Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chris Bryant: Either David Cameron is incompetent or he’s ‘downright fibbing’

The new ‘Europe Minister’, former Anglican vicar Chris Bryant, has prodded a hyper-sensitive sore point for many Conservatives. So sensitive is this spot that it is scarcely mentioned, and when it is, it is frequently done in code. And those who dare to breach the impenetrable shrouded vernacular by a bit of plain speaking on the matter are either threatened or completely sidelined and ignored.

In a goading attempt to persuade someone, anyone, to come off the Tory fence, The Sunday Telegraph carries a story in which theologian-turned-politician Chris Bryant says the Conservative Party is ‘living in cloud cuckoo land’ by virtue of their continuing opposition to the European Constitution (aka the Lisbon Treaty).

Cranmer wishes people would stop misrepresenting Cloud Cuckoo Land. Anyone who bothers to read The Birds by Aristophanes would find this land a surprisingly rational place. While Pisthetairos may be trusting and Euelpides ever hopeful, what is life without hope or trust? And in the same play, it is observed: ‘Full of wiles, full of guile, at all times, in all ways, are the children of Men.’ It is an echo of Jeremiah’s earlier-written ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.’

And the Reverend Chris Bryant ought to know such things.

And he should examine the motives of his own heart before pontificating policy or casting aspersions on the character and integrity of the Leader of the Opposition.

Whilst it is true that it appears that the Lisbon Treaty is ‘all but ratified’, it is by no means the case that ‘the time for arguing about Lisbon (is) over’. The issues will not go away any more than the question of the UK’s entry into the EEC went away between 1973-5. The more President Blair struts his stuff on the world stage, eclipsing, dwarfing and thwarting Prime Minister Cameron at every turn, it will not be forgotten that it was the ‘Constitution for Europe’ which created him Emperor, and which gave the Union the legal authority to decree foreign policy and acquire whatever powers it requires to fulfil its unspecified objectives. It will remain a running sore in the country until the boil is lanced by a referendum of the people - a plebiscite which Mr Bryant's party promised, indeed, made a manifesto commitment to hold, and then reneged on the pledge.

And he dares to accuse David Cameron of incompetence or 'fibbing'.

While Mr Bryant says that his job is now on ‘how we can make this work for Britain’, he sets aside the inconvenient fact that the overwhelming majority of the British people do not want it to work for Britain: they do not want it at all.

And so he deflects his self-conscious awkwardness on to David Cameron. He says, “The Conservative leader's pledge ‘not to let matters rest there’ was deliberately ambiguous and misleading. The Tory position is inept. They haven't thought it through, and there is a fundamental deception at the heart of what they are saying. I think your readers will end up feeling deceived by Cameron over the question of a referendum. I would lay a very big wager that they will be very disappointed if there was a Cameron government because they wouldn't end up having a referendum."

He thereby deduces that Mr Cameron is guilty of duplicity and deceit, collusion and cover-up. And he concludes that either Mr Cameron is ‘incompetent’ or else ‘he's downright fibbing’.

Cranmer likes the word ‘fibbing’, especially when used by scurvy politicians. What is a fib if it is not a lie? And if it be a trivial or venial lie, that does not make it not a lie, though it may indeed be less of a lie. But in matters relating to something as fundamental as the governance of the country, that can hardly be a trivial, venial issue. In which case, by presenting Mr Cameron as a ‘fibber’, Mr Bryant is undoubtedly a liar.

And then he criticises the Conservative Party for forging an alliance with ‘homophobic’ Poles in the new ECR group in the European Parliament, claiming the reason why they were happy to sit down with Michal Kaminski of the Law and Justice Party was that 'they shared his views on homosexuality’.

Perhaps the good Reverend might examine David Cameron’s record of voting on civil partnerships and 'gay rights’ over recent years, and then compare it with the record of his own leader, who has always seemed to absent himself when Mr Bryant’s priority concerns for ‘equality’ were voted on.

Perhaps Gordon Brown has more in common with the alleged views of Michal Kaminski than he might dare to admit or Mr Bryant might care to examine.

The Telegraph article ends with a bizarre statement. Mr Bryant is clearly a fervent Europhile, boasting that he has ‘taken part in every major Europe debate in Parliament during his time there'. But he then assures us that he is not ‘obsessive’ about the issue, saying: "If you have got your European cagoule on you are not going to be rational."

Why is it that all the other politocos sport anoraks, but Mr Bryant talks of cagoules?

Are they the fashion in Cloud Cuckoo Land?


Blogger Gnostic said...

Your Grace,

These days nearly every MP and minister has taken up residence in the Cloud Cuckoo Land greenhouse. I understand it has become appallingly draughty in there...

25 October 2009 at 09:30  
Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

25 October 2009 at 09:36  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Good morning Mack.

25 October 2009 at 09:49  
Anonymous Maturecheese said...

Your Grace, I am glad to see you are back posting Blogs and I hope its a long time before the Black Dog strikes again.

God help us if Labour get back in although in any case there's not a lot left for any other party to save, unless they are Priests, then they will have their work cut out.

25 October 2009 at 09:50  
Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

25 October 2009 at 10:00  
Blogger Terry Hamblin said...

In my view, David Cameron should give us a referendum whether of not the treaty is ratified. It would give him tremendous moral authority when standing up to the inane legislation coming out of Brussels. Currently going through the European Union is the Equal Treatment Directive. This would give free rein to individuals and governments to compel Christians to act against their consciences. There is a provision within it that allows individuals who feel offended by something a Christian does to claim that they have been harrassed.

A Christian stating the Biblical position on homosexuality or explaining Mohammed's historical activities might find himself in the dock and faced with a bill for thousands of pounds for an imagined slight.

Free speech is on the line.

25 October 2009 at 10:02  
Blogger PaulineG said...

Yes, Terry, and as I understand it the burden of proof lies on the accused to demonstrate he did not cause offence. Yet if a person asserts he is offended what defence can there be? It is truly oppressive.

Ah, yes, Chris Bryant. Mmm. Would this be the same Chris Bryant who, during a crucial debate on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (May 19th 2008), indulged an unpleasant and false ad-hominem against the Catholic Church [don't lets side-track here, guys :)]? He accused her of opposing the smallpox vaccine. I picked this up while researching the Bill this year and emailed him politely requesting some authoritative evidence to this effect.

Three months later I am still awaiting a reply.

I fear I do not share Your Grace's interest in party politics: Long years of following bioethical issues have left me saddened, with a low opinion of the general calibre of our legislators and struggling not to sink into abject cynicism. But I recognises real heroes when I find them - and they can still be found among politicians of all parties.

25 October 2009 at 10:28  
Blogger Gnostic said...

We need a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty before it's ratified. Unless Vaclav Klaus holds out that isn't going to happen. At which point there should be a plan B. Plan B should be a referendum on whether or not to withdraw from the EU. We can negotiate from an outside platform. It seems to work for Norway so why not us?

25 October 2009 at 10:30  
Anonymous Super Blue said...

I shall try to avoid jokes about a photo of Chris Bryant with clothes on (too late);)
However, I have been very disturbed by the perpetual many-subject smears of Michal Kaminski and Roberts Zile.

25 October 2009 at 10:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gays don't wear anoraks - that's why he refers to a cagoule.

25 October 2009 at 11:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Have you considered teaching English as a foreign language. You can do a TEFL course Here. There is a big demand in Russia. I am also of a similar frame of mind. The UK is what I would call a failed project.

25 October 2009 at 11:25  
Blogger Irene said...

Labour transferred Baroness! Kinnock to (Africa I believe) because she couldn't attack the Tories and brought in Bryant yo do it (yawn)- horrible little man.

25 October 2009 at 11:51  
Blogger Kenpachi said...

Can't we send Mr. Bryant to Rome for a day trip or something?

25 October 2009 at 12:11  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

You call Chris Bryant "Reverend". Given his past antics of posing in underpants and generally acting like a ***** this title is hardly suitable.

According to Wikipedia, the term means "worthy of reverence or respect". In Bryant's case anyone considering him thus is surely in Cloud Cuckoo Land!

25 October 2009 at 12:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris Bryant resigned his orders in Your Grace's church in order to enter Parliament. He is therefore the Ex-Reverend Mr Bryant.
His enthusiastic support for unlimited abortion, embryo experimentation and homosexuality makes one question how much this supposed "theologian" (as Your Grace terms him) understands Christianity.
He was also a ringleader in the putsch to get rid of Blair and to inflict the unelected Brown on Britain.
He is the last person to give a lecture on integrity and honesty.

25 October 2009 at 12:59  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Anonymous@12.59,

Dammit, His Grace has to breach his own policy of not communicating with anonymice.

What is the source of your information? It has been His Grace's understanding that The Removal of Clergy
Disqualification Bill of 2000-01 was enacted specifically to permit the Reverend Chris Bryant to take his seat in Parliament. Why would there have been a need for such a Bill if the Reverend had resigned his Orders?

25 October 2009 at 13:09  
Blogger Dick the Prick said...

Top of the afternoon your Grace. Smashing article. This has indeed been a curious week in the tedious incrementalism of British politics. When we have former Archbishops calling legitimate political parties evil. When (former?) Secs of State attempt to ban debate and where Blighty walks into Europe with hands tied behind their back and pickpockets helping themselves to our wages that haven't been ludicrously taxed.

It leaves me to consider what value free speech? Seriosuly, being only of mild flippance but what is it for? If (presumably) learned men like Bryant, Hain, Carey have no need for it; if Brown, Blair, Kinnock and (as yet) Cameron couldn't give a toss - what's the point of saying anything, thinking anything, hoping or trusting anyone?

We may still just about have the right (with exceptions where consequences can directly be linked to violence) of free speech but so what? Is this just the sop to keep the factions marginalized.

Being a Tory since very young and having now worked for them for a while it disturbs me somewhat that I've moved to the position where I believe PR is becoming more & more beneficial. That Parliament no more represents the people than does the old guy in the pub. The HoL is bereft of elegance, the HoC unaccountable and sordid and us fools can say whatever the hell we like with the only potential outcome that we'll get banged up as some muppet played the tape to the end, went to HMV and bought 20 more and gave the natural conclusion that it was in some way fascistic.

We truly are in peculiar territory.

25 October 2009 at 13:13  
Anonymous not a machine said...

The toadieing of David Milliband to endorse president Blair was all too much for me let alone mr Bryants acid trip.

A promise , a very important promise to the British has been renaged upon , for that Tony blair should answer his alledged voters .So far he has said he wont discuss the matter , why not he spoke it as prime minister?

It wasnt so much the parlimentary stitch up , all though that tells alot, or the site of the lib dems Ed Davy constrewing a faux wrong question stance and commanding his party to "walk out" in protest, it is the fact that these people stand and continue to hold office and be paid by the tax payer for breaking the most fundamental of our countries understanding of democracy, namely that power is given to you by a vote and that you have no right to change the way in wich that power or trust is held except by free and fair means and most importantly a debated vote by the very same people who gave it to you in the first place.

It is not Chris Bryants job or labour or the Lib dems , to remove the power of election to change our crucial systems of government without our consent .

He has no right to make us governend by someone else , it wasnt his to give away , that is the labour and lib dem lie.

Its not so much that they are cowards , it is that they draw money from the tax payer for persuing somthing that was not in there in there manifesto, its one thing for peter hain to say the BNP are unconstituted , but how does Peter Hain (still living well off his salarie and previosuly undeclared monies) think his own party should stand on a renaged manifesto pledge , isnt this the more corrupt and rotten form of democracy , a party that lies to its people on manfesto pledges .

Labour may wonder they are tanking at the polls , they only need to look at there own deciets and hypocracies for an explanation.

They have lied and decieved using clever words to rob the people of there birthrighted vote , for that there ending cannot come soon enough for me.

25 October 2009 at 13:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace:
The Act you refer to was to help David Cairns, a laicized Catholic priest, become a Scottish Labour MP. It came into effect in 2001.
Bryant was already a candidate for Parliament in 1997, by which time he had already resigned his orders.
He is not listed in "The Crockford Directory of Anglican Clergy".
Whether Cameron is a "fibber" is one question. Bryant is certainly a "flipper" who made £20,000+ out of UK taxpayers by changing the designation of one of his homes.
What a fine "Christian Socialist".
Anonymous at 12.29

25 October 2009 at 13:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot to include this:

25 October 2009 at 13:54  
Anonymous Stuart said...

"....the overwhelming majority of the British people do not want it to work for Britain: they do not want it at all."

Amen Your Grace, Amen!

25 October 2009 at 14:44  
Blogger Sir Watkin said...

"former Anglican vicar Chris Bryant"

Although in priest's orders Mr Bryant was never a vicar. He was an (assistant) curate and then a chaplain.

25 October 2009 at 16:55  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Forgive me if I have said this before - (probably grumpy senior moment) - but there's no reason why a referendum on the Lisbon treaty cannot he held by the UK after it has been ratified.

Harold Wilson had a referendum on the EC in 76 or thereabouts, with an overwhelming vote to stay in, the only naysayers (if memory serves) being the Highlands and Islands.

25 October 2009 at 17:18  
Anonymous Brian E. said...

The Labour party (and others) keeps ranting on about Michal Kaminski being in the EU group with which the Tories are aligned.
Tory Bear's post concerning some of the people (plural!) in the group with which Labour is aligned is far more frightening!
Its time the Tories started to make this list more public.

25 October 2009 at 17:46  
Blogger David said...

We all know Bliar jumped on the faith bandwagon to suit his political career. Another sycophantic lickspittle of maleable principles is no doubt trying to line himself up for a lucrative job in Brussels when Emperor Tony ascends to the throne.

25 October 2009 at 18:01  
Blogger Flumsy Flobadoms said...

if it is fashion on cloud cuckoo land then it would be a fashion faus pas.

25 October 2009 at 18:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It is in fact interesting to me that Lord Carey had nothing to say about Tony Blair's 'hijacking' of the Christian religion. Talking about race is far more irredeemable than actually slaughtering people of different races - it seems. Mind you he describes Christianity as being 'one' of the worlds great religions, which kind of gives it all away really. I still can't quite put my finger on it, byt something is scaring the bejesus out of these people.

25 October 2009 at 18:47  
Blogger TreeSleeper said...

Goodnight & God Bless. Good luck with the river of justice.

(One to beam up)

25 October 2009 at 21:11  
Blogger Preacher said...

One only has to look at Mr Bryant's history to date to see that he is simply an opportunist jumping on the Blair, Brown bandwagon. His title is 'Minister for Europe' which means what? He's simply a teaboy for his masters who's trying to undermine & unnerve us about ever regaining our sovereignty, it's his job! & he'll use any lie or propaganda to impress his masters.
WV zombiliy, interesting!

25 October 2009 at 21:22  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Your Grace, the more I review the current state of affairs viz Europe, the more I believe that we should simply withdraw from the EU. Should I just throw my lot in for UKIP?

25 October 2009 at 22:21  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

PS - I am not anti-European, i.e. I do not dislike the French for being French or the Germans for being German.

But I do believe in the old constitutional principal that Parliament (The Sovereign, The House of Commons and the House of Lords) should be the decision making body in our land and not those of a foreign power.

25 October 2009 at 22:23  
Anonymous no nonny said...

"....the overwhelming majority of the British people do not want it to work for Britain: they do not want it at all."

Yes, Your Grace.

And Anon @ 18:47 - "I still can't quite put my finger on it, byt something is scaring the bejesus out of these people."
Their deeply buried consciences?
The weakness of their position in trying to serve one master and destroy the other (the eu and the People, respectively)?
The latent Power of the People?
The success of Nick Griffin and the BNP in awakening the Power of the People?

25 October 2009 at 23:38  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

Britain is in need of that new
special comedy series.Anonymous's idea of McKenzie teaching English with maybe some religious instruction as well to Russians is a winner. No script could surpass McKenzie's own so it would need to be an ongoing documentary.I look forward to this.

26 October 2009 at 03:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This guy obviously doesn't know who his boss really works for, if you got a couple of hours you might want to watch Alex Jones Latest Masterpiece.
I wouldnt want a referndum, is there anyone who woudl seriously believe it wouldn't be rigged, then tha would only legitimise the whole treasonous thing.

We need out, Endof.

Fall of the Republic

26 October 2009 at 06:39  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Lovely photo of the lad, but I barely recognised him with his clothes on. He's usually in the tabloids wearing nothing but his trollies.

26 October 2009 at 07:44  
Anonymous Paul B said...

Thank you Bish` for another fine article, that exposes Bryant to be a fibbing hypocrite.

26 October 2009 at 07:59  
Anonymous pedant said...

Your Grace, continuing my custom of commenting only on the smallest and least important aspect of any of your posts (because I know you take a kindly delight in such microscopy), I wonder whether it is actually possible to be an EX-Reverend. Is it not the case that clerical orders, like death, virginity and ever having been to Brighton, are an all-or-nothing thing, and even an unfrocked clergyman remains a clergyman nolens volens?

Doctors, after all, are still Dr even when struck off.

One thinks of the celebrated Mr Davidson of Stiffkey who, though cast forth from the bosom of the Church he adorned in so exuberant a fashion, nevertheless remained (at least in the popular imagination) the Rev Mr D. until the very day that subtle and persuasive circus lion made him the offer he could not, and did not, refuse.

Is there a rule on this? Perhaps Your Grace should simply deem one, on his own formidable authority.

26 October 2009 at 10:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@pedant - is the difference, perhaps, that the title, 'Dr' relates to the qualification held, irrespective of whether the holder practises, whereas 'Reverend' is linked to a post and accorded to the holder only for the duration?


26 October 2009 at 10:34  
Blogger Sir Watkin said...

Pedant is of course strictly correct.

Mr Bryant remains a priest, and nothing short of death can bring his priesthood to an end ("indelibility" is the technical term). But if he has been deposed from Holy Orders (been "defrocked") or voluntarily signed a deed of renunciation he may not exercise those orders (save in extremis, e.g. to give absolution to a dying person)
and is to be treated for all intents and purposes as a layman (this is why the term "laicised" is often used in a R.C. context).

He is a priest, but he may not function as one.

26 October 2009 at 10:41  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Mrs Proudie

Yes, an example of an self unfrocked vicar.

I spent yesterday afternoon thinking how I could get a joke in about Chris Bryant's new European role as an unter-panzer fuhrer; this kept me from agonising about how Liverpool were faring against Manchester United.

This will not do - I need to become serious..but it's a bit too late now.

26 October 2009 at 10:41  
Blogger Preacher said...

Interesting that a Yougov poll showed over 20% of the public would now seriously consider voting BNP, although I'm not one of them I am starting to view the path ahead, balance of power & all that. After the Beebs backfire do I here the sound of turning worms? Be scared, be very scared all you politicians who put your faith in the stupidity of the public that you have scorned so long.

26 October 2009 at 11:59  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

Better ease up on the sherry Grumps!

26 October 2009 at 12:08  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

Better ease up on the sherry Grumps!

26 October 2009 at 12:08  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...


I prefer red like His Grace. But what are you on, posting double, posting double..?

As for lemmings (Saturday's post)...

as a member of the species homo britannicus I guess I would be in the mad rush to leave these shores should Harriet Harman (species Dominatrix Trismegista) ever become Prime Minister. And if a cliff edge came in the way ..

I've checked the points system for emigrating to Canada and Australia. Even at my great age I would be welcome because of my great erudition and grumpiness.

26 October 2009 at 13:23  
Blogger Terry Hamblin said...

It is a Catholic heresy that people labelled as 'priests' are any different from the rest of us. We have one high priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, the rest of us, Peter tells is, are a 'Royal Priesthood', a people belonging to God. (1 Peter 2:9). Of course, this only applies to Christians. Without wishing to pre-empt the Final Judgement, I should be surprised to find young Bryant 'among their number when the Saints go marching in'.

26 October 2009 at 13:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reverend Bryant - the priest who unfrocked himself. Now that is funny. Have we any photographic evidence of this?
But I must take issue with this idea of "indelibility of orders". This is a medieval concept and I'm not sure even 20th Century Roman Catholicism believed in it. I recall reading somewhere that Pius X used to threaten Modernist priests with the words of 'Osee' (as they called Hosea): 'I have rejected you from being a priest.'
But maybe some theologian out there can put me right.

26 October 2009 at 14:33  
Blogger Sir Watkin said...

Indelibility of orders (cf. the indelibility of baptism - you cannot be debaptised either) is current doctrine in both the Roman Catholic church and the Anfglican Communuon.

Thus, Canon C 1.2 of the Church of England says:

"No person who has been admitted to the order of bishop, priest, or
deacon can ever be divested of the character of his order, but a minister
may either by legal process voluntarily relinquish the exercise of his
orders and use himself as a layman, or may by legal and canonical
process be deprived of the exercise of his orders or deposed therefrom."

26 October 2009 at 15:09  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

Grumps,plenty of Catholic grumpys over here.Catholicism Aussie style might be a little different to what you are used to.I don't think the erudition factor would be a hit.The Bishops have spent too many hours in the sun.Catholics are big drinkers so you should fit in as long as you've got a pair of board shorts and thongs to deck yourself out for the Sunday Mass

26 October 2009 at 15:48  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Anon 14.33

Try this from

the sun newspaper

This person was a respected advisor to the Prime Minister, one Antony Blair.

An indicator of Britain today. London - twinned with Sodom and Gomorrah.

sydneysider: 'board shorts and thongs' - tinnies as well? Sir Les Patterson, the Australian cultural attache would approve, but what does Edna Everage say about all this?

26 October 2009 at 17:02  
Blogger Preacher said...

The picture says it all, the report just underlines it.
It's a sad reflection on politics, that Bryant could still be in his party, but to make him a minister, just holds the whole party to ridicule. The worrying thing is that in their fanatical zeal to be PC they don't recognise this.

26 October 2009 at 18:35  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...


Too right. I despair of the British public; the Bryant incident happened in 2003 and in 2005 the voters reelected him with a majority over 16000.

No wonder he's grinning like a cheshire cat.

26 October 2009 at 19:46  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

A minister! Not surprised you want to emigrate ..a very alarming photograph.Now we know where all the lost socks from Mr.Bryant's wash go.Don't you go trying this

27 October 2009 at 02:50  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

"And he should examine the motives of his own heart .......casting aspersions on the character and integrity of the Leader of the Opposition."

But of course the same doesn't apply if Cherie Blair is the target?

27 October 2009 at 12:50  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Sydneysider - this government is beyond shame. Makes the UK a laughing stock. Up there with Clinton and his shenanigans with Monica.

Someone recently suggested that it's time this government was given a decent burial. A decent burial is far too good for it. Better to drive a stake through its rotten venal corrupt heart and bury it at the cross roads at midnight, and then dump quick lime over it.

I think I prefer Silvio Berlusconi actually. In comparison he brings real dignity to a nation

27 October 2009 at 22:59  

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