John McDonnell has confirmed Labour will bring monasteries back into public ownership if they win the next election. Thousands of monks were thrown on the unemployment scrapheap during the 1530s when Henry VIII seized their lands and buildings and sold them on the cheap to his aristocratic friends. His then Chancellor, Vincent Cable of Wolf Hall, sold some of the magnificent abbeys to a French-Chinese consortium for two donkeys and a bag of gravel.
Grantham Abbey, one of the wealthiest religious houses in England, was given as a gift to Lady Margaret of Thatcher on her wedding to Sir Augustus of Pinochet in 1537. Lady Thatcher is remembered by historians for banishing cows from her villages so that peasant children could not drink milk.
In a manuscript kept at the British museum, Lady Thatcher writes to her fiancé saying: ‘All monks be wasteful whores who helpeth ye poor, ye sick, and ye weary traveller. It doth pleeseth me that yon monasteries should be privatised, for to maketh them more efficient. Ye cripples must standeth on their own two feet.’
The Conservatives have hit back at Labour’s proposal, saying the cost of rebuilding ruined abbeys would be ruinous. McDonnell has countered by saying he even has the support of some prominent Tories. Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Gove have teamed up to help Labour recruit quiet, bald men who have probably never had sex