Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sajid Javid: "I was a Thatcherite long before I was a Conservative"

Sajid Javid has been promoted to replace the hapless Maria Miller as Secretary of State for Press Regulation and Gay Marriage Culture, Media and Sport. He also become Equalities Minister (except for women, obviously, because a man can't do that). According to the Telegraph, he is "Britain's first Asian Cabinet member". Quite how Baroness Warsi feels about that is unknown, not least because she was Britain's first Asian Cabinet member, once (though the Telegraph styled her "female Muslim"; not Asian, though she is manifestly all three).

Being steeped in the Economist, Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, it is not immediately clear what Mr Javid knows about the Arts or Culture. But it can't be less than Mrs Miller, and His Grace welcomes this appointment wholeheartedly.

This son of a Pakistani bus-driver is by far among the most talented of the 2010 intake, and a great admirer of Margaret Thatcher, who is his political inspiration. A portrait of her hung on his office wall in the Treasury: doubtless it will now be transported to the DCMS. Importantly, unlike Baroness Warsi, his meteoric rise is meritocratic. He studied economics and politics at Exeter University, and was the first member of his family to go to university. This, he says, is the root of his conservative beliefs:
"My mother and father had nothing and, like many people in their adopted country, worked their way up. All they had to rely on was their drive and determination, a willingness to work hard, and the confidence to take risks in the hope of greater rewards. There were, of course, ups and downs. But whenever my parents were knocked down, in business or anything else, they picked themselves up and started again. The abiding lesson was clear to me: don’t doubt yourself and don’t stop trying.”
For those who are interested (which will doubtless be one or two upon His Grace's august blog), Mr Javid is proud of his Muslim-Pakistani background, but he himself is not remotely religious. He doesn't worship in a mosque, read the Qur'an or observe Ramadan. Ergo, he is not a practising Muslim, any more than Christians who do not attend church, read the Bible (or, some might add, observe Lent) are practising Christians. One may certainly believe without belonging, and be culturally affiliated without practising. But the only religion observed in his home is Christianity (his wife is Christian), and he is of the view that immigrants should adapt to British culture - respecting its distinctly Christian heritage and traditions.

Some are offended that David Cameron has appointed an Asian as guardian of British Culture. They clearly have no understanding of the nature of conservatism, no apprehension of British-Asian values and no appreciation of what drives Sajid Javid. He is a small-state, low-tax, regulation-cutting, patriotic, meritocratic Thatcherite: his political values are hers. All that we know of him culturally is that his favourite film is the Christian allegory It's A Wonderful Life, and his favourite music is the Christian rock band U2. He'll now need to take in a bit of Shakespeare and a few Proms, at least.

As His Grace wrote when Aaqil Ahmed became the first Asian/Muslim to lead the BBC's Religion & Ethics department, those who object - on either religious or racial grounds - to the appointment of immigrants or the children of immigrants to these influential offices of state might pause to reflect on what has become of them under Anglo-Saxon Christian types. The quality of the Christian output of the BBC deteriorated markedly under a Methodist and a Roman Catholic; indeed, between them they reduced the Faith to a toothless myth. Maria Miller's advocacy for the illiberal and thoroughly anti-British state regulation of the press and her insensitive handling of same-sex marriage eclipse everything else she accomplished while she was in office.

So, why not let the first deserving Asian to be appointed to the Cabinet have a go at redeeming the situation? 


Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

He seems to be a thoroughly good MP, completely unwilling to 'play the immigrant' (which is more than you can say for certain others. It is also reassuring that he, as an Asian, is not shoehorned into a 'diversity' or 'equality' role, which always looks like PC lip service.

He is clearly capable and it will be interesting to see what he does with the culture brief – his predecessor having been something of a disaster in the role. (Cameron's cack-handed support of Miller may well have something to do with him not wanting to tarnish the posterity of his most cherished achievement in office, gay marriage, by having its chief handler booted out for being a fraud.)

Good luck to him and let him be judged on his achievements, rather than his race or ethnicity.

10 April 2014 at 09:35  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Your Grace,

I need but repeat paragraph 3 of Ars Hendrick @ 09.35 above,

"Good luck to him and let him be judged on his achievements, rather than his race or ethnicity."

Quite !

I do like it when someone else has done the word smithing.

10 April 2014 at 09:55  
Blogger Len said...

That 'Jewel in Camerons Crown'(SSM) seems to be looking a bit tarnished now as it was placed there by a hand which had had done what it ought not to have done?.

Cameron is beginning to look like a man with very poor judgement which does not bode well for a Prime minister(or at least half of one)He sees to be staggering from one disaster to the next.
The style of government we have now is best described as 'fire fighting' rushing about trying to put out one fire before the next one starts .No real plans no real future just bluff and bluster a man always on 'the back foot'.

Does not bode well for this Country.
Perhaps he out to consider some help from above before he gets run ragged?.

10 April 2014 at 09:59  
Blogger Flossie said...

I agree that he sounds right for the job, and best of luck to him. I am sick and tired of the patronising tokenism that keeps rearing its head, but I don't feel this is one of those appointments - he sounds like a proper Conservative.

I still do not, though, like the fact that a Muslim was appointed head of the BBC's Religion and Ethics Department in a Christian country. Nothing to do with race or culture or even his ability to do the job (or his predecessors' lack of ability). I simply think it sends out the wrong message. Imagine a Christian being appointed to the same post (if there was such a thing) in a Muslim country. It's risible, and smacks of the BBC sticking two fingers up at Christians. No wonder Islam considers Christianity to be weak.

10 April 2014 at 10:29  
Blogger Integrity said...

I would absolutely agree about the BBC but having reflected upon the words of his grace and yourself I am wondering whether their might be some merit in HG's words. The head of religion is nothing more than a sower, a hired hand and it is more important that his job is well done as a servant so that others might profit from the harvest. He need not have a deep spiritual understanding (as I would Have thought) but merely a professional presenter of the Good News in a way that people will partake of. It is then the work of the Spirit to endear those messages to the heart of the hearers of the Word.
Please correct me if you think I am wrong.

10 April 2014 at 11:16  
Blogger John Thomas said...

Well said, YG! I'm somewhat with Flossie on the Muslim-head-of-religious-broadcasting issue: it appears, and surely is, all part of the creeping Islamisation (which only a very naive person would deny the existence of) which will surely lead (if it has not already) to "stealth jihad".

10 April 2014 at 11:25  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

He is a small-state, low-tax, regulation-cutting, patriotic, meritocratic Thatcherite

He voted for more EU integration and against a referendum on EU membership, so he is actually big state, high tax, regulation-increasing and the antithesis of patriotic. In other news, he loves gay marriage, hates hereditary peers and, if I read it correctly, supported the Lobbying Bill.

10 April 2014 at 11:28  
Blogger Guy Jones said...

Flossie/John Thomas

The decision of the BBC to appoint whoever it is to whatever post is surely only important if we defer to the BBC as something important. It is increasingly an irrelevance in spite of how important it believes itself to be.

Regarding Javid, I wish him well.

10 April 2014 at 11:36  
Blogger Mark In Mayenne said...

Looks like he might be a good'n. Fingers crossed.

10 April 2014 at 11:47  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

It’s tempting to speculate about where his next promotion will take him. Of the three top jobs – Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary – Javid’s background in banking would suggest the first of the three is the one he’s cut out for.

10 April 2014 at 11:58  
Blogger Flossie said...

Integrity, I don't think you are wrong exactly, but I am more in agreement with John Thomas.

I know I keep banging on about the Man on the Clapham Omnibus, but most UK citizens don't give a toss about deep theological issues - or, for that matter, religious broadcasting - but can easily spot creeping Islamisation, and will simply chalk this up as another example.

10 April 2014 at 12:00  
Blogger Leagle1 said...

He's a bit young for the Chancellor's job yet. Not to mention the political reasons why you can't replace Chancellors when your main message is 'we did better on the economy than the other lot would have done.'

10 April 2014 at 12:03  
Blogger IanCad said...

Anyone appointed by Cameron has, surely, received the kiss of death.

10 April 2014 at 12:07  
Blogger Philip said...

Whatever "Thatcherite" credentials he claims, he voted for gay 'marriage'. Before anything else conservatism must be about conserving the freedoms, traditions and institutions that make a genuinely free nation and stable society. And marriage (as it has always been, between a man and a woman) must be a foremost institution to conserve.

10 April 2014 at 12:13  
Blogger Owl said...

Cameron only appoints "yes" men (or women). Capability takes a secondary role and that will soon be knocked out of him.
Dave always needs someone to take the fall for him after his cock-ups so don't be looking for any changes for the better.

Dave is only doing what he is told anyway.

10 April 2014 at 12:39  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Flossie @ 10.29

I agree with your second paragraph, that a Christian should be appointed to head of Religion and Ethics at the BBC, for a majority Christian country ( even if of the believing but belonging type ) and with undoubtedly a Christian cultural heritage. They seem to enjoy insulting Christianity and irritating Christians.

The BBC has become a parody of itself, twisting itself into contortions in order to be suspicious of Christianity but welcoming to any other faith, in a very naive and unquestioning fashion. It is now so biased, in so many ways, it is truly unbelievable what a sorry state it has descended to. I believe that it is incapable of reform and we need to start again. It should be wound up. Ideas or people that are not fashionable and relativist are guaranteed to receive an unfair hearing. It does of course receive funding from the EU - say no more.

10 April 2014 at 13:01  
Blogger Flossie said...

Without wishing to further derail this thread towards an attack on Islam and the shortcomings of the BBC, perhaps we should just remind ourselves of the inscription of the plaque inside Broadcasting House - 'Deo Omnipotenti' to see how far the BBC has strayed. It translates as:

This temple of the arts and muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors in the year of our Lord 1931, John Reith being Director-General. And they pray that good seed sown may bring forth good harvest, and that all things foul or hostile to peace may be banished thence, and that the people inclining their ear to whatsoever things are lovely and honest, whatsoever things are of good report, may tread the path of virtue and wisdom.

10 April 2014 at 13:24  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Flossie @ 13.24

Agreed !

In less than a century, in say just three generations, they have lost their way, and no longer know who or what they are, and what, if anything, they believe in. They are like ships tossed about by the tides of glib fashion, on an uncharted sea. They know not the purpose of their voyage or towards what or where they are sailing. Relativism rules, and all is uncertain for them.

But despair is not the Christian way, and therefore we all have work to do, each in our own way, and cheerfully as well.

10 April 2014 at 13:35  
Blogger John Thomas said...

David Hussell: It is surely a major task of all broadcasting in Britain - and particularly the BBC - to denigrate Christianity (well, maybe excepting the state-compliant sort ...).

10 April 2014 at 14:32  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Leagle 1

Not to mention the political reasons why you can't replace Chancellors when your main message is 'we did better on the economy than the other lot would have done.'

Except when the Chancellor moves next door. Macmillan in 1957, Major in 1990, Brown in 2007.

10 April 2014 at 15:06  
Blogger Anglican said...

It is remarkable (or not remarkable at all) that the Anglican bishop who is most aware of the CofE’s surrender to secular values, and the threat of Islam, is Pakistani born. I refer of course to Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali.

10 April 2014 at 15:17  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...


I'd be inclined to tick your second box, "Not remarkable at all". For Nazir-Ali, it's first-hand experience, not just something he's read in the papers.

10 April 2014 at 15:52  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

He goes along with what the party want looking at his voting records he voted for tuition fees and increased tuition fees, for SSM and gay rights, and for increasing VAT.
I would think that he's more of an amiable sort than a dynamic doer like Mrs T was.
I wouldn't pin too many hopes on him.

10 April 2014 at 16:41  
Blogger Len said...

I suppose it is a sort of recommendation for anyone going into a Government post that they cannot do any worse than their predecessor.

10 April 2014 at 18:22  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Excellent, we have here a real Conservative. Cameron, take note. His are the attributes you need for that. Not that bloody difficult to understand or to adopt, is it !!

As for Miller, the less said, the better. Any woman of honour would have walked immediately, but then, any woman of honour would not have got herself embroiled in the expenses ‘opportunity’ to begin with. Curious situation where misappropriation of public funds and subsequent appearance in a court of law does not an MP suffer. These people truly are above the law, in the European bureaucratic manner, of course. Never used to be this way in this country before Napoleonic codes and the continental like were thrust upon us. Hasn’t gone unnoticed in beer drinking circles, you know !!

It’s rather like a family firm, where the daughter has been caught with her fingers in the till, in ones humble opinion. A bit of finger wagging and all forgiven. Well, that just isn’t damn well good enough for the electorate in these days where we are all supposed to be equal. Or is equality, or should that be the illusion thereof, only for gays who want to ‘marry’ one asks himself.

I say Archbishop, do go easy on Warsi, old man. The Inspector is all for rubbing the nose of inadequates into the carpet they’ve soiled, but you’ve nearly taken hers clean off. Apart from that, well done, and carry on…

Pip Pip !

10 April 2014 at 19:18  
Blogger Andrew said...

Just a point of detail...I don't think there has ever been a Roman Catholic Head of Religion at the BBC, practising or otherwise.

10 April 2014 at 22:09  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Just a point of detail, Andrew...His Grace didn't say there had been. There has, however, been a Roman Catholic DG, to whom the Head of Religion was accountable.

10 April 2014 at 22:32  
Blogger Andrew said...

Mea culpa. The wider point is that the decline of Religious Broadcasting has been pretty much continuous over two decades, under four Directors-General and sundry Heads of Religion. If anything the current regime could be said to have seen a small improvement. Your Grace is right, though, to say that the personal faith of the Head of Religion is not the salient issue.

10 April 2014 at 23:05  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

In July 2001, the BBC had appointed a non-believer as its head of religion for the first time in its history.

Alan Bookbinder, who described himself as "an open-hearted agnostic", was asked to apply for the position after the BBC struggled for six months to find someone to fill the post.

All previous heads of religion since 1933 have been practising Christians, many of them ordained ministers until Mr Bookbinder.

The former head of religion, the Rev Ernest Rea, 55, a Northern Ireland presbyterian minister, resigned in December after 11 years, allegedly because he thought religion was being sidelined.

The BBC renamed it the department Religion and Ethics with a brief to produce programmes of broad appeal "reflecting spiritual life in the UK". Mr Bookbinder had also been an ethical adviser for EastEnders (Says it all really?) and worked on the religious programmes Missionaries and The People's Pope.

He commissioned the muslim view documentary called and as His Grace said then " The BBC is promoting this as ‘Rageh’s journey’, but it is manifestly more an Islamic slant on the man Christians believe to be the Son of God. The Qur'an corroborates Isa the miracle-worker, but for the Jesus of the Bible they were proof of who he was. " and "The series is yet a further example of the BBC's pathological inclination to undermine Christianity and exalt Islam uncritically. " Has it really changed under Aaqil Ahmed

That someone is of a particular slant is relevant would be for Ernst to ask that you imagine the BBC appointing Phillip E. Johnson as Head of Science for BBC Factual???

His Grace asked back in 2006 " He wonders why a portion of this could not be spent on a documentary in which a prominent Christian presents an evidence-based examination of the claims of Islam and the character of Mohammed…" INDEED!!!

11 April 2014 at 03:37  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

However Aaqil Ahmed commissioned a documentary, again using the resource that is the unbiased rageh omaar, utilised by that 'cheerful, open hearted (Synonym - 'closed mind') agnostic,' Mr Bookbinder.

Before the programme started Aaqil said there were no depictions of Muhammad because he wasn't a "fan of drama docs, fashion-wise they're out of fashion". *Sniggers* (Means : I ain't gonna be no Salman Rushdie)

Aaqil was asked why this programme had taken so long to make - or rather why it hadn't been made sooner. He said:

As a community, people have only been here since the 60s. It takes a generation for people to be in positions of authority. The audience's needs are very different to what they have been. These things do take a long time to come off.

We're talking about negotiating with different countries to get access to do it properly. All the conversations have been based on trust. All sides of the conversation have huge respect for Rageh Omaar."

We're in a position where lots of people can deliver this. Anybody can commission this, it's whether they have the ability to deliver this. You don't have to be a Muslim to deliver this." (Yet it was stated that Rageh Omaar.. "But he's a familiar face, an experienced television broadcaster and, crucially, he's Muslim so he can reach parts that infidels can't. Some of the filming takes place in the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina, where non-Muslims are forbidden are going.")

I want to have a programme that appeals to as wide an audience as possible. There's a gap in the market. A story about the origins of Islam is a slam dunk. If it's not been done before there's an audience that will come to it. There's a huge thirst for knowledge.

Rageh was asked about how important/influential/all-encompassing Muhammad was to Muslims. So he was asked about his faith and whether his background undermined his impartiality. He replied:

" I don't think my views or practices have got anything to do with it. I'm presenting it as a reporter. I don't think it discredits me. This is about the prophet, not Rageh Omaar's take on the prophet."

Aaqil chipped in and said Rageh's knowledge of the subject had to be set up but denied the tone was not "reverential" before adding: "What we're not doing is a critique of whether he's a prophet or not. That's very hard to prove."

Strange, that regarding Jesus being the Son of God, this was able to be done most nonchalantly with the Miracles of Jesus, when the matter requires it??!!!

Creeping Islamisation, now at a steady canter!!

Good old, unbiased BBC!!!!


11 April 2014 at 03:45  
Blogger circleblogs said...

Doesn't matter whether what background he has, we are talking about quality and the published news are so unthinkable, mentioning Asian .. and what? Are we no longer live globally?

Its the matter of state with individuality perspective.


11 April 2014 at 05:52  
Blogger Peter C said...

Hmmm. Not sure which part of the creed is to do with Lenten Observances? When Jesus wanted us to be one as "I and the father are one" he might well have had the Apostles or Nicene creed in mind as a unifying agreement.

12 April 2014 at 19:53  

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