Britain’s Pagan and Neo-Druidic communities have issued a joint statement finally apologising for the ‘unspeakable suffering and inconvenience’ caused by the building of Stonehenge in the second and third centuries BC.
‘For too long we have romanticised Stonehenge,’ said Archdruid Seth Wainscot. ‘We see it as a crucial part of our heritage, and frankly we’ve been a bit defensive about the whole half-arsed eyesore. But thinking about it, those stones are bloody heavy and all the archaeological evidence suggests that our predecessors weren’t particularly hot on health and safety.’
The official report, entitled ‘Stones of Shame – an Ecumenical Neo-Pagan Response to Stonehenge’, was launched this morning by the Archdruid on a small podium in the middle of the stone circle. It comes 3,500 years after the first series of standing stones was quarried in Pembrokeshire, and 2,000 years after the monument was finally completed – approximately 800 years late and 17 times over budget according to figures in the lengthy appendix.
The belated apology follows hot on the heels of apologies from the Catholic Church for historical events such as the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades and, more recently, a run of lacklustre studio albums from Bon Jovi. Now other faith groups are following the Church’s lead and are claiming responsibility for events that long predate their own births.
But the admission has been dismissed as ‘too little too late’ by those claiming to be descendents of the original labourers. ‘There is no genuine apology without a heartfelt five-figure pay off,’ claimed Bill Turner on behalf of the ‘Indirect Victims of Stonehenge’ lobbying group.
The UK Pagan Federation has claimed that financial restitution is not an option. However, a spokesman has hinted that Britain’s Pagans and Druids are still keen to make amends in other ways.
‘I tell you what, that stretch of the A303 is a bloody nightmare; it could do with at least two extra lanes both ways. I’ll get a bunch of our protesters to set up a camp there till the Department of Transport sees sense.’