That was one Bible per child. I assume it wasn't just our school that did it. Knowing how much of a virulent smokophobe King James was (and let's not forget, his son caused a civil war so being a git ran in the family) I wonder if the money generated from that mass printing was what started ASH.
Now our timewasting government wants to send one copy to every school in the country. One per school. It seems a futile gesture. Catholic schools will already have libraries full of Bibles, Jewish schools will glue the pages of the New Testament together and Muslim schools will use it as a handy child-whacking implement.
It seems Mickey the Glove has taken it upon himself to write a foreword. To the Bible. I wonder what it says?
My mate God said to me, "Mickey," he said, "I'm thinking about writing a book. A big one with everything in it. The thing is, what with having to wind up the Earth every morning and listen to all those prayers, I just can't find the time."
"You shouldn't have made it clockwork," I told him. "If you had made it wind-powered you could have charged everyone extra to live on it. Have a word with Fallen Angel Huhne. He's over there insisting his wife was the one driving the cloud."
God took a draw on his cigar and exhaled a cloud of holy smoke. "Yeah, well, it's too late to take it all apart and start again. Anyway, what I really want is advice on book-writing."
"Easy," I said. "I'll do the first couple of pages for you and we can get your followers to do the rest. Promise them cushy jobs in the EU - I mean, the actual afterlife rather than the political one - and I bet you can get them to do it for free."
"Brilliant," said God, and that's when he told me I could come to Earth and become Education Secretary with a big salary and loads of free stuff. He also forgave me for that apple thing, which was a long time ago. He's a great bloke, God. Read his book and buy a copy, or suffer eternal unpleasantness.
Oh dear. I just realised that abbreviates to EU. Bit of a giveaway there but I don't suppose anyone will notice.
Naturally the atheists decry this as a waste of money and insist that even more money is wasted handing out free copies of 'On the Origin of Species' as well. Which will collect dust on the shelves in every secular school and be used to cut down the heating bills in every religious school.
I wonder if Mickey the Glove will write the foreword to that too? His mate God won't like it if he does.
I was on the Beagle when Darwin came in without knocking. "You can't breed with that species," he said, then he went quiet and left looking thoughtful.