Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The ‘malevolent’ Canon Peter Clark

His Grace has still received no response from the Chair of Governors of the St Michael and All Angels Academy, following yesterday's post, so the time has come for a little exposé.

It is certainly something when staff joining a school are warned not of incompetent colleagues, a bullying head of department or a barking headteacher, but of the ‘viper’ who is chair of governors.

But such is the case with Canon Peter Clarke: the word ‘viper’ (and worse) is used to describe him and his modus operandi; his reputation for ‘unpleasantness’ certainly precedes him.

This perhaps comes as no surprise from a former vicar who has no time at all for the great Victorian and mediaeval church buildings which so magnificently radiate the majesty and glory of God: when the Nazis bombed London, Canon Clark is of the view that Hitler ‘did us a favour’, permitting them to build a cowshed of a church in which ‘most importantly ... (the) modern liturgy can be seen by everybody’.

Appearance is foremost.

Which is no surprise when the heart is full of bitterness.

Some of the Rev Peter Clark's parishioners certainly did not sense much of the fragrance of Christ about the man, accusing him of being ‘factually inaccurate’, ‘calculatedly partial’ and ‘wilfully misleading’ in his expressions; even of making ‘malevolent pejorative remarks’.

What kind of minister of the gospel may be misleading and malevolent?

On the run-up to (and since) his retirement as the vicar of Battersea Christ Church and St Stephen (Southwark) in 2008, Canon Clark seems to have made a profession out of being a governor at multiple schools – even boasting of holding three positions simultaneously – at Christ Church Battersea, St Saviour’s and St Olave’s Southwark and St Cecilia’s Wandsworth.

He could hardly be a model of focused intervention and undivided attention. Did no-one in the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education think to ask how on earth he could possibly be dedicated to the welfare of so many staff and students?

What is interesting to note is that he is also Chairman of Governors at St Saviour’s and St Olave’s, which is where the ‘Blairite headteacher’ Irene Bishop presides (we won’t call her ‘Doctor’). Mrs Bishop was moved in by Canon Clark to be the part-time, temporary ‘Executive Headteacher’ of St Michael and All Angels after its damning Ofsted report in April 2010, when it was graded ‘inadequate’ and failing across so many areas.

It beggars belief (more than a little) that the Chair of Governors of St Michael and All Angels should believe that such a litany of deep-seated problems and chronic underperformance might by fixed by a two-day-a-week flying headteacher who is used to calling herself ‘Doctor’ and having archbishops and prime ministers fall to kiss her feet.

But Canon Clark appears to be rather fond of appointing ‘leftist’ headteachers. He even threw a party for Mrs Frances Bussy, who was headteacher of Christ Church School Battersea when Canon Clark was Chair of Governors. Like Irene Bishop, Mrs Bussy wears her political allegiance on her sleeve: ‘Even the school uniform is to have a new colour. It will change from red to blue. “Certainly no political significance”, says Frances Bussy, the Head. “Blue is simply a less aggressive colour!”.’

Certainly no political significance?

God forbid that she or her school might be sullied by colour association with the stench of Conservatism.

But Canon Clark is concerned that all Church of England schools in Southwark should receive ‘every support and encouragement, rather than constant carping criticism’. He adds: ‘The Church’s role in education in Southwark should be an occasion of praise rather than blame.’

Which begs the question of why he is inclined to the persistent ‘carping criticism’ of Katharine Birbalsingh; of why, instead of praising her for exposing the systematic failure of a rotten education system, he chooses to blame her for the closure of a school which he knew full well was destined for closure before Ms Birbalsingh was even employed.

Could it be because she publicly exposed and derided the foundation of discredited ‘leftist ideology’ upon which Canon Clark has built his whole education empire and carefully constructed his continuing power base? With so many ‘leftist’ headteachers under his aegis, is it that he had to act swiftly to eliminate this quite mad Tory harridan and neuter her ‘right-thinking’ malignance before she could throw too much light upon his incompetent governance and murky dealings?

Apparently, Canon Clark prefers ‘hard facts’.

He says they are ‘an essential preliminary for reflection and subsequent action’.

In his comments to the Mail on Sunday, he not only blames Katharine Birbalsingh for the falling school roll, he added that an inspection of the school held shortly before Christmas had shown that ‘nothing that she said was right’.

Nothing that she said was right?

But she spoke in October 2010.

Here is a letter sent to Canon Clark by the secretaries and national officers of the four trade unions involved in the school. It is dated May 2010:

Dear Mr Clarke,

Formal Meeting Request: to discuss issues raised by the members of four unions (NUT, ATL, NASUWT and UNISON) at St Michael and All Angels Academy, Camberwell.

The members of the NUT, UNISON, ATL and NASUWT after an overwhelming majority vote in a joint meeting held on Wednesday 19th May have asked us to write to you and express our serious concerns with regard to the running of the academy. We have grouped the reasons put forward into three groups:

Pupil Behaviour and Safety
Pupil behaviour was identified by OFSTED recently as its main concern. This issue has been raised many times in the past three years with the Principal and the staff and their unions have been keen to be involved in formulating policies and procedures. Instead the academy has introduced three different behaviour policies, with no apparent improvement to behaviour. The staff have had promises of involvement in working parties but these have not been followed up. Behaviour of the students has steadily deteriorated since the academy opened. In April 2006 the school was awarded a Good by OFSTED and since then behaviour has regressed at an alarming rate. The incident book appears to be inaccurate and unobtainable.

The staff have kept their own records of incidents to show to you when necessary.

The wider issue of safety has been a concern since the academy opened and in spite of NUT/Unison informing the Principal that staff no longer felt they were working in a safe environment, there was a refusal to acknowledge this. With the school about to become a building site we have grave concerns about the academy's ability to create a safe environment. The Health and Safety JCC with branch union representation has been disbanded with no reason despite the unions suggesting moving the meetings to Thursdays to ensure that all could attend. The unions have had a difficult relationship with the Principal and organising union meetings are not without difficult especially if the members have invited branch reps from outside.

The principal has been pressurising union reps and members to tell her what happened in our meeting on the 19th May and we would like you to investigate her behaviour around union meetings in general. We feel that this lack of constructive dialogue and less than good industrial relations are not helpful for a National Challenge school. Furthermore the NUT surveyed the staff and found that many staff were suffering from work related stress due to working under the Principal's direction. We would be happy to share the results of the survey with you.

Curriculum and Assessment – Impact on pupils
The results seem to have stagnated and the school is still a National Challenge school. Students are made to do BTEC subjects simply because these will increase the results for the school, rather than because they are the right course for a particular student to take. Students’ future choices are therefore restricted, and teachers are forced to jeopardize their professional integrity through encouraging students to make choices that are not in their best interests. As far as we aware there is no information about what happens to students once they have left the academy. So the Academy is unaware of the outcomes of students doing so many non GCSE exams. Students are also made to do exams far too early, in Year 9 and Year 10. They are not ready, both emotionally and in terms of knowledge and ability, to take these exams. Often the timetable has not allowed enough time to cover the curriculum. Some subject areas have time ‘stolen’ from them in order to give extra time to exam subjects. This sets up divisions between subject areas and teachers. SEN and EAL students are often entered for entirely inappropriate exams, at which they have no chance of succeeding. Obviously this can be extremely upsetting and is concern to us. When we also factor into the equation that many exams can only be taken twice, then it is disappointing that the students are being treated in this way. Seventy five staff this week were assigned as readers for exams - a figure which seems high to us. There is also a lack of clear transition between KS4 and KS5.

The extremely high turnover of staff and pupils in the school has a negative and detrimental effect on the whole school community, and in particular on the students, many of whom are vulnerable, and for whom school used to be a consistent and positive influence. Student progress is also affected by having different teachers. In addition to high staff turnover, there is also a high instance of long-term stress-related sickness, which is also detrimental to student learning as well as being costly to the school and extremely damaging for the individuals concerned. We understand that the numbers for Year 7 are very low for next year and must be a concern to you, since clearly parents and pupils are not choosing the academy or choosing to stay at the academy, since the number of in year leavers is also high.

Leadership and management style
The Principal's management style does not inspire or motivate. It is not an inclusive style. The staff here is keen to be involved but everything is imposed without consultation. Where there are policies and procedures these are changed at a whim without staff involvement.

In some important areas there are no policies e.g. the Pay Policy despite being requested. 106 staff members have left since the academy opened began and of these, 44% were from the old school and 56% were recruited by the Principal herself. Many of the staff from the predecessor school had been there for a good many years and seen many changes, including going through, and coming out of, Special Measures (1999 – 2000). It should also be noted that hardly any staff have left because of reasons of promotion. Recruitment and retention is a massive concern with huge knock-on effects for the whole school community. Sometimes people just leave with no notice and it is rare for someone’s leaving to be celebrated by the school community in an assembly or the like. In several cases, staff members have still not officially been informed that colleagues are no longer a part of the staff, years down the line. We have attached a list of staff that have left over the three years since Mrs Graham has been in charge. It is interesting to consider that many staff who have left are of black and ethnic minority origin – those who have left are disproportionately from ethnic groups. There is currently only one BME member of the SMT. the staff as a whole spend too much of their time worried about their prospects and job security and this does not help move the school on.

Unfortunately many people have left under compromise agreements and so are now unable to come forward and bear witness; however there are others who are happy to come forward and give evidence when necessary.

Meeting Request
We look forward to hearing from you and meeting with you to address our concerns directly and to begin to share with you the evidence that we have and work with you to address these issues and improve the school.

Please could you include all four unions in any response – contact details given below. We are hoping to hear from you, by next Friday, before considering further action. For information we have copied the Diocese, The Local Authority, the HMI and The Academies Unit into this correspondence, since we know that the school is of particular concern to them all.


Michael Davern (Joint Secretary, NUT)
John Puckrin (National Officer, ATL)
James Lewis (Secretary, NASUWT)
April Ashley (Secretary, UNISON)
In light of this appalling state of affairs, which has arisen and been perpetuated while Church of England ministers chaired this school’s Governing Body, could Canon Clark please explain how Ms Birbalsingh was responsible for any of this, occurring, as it did, before she even joined the school?

More importantly, since apparently ‘nothing’ of the systematic failures alleged by Ms Birbalsingh in her speech to the Conservative Party Conference are deemed to apply to St Michael and All Angels Academy, could Canon Clark please explain how a further inspection just a few months after a damning Ofsted inspection and this subsequent letter of grave concern, could possibly establish that all of these problems have been eradicated and all of these concerns addressed?

Surely, Canon Clark, you are not engaged in some sort of cover-up and mutual back-slapping with ‘Dr’ Irene Bishop?

If the turnaround and transformation are so seismic, perhaps you might consider throwing a party for her as well?

His Grace is quite sure that Ed Miliband would be delighted to attend.


Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Quite a character assassination there Cranmer. Think you have to be careful that your affection for Mrs Birbalsingh doesn't cloud your judgement and lead you into judging people purely based on 2nd hand rumours and gossip. There's quite a few pejorative remarks about you own alter ego should someone wish to stain your own character.

But my main reason for commenting ...
I don't understand the paragraph about the change in colour of the school uniforms. Are you saying they changed the school uniform colour to blue from red simply so the schools failure would be associated with conservative colours? Or what? I don't understand. I'm probably being a bit dense.

1 February 2011 at 10:24  
Anonymous Epictetus said...

What can we do to bring about a government enquiry or even a Royal Commission into the possible causal role of people like Canon Clark and Mrs Bishop in falling standards of education? If what Your Grace and Anonymous are saying is true, there is cause to suspect grave and systemic problems in the whole system. If Mrs Bishop and Canon Clark are free of blame, an enquiry would clear their names.


1 February 2011 at 10:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

This was wonderful and I look forward to a response from the various bodies involved.

Let us know what to do to help get an enquiry.

Thank you.

1 February 2011 at 10:35  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Rebel Saint,

If you bothered to click on the hyper-links, you would find that every allegation bar one is sourced from Canon Clark's own diocesan magazine. These are comments made by his parishioners and published by an official church organ.

That same magazine would also inform you of the sense of the uniform quotation.

If, of course, you could be bothered.

1 February 2011 at 10:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was referring to the monitoring visit report btw. Can be found here http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/oxedu_providers/full/%28urn%29/135375

1 February 2011 at 10:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It seems that His Grace has simply allowed others to speak for him and has not indulged in any character assassination at all. One can't assassinate something or someone already dead

1 February 2011 at 10:42  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

@Anon 10,41

His Grace is most appreciative. He has amended and included a hyperlink in his post.

1 February 2011 at 10:51  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

You refer to " ‘Dr’ Irene Bishop".
I'm intrigued about this "Doctor". Do I take it that is is a honorary doctorate? (All Google gives is your blogs! and the Daily Mail report)
Most people who earned a doctorate rarely seem to publicise the fact unless they are employed in academia. I've recently discovered that two of my retired friends had doctorates, and I've known them for over 20 years! It only came out because one of them met a stroppy GP at a social event who insisted in being called Doctor (when everyone else was using first names) and my friend pointed out that he had a genuine doctorate, from Oxford, and the the GP probably only had a bachelor's degree and "Doctor", in his case, was a honorary title!
So what sort of Doctor is ‘Dr’ Irene Bishop!

1 February 2011 at 10:54  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr English Pensioner,

Please follow the hyperlink and read.

1 February 2011 at 11:05  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Your Grace, I could be bothered and I have been bothered to click on every single link and read them. But who is "Frank Brean of Camberwell" and why I should I trust his judgements of Canon Clark? In every diocesan newspaper up and down the country there are letters from parishioners criticising their leaders decisions.

And you talk of him "boasting" of his governorship at 3 schools. Wasn't he simply stating a fact? How do you know it was said in a boastful manner?

I am not here to defend the school or there treatment of St Birbalsingh, and you may be end up being entirely correct in your assessment of Canon Peter's charachter & motives. But it all seems to be taking on the nature of a personal vendetta and I am not a fan of kangaroo courts, no matter how much I admire the judge.

And ... the school colours. She changed them from red to blue. Sorry, no matter how much I re-read it, I can't quite see the significance. Would someone please enlighten me?

1 February 2011 at 11:12  
Anonymous francis said...

Oh, really, YG. You draw for your character assassination of Canon Clark upon some hot-headed replies to a letter from him in 2002. That letter expressed in perfectly reasonable, even mild, terms a legitimate opinion on a matter which was, and remains, controversial. The over-the-top responses reflect poorly upon the ability of the writers (and why do you call them his "parishioners"? Camberwell is not Battersea) to address his points without resorting to ad hominems; and the same can be said of your dragging up this old and dubious material in support of your notion that Canon Clark is a "viper" (and where does that word come from, by the way? I'd be interested to see if it has any better provenance than your other quotes.)

Some of your other stuff is no better. What on earth have Canon Clark's views on ecclesiastical architecture got to do with the discharge of his responsibilities as Chair of Governors at SMAAA? You give the impression to this reader of flailing around looking for any mud to fling, no matter how irrelevant the subject or plainly partisan the source. I regret that your (no doubt laudable) devotion to Ms Birbalsingh has in this instance decidedly got the better of your, on the whole, wise judgement.

1 February 2011 at 12:11  
Blogger Henry_Tree said...

Rebel Saint wrote in his first comment: "But my main reason for commenting ..."

Then in his second comment he shows his *real* reason for commenting: "I am not here to defend the school or there [sic] treatment of St Birbalsingh, ..."

1 February 2011 at 12:11  
Blogger Henry_Tree said...

Dear Francis,
You speak of "that letter" from 2002 yet you totally ignore the elephant in the room - that long and damning letter from:
Michael Davern (Joint Secretary, NUT)
John Puckrin (National Officer, ATL)
James Lewis (Secretary, NASUWT)
April Ashley (Secretary, UNISON)
to Canon Clark which is not yet 1 year old!
Take off your rose coloured glasses and read the article again.

1 February 2011 at 12:16  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

errr ... your point is what exactly Henry_tree? My 2nd post was in response to Cranmer's own reply.

Will someone please explain the school uniform remarks. I just don't get them.

1 February 2011 at 12:20  
Anonymous francis said...

My link to Canon Clark's letter went awry, so let's try again.

1 February 2011 at 12:22  
Anonymous francis said...

If, Henry_Tree, HG had confined himself to commenting upon the letter from the unions, and the light it may or not shed upon Canon Clark's recent comments, then that would have been another matter. Instead, he spent the bulk of his post attempting to build up a picture of Canon Clark as a "viper" whose "heart is full of bitterness" (etc, etc.), using all kinds of material quite irrelevant to the case in hand.

And for his blog title, to present his overall characterisation of Canon Clark as "malevolent", he drew upon an overwrought letter of 2002 from someone who disagrees with Canon Clark on the ordination of women!

This all gives a very poor impression, and (alas) undermines whatever case HG may have for his main points.

1 February 2011 at 12:40  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The Church of England had almost zero Secondary Schools until Blair persuaded them to give a C of E wrapper to failings comprehensives in return for flash new buildings.

Everyone knows the C of E has NO money for schools but gets soft loans from the LEA to hide the fact that they are LEA schools with a C of E wrapper to lull the middle class narcoleptics.

It seems clear that getting involved with such schools requires ideologically-aligned Churchmen readily obliging in serving political masters.

No doubt Clark was waiting for a gong

1 February 2011 at 12:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who can't make the link to Canon Clark's letter mentioned earlier I reproduce it below


Not everyone will be celebrating...

I note that on Saturday 9 November in Southwark Cathedral, there is to be a service "celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Synod vote on women priests."

This may be a date to celebrate for some but by no means for all members of the Church of England.

Some of the unfortunate consequences of the ordination of women to the priesthood have been:

* repudiation of the Church's historic appeal to Scripture and Tradition
* a snub to the ecumenical movement by creating a new obstacle to hopes of reunion with the majority of the world's Christians in East and West
* the loss to the Church of England of many of its most devoted parish priests, not to mention lay people
* for the first time, an ordained ministry which is not universally recognised
* the accelerated preferment of recently ordained women with little experience and practice of priesthood
* the further marginalizing within the Church of England and this Diocese of those opposed
* new divisions within our Church membership with many now alienated.

I trust that those who celebrate on November 9 will be mindful of the cost to others of the General Synod's decision.

Canon Peter Clark, Battersea

1 February 2011 at 13:45  
Anonymous Taylor said...

@Francis - does your computer have a 'scroll' function. I think you'll find that the bulk of HG's post is in fact made of the letter from the unions. (You might want to do a word count, but it certainly appears so to me)
The letter makes it abundantly clear that Clark has many questions to answer. HG has given him ample and generous opportunity to do so, but Clark refuses. Instead he chooses to publicly perpetuate the fabrication upon which he bases his aggression towards Ms Birbalsingh.
No doubt such activities appear to HG as somewhat malevolent. In order to emphasise this assessment HG is perfectly at liberty to draw our attention to others who might share this opinion of Clark. It then becomes a corroborative assessment of a man's suitability for a position of authority.
Whether this corroborated opinion of Clark is deemed fair or not, it remains up to him to address the issues and prove his detractors wrong.
We are each at liberty to form our own opinions of Clark, and thereby look for corroboration. And he (Clark)is at liberty to reply. Non of this detracts from the substance of what HG says.
A particular consensus of opinion has afforded Clark many opportunities in life (not least to govern 3 schools). Another consensus may yet be shaped that sees him removed from such a position. It's called politics. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

1 February 2011 at 13:52  
Anonymous francis said...

Taylor - overall, the word count is about half-and-half, but I was referring to HG's own input. If the union letter is supposed to be Exhibit A for the prosecution, I would have expected most of HG's comments to be building upon it. Perhaps he thought that the letter spoke for itself; in which case, it would have been far better if he had let it do precisely that, and left out the personal vitriol (which the union letter does nothing to substantiate).

As one who has no dog in this fight but usually enjoys HG's writing, I was looking forward to today's post. I have been both disappointed at the content and repelled by the tone. If this is going to be the general level of HG's material in this case, I think Canon Clark can breathe easy. (Whether HG can will depend on whether Canon Clark is of a litigious character.)

1 February 2011 at 14:20  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Amen francis. Most uncharacteristic and unbecoming of HG. More malevolent than magisterial.

Seriously, will someone please explain what Cranmer was inferring by the school uniform thing. I really can't fathom it.

1 February 2011 at 14:40  
Anonymous Taylor said...

HGs comments do build upon the letter. He uses it to demonstrate a contention that Clark has been altogether forgetful of the school's state prior to Ms Birbalsingh's employment. It demonstrates too that four unions give strong supporting evidence of the parlous state into which a school may decline; the type of decline described by Ms Birbalsingh, and yet repudiated by Clark as 'inaccurate.'

Perhaps you're reading a different article.

I see little here that could lead to litigation. Clark may do better to avoid the courts.

However, I do concur, he can most likely breathe easily. The educational consensus is still with him. And schools are still failing our children.

The only dog worth having in this fight is to aspire to better schools. Ms Birbalsingh was a teacher with such aspirations who should (whatever one's political position) have been respected as such. I'm willing to extend that respect to Clark too, but it's he who keeps returning to the press.

1 February 2011 at 14:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The very fact that she chose to say that there was "certainly no political significance" suggests that she was nodding to where her own allegiances lay.

1 February 2011 at 14:49  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Thank you anon.

Is that it though! Hardly wearing your politics on your sleeve. Next he'll be telling me she was seen buying the Guardian!

Taylor, I don't think we doubt that Canon Clark may have done a poor job in his role as governor (though we currently only have one side of the story ... Canon Clark is maintaining a "dignified silence"!). However, HG isn't focussing on his short comings as a chair of Governors but as a person ... malevolent, viper, unpleasant, a heart full of bitterness, boastful. Apparently he alone appoints head teachers! whilst building his educational empire!!, and (shock, horror) once threw a party for a head teacher who brought a school out of special measures ... and she was a socialist. Not only that, the man thinks the loss of a costly, uncomfortable, impractical building might have been a blessing in disguise.

Seriously YG, get a sense of perspective man. Love can make you blind.

1 February 2011 at 15:05  
Anonymous Indigo said...

@Rebel Saint
Seriously, will someone please explain what Cranmer was inferring by the school uniform thing. I really can't fathom it

Changing the colour of the school uniform to blue on the grounds alone that red is "aggressive" (the only reason given?) is completely potty. Red is also: warm, bright, cheerful, the colour of healthy oxygenated blood, of rubies, Flanders poppies, poinsettia, fire, tomatoes, cherries, roses etc etc.

Think of the cost to which the parents were put. Qui bono, I would like to know.

1 February 2011 at 15:32  
Anonymous Taylor said...

@Rebel Saint
- I appreciate, and fully respect your distaste at the personal tone of the post; but education is a vocation most sensitively dependent upon charachter and personality. Malevolence, could it be attested to, would in my opinion make a person unsuited to govern a school. There are no clear axioms by which a school may be well administered by just 'anyone'. It is a human concern, it calls upon all our better qualities, and sadly, highlights our worst. It requires an inclusive personality of (ahem!!) broad church to work in such a position.
Yes, I have a concern about a certain symmetry here: one scapegoat follows upon another. But sadly, should we untangle our personalies altogether from this issue then we deny teaching it's privileged status of being such a human concern.

We should be passionate. (But not altogether blinded??!)

It was, I believe, Clark that broke the uneasy silence across the trenches. So why should he now be coy? Enough of the cat and mouse (both sides)

PS There was no silver-lining to Blitz!

1 February 2011 at 15:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like another Common Purpose graduate exercising his authority by inserting his Marxist chums into every nook and cranny of the education system not already thoroughly infested by political officers.

Blair’s mantra was “education, education, education.” Despite a supposed change of government nothing has altered. When you see young children taking part in university fees demonstrations you realise just how successful the indoctrination, indoctrination, indoctrination campaign has been.

1 February 2011 at 15:38  
Anonymous Paul said...

I thought that only the USA had educational and political problems like this but so does Blighty...Canon Clark sounds like a Leftist on a mission...

1 February 2011 at 15:43  
Blogger IanW said...

I don't normally comment on this arch-heretic's site, but it seems to me that His Damnableness's key point hasn't been addressed, let alone answered: that Mr. Clark publicly blamed Ms. Birbalsingh, MA, for the drop in applications to the school and its pending temporary closure, knowing full well that the falling roll reflected serious problems that predated her appointment and a planned closure for the purpose of rebuilding. If that's true - and the evidence seems to support it - then Mr. Clark's integrity is called into question; and the hearsay about his character is given credence.

1 February 2011 at 18:03  
Anonymous Darth Sidious said...

Can this blog get a sense of perspective?

Whilst there is a crisis brewing in the middle east, Cranmer seems to want indulge in defending his fancy woman yet again!

1 February 2011 at 18:04  
Anonymous Joshua Calvert said...

Personally I don't care what this cannon has or has not done, or for that matter Katharine Birbalsingh, although I would say why should a cleric be involved in education at all and why should we be suprised that this school is like the turd in the punchbowl ?

In fact the failure of these schools is more likely to be that they are based in working class areas and are therefore typical of the level that one can expect in these ghettos.

I wonder if this blog will do a post tomorrow defending Canon Clark (which would be in line with other posts he's done recently)?
Although I won't hold my breath as Cranmer has had a vendetta going on this one for several months.

Is there some kind of 'thing' going on between Cranny and Katharine Birbalsingh, which is the only reason why I could understand the crude personalisation and venom on the posts about Katharine Birbalsingh.

1 February 2011 at 18:06  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Joshua Calvert (18:06)—La Burble had been a Marxist but had a Damascene moment and joined His Grace in the Conservative Party. There is more joy in Heaven…

His Grace is certainly a persistent little beggar. No wonder he pissed Bloody Mary off big time.

1 February 2011 at 18:50  
Anonymous Bloody Mary said...

@Johnny, indeed. And this blogger conforms to the Cranmer of old- inconsistent, easily changing his mind and wanting to shag people he could never have!

1 February 2011 at 19:20  
Anonymous Dick the Prick said...

Your Grace

I'm not sure if this is a brilliant fisk or well researched criticism. Either way, the evidence seems complelling.

Many thanks


1 February 2011 at 19:42  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

@ Joshua Calvert (18:06) "Is there some kind of 'thing' going on between Cranny and Katharine Birbalsingh, which is the only reason why I could understand the crude personalisation and venom on the posts about Katharine Birbalsingh."

Well according to his Twitter he popped out earlier and he's been gone quite some time *nudge nudge* lol.

1 February 2011 at 21:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing that it took so long for someone to suggest there must be a "thing" going on between HG and KB. Try getting your minds out of the gutter and staying focused on the fact that Canon Clark is trying to blame KB for the closure of a school when it quite simply wasn't her fault.

2 February 2011 at 01:38  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Anonymous above; quite so!

2 February 2011 at 02:09  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

@ Anonymous and Oswin - get a sense of humour.

2 February 2011 at 04:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not about a lack of humour; it's about being grown up. I find it depressing that any woman in the public eye must put up with nasty minded accusations that she is sleeping around. If Cranmer was speaking up on behalf of a man in this position would there be snide comments suggesting they were having an affair?

2 February 2011 at 06:23  
Anonymous len said...

Blame shifting is the last resort of Canon Clark.
If the problems had been addressed honestly in the first place a solution might have been found.

2 February 2011 at 08:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon at 06.23 said :

"If Cranmer was speaking up on behalf of a man in this position would there be snide comments suggesting they were having an affair?"

Well,I for one am an equal opportunities snide commentator and therefore under various equality laws, would be compelled to make jokes if Cranny was defending a man...

2 February 2011 at 08:33  
Anonymous Jack O' Neill said...

The thing is that it is all well and good for Cranny to speak up on this matter, but shouldn't he be speaking to the lady in question and ask her if it is ok to launch a one-man band crusade against this Cannon, the head and the whole shool (which is closing anyway?).

In fact if this whole issue is so important why doesn't Birbalsingh actually take her employers to a tribunal, which is perhaps a better way of uncovering the facts and better a true balance of what was going on, rather than what Cranny does here?

Don't forget that Cranny has done quite a character assasination here and has been banging on about this ever since the tory party conference, which is in a manner unlike his other posts (which are often all things to all men or contradict each other) in that the ones about Birbalsingh are all done in such a one-sided unchristian way.

And we are led to believe that the motivation in all of this is because Birbalsingh was a marxist turned Thatcherite ??

Also I do wish that Cranny would stop and think, does Birbalsingh really require a self appointed knight in shinning armour? The lady hasn't done so bad out of this; with a column on the telegraph and a book Birbalsingh is probably earning more money now than as a teacher, so it is not like she is crying in some corner or something, without a job or a reputation or any money.

2 February 2011 at 08:45  
Anonymous Tim Woods said...

"Try getting your minds out of the gutter and staying focused on the fact that Canon Clark is trying to blame KB for the closure of a school when it quite simply wasn't her fault."

This may or may not be true, but why is Cranmer doing this? Surely if the Canon is so bad, why doesn't the woman in question do something about it, rather than using her fany men and pen-assasins to do it for her?

2 February 2011 at 08:48  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

I have spent my entire life learning to laugh at myself, so therefore see no reason why others should not be able to do the same. His Grace is, I am sure, more than capable of coping with a little impish humour and able to laugh at himself too.

"It's not about a lack of humour; it's about being grown up." All humour is about not being a grown up. Remove your head from that dark place where the sun doesn't shine and see the light around you.

As far as getting my mind out of the gutter goes, my mind was never in it in the first place. However, honi soit qui mal y pense.

2 February 2011 at 09:21  
Blogger killemallletgodsortemout said...

Somebody once said, "I name you Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church".

It is blog posts like this, which show the once-respected clergy to be nothing more than reasonably-educated, hypocritical, bottom-feeding scum that make me question the point of religion.

If a church is built on such malevolent "Peters" as YG has highlighted in this piece, then heaven help you all.

God is Great, man-made religion is not.

2 February 2011 at 09:57  
Anonymous Tony B said...

I'm just a teeny bit puzzled at how this man's agenda can be described as "leftist" when it is apparently so at odds with the agenda of four trades unions.

2 February 2011 at 13:32  
Anonymous Oswin said...

L'Spoon @ 04:00

Fair enough, I'll meet you half way: I'll exercise a sense of humour, when YOU say something funny.

2 February 2011 at 17:37  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

@ Oswin
I have Asperger's Syndrome. What's your excuse for being immature and stupid?

2 February 2011 at 18:36  
Anonymous Oswin said...

L'Spoon ... Asperger's? So you have an excuse for your ill-bred, rude and offensive remarks eh?

2 February 2011 at 18:53  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

See what I did there? I made fun of the both of us. Seems you can only make fun of others.

Such a wimp. Learn to put your ego back in its box occasionally.

Exam over, you failed. See ya bud.

2 February 2011 at 21:04  
Anonymous Oswin said...


Since you admit to Asperger's Syndrome it would be both inappropriate, and un-sporting of me, to comment further.

3 February 2011 at 00:11  

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