Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Welby: England has ill-treated the Scots for 800 years

So, the Archbishop of Canterbury flies out to Iceland and does what archbishops do: he delivers a sermon in a cathedral. His subject? "God is a God of justice". Marvellous stuff.

He called on churches to "cry out and claim and struggle" for justice, in order to bring "testimony and witness to words and prayers". He explained that "justice faints and hope fades" when the church "looks in on itself". And he called for a renewal of prayer so that the Anglican and Lutheran churches might be "caught up" with the "God of justice" who calls people into action.

"In Iceland there is the pain of the crash which took place five years ago," he empathised. "In every Diocese in England churches take part in food banks, in a society which has no need for such imbalances of wealth. On the richest continent on earth we cannot devise an economic system that provides for the poor and yet forces the wealthy and the powerful to share equally the burdens of debt, and the heritage of materialism gone mad."

"Any serious view of the nature of human beings," he said, "tells us that without the action of God their can be no true justice, and that the Church is there to be the widow, to cry out and claim and struggle. That must involve action, which may be slight or grand."

It was all going so well, until:
And it is such a powerful movement that we’re even working with the Scots about it. And there is a miracle. It takes a lot to make the Scots willing to work with the English. Understandably, we’ve spent about 800 years ill treating them.
The "powerful movement" to which he refers was his call for the re-establishment of credit unions to take on the 5000% usury of Wonga. He explains:
I made what seemed to me the fairly obvious comment that I considered this to be usury and usury had been a sin since Moses. Well, it was a quiet day in the press. And they had nothing important to report, so we found that they reported it rather large scale. It was a casual comment. I wish I could say that I had a grand strategy, but I didn’t. It was an accident. But it was an accident in which God was involved. Because it has created such momentum that there is a great new movement to change the way we do community finance.
Well, it must be another quiet day in the press: 800 years of England's ill treatment of the poor Scots is now being reported on a "rather large scale", and it is not yet clear that God is involved.  

When you're good at soundbites, you need to use them wisely and sparingly. It was manifestly a lighthearted joke - another "casual comment" - but it is already circling the globe, and Alex Salmond has added it to his referendum armoury. Sadly there was no helpful contextual history - a passing mention, for example, of the fact that the Scots tended to forge alliances with the French and conspired to invade England once or twice would have been helpful.

But everything that surrounds the assertion of England's ill-treatment of the Scots - the theology of reconciliation that preceded it and the anthropology of cooperation that defined it - will now be subsumed to the feverish tabloid headlines of the English Archbishop who is stoking the cause of Scottish independence. The Daily Mail is already on the case. Others will follow.

Justin Welby's predecessor Rowan (Lord) Williams learned the hard way, with his assertion that, in the context of increasing ethnic plurality and religious equality, sharia law in Britain is "unavoidable". It was a reasoned theological point reflecting a political reality. But the naivety was astonishing. He seemed to treat Radio 4 as if it were an Oxford theological college, assuming his audience to be made up of academic theologians with the ability to dissect and analyse words with his theo-political precision. But ++Justin is not so naive: he is, as The Spectator noted, "a very political archbishop": he knows and understands fully that every word he utters will be seized upon by certain sections of the media for an undesigned emphasis and turned to some unintended meaning.

The Church of England has always struggled with the tension between affirmation of the gospel and assimilation to the prevailing culture; between transformation and inculturation. Establishment commits the Church to full involvement in civil society and to making a contribution to the public discussion of issues that have moral or spiritual implications. If Rowan Williams showed us anything, it is that these cannot easily be reduced to soundbites, neat headlines or trite blogposts: profound matters demand profound contemplation and an articulation which does them justice. More often than not, Lord Williams of Oystermouth was purposely woefully misunderstood and misreported by a ferociously judgmental and increasingly hostile anti-Anglican press.

His Grace prophesied that his successor would fare no better: it is the zeitgeist.

The assertion of England's 800-year-long ill treatment of the Scots cannot be put down to "an accident": unlike the Wonga episode, these words form part of a prayerfully considered and thoughtfully crafted sermon; not a spontaneous bit of levity in a magazine interview. But is it not a shame that bishops and archbishops may no longer use humour in their sermons?

There is an unbridgeable gulf between the God who laughs (Ps 2:4) and the one in whom there is no humour. Protests over cartoons satirising Mohammad combined with images of Muslims criticising frivolous aspects of Western culture often leave the distinct impression Islam and comedy are incompatible. The most concerning thing for Britain is that those Muslims who dare to express humour or satrise aspects of their religion are derided by those who hold to the Ayatollah Khomeini school of Islam. He once said: "An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humour in Islam. There is no fun in Islam."

God forbid that the Church of England should ever become so drearily stuffy, priggish or straitlaced. So, go on cracking your jokes with a twinkle in your eye, Archbishop Justin, for they bring your sermons of salvation and messages of social justice to the whole nation.

Yes, God is involved.


Blogger David B said...

Let me get this straight.

Is it somehow due to divine intervention that the Archbish failed to mention the ill-treatment of the Welsh for 800 years?
he Welsh

I see that he said -

" ...I wish I could say that I had a grand strategy, but I didn’t. It was an accident. But it was an accident in which God was involved."

Does it not take a particular kind of unattractive arrogance to claim that a powerful supernatura being is guiding him?

He goes on to say -

"...Because it has created such momentum that there is a great new movement to change the way we do community finance."

If his evidence for divine intervention is that there has been a new movement to change something, then I suggest that, for consistency, he might consider new movements for change of all sorts of things in all sorts of contexts.

Then he might consider to what extent his conception of God might be involved in them.

After all, after taking power in the Iranian revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini might well have claimed, and believed, much the same sort of thing.

Further, is it not the case that getting to the top, by any means necessary, has often been the justification for all sorts of absolute monarchs to claim divine blessing on their rule, whether Christian or not?

To claim that God is involved in something because, basically, people start talking about what you say, is not really very clever, now, is it?


29 October 2013 at 09:41  
Blogger David B said...

I see one of my edits went wrong above. I won't claim that some gremlin led me astray.


29 October 2013 at 09:42  
Blogger David B said...

In the meantime, perhaps there is another issue to hand which seems to be getting all sorts of very diverse groups very hot under the collar.

An issue on which church groups and secular groups both have concerns, and as far as I can see legitimate concerns.

I refer to the Lobbying Bill, which looks very ill thought out. There is a piece on it in the Torygraph.


29 October 2013 at 09:50  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

He must have been watching Braveheart agin. A great film, I always enjoy it. But you wouldn't want to let it induce a fake feeling of collective guilt.

29 October 2013 at 10:28  
Blogger graham wood said...

"Establishment commits the Church to full involvement in civil society"

Does it? That statement is so wide, comprehensive and nebulous as to mean anything. Does it refer to political action, social programmes, or some other secular activity? It could therefore be used to justify almost any statement or course of action.

What is often good and to be encouraged for individual Christians to be involved in social works of various kinds for the benefit of wider society, is not the church's primary mission collectively.

Surely Scripture points to a wholly different perspective summarised for us by Jesus in the great Commission.. . . "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel . . .
teaching all nations . . . baptising . . . . teaching...."

In other words a spiritual, not a secular mission.

The apostles and early church did not engage in "full involvement in civil society", but rather sought to transform the society of their day through the message of the Gospel of Christ. It did so and "turned the world 'upside down'.

29 October 2013 at 10:31  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...


Ernst must immediately take the newly incumbent chap under his wing and teach the meaning of a timely quip.

Ernst can see it all now unless he acts.

Members of a newly formed provisional SNP and the real SNP going beyond our shores to USA etc to raise funds for the continuing struggle against the english oppressor in their hours of need..the swelling crowds of St Andrews day marches on the 30th of November.
The Braveheart painted faces shouting FREEDOM into the face of the nearest Englishman who will hear it.

What will the welsh then do...masses of male welsh choirs from the local eisteddfodau, led by Max Boyce, tearing down the streets of London, leeks in hand, singing 'Hen Wlad fy Nhadau'.

A blip that launches a thousand quips.

You silly billy, you.


29 October 2013 at 12:12  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! I hear the sound of a clanger and it is not the Great Bell of Barchester. The problem is, thanks to the Fabianistas who concocted the National Curriculum, few people these days have any sense of History other than 'What Marx Did' and 'What Marx Did Next.' Scotland intrigued against England and alongside France for centuries: the Border Rievers were not a bunch of friendly Hogmanayites knocking on the door for a wee dram. When the annals of Canterbury are written, the 21st Century should be sub-headed 'From Wierdie-Beardie to Hogwash: the Welby Years.'

29 October 2013 at 12:21  
Blogger David Hussell said...

A seriously disappointing article Your Grace, and I note its existence and no more.

Humour has its place I agree but not one that feeds an unjustified victim mentality. The Scottish nation knew the risks that it took when it conspired with the French against their southern neighbour. Military repercussions were to be expected. Likewise their decision, freely entered into, to achieve the union of the two crowns was a voluntary one.

Now the Welsh were conquered and suffered for it, but they are now far too mature to ignore the fact that their incorporation within the greater union of Great Britain, or as you wish, the United Kingdom, works well, to their considerable advantage in fact.

I am unable to support crude misunderstandings of history, mangled in immature cheap sound bites, as being evidence of an effective way for Welby to promote serious messages around social justice. Especially at such a time as this. Welby miscalculated
that one, but it's not a hanging offence, so let's move on I suggest.

Next article please Your Grace.

29 October 2013 at 12:51  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"Well, it must be another quiet day in the press: 800 years of England's ill treatment of the poor Scots is now being reported on a "rather large scale", and it is not yet clear that God is involved."

As one of the spiv banks that brought usury crashing down on our heads, RBS (and it's terrible twin, BoS)is now 'helping' form a credit union, I find it difficult not to swallow hard, breathe ever so slowly and point out that the English bailed out that bunch of chancers quite handsomely, if memory serves me right.

Scots, they couldn't organise a caber contest at a tree felling event..Useless tossers!!



29 October 2013 at 13:15  
Blogger Martin said...

Talk about taking Scripture out of context!

"There is an unbridgeable gulf between the God who laughs (Ps 2:4) and the one in whom there is no humour."

Is referring to:

“Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, [saying], "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us." He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.” (Psalms 2:1-4 NKJV)

Where God is clearly mocking those who seek to overthrow His will (Atheists take note).

As to the ABC's priorities, Graham has it to a 'T'.

Perhaps Justin would trip up less often if he sought to do his real job of preaching the gospel. But perhaps that doesn't give him a sufficient sense of his own importance.

29 October 2013 at 13:50  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack thinks maybe this Holy Spirit person let Justin down a little bit or maybe he just didn't hear the joke properly. If he had said: "It wasn't until I'd watched Braveheart that I realised ... now that would have been funny and would have made Jack chuckle.

Happy Jack suggests Justin Welby employs old Blowers in future as his comedy script writer.

29 October 2013 at 13:54  
Blogger Len said...

It might sometimes not be such a bad thing to cause a little(or a lot ) of controversy.
Occasionally when I was at school(some ages ago) if the master suspected that one was not paying attention he would throw whatever came to hand in ones direction(usually missed and I am not sure whether this was by accident or design but one always kept one eye on the possibility of this event happening.)

Justin is perhaps 'throwing' in the occasional comment which is certainly getting peoples attention!.

29 October 2013 at 13:55  
Blogger David Anderson said...

Did Mr. Welby entirely conflate God's justice with what is termed "social justice"? The report gives that impression.

29 October 2013 at 14:18  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Happy Jack

"thinks maybe this Holy Spirit person let Justin down a little bit or maybe he just didn't hear the joke properly." Some things sound hilarious in ones head but tis always best to put it on paper first and see if it is indeed 'chucklesworthy' and hits the spot! If he had said: "It wasn't until I'd watched Braveheart (now start the pun,AbC, as this an excellent opening) that I realised (this is where it will hit now the clanger..puns should be quick and short..too much 'brain' is now being employed and required of listeners)... now that would have been funny and would have made Jack chuckle.(Indeed and how acutely observant of you, my star pupil.*sniggers proudly*)!

Happy Jack suggests Justin Welby employs old Blowers in future as his comedy script writer. (Is there real hope that this might be workable material on show..His Nibs here would never have made this novice mistake.Must pray about that job vacancy at Lambeth Palace to The Big Fella's)


29 October 2013 at 15:21  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

29 October 2013 at 15:28  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Sorry - last post was rather mean spirited. I repent & remove.

29 October 2013 at 15:33  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Rasher Bacon said...

Dear chap, who here on this blog disagrees? Rein yerself in, my good man.

The use of wit would indeed be a powerful tool on behalf of Our Saviour in leading the lost to the ONLY strait but narrow way. Unfortunately when put through the 'universal humanity' filter it loses it's power and the majesty of the message.
Their needs to be joined up wit that leads by natural progression to that which you NEED to state.

The world asks for more from us than the message of Christ Crucified for our sins, buried and raised up forever more and the works that follow but we can easily fall into THEIR trap as Welby has done and it then becomes only a gospel of socialisation rather than Salvation.



"Sorry - last post was rather mean spirited. I repent & remove." well done, that man.

29 October 2013 at 15:39  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Jack is cross because some people are being unfair on Justin. Okay, so he told one joke that didn’t go down too well. Read his talk. He is not a socialist. It starts by telling a story of a widow who nagged a powerful man into treating her fairly. This man didn’t really want to but she kept pestering him until he got fed up with her. Justin doesn’t want this. He wants people to be helped because he says this is what his God wants. He wants a society that is fairer and says this is what God wants too and so should his followers. He says it will not happen until Jesus comes back and we should pray for this and keep on trying anyway. Now Jack may not have got this right but that’s how he understands it and it seems jolly good too. Jack bets Jesus told jokes as well as all his stories.

There’s that’s better. Now that’s been said Jack is Happy Jack again.

29 October 2013 at 16:21  
Blogger IanCad said...

The name "Isaac" means God's Laughter.

Sure He has a sense of humour, He did, after all, make us in His image.

29 October 2013 at 16:33  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

IanCad said...

The name "Isaac" means God's Laughter.

Sure He has a sense of humour, He did, after all, make us in His image." Indeed Ian. When He made old Ernst, he must have said to the others. 'Now look at this one, This will get all those folks laughing and he hasn't even spoken yet?'

Blofeld, who hit every branch of the ugly tree on the way down. Landed nicely on a pile of wit though. Silver linings..Aaaah.


29 October 2013 at 16:51  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack wants to share a joke.

A worn out £1 note and a worn out £20 note arrived at the Bank of England Bank to be destroyed. As they moved along the conveyor belt to be burned, they chatted.

The £20 note talked about its travels. "I've had a pretty good life," he said. "I've been to Las Vegas, the finest restaurants in London, performances at the Westend, and a world cruise."

"Wow!" said the £1 note. "You've really had an exciting life! I've been to the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church, the Anglican Church, the Catholic Church ...."

The £20 note interrupted, "What's a church?"

29 October 2013 at 17:37  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

One puts it to you all that was the last occasion the good man tries to cheer up a speech with humour. Well, if he has any worldly sense it will be. You see, he heads an organisation that has thrown unity out of the window for each and all to pursue their jollys at whatever the cost. Nothing humorous in that now, is there ? And to his good fortune, he also follows a long line of Lambeth dullards, so there’s no expectation on him to keep going what would otherwise be a quite remarkable tradition.

Incidentally, the funniest clerics this man has ever encountered have been Irish Catholic priests. Glass of Jamesons in hand, and taking a long draw from a cigarette before regaling us with some of the finest humour you are certainly not likely to hear in public…

29 October 2013 at 17:52  
Blogger Nick said...

It sometimes seems that Archbishops have the unfortunate habit of using public speeches to kick themselves in the nuts. Not just themselves but their flock too sometimes, branding us as bigots and homophobes

Lambeth Palace seems to have become a rest home for the hard-of-thinking. I wonder if e shall ever have an ABC who talks straight about God instead of tying himself in knots with half-baked sermons

29 October 2013 at 17:54  
Blogger IanCad said...

Ernst wrote:

"--Landed nicely on a pile of wit though--"

And, with all the trials that you are going through; what, apart from prayers and good wishes, could sustain you more?

29 October 2013 at 18:19  
Blogger David B said...

@David Hussell

" The Scottish nation knew the risks that it took when it conspired with the French against their southern neighbour."

What exactly do you mean by 'The Scottish Nation' in this context?

Surely not the land of Scotland, and the feelings of the bulk of the people - the crofters, the shepherds, the servants, the artisans, the ostlers, the blacksmiths, the fishermen.....as far as I know were not polled, whether in an election or an opinion poll.

Yet to describe the actions of a few aristos as "The Scottish Nation" seems to me to be something of an eccentric use of the term. Conflating a few Lairds with a nation?


29 October 2013 at 18:21  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

@ David B

the same observation can be made in the case of the English. I don't think that English farmers, agricultural labourers, cobblers, millers or booksellers were beastly to the Scots -
Yet to describe the actions of a few aristos as "The English" seems to me to be something of an eccentric use of the term. Conflating a few politicians with a nation? Touche, I think...

29 October 2013 at 19:03  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

The Scots, on the other hand, have been beastly to the English. One thinks of Gordon Brown and (one shudders)the White Heather Club...

29 October 2013 at 19:10  
Blogger Nick said...

Indeed Mrs Proudie. One slso recalls how the Welsh tried to wreak revenge on the English through the infamous redhead from Ynyswbwl (spell-checker couldn't handle that one). I believe he now stalks the corridors of power in Brussels where they ponder the ideal shape of a leek.

29 October 2013 at 19:37  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your prejudice is showing Mrs Proudie. This communicant takes pride in his Border (paternal) ancestry and loves to see his English cousins waxing fat...

29 October 2013 at 19:44  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David B. Yet to describe the actions of a few aristos as "The Scottish Nation" seems to me to be something of an eccentric use of the term.

It looks like disappointment all round, what !

If you tried that argument in this man’s former school, you would have been ragged by your fellows, and the schoolmaster himself would have come in to boot you in the pants to impress upon you the lunacy of your stance. A nation’s standing is whatever its leadership says it is. Don’t forget that now...

29 October 2013 at 19:48  
Blogger David Hussell said...

David B.

What a strange non- point you make.

Into "feelings" tonight are we ? Very post-modern no doubt.

In a pre-democratic age, one set of pre-democratic leaders deal with another set of pre-democratic leaders. Those are the facts. Those two sets of leaders, are leaders of what exactly , well nations of course !

Simples !

Please make a note of this for the future. Nations pre-existed democracy. Memorize that !

29 October 2013 at 19:49  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Mrs Proudie

The Scots, on the other hand, have been beastly to the English. One thinks of Gordon Brown

Harold Macmillan was a good PM, though. [Whispers] And isn't Cameron a Scottish name?

29 October 2013 at 20:10  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear dear Uncle Brian (are we related I wonder?) I quite agree! Mr. Macmillan was a poppet, though a little dental work would not have gone amiss. Dear dear Bluedog, no prejudice I assure you, just trying to redress the balance (though I stick to my guns over the White Heather Club - ghastly!). Dear Nick, yes indeed, the Windbag and his lady seem to have done rather well out of the European Union (or as we call it here in Barchester, the Zollverein.

29 October 2013 at 20:23  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Harold Macmillan (Master of Wit/unflappability..fat chops Cameron, take note how it's done!) was born at 52 Cadogan Place, Chelsea London, SW1X 9RT, Uncle Brian. WAY SOUTH of Hadrian's wall. *Massive chortling* Grandfather born in Bute was son of a Scottish crofter, SuperMac's father Maurice Crawford Macmillan was born in Cambridge, England on 19 Apr 1853. He was mainly American and half English/Scottish.

"Harold Macmillan was a good PM, though." A smasher!
A gentleman of One Nation Toryism, of the Disraelian tradition.

"And isn't Cameron a Scottish name?" It is my man and a right bunch of duplicitous, two faced chancers they were too. It odiously *pun intended* runs in the blood which is blue and ice cold! see http://www.clan-cameron.org/history.html

Blowers, at your service Sir.

29 October 2013 at 20:49  
Blogger Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh said...

Archbishop Welby's simplistic summary of the relationship between Scotland and England neglects, of course, our extensive cooperation during the Reformation (John Knox being arguably an anglophile), and most conspicuously (infamously?) in the expansion and administration of the Empire. However, being simplistic requires some measure of truth. With respect, such a modicum is absent from Archbishop Cranmer's own riposte that "Alex Salmond has added it to his referendum armoury".

For those seeking to be better informed there are now a number of well-established pro-independence websites such as "Newsnet Scotland", "Wings Over Scotland", "Bella Caledonia", "Business for Scotland" etc. These may be scoured and nary a word against "les Anglais" will be found. The debate is essentially an argument about Scottish democracy and viability. The pro-independence umbrella group is called "Yes Scotland". The pro-Union group (headed up by Alistair Darling) is called "Better Together".

For a zesty intro (not without "humour"), might I suggest "The Fear Factor: The Scary side of Scottish Independence" (34 min video). This can be accessed at -

29 October 2013 at 21:52  
Blogger Hannah said...

Well most Scottish and Welsh people I know are friendly and enjoy being proud of their countries, but within the framework of the UK.

I'd say the rise of Welsh and Scottish nationalism is surprising given that we've had more Scottish Prime Ministers and party leaders in ratio to the UK population. For example, the previous two Prime Ministers were Scottish to some degree. From 1979 to 2013, there has been 3 Welsh labour party leaders, 3 Scots and 1 English; furthermore Scots have held high office in other Labour and Conservative administrations during that time. Likewise until 2008 2 of the UK's big banks were Scottish; when they were nationalised Salmond criticised the 'spivs and speculators'. Scotland could not, on its own, have bailed out a bank as big as RBS. It has been bad enough for the greater UK.

Given the above and the fact that the SNP doesn't seem to have a good word to say for the Union, which in their minds translates as 'The English', despite the over representation of Scotland in politics, government and the economy,I'm surprised that the English aren't asking for a vote on whether to leave the UK. Is it because England doesn't have a devolved legislature? Why do the English not get a vote either?

29 October 2013 at 21:55  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...


"Indeed Mrs Proudie. One slso recalls how the Welsh tried to wreak revenge on the English through the infamous redhead from Ynyswbwl (spell-checker couldn't handle that one). I believe he now stalks the corridors of power in Brussels where they ponder the ideal shape of a leek."
Ah, you refer to the 'welsh windbag' or the EU's favourite Self Inflating Fart Cushion...Not all the welsh are so inclined. At least Ryan Giggs was not afraid to come inside from the left wing on the odd occasion, was he?.

Kinnock's verbal diarrhea did have some olfactory virtues for those in the disabled community.
At least deaf people could also appreciate he spoke crap too!

It is easy to see how the terms Olfactory and Oratory could confuse the poor fellow due to his his secondary education and that he only got a degree in industrial relations and history. (What is it with politicians and history degrees..Is that to ensure they are aware of and can follow previous historical cock-ups to the letter, gaining a peerage.


29 October 2013 at 21:59  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Fergus whatever, trust in the canny Scot not to cast away the economic giant that is England. By the way, do shave off that ridiculous ginger beard. The poor thing looks ill...

29 October 2013 at 22:04  
Blogger David B said...

Mrs Proudie

Not so much touche as yes indeed.

I've always thought it odd that the standing of any nation should be defined by the the words and actions of its leadership.

It is just that the post I was responding to mentioned the Scottish Nation, so it was that I addressed, but of course it works in general as well as in particular.


29 October 2013 at 22:07  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! Our weekend guest, Lord Tennyson, was so moved to pen the following, in the style of the Great McGonagall no less:

An English prelate, well be he,
In the land of fire and ice,
Preaches loud to you and me
‘The English are not nice!’

800 years of nasty things
Have they done too the Jocks,
Such thoughts once spoken then take wings
Beware those men in frocks!

Now and then such wit is fine,
But clerics should take care;
There is indeed a fine, fine line,
Cross it and folk will swear.

29 October 2013 at 22:22  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

I seem to recall that foreign leader by the name of Hadrian had more than a bit of trouble from disparate groups from up there. And they weren't 'a few Lairds', they were the really nasty ones.
I am somewhat tired of our politicians of today going around apologizing for the things that our forbears did. It was not our fault and people should get over it and move on.

29 October 2013 at 23:09  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ach, Inspector, so spake too Scotland's bard. From his "Such a Parcel o'Rogues in a Nation:"

What force or guile could not subdue,
Thro' many warlike ages,
Is wrought now by a coward few,
For hireling traitors' wages.
The English steel we could disdain,
Secure in valor's station;
But English gold has been our bane,
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

30 October 2013 at 01:14  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

That's truly fabulous, Mrs P, in simple and elegant ABAB too!

30 October 2013 at 01:39  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Am I the only one who wonders how Hannah got to be such an expert on the Scots psyche? I at least married one and spend a great deal of time there; what's her excuse?

30 October 2013 at 07:46  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Avi, how kind...

30 October 2013 at 08:13  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Avi, how kind...

30 October 2013 at 08:13  
Blogger OldJim said...

David B

Further, is it not the case that getting to the top, by any means necessary, has often been the justification for all sorts of absolute monarchs to claim divine blessing on their rule, whether Christian or not?

Well, I can only speak in an informed way about Christian monarchs, and the answer is.. not really, no.

If getting to the top were sufficient evidence of God's favour, then there would have been no need in Christendom's history to appropriate the ritual of coronation. The function of coronation, after all, is precisely for the monarch to form a covenant with God and with his people, and to receive blessings and consecrations analogous to those of ordination within the Church. If a monarch by virtue of being a monarch is already presumed to be "good with God", then all of the stuff coronation seems to be there to confer or attempt to confer would presumably have already been implicit in the bare fact of the monarch's being in control of the country.

Even control of the country and coronation often weren't enough for people. Witness the power of Jacobitism (it's those Scots again!)

Lincoln says, of the combatants of the Civil War,

"Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has his own purposes. "

Even Oliver Cromwell, who's right up at the providentialist end of the spectrum of Christian belief, had views more nuanced than those you have outlined above. He goes through three different constitutional arrangements in a matter of a few years. Why? Because it's not enough for him to imagine that because God has put him in control, his right to rule has been ratified. He worries, if something goes wrong, that it's because God doesn't approve of his political arrangements; or so it seems to me. So even providentialism can end in a rather morbid scrupulosity.

30 October 2013 at 09:29  
Blogger OldJim said...

In this case, to remind ourselves, Welby noted:

a) that Wonga is blatant usury, and usury has historically been frowned upon by Christians as objectively contrary to the moral law.

b)that he mentioned this fact in a oublic address he gave

c) that this fleeting remark was received, and inspired people to alter their behaviour for the better


d) that God was involved in this affair

That is a fairly modest claim of providence. It says: when something is objectively morally wrong, and someone in a position of authority within the christian church comments upon it, and people act upon those comments -- God was involved.

He didn't even say that God approved of the specific mode of credit union devised, only that He was involved!

And he certainly didn't say that if he'd done something duplicitous and it had ended up well for him then that would have been evidence of God's approval! No Christian has ever held such a view of providence, and references to Khomeini or Khamenei won't demonstrate that they did. Your mixing up of different creeds, whether intended to be obfuscatory or not, is just that: obfuscation. Where on Earth do you get these strange ideas?

30 October 2013 at 09:34  
Blogger OldJim said...

Perhaps I ought instead to have said "No christian of whom I am aware has ever held such a view of providence," or "no mainstream Christian theology, whether Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran or Reformed, would allow for such a view of providence," but I think that you might have understood my point.

Islam's a bit more complicated; see, for reference, the Regensburg Lecture.

Still, the point stands that these crazed providentialists, certainly in the Christian tradition, are largely your own convenient fictions.

30 October 2013 at 10:20  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack found Old Jim's history lesson to David B very interesting and how different people think about the way God is in control.

Poor David B has been made to look like a silly-billy again. Old Jim asked him: "Where on Earth do you get these strange ideas?" and Jack thinks maybe he doesn't get them on earth.

Happy Jack thinks too that David B is perhaps one of those people who are filled with a sense of their own self impotence.

30 October 2013 at 12:04  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness, Happy Jack! Your last comment to dear David B was a little unkind. Remember he is a fellow communicant, and God loves everyone even those who are in error.

Have a hobnob and put that smile back on your face.

30 October 2013 at 16:30  
Blogger Hannah said...

According to the religion of hobnobsim, these delicious biscuits have to be made in a particular way, which involves pouring over boiling hot chocolate onto one side of the poor plain biscuit. This is clearly nothing more than mutilating the poor hobnob, but it is allowed only because it is a religious privilege!. Besides for Happy Jack to be able to eat it, he'll have to rip into it with his teeth, thus tearing the innocent hobnob in half. So shouldn't hobnobs be banned?!

30 October 2013 at 16:42  
Blogger Hannah said...


Well, not being married to a Jew or an Anglican or a gay, doesn't stop others here from commenting on those topics. Why your good self comes across as a bit of a world expert with your professorial like discussions over the Arab-Israeli conflict and the self evident psyche of the Jewish Israeli population or as you call them 'lying scumbag Zionists' or your insistence that England is either like the South East bit of it, but one which is inhabited by daily mail readers only, with London being populated by idiot metropolitan Guardian type liberals (of which you share so much in common with in respect of Israel) .

But anyways, one wonders where I was trying to explain the psyche of the of the Scots, when I was asking the question as to why they'd want to give up a privileged position within a union that has suited them extremely well; I forgot to add they have a separate legal and educational system as well as not having an established Church based upon the Anglican model as in England. I also asked why the English aren't more disturbed by this. Perhaps they will if the SNP gets its way.

30 October 2013 at 16:53  
Blogger r33per said...

Hannah @ 16:53
why the English aren't more disturbed by this
I've given this a little thought, H, because I've got a No box to tick next year...

However, what I'd like to hear from the rest of the Union is why it is better off with Scotland in it (as opposed to why Scotland is better off in the Union). Most English folks that I've spoken to are fairly ambivalent about the whole thing because all we gingers contribute is Whiskey and benefit claimants.

So, come on Unionists! Shout out why this Kingdom is better with Scotland in it...

30 October 2013 at 17:17  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Mrs Proudie, Happy Jack thinks having a sense of your own self impotence can be the start of a search for wisdom. His message to David B was kind and it was written with a big smile on Jack's face.

Hannah, Happy Jack likes his hobnobs soft so always dips them into his coffee. And hobnobs are very content with this too. They see it as a fulfilment of their created purpose.

30 October 2013 at 17:43  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Hannah, you mention in passing the Middle East. Just in case you haven’t seen it, there was this encouraging analysis a day or two ago about the situation in the Gaza Strip:

Shunned and isolated, Hamas reaches unprecedented low in Gaza

With anti-government demonstrations at home and a new chill from Cairo and Tehran, the Islamist organization is in a tight spot all around. The excuse Iran gave to the political leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshal, was clear and pointed: "We’re busy with the Syrian crisis and with building our international relations, so perhaps it would be better to postpone your visit."


30 October 2013 at 18:56  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hello r33per,

To be quite honest I am not a Unionist and am quite laid back about a Scottish Republic, so don't look to me for an argument for it.

However, this is my rather potted view :

1.Scotland preserved her own legal, educational, religious system after Union. Banks are even allowed to print their own notes.Scots thrived and prospered in the Union and built an Empire that covered a quarter of the globe. So I am unsure as to why the Scots wish to break the ties of what seems on the face of it to be a reasonable deal; the alternative of the EU is not ever having a reasonable deal, but getting screwed like Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Italy etc.

2.Of reasonable deals I think that the WHOLE of the UK should have been included. YOU have a vote on whether or not to be a part of the UK. Why shouldn't the rest of the people's of the UK not get a vote either? (Perhaps the English might vote to leave the UK with a huge majority).

3. I hope that the campaign in Scotland doesn't result in an anti-English bashing campaign. If it does and if the vote is 'yes', then I'd be lobbying my MP to 'screw the SNP' and given the worst possible deal to the SNP. They have a wishlist. We can give that. If you don't compromise, well face the consequences.

4. If Labour wins the election via Scottish votes, there will be a problem with the legit status of the government, not to mention its impartiality. Prepare for big problems.

So in a nutshell if the SNP/Scotland want to be a Republic fine with me, I really don't care, I really don't. I like the Scottish people I work with, although they'd presumably have to get visas to stay here... the whole town of Corby will need to be put next to Alex Salmond's home, but if that is how the Scottish people vote, then that is democracy. Just remember I think the English will want the best divorce lawyers possible and don't except any favors, especially if the vote is won on an anti-English bias.

PS- Mr Integrity, Hadrian's Wall sweeps across a good part of what is now Northern England...

30 October 2013 at 22:56  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hello Happy Jack,

Well, you obviously don't know about the campaign against the abuse of the hobnob. You are clearly a hobnob abuser and this need to be banned. Hobnobs have universal rights which trump religious fantasies. Just ask David B. His logic, not mine.

30 October 2013 at 22:59  
Blogger Hannah said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

30 October 2013 at 23:09  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hello Uncle Brian,

Tsk, don't say that. Corrigan will not be happy, as to him Hamas are like the IRA/Braveheart/the Waffen SS; freedom fighters who have to kill men, women and children for nothing other than their 'freedom' and of course the colonialist zionists deserve nothing other. In this case freedom for them to impose Sharia law in their territory and lob rockets and missiles in the direction of my Israeli families houses. But then they deserve it, as they are nothing other than 'Zionist scumbags' for having the misfortune for being expelled from Iraq, suitcase in arm, despite being educated, wealthy and multilingual...just for being Jew.

30 October 2013 at 23:12  
Blogger Manfarang said...

It was a mistake. The speech should have read the Irish not the Scots.It is in Ireland there are big problems with the banks that people are working with to help resolve.

31 October 2013 at 03:14  
Blogger bluedog said...

r33pr @ 17.17 exhorts, 'So, come on Unionists! Shout out why this Kingdom is better with Scotland in it...'

Answer: for defence reasons. England is and always has been the hegemonial power on the island called Britain that the English share with the Scots and the Welsh. England would be vulnerable if a weak (and it would be) Scottish state were to become a vassal of a power hostile to England. The English state cannot accept this risk. The geo-politics of the island of Britain have not changed since medieval Kings of England recognised the imperative of obtaining Scottish fealty in one form or another. The Scottish leadership has usually recognised the inevitability of English dominance and gone along for the ride. That is until the EU established a competing power centre that Wee Eck has capably exploited to his own greater glory.

31 October 2013 at 11:32  
Blogger Corrigan said...

A couple of points to wind up this thread, specifically for the slow learners of England.

1 - the assumption that Scotland was content under the Union for 300 years, maintaining its own separate legal and educational system which, we are told, it still does. Response: Scotland was reasonably happy for about 200 years (after the Jacobite thing died down) because of those separate systems, combined with the vitally important facts (which always go unaddressed) that a) the state, until about WWII, was much smaller and very uncentralized and b) Scottish affairs in Westminster were almost always attended to by Scottish members alone, and then simply rubberstamped by Parliament. The result of these two facts was that, Union or no, Scotland was, until about the 1960s, essentially quasi-independent.

2 - The Tories held 50% of the seats and votes in Scotland until at least the 1950s, and this proves that the Scots were happy with Unionism. Response: no, they didn't hold 50% or anything like that, at any time. The party the Tories are actually referring to when they trot out this line is the old Scottish Unionist Party, an offshoot of the 19 century Liberal Unionists. The Tories have NEVER had much electoral success north of the border. The SUP did wipe up about 50% of the Scottish vote, and they took the Tory whip at Westminster, but they were a separate party and only merged with the Tories in 1965, at which point Unionism started to take a dramatic fall in Scotland. Some people claim Margaret Thatcher killed Scottish Unionism, but it began long before her time.

The point of all of this is to show that the Scots were always Scots first and British (if at all) only second. They supported the SUP for as long as the perceived that party had Scotald's interests at heart, but once they merged with the Tories, it was goodnight Vienna.

Now, the Tories have never had any time for the Scottish Parliament, and it's no great stretch to suppose they will take a 'no' vote next year as a go-ahead to abolish or at least undermine it. Ditto Labour, a supremely statist party who only founded it because they thought it would be a permenant Labour fastness. The Scots have a choice next year: do they defend their country from a Union which in now set on destroying it (whatever benefits it might have brought in the past) or are they "too poor, too wee and too stupid" (as most comments on this blog seem to imply) to make their own way? If they vote 'no', they're crazy; I don't think they are.

31 October 2013 at 12:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Rather good post there Corrigan.

One hears that a newly independent Scotland will seek it’s fortune with countries of a higher latitude than England. To wit, a loose arrangement with Norway, Sweden and Iceland. What a powerful clout that entity will have on the world stage, what !

This man maintains the average Scot votes SNP but wants nothing to do with independence. A paradox soon to be proved. There WILL be SNP tears...

31 October 2013 at 18:32  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Remind me what clout Britain has on the world stage, Inspector. Remember, being America's lickspittle doesn't count.

1 November 2013 at 09:13  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

...anyway Corrigan, where are the monthly torchlight parades by the SNP up the Royal Mile to conclude at Edinburgh castle culminating with a rousing call to petty nationalism ? Leaving it a bit late, aren’t they...

1 November 2013 at 17:47  
Blogger Che Yeoh said...

Cameron,Blair and Brown are all Scottish names.we send the ones we don't like down to England ;)

Btw 'Cameron' means 'crooked nose'..

2 November 2013 at 00:05  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older