they realise who their victim was. The grief and sorrow they then feel will be the worst of torture!

I received no texts; no 'phone calls; no visitors; and I spoke to 2 people today. And so to bed.

Sunday April the 24th

I learned this morning that the great comedy writer John Sullivan had died. I found out in a nerdy sort of way as I am apt to checking out Wikipedia on an almost daily basis to discover who had been born or died on this day in history. It's weird but if you do check out these lists, you would be forgiven for thinking that a lot more people are born each day than die. Well, that's news to me. Anyhow, John Sullivan leaves a legacy of classic comedies of which 'Only Fools And Horses' is the supreme champion. I claim to be one of the first people to have 'discovered' the greatness of this show back in 1982, during the second series, long before the whole nation grabbed a seat on the hilarious bandwagon.

Yesterday was actually Saint George's Day. It bemuses me in the extreme that the English species of the human race is more liable to celebrate Saint Paddy's Day. Perhaps the latter is seen as a drinking orgy even by Mr and Mrs John Bull and thus too good an opportunity to pass for a bout of liquor excess. Poor old George went to all the trouble of slaying a dragon and his fellow-countrymen barely give him a second thought.

Mind you, our Saviour rose from the grave on this Easter day, thereby slaying the ultimate dragon, Satan, by revealing that sin could not stop believers from also enjoying their very own resurrection in due course. Again, it's shocking how few give his sacrifice and eventual victory over death a second thought. Yesterday, Fernando Torres broke his goalscoring duck at Chelsea, prompting team-mates to jump on top of him in this triumph whilst the forty thousand supporters cheered and punched the air. Surely such joyous celebrations ought to be reserved specifically for the superhero who was tortured in our place and then who overcame death to enable us to do likewise.

Throughout history, millions of people were called upon to lay down their lives for the king. In God's kingdom, it was the King of Kings who laid down his life to save us! Happy Easter.

I received no texts; no 'phone calls; no visitors; and I spoke to lots of folk today. And so to bed.

Monday April the 25th

I was coming to and fro Lidl (“say hello to my Lidl friend”), minding my own business, as you do, when I encountered lots of Apprentice Boys and bandsmen whose bus was parked at a nearby petrol station. The bus may have stopped for re-fuelling. Its passengers stopped to empty their fuel on the nearest wall. What a classless bunch of individuals posing in their suits, shirts and ties. That old Catholic monk Martin Luther must be so glad that he kick-started the Protestant Reformation.

On the radio a local loyalist was exhorting the need for an 'Orange Quarter' in Belfast's Shankill Road where visitors could avail themselves of the delights of unionist culture. Perhaps we could have a Visitors' Centre. I would advise that any such building would not contain any toilets so that the tourists could join the locals in their traditional route of marching to a nearby wall and urinating against it. This same loyalist apologist also suggested that the orange culture had been demonised. Well, brother, it seems to me that those within unionism bring it into so much disrepute that no-one else need bother undermining it.

Meanwhile, in the civilised world, the harmony between the Conservatives and the Liberal Conservatives is unravelling under the strain of the two political parties competing against one another to persuade the populace of how cosy or costly the Alternative Vote will prove to be. Chris Huhne is threatening legal action, whilst William Hague reassured us in his very reassuring way that all was well within Whitehall and that the government of the country would carry on regardless of the tiffs over the electoral reform referendum. Nevertheless, whoever loses the vote in early May is likely to be sulking their way through the remainder of the coalition term of office. Nick Clegg desperately needs a majority Yes vote or there will be egg on the face of Clegg. AV is the voting system of Australia. Imagine copying them! I mean, they can't even play cricket.

I received no texts; no 'phone calls; no visitors; and I spoke to 1 person today. And so to bed.

Tuesday April the 26th

The Syrian authorities are being nasty towards their citizens campaigning for reforms. The violent response from the Syrian security forces has met with the stern disapproval of the rest of the world. There has been the threat of sanctions, but no armed intervention or air strikes is in the pipeline. Why, you may ask, does Libya provoke a military response from the western powers while Syria gets off more lightly? It certainly smacks of inconsistency. My own theory is that Britain and the US of A choose their targets carefully. They might suggest that attacks against Syria would far less elicit support from the other Arab states while the United Nations Security Council would be far from supportive. Yet one cannot help but feel that in much the same way as our police force seeks out the perpetrators of some crimes and overlooks the perpetrators of others, then similarly Little Britain and Uncle Sam are strangely choosy about who they pursue on the battlefield.

As for the reactionary Syrian regime, well I am not shocked at their behaviour. When dictators operate in a vacuum of dissent, whenever unrest rears its ugly head, the powers that be are naturally inclined to stamp heavily on opposition. The sooner Syria embraces democracy the better, but it must endure the bitter pain of an administration whose back is to the wall and which will try to stem the tide with its well-worn methods of brutality. Having said that, would you really wish democracy on anyone? Can you imagine the poor Syrians tearing their hair out over the merits or otherwise of the Alternative Vote? Oh you wouldn't wish that scenario on anyone. Totalitarianism has never seemed so attractive.

In Londonderry, the Irish republican rump congregated over the weekend to pay homage to the Easter Rising. Many of the activists of 1916 eventually turned from violence, and learned that progress comes through talking and compromise. It's a pity that the hate-filled slow learners of 2011 can't do likewise.

I received 1 text; 1 'phone call; no visitors; and I spoke to 3 people today. And so to bed.


Wednesday April the 27th

We were treated to another of those dreadful set-piece pantomimes today in the House of Commons, otherwise known as Prime Minister's Question Time. In the latest Westminster outing for Punch And Judy, David Cameron slightly patronisingly exhorted a female MP to “calm down dear”. This was an imitation of a commercial featuring Michael Winner a number of years ago. However, a totally unnecessary furore erupted over Dave's clumsy attempt at humour. Harriet Harman, who else, wailed about the rights of women to be treated with more respect. This is the same Harriet Harmful who voted for the Iraq War and then applauded Ed Miliband's conference condemnation of the very same war. All in all, the PM's remarks were a storm in a teacup, but such is the adversarial nature of British politics that your opponents are liable to criticise you if you don't sneeze the correct way.

Today I sold a couple of copies of a brilliant football book entitled 'The Home Internationals' Soccer Tournament 1946-1984, A Complete Record'. You've got to hand it to the author, the King of Trivia, he knows his stuff. His reference book covers an annual competition which once was held in the same esteem as the Five Nations/Six Nations rugby union contest.

Tonight I managed to drag myself away from the computer screen and attend a house-warming party organised by a local Christian church that I am now bravely attending. Actually, they seem to be smashing people and a picture of how real fellowship ought to function. There is another church that I previously attended for a few years which contains great people but unfortunately I found them to be a respectable church full of respectable people with respectable jobs, living in respectable houses with respectable kids. It wasn't for me.

I heard a great quote today from Mr Morrissey who voiced his disinterest in the royal wedding by describing the Windsors as benefit scroungers. Never a truer word, I think to myself.

I received no texts; no 'phone calls; no visitors; and I spoke to lots of folk today. And so to bed.

Thursday April the 28th

Last night, John Higgins defeated Ronnie O'Sullivan at the World Snooker quarter-finals. This is a pity. I can only assume that Higgins paid his opponent to lose. There again, Higgins is not the sort to ever be involved in financial skullduggery.....

Speaking of sporting cheats, Barcelona won a controversial Champions League match 2-0 away to their fiercest rivals, Real Madrid. Jose Mourinho, clearly no longer a 'special one', has poured scorn on the fact that Barcelona seemingly are assisted by many favourable refereeing decisions in their European adventures. The arrogant one does have a point as Barcelona frequently enjoy the good fortune of playing against ten men. It seems like a team tactic to ensure that an opponent is sent off. Having said all that, the Catalan giants are the best team in Europe, and if there is any justice they will win the Champions League final...probably against a ten-man Manchester United.

Today the Syrian Ambassador in London was informed that his presence was no longer welcome at the royal weeding. I am sure that this diplomatic snub was a huge blow. I can imagine that he got on the telephone to his political masters and urged them to desist from killing their civilian protesters because he wasn't going to get any wedding cake.

It's kind of shameful that the much-maligned Tory Blair and Gordon Brown have been omitted from the royal weeding, and yet the Beckhams have made it onto the guest list. For all their much-publicised faults, these two previous Prime Ministers worked their butts off as the head honchos of the government. It speaks volumes that several self-important celebrity egos are more valued by Buckingham Palace. They deserve one another.

Many daft disciples of the Windsors are lying out in the streets of London to have a prime spot for tomorrow's royal weeding. Britain's devotion to the money-grabbing monarchy defies logic. Would so many people be zealously assembled in such a way if their real King, Jesus Christ, was to return?

I received no texts; no 'phone calls; no visitors; and I spoke to 2 people today. And so to bed.

Friday April the 29th

The big day is upon us when a boarding school girl from the bourgeoisie marries her handsome prince and Britain deludes itself that it is Great once again. My feelings on the whole sham that is the British monarchy are perfectly encapsulated in the following quote. I have been at pains to express my own thoughts and words throughout this seminal tome, but there does indeed come a time when even this young man must bow to someone else's wisdom. Brace yourselves for the following:

The leader-writers and the bribed gossip-mongers only have to rattle their sticks in the royalty bucket for most of their readers to put their heads down in this trough of Queen-worship...My objection to the royalty symbol is that it is dead: it is the gold filling in a mouthful of decay...It distresses me that there should be so many empty minds, so many empty lives in Britain to sustain this fatuous industry; that no one should have the wit to laugh it into extinction, or the honesty to resist it. (John Osborne 'They Call It Cricket')

Oh well, if the British are too pitiful to cast off the umbilical cord of monarchy, what do I care? I just know from a Christian point of view that no-one comes to the Father except through the Son. You can't get to your loving Father via the Windsors, the Pope or gay William of Orange. When your loved ones are lying dying from terminal illness, will praying to the royal family help? Deification of the royals and other celebrities as encouraged by the media is an abomination to God.

A more perverse demonstration of patriotism took place in Cold Rain tonight as thuggish loyalist bands abandoned their hoods in favour of their band uniforms. Poor little Northern Ireland is a Jurassic Park, featuring the reptiles of the republican rump at one extreme and on the other extreme the dinosaur 'Billy boys'. For one lot, the Brits are the source of all that is wrong with Ireland, while the other hero-worships the royal family. Meanwhile, the rest of us crave a bit of normality.

I received 3 texts; no 'phone calls; no visitors; and I spoke to 1 person today. And so to bed.

The book is a commercial for the writing talents of would-be commentator and aspiring columnist, Gary Watton. You can contact him at if you wish to hire his writing services.