Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bishop: "UKIP are vacuous. An annoying prejudiced blot on the political landscape"

His Grace was pootling about on Facebook a few days ago, pondering how to integrate his brand spanking new blog (which is imminent) with other social media, and he came across a comment by a well-known Church of England cleric and prominent academic who shops in Asda and is responsible - almost single-handedly - for teaching the next generation of clergy in the way they should go. It was a fairly derogatory comment toward Ukip representatives, concerning their mental (in)capacity. So irked was His Grace that he tweeted it out (anonymised, of course, for the comment was made in a relatively private forum). He thought nothing more of it, until the Bishop of Willesden waded in yesterday with his own assessment of the party that stormed to victory in the Euro-elections.

As Bishop of the Blogosphere, His Grace endeavours to be balanced, reasonable and respectful in his daily homilies. He tries to be mature in reflection and grown-up in debate. Sometimes he gets it wrong, and, when he does, a swarm of correctors and rebukers duly descend upon the comment threads to lovingly inform him of his error. Perhaps terrestrial bishops are not so well served, for Bishop Pete's tone is more than a little patronising, and his reasoning is.. well.. there isn't any. His opinion is stark: "Ukip are vacuous. An annoying blot on the political landscape."

He didn't use the words 'loonies' or 'fruitcakes', but he did refer in an earlier tweet to "Nutty Nigel", which amounts to the same thing. And he is in no doubt at all that Ukip are racist. He is eager to insist that he refers only to Ukip, not to those four million and more who voted for them. But who is Ukip, if it is not those who support the party?

Is it its leadership - that is, "Nutty Nigel" and his cohorts? Is it all of its appointed and elected representatives? That is, 24 MEPs and (now) around 400 councillors? Is it its membership, which is fast approaching 40,000? Is Bishop Pete Broadbent calling 40,000 people racist, vacuous, annoying and prejudiced?

And aren't those who vote for them at least in sympathy with their objectives?

Surely Bishop Pete would agree that those who vote Labour tend to incline toward social justice, equality and fairness; and those who vote Conservative tend to be greedy, selfish, monetarist and materialistic? Surely if you voted for Thatcher you had sympathies for her -ism?

Bishop Pete of Willesden is an intelligent and discerning cleric. He may vote Labour, support Spurs and favour ditching the Queen as Head of State, but theologically and missiologically he is one of the good guys - a loyal servant of the Lord (if not of Her Majesty).

The error he makes with his crass Ukip assessment is typical of the CofE leadership. It comes straight from the pages of The Guardian via the BBC. There is a postmodern cultural political shift to which they appear oblivious. And, without any reasoning, or any particular Christian presuppositions at all, they write off Ukip with epithets of contempt.

By doing so, of course, they insult and offend all those who support and vote for them.

If the Church is concerned with love of neighbour, that might include the odd Ukip member, just as it might the odd Tory. You don't have to agree with their politics to love them, but it certainly helps to try to understand why they think and vote the way they do.

The United Kingdom Independence Party has only one objective - to effect the secession of the UK from the political construct known as the EU. There is not one bishop in the Church of England (or the Roman Catholic Church) who seems to agree with this. So, they aver, Ukip is vacuous, xenophobic, racist and, in the last analysis, anti-Christian.

Which is interesting, because many Christians support Ukip precisely because it coheres with their theological worldview more than any of the 'mainstream' parties, who seem to have abandoned the old paths. Bishop Pete may find Ukip an annoying and prejudiced blot on the landscape, but he probably thinks the same about the DUP, the Protestant Truth Society - and even of His Grace.

These things are all blots on the liberal landscape. They are unintelligent, vacuous, and their utterances invariably inappropriate if not unnatural. Bishop Pete has probably never bothered to discuss anything with a Kipper; he is steeped in his mission: "busy being prayerfully involved in the life of (his) wonderful multicultural community". If he were to spy Nigel Farage, he would probably cross by on the other side of the road.

Which is what the entire CofE leadership do when they smell a Kipper.

And quite a few do when they see a Tory.

Ukip represent a threat to the liberal order: they are 'right-wing' and 'extremist'. Bishop Pete views Ukip not as a valid political player, but as an intruder, a meddler, a spoiler, a blot on the political playing field. Ukip are not engaged in legitimate politics; they are a sickness to be treated, and, should there be no cure, they must be euthanised.

Consider this tweet, juxtaposing the rise of Le Pen in France with Ukip in the UK. To Bishop Pete, both are xenophobic and racist, if not anti-Semitic and islamophobic. He has no grasp that the rise of both hinges more on the people's legitimate concerns with uncontrolled and uncontrollable immigration, an aloof European Union and an out-of-touch political elite.   

Ukip have arisen because of a conspiracy of political uniformity among the 'main' parties on so many issues of policy. They were once outsiders and outliers; now they have become integral and mainstream. They are not a blot on the political landscape; they are part of that landscape because the insurrection and rebellion are deemed by millions of voters to be wholly necessary. The cry is for revolution and reformation. The sooner the aloof heads in the CofE recognise that, instead of hurling puerile insults and denigrating the mutineers, the better.


Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! To become Bishop of Willesdon (does it have a cathedral? Early Egg-box gothic or Post-Holocaust Romanesque ???) he must have taken an oath to the Queen and her successors...which then makes him hypocrite of the first order if he favours her removal as head of state. One cannot be doing with such men...and as for being known as 'Pete'...Did he attend the Dave Spart Theological College by ay chance?

27 May 2014 at 09:57  
Blogger Albert said...

I remember Bishop Pete when he had blue hair.

27 May 2014 at 10:00  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

By your fruits shall you be known. The man appears to be a wolf in sheep's clothing; or rather a socialist in Christian garb.

27 May 2014 at 10:01  
Blogger Maalaistollo said...

For those of us who consider many C of E bishops to be annoying prejudiced blots on the ecclesiastical landscape, can anyone suggest how we can give to our parish churches ways that help them financially without increasing the amount they have to send to the diocese by way of the common fund? I feel as if part of my collection is treated like a TUC levy.

27 May 2014 at 10:07  
Blogger Albert said...


Set up a private trust fund for the parish itself.

27 May 2014 at 10:30  
Blogger Albert said...

"Ukip are vacuous. An annoying blot on the political landscape."

When mainstream politicians and pundits say such things they either to admit that they think the electorate are thick, or they have to admit that, the electorate finds obnoxious UKIP more palatable than the main parties. Either way, mainstream politicians and pundits look silly when they say such things.

27 May 2014 at 10:36  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Maalaistollo: If you won't pay your dues then how can you justify remaining in the Church of England?

27 May 2014 at 10:44  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Vacuous? And there Bishop Pete slams the door of the church in the faces of 4m people, and calls on his brethren to heap antique furniture up against it. Even if it's wrong to vote UKIP (which it isn't) it's very interesting how some errors result in welcome, encouragement and rainbow redecoration, and others in insult and denigration.

Well, there is a vacuum, and we all abhor it, apart from Bishop Spurs, who always seems to want to fill it with football chat. I follow him in vain on Twitter for anything resembling Christian content - he has to be goaded into it. Maybe he is one of the good guys, but I only have fruits to go by.

If UKIP are being sucked into fill a real space vacated by other leaders, it stands to reason that those leaders are the people who create the vacuum. They are therefore vacuous in this area.

The definition of 'Vacuous' is

Having or showing a lack of thought or intelligence; mindless

Or archaic - empty from a space emptied of content. UKIP offers an option. Bishop Pete requires, Melchett-like, that there should not be such an option. He is wrong, poor chap.

Still, repentance is always an option - all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, haven't they?

Yours sincerely,

Unintelligent and mindless UKIP voter.

27 May 2014 at 10:46  
Blogger William Lewis said...

The liberals sowed the wind with their beloved multiculturalism and open-door immigration - enforced by PC conditioning that effectively became "gagging orders" preventing any discussion. Bishop Pete's vacuous, ad-hominem tweets suggest that there is still no appetite (argument?) to engage with the new paradigm that is emerging.

27 May 2014 at 11:03  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ albert

Good one that. Shrewd stewardship.

I am wondering why the Bishop of Willesden thinks that those of us who object to an institution that has had accountants hold their noses and refuse to sign off their accounts are vacuous loons. I would think it was those who hadn't noticed, or pretend not to have noticed or think that it doesn't matter who might be more worthy of the title.

I am surprised that those of us who object to less democracy are to be called vacuous loons. I would think it was those who think MEPs make many decisions or that unelected commissioners making most important decisions for Europe could be termed democratic or that it is fine to be ruled by oligarchy who might be more rationally titled vacuous.

Furthermore there is the moral character of those we have sent as Commissioners. Now I would think that those who think that they are a fine upstanding bunch of people en masse or that financial and other (cough) shenanigans don't matter are the vacuous loons. I do not expect the Bishop of Willesden, who has shown he is no ignoramus on the subject of child abuse not to care about the Marc Dutroux business or that which is as yet completely out there, nor to be in the least bit happy or complacent about it.

UKIP stands against the corruption of the EU. It also stands with some sympathy with the native working class who feel disenfranchised and unloved. The Anglican church has signally failed to do this.

There are people like me who are not nor have ever been working class who yet wince when we see the patrician attitudes of, for instance, Heseltine, interviewed on Newsnight who implied that the unemployed had no useful skills so we needed to give jobs to immigrants. How does he feel that makes his own countrymen and women feel? I don't think he cared about them, and just wrote them off as useless and vacuous.

Some of us think no person who has lived here all their lives and whose ancestors have lived here for centuries deserves to be treated in this offhand and unsympathetic manner and Matthew 5.22 actually shows us varying degrees of scorn and anger and their rewards and that anyone who ascribes worthlessness to another is worthy of hell. And we are not called to call each other vacuous bu to listen and ponder and take a firm stand against immorality, which includes the financial, the disempowering of the common people, and the abuse of children.

27 May 2014 at 11:14  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Your Grace,

I can only say I agree entirely with the views you have expressed.

Whilst I would never argue that something is good or bad by reference to whether it is of one era or another, as we should judge all things on the arguments, its origins, its merits and probable or observed results; indeed the "it's new so its good" disease does much harm in our society. But I cannot but chuckle to myself that these Bishops think they are, in a broad sense, "modernising", whilst being fully stuck in a 1960s sort of soft left of centre mindset that prevents them from seeing the world as it is, and how ideas impact on peoples lives and the life of nations.

When was the last time that this "shepherd" listened to a member of working class, and I mean listened to, not spoke at, and felt something of their confusion, pain and suffering as their jobs are taken and their wages depressed by the never ending tide of people from desperately poor country prepared to work for less. And the uncontrolled, unplanned inward racing tide of humanity is creating many other adverse effects on society and the physical environment as well.

Those poor eastern european countries need help to develop, but not the sort of destructive help that sucks the young and able out of their depleted communities, making them available in the west of the continent, to provide cheap labour for the already wealthy, thus disrupting social and familial patterns both east and west. How blind these narrow people are, stuck in a dated, failed and impractical dream that is morphing towards something far worse.

Of course it is also so much easier to just dismiss something that fails to conform to the world view that you have carefully cultivated since your youth, insulting and dismissing them in a throughly unChristian fashion, from your assumed morally superior stance, than brace yourself to try to understand a different way of thinking and feeling. Even the Conservatives and Labour politicians have eventually realised that the attacks and vilifications are simply not working and are calling for a dialogue with Ukip. But many will find little common ground I fear, or if they do, theY will discover that they actually have to do what they say, and pretend to believe in - quite a leap for some ! Perhaps eventually the members of the episcopacy will catch up with reality, but I am not holding my breath.

27 May 2014 at 11:17  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Just retweeted by His Nibs

" Retweeted by Archbishop Cranmer
MustBeRead ‏@MustBeRead 2h

From @PaulGoodmanCH: Callanan for Commissioner http://bit.ly/1in0nLA"

Callanan for Commissioner?
"He was a driving force behind making the ECR group work. He knows how the Parliament and the Commission work. Downing Street and Conservative MPs know him. His Euro-sceptic views are long-standing, deeply-felt and real – as readers of his columns on this site will know. His centre of gravity on Britain’s membership is roughly the party’s centre of gravity. Yes, he has just lost a Euro-election. But he won three others. " So then, WHY did he lose?

CCHQ just do not 'get' what has happened or the message sent Loud and Clear, do they?! Do keep 'LISTENING' Dave.



27 May 2014 at 11:21  
Blogger Fred said...

The three major parties were beaten soundly by UKIP. Perhaps the reason was the UKIP policy on education. Perhaps the reason was the UKIP policy on health. Perhaps not.

Frankly the electorate hit their collective gag reflex. Tired of being told we cannot even discuss important subjects without being scapegoated and coated in vitriol. Tired of the group think of the major parties each run by faceless narcissistic PPE graduates. Tired of being manipulated via endless political correctness.

Having awakened the pensive lumbering behemoth that is the British electorate this point may be looked back on as the turning point. Perhaps the Conservatives will slide to be a 3rd place remnant and the Liberals will fade to negligible.

The political landscape reached this point with politicians simply not listening to voters. A CofE Bishop spouting the vacuous nonsense described above, indicates he is simply not listening either to congregations or God.

27 May 2014 at 11:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete B. is responsible - almost single-handedly - for teaching the next generation of clergy in the way they should go? Truly? I'm no fan of his, but why do you lie so obviously?

27 May 2014 at 11:23  
Blogger Maalaistollo said...


Thanks very much for the suggestion, which I shall follow up with the PCC treasurer.

Thomas Keningly

Fair point, but I am not seeking a free ride; I want to be able to support my parish, which is always hovering on the edge of a deficit, but I have no wish additionally to support a diocesan bureaucracy which appears to do little of value and a bishop who treats those who object to the staging of blasphemous performances in the cathedral church of his diocese as misguided nuisances.

27 May 2014 at 11:33  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Lorenzo - I don't think that's what His Grace said. It's the anonymous person at the beginning of the article who is in that position..

Now, say sorry and play nicely.

27 May 2014 at 11:33  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Bishop of Willesden, isn't he that nutty socialist Bishop who has prophesied that William and Kate's marriage will only last seven years, and that the Royal family are philanderers?

And he said the coverage of Lady Thatcher's funeral was sycophantic favouring his left wing mate Glenda Jackson's comments on her.


Where does Jesus fit into his views I wonder? Does he know who Jesus was?

His narrow minded left wing lunacy does nobody any good. He should get out of that multi-culti dump that is Willesden London.

He's in the wrong job.

27 May 2014 at 11:36  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Maalaistollo: Being in the CofE is of great benefit- you get a (usually) strategically located church building, a house for the vicar/rector, a stipend for them and a natural respect from certain parts of the community. If you want to enjoy these benefits then you have to deal with the commensurate costs- Dioceses, Deaneries, subscriptions etc. I do feel for you if you have a bad bishop (lots of people do); that shouldn't happen, and is a sad reflection on the current state of the church. I just fear that some parties want to enjoy the benefits of being an Anglican whilst simultaneously being functionally congregationalists.

27 May 2014 at 11:40  
Blogger dav phi said...

Well, one thing's for certain, Bishop Pete isn't going to wake up one morning and find his job doesn't exist anymore because a Euro brother/sister has been taken on instead. If he struggles to understand what that feels like, I can point him in one of three directions; two brothers and a sister who have been through that rather distressing experience in the past year.

Oh, did I vote UKIP? I sure did and will do so again.

27 May 2014 at 11:47  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Lucy Mullen, I couldn't agree more! Bless you!

27 May 2014 at 11:51  
Blogger Owl said...

Brilliant article YG. Thank you.

john in cheshire

"The man appears to be a wolf in sheep's clothing"

Yes, The Fabian Society's motto.

Pete is Labour is Fabian. The driving force of post modernism.

I hope Blair and Co. are crying in their beer. The game is up.

The Consevatives (those few left) will have to distance themselves from DC and cronies if they wish to have a future.

Don't ask for who the bell tolls......

27 May 2014 at 11:55  
Blogger John said...

Well, not surprisingly, being a member of the episcopal elite you dont "get it". In fact UKIP dont get it.

There is a terrible tide of racism flowing over the world. Old people are so afraid that another war will happen that they have invented a "final solution" to racial difference: abolish all social diversity. Get rid of sovereign nations, encourage people to flow freely around the world like locusts. Eventually everyone will be freed from any attachment to place or culture and be malleable meat in the hands of the media. See Are Internationalists the Ultimate Racists?

27 May 2014 at 12:10  
Blogger Fred said...

My household left the Church of England because of the attitudes of the collective clergy; more followers of the modern humanist zeitgeist than followers of the authentic Jesus of the Bible.

The Conservatives similarly have deserted their heartlands and their faithful in their rush to push through a previously hidden agenda - to the horror of their core support.

27 May 2014 at 12:13  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


your best piece yet

Well done


27 May 2014 at 12:15  
Blogger bluedog said...

Dearie me, Your Grace. Reading your tweets, Bishop Pete seems to be the only person left in the kingdom who takes Dan Hodges seriously. How is it that a certain type of CofE prelate always descends into self-parody?

The problem faced by Bishop Pete and so many others of his type is that they saw themselves as nascent revolutionaries, of the Left. But alas, a real revolution is taking place, in the UK at least, on the Right. These ageing Soixante-Huitards are feeling dispossessed as a result.

This feeling of dispossession may lead to a simple emotional progression: Fear, Loss, Anger, Revenge. Being of superior acuity, Bishop Pete has managed to encompass the whole cycle in a few simple, if not childlike, tweets.

27 May 2014 at 12:24  
Blogger Maalaistollo said...

Thomas Keningly at 11:40

I am afraid that of the potential benefits you enumerate, the only one we actually have is a share in an excellent rector, whose stipend must indeed be paid.

Having had a chapel upbringing I am probably conditioned to have a congregationalist outlook. For that reason (at this point perhaps Mrs Proudie will drape an antimacassar over her screen and/or have the smelling-salts to hand) I find it difficult to discern the point of most of the structures that exist above parish level. It all seems a bit like the NHS: the more people you have at the top with full diaries, producing an endless flow of reports and initiatives, the worse the standard of patient care.

27 May 2014 at 12:39  
Blogger Cam Ma said...

Our Vicar has just joined UKIP - spurred on [sic] by the comments made by +Pete of Willesden.

27 May 2014 at 12:43  
Blogger Len said...

I think the problem being encountered worldwide is that human nature cannot be changed by manipulation repression or domination it merely breaks out elsewhere.
'Political Correctness' is the attempt by secular humanists to train people to behave in a new way that is tolerant and liberal and in doing this to bring about a new age of 'enlightenment' where there are no absolutes in regard to truth or morality. .This is obviously not working because to follow this path one has to deaden their God given conscience. In pursuing the humanist dream of a 'Godless world' humanist experiments with morals and relativity have further entangled man in a moral maze from which he is finding it extremely hard to extricate himself.

Those who wish to retain the Status Quo the balance of power between the establishment and those who serve the establishment are beginning to get uneasy as their power base might be in jeopardy as people are beginning to revolt as more burdens are piled upon their backs.The religious elites are as much as the problem as politicians in many respects. The Church become corrupted by the State and then become merely an extension of the State and becomes useless for preaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

God`s remedy for fallen humanity( a new heart and a new nature) through Jesus Christ is the only solution to the predicament of fallen man who cannot change himself through religion or any other means.

I believe the humanist solution to the world problems is going to fail as it already is failing and this will be the last attempt by man to sort out Global issues without God before He intervenes before we totally destroy ourselves .

27 May 2014 at 12:48  
Blogger IanCad said...

I'm not a UKIP member but this guy is way out of line.

The menace of socialist clergy.

27 May 2014 at 13:21  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Maalaistollo @ 12.39

I tend to agree. Top heavy structures are usually a sign of a malaise of some form, be it in the secular or faith spheres.

Len @ 12.48

Well expressed. I agree wholeheartedly.

27 May 2014 at 13:41  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

David @ 11:17 and bluedog @ 12:24

Dead right – I think we are witnessing the death of the old left, that stagnant remnant of post-Nazi Europe that has infected both politics and thought for the past half century. Good riddance to it.

Its death throes are likely to be bitter and drawn out, but I think the die is cast. I suspect that before too long the elites across Europe will, in a bid to remain elites, shift their beliefs to fit in with the emerging zeitgeist. Churches will follow suit, realising eventually that the new right in Europe is a friend to Christianity, not an enemy. The current batch of elderly leftist churchmen may well have given way before this happens.

In the UK we think of UKip and Nigel Farage as the architects of the movement, which may be true domestically, but they are clearly a part of something much larger: namely, a prevailing sense of anger at the political elites who have squandered our national identity for nothing more than trade (i.e. filthy money), yet who still have the audacity to stand beneath the flag and proclaim their love of country. To hell with them.

The prospect of a recalibration to the right and the reassertion of national beliefs and boundaries is not something that I ever expected to see; or indeed nascent reattachments to Christianity. I am very glad, though, that this civilisation-shift is upon us.

27 May 2014 at 13:41  
Blogger Preacher said...

The problem with people in the areas of high authority, be it Church or politics, is that their pompous outbursts say more about them, their ignorance & intolerance than the people they proudly & publicly scorn & lampoon.

27 May 2014 at 13:50  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Well, I for one can understand the good bishop. Here he is, quietly presuming to run things, and what happens? Some plebian walks into his Manor, stinking of sweat and horse manure, sits down at his table - his Table! - and says "What's all this about Europe, then?" In a more civilized age, he would have called out the sheriff to teach the upstart his place. They must be taught that running things is the responsibility of knowledgeable people, important people, educated people.

Like bishops.


27 May 2014 at 14:16  
Blogger Papaman said...

From the prejudiced pre-election press coverage to the bewilderment of the commentariat and now comrade Pete. They just don't get the public rage at the swivel-eyed clones of our political class. The funniest part of it all is the harder they hit Farage and UKIP the more popular UKIP becomes. Because, surprise, surprise we identify with a politician prepared to stand up for what he believes in and not afraid to speak his mind, in public. Just like us, in the pub, at the golf course, on the footy terraces and in the privacy of our own homes.

27 May 2014 at 14:32  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! Let me assure you there is no top heavy structure in the diocese of Barchester. There's just me... and woe betide anyone who says I am top heavy.

27 May 2014 at 14:33  
Blogger John Wrake said...


The problem facing the Church of England as exemplified by the Bishop of Willesdon is not confined to the episcopacy.

In common parlance (perhaps now more in fashion due to Nigel F) it is "lack of bottle", and I don't mean a container for beer!

The leadership of the C of E is compromised at every level. For some who are ordained, it is the hypocrisy of breaking their oath of allegiance to the Queen. For incumbents of parishes, it is the hypocrisy of denying the truths contained in the 39 Articles of Religion to which they have publicly assented. For Lay members as well as the ordained, it is their willingness to accept a departure from the truth of the Bible without question and their failure to question what they are taught.

The BCP Holy Communion Service contains a prayer for the whole state of Christ's church, militant here in earth. Many are prepared to pray and work for wholeness, but there is precious little sign of militancy.

Until we show a bit of courage in the face of wrong-doing within the Church, we will make little impact on a society which has lost its compass.

27 May 2014 at 14:52  
Blogger IanCad said...

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag has given birth. The baby was not due this soon. Remaining chained in a cell, she is still under the sentence of death.

Perhaps there is quiet diplomacy, maybe some polite hinting that, perhaps, there could be repercussions. Only financial, of course.

So, Bishop Pete considers Nigel Farage vaccuous. My! My! How Bold.

When O When? will we hear thunder from the pulpits?

Is there no good Christian Soldier who will howl at this?

I am in despair. May God comfort His true witness.

27 May 2014 at 14:57  
Blogger Nath said...

When oh when will the bell toll for the death of this moribund, society?

Oh how I wait for His Grace and other faithful clergy to rise up and follow the Lord, through the valley of death (fearing no evil) in to God's pasture - I will follow.

Let the dead bury their own dead. And the corrupt; sown in corruption, die and be raised in incorruption; The seed dies, though a part of it springs into new life.

We must embrace the cycle of death and resucitation, foreshadowing that day when all things are made perfect and we are raised to eternal life.

27 May 2014 at 15:01  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Spare your tears IanCad and rejoice, for the upholders of the Religion of Peace (peace be upon it [and upon this as well]) have stated that the apostate will be spared the wrath of God for two years, to allow her time to nurse the baby, before she is hung. Not sure if the pre-hanging 100 lashes will also be deferred.

No need for the bishops to get involved you see.

27 May 2014 at 15:03  
Blogger ukFred said...

"Ukip have arisen because of a conspiracy of political uniformity among the 'main' parties on so many issues of policy." in the same way that a multiplicity of denominations have grown out of the conspiracy of uniformity of certain historical denominations, not to say the complicity of the said denominations in evil deeds. Perhaps this may explaIN why I feel that the manner in which the church of England deals with its heretics and misbehaving and mendacious clergy is cause for my considering whether it is indeed wholly Christian.

27 May 2014 at 15:48  
Blogger Philip said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 May 2014 at 16:05  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This blog post contains an annoying grammatical error. 'Pootling' is not really a verb, seeing as it has no presence in Webster's. I believe the proper word for this context would be 'meandering.'


27 May 2014 at 16:05  
Blogger Philip said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 May 2014 at 16:05  
Blogger Philip said...

What does Bishop Pete say about political parties that are full of politicians who continue to advocate and vote for the "right" to slaughter innocent children (inc those who are unborn)

27 May 2014 at 16:08  
Blogger IanCad said...

Transatlantic fisticuffs at dawn coming up.
No meandering then.

27 May 2014 at 16:09  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Carl's having a bubble.

27 May 2014 at 16:14  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

But if we go with the Oxford dictionary we find "pootling" is fine, has been around since the 70s and is a combination of "poodle" and "tootle".

"Meandering" is most often a positive and pleasant word, what some call a "yes word", whereas "pootle" isn't.

I can't see where the word is. Am I missing something? And who is the tootling poodle? And what colour is it dyed?

27 May 2014 at 16:21  
Blogger IanCad said...

Actually, on second thoughts, Carl may be trying to pull HG's chain here.
"Pooty" as in:
"Man! You look tired. Too much pooty last night?"

27 May 2014 at 16:48  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Good Post Your Grace, and an interesting collection of new commentators.
I really believe the expression should be that Bishops are vacuous, annoying blots on the political and Religious landscape.

I voted UKIP but; I prophesy that at the next election UKIP will not do well and neither Cameron nor Miliband will be Prime Minister.

27 May 2014 at 16:57  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Dear Papaman (14:32)

To be fair, I think you'd find Bishop Pete entirely at home on the football terraces.

Interesting thought, though - what reaction would he get if he went to a game in the full regalia of his office as bishop? (As pictured at the top of HG's post)

As representative of all that's irrelevant and pompous it would jar badly. At best he'd be regarded as a good luck charm in a superstitious way. I'm not sure I want to think what the worst would be, nor would I wish it on him.

He wouldn't do that of course, but has he really considered why?

27 May 2014 at 17:18  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Pete Broadbent.

Haven't you got anything more important to do, like trying to save your dying church?

Spong off, you pointy hatted drip in a dress.

27 May 2014 at 17:19  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Carl Jacobs...Webster's? What on earth is that? I will send you a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary and a box of hobnobs immediately...that should sort you out a treat.

27 May 2014 at 17:38  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Ramblin Steve,

Interesting use of a word(?) that's new on me - "spong"

Anything to do with the ultra-liberal Episcopalian Bishop Spong?

Do enlighten me.

27 May 2014 at 17:52  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

I do wish clerics wouldn't assume God supports their personal politics, but clerics from all denominations and political persuasions sadly do so. Bishops have every right to publicly oppose or support legal political parties whose goals are not incompatible with the faith of their churches, but they have no right whatsoever to claim divine authority in doing so.

Unlimited immigration is absolutely marvellous if you are, like most Bishops and politicians of all parties, fond of nipping down to the Italian deli whilst the Polish au pair looks after the kids and you plan a holiday in Tuscany. If you're a native Brit, of any colour or creed, who finds yourself forced to compete on costs for jobs with people, however personally lovely they may be, from countries with much lower wages and costs of living who will do your work for subsistence wages, it is a bloody nightmare. When Anglican ordinands and MPs find every parish and seat going to Eastern Europeans prepared to do the job for wages they personally cannot live decently on, we'll soon see how bloody marvellous they think if is.

Opening Britain's labour market to unlimited immigration from much poorer countries enables capitalists to force down wages for the most vulnerable workers already here - yet Labour, supposedly the workers party, has consistently chosen to view immigration as a race issue, rather than as a means for business to keep wages down. No wonder the former red republics here in the North East have deserted Labour in droves.

27 May 2014 at 18:34  
Blogger Seejayuu said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 May 2014 at 18:36  
Blogger Christopher Whitmey said...

I prefer the advice of an earlier Peter, "And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ." 1 Peter 3:15-16.

27 May 2014 at 18:48  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Lucy Mullen/Mrs Proudie

Webster's is of course the standard dictionary of the English language. And as for Oxford ... well, have you never watched Inspector Morse, and seen the kinds of people who compile dictionaries for Oxford? Totally unreliable. No wonder they invent abominations like 'pootle.'


27 May 2014 at 18:59  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Surely meddling in politics is a fruit forbidden to the clergy. That is, the clergy who don’t sit in the Lords, opposing the corruptions that man throws up from time to time, like gay marriage. (Well, that WAS the idea, but something went wrong there, didn’t it…). When an overly distracted bishop does it, does he feel no guilt about alienating the greater part of his flock who don’t hold his cultural Marxist views ? WE feel his guilt, do we not ?

One isn’t here to sympathise with the plight of Broadbent. That he has seemingly taken a sabbatical from his loyalty to God and to God alone, and lent them to the ways of this world, Caesar’s domain, is not to be debated. A more pressing duty is though – to wit, how do we get the fellow the sack. The Inspector breaking his crosier over his knee would be merely symbolic. And we can’t very well throw the blighter into a straw strewn cell these days to consider his position, much as we’d like to. No, we need to dress him in civvies and send him on his way. For his sake as much as everyone else’s, including Christ’s continuing mission.

Petition anybody ?

27 May 2014 at 19:03  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Once again we find nothing new under the sun. Strong correlation here, Broadbent’s stance and another meddlesome priest, Bruce Kent. Having done the dog work for the Communist Party of Great Britain for years, Kent eventually resigned as a Catholic priest. From Wiki…

“In 1987, Kent left the priesthood rather than comply with an instruction from the late Cardinal Basil Hume to desist from involvement in that year's UK General Election in accordance with the canon law of the Catholic Church.[4]”

From the same article we find that “Kent is also a member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.”. Another dreamers organisation, much like CND. One wonders what else Broadbent is involved in.

27 May 2014 at 19:04  
Blogger Oliver Nicholson said...

Dear Mrs. Proudie,
If you are not top-heavy what does His Lordship the Bishop see in you ?
Yours, A. Bathycolpiphile

27 May 2014 at 19:23  
Blogger Oliver Nicholson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 May 2014 at 19:23  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

David Hussell @ 11.17 - well said sir, very well said.

The working class north easterners I go to work with every day are not, with a few exceptions, racist. They are fed up with their fight for better pay and conditions being undermined at every turn by the ability of the company to simply ignore them, safe in the knowledge that they can always fill vacancies by recruiting from poorer countries.

This is not an issue of racism, but of workers of any race living here being forced to race to the bottom on pay and conditions. Labour of all parties should have fought for its traditional supporters instead of branding them racist bigots and wholeheartedly backing a system which ruthlessly disadvantages workers already living here.

Making this a racism issue just shows how utterly out of touch all the mainstream parties are.

27 May 2014 at 19:33  
Blogger IanCad said...

Careful there Mrs. Proudie It would never do for Carl to learn that one of the major contributors to the OED was an American.

A certain Dr. Minor, late of New Haven CT. and sometime resident of Broadmoor, Nr. Crowthorne in the delightful county of Berkshire.

27 May 2014 at 19:35  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

No hobnobs for you Oliver Nicholson...

27 May 2014 at 19:48  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Daer IanCad, we could aways remind him that technically George Washington was an English gentleman...

27 May 2014 at 19:50  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Mrs Proudie,

There is a memorial plaque in Durham cathedral to Canon Washington, George's direct ancestor.

The eponymous town, just outside Sunderland, has a sign which reads: "Welcome to the original Washington" :o)

27 May 2014 at 19:58  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

If you are an establishment figure with conventional establishment positions - especially if you break toward the Left - you will look at UKIP and see the BNP in nice clothes. They fear and loathe the UKIP because it threatens to seize control of the agenda on the basis of popular appeal. They want compliant voters who think what they are told.

If you think of voters as objects to be manipulated, then you tend to assume that you need to be the one manipulating them. Otherwise they will fall for populists who will appeal to base and vulgar passions. It is your job to keep them committed to your enlightened values. Otherwise, who knows what will happen?

That's why the bishop can differentiate between party and voter. To his mind, voters are simply chits that politicians fight over.


27 May 2014 at 20:17  
Blogger IanCad said...

Mrs. Proudie
Yes! And further, American liberties derive from the English.
We may also cross the road wherever we please without fear of arrest or assault.

27 May 2014 at 20:24  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Darter Noster @ 19.33

I am very relieved that the working class of the NE are waking up to their betrayal by the Labour Party. The NE is a much neglected area in my opinion, lacking in political leverage it seems to me. Admittedly my opinions are based on my limited time spent studying the area, first as a Geography undergraduate then as a Town Planing post-graduate. I took greatly to the gentle humour but gritty approach of the people of the area, and have returned several times just for the experience, plus my regular ferry trips to Scandinavia.

Although English by descent and culturally, I was brought up in South Wales, where the wall to wall Old Labour hegemony put me off socialism for life. However I learnt to understand how Labourites think, in that the genuinely idealistic ones are to be respected for their sincerity, if not their understanding of economics and human nature. I had a sort of guarded affection for Old Labour, whilst never supporting their ideas. But even in S.Wales I am delighted to see that, and I can hardly believe this, that Labour may be beginning to lose its allure. Farage was as surprised as I was for a Ukip MEP to be returned.
The big push now for Ukip will be to, without pause, expose the betrayal of these the original WWC supporters in all the labour strongholds, hopefully, ripping out the party's very heart. Milliband, bless his cotton socks, being neither a helicopter vision strategist nor a canny, wily tactician, has announced that he will not be entertaining any reduction in inward immigration - a policy from heaven in terms of facilitating the Ukip assault on their strongholds, and bringing Labour supporters over to the purple cause, and thereby later forcing his acceptance of the party's need to back a referendum. That is what I read in the tea leaves anyway, but that's just my opinion.

27 May 2014 at 20:24  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

David Hussel

Yes. I have a book by the heretic John Shelby Spong in my downstairs toilet library alongside other unwholesome volumes kept for research. It basically denies the ressurection while claiming not to.

Probably quite uncharitable of me to tell the bish to Spong off but he called me rude names first.

27 May 2014 at 22:14  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Indeed there is, Darter Noster, and in the Lady Chapel at Barchester there's a brass rubbing of Sir Barrett O'Barmy, the distant ancestor of ......... (oh dear, that has been redacted)

27 May 2014 at 22:31  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mrs Proudie @ 0957, your reference to the legendary Dave Spart prompts a question. Was there never a vicar of Neasden preaching, one imagines, to Sid and Doris Bonkers? The winsome Rita Chevrolet would certainly not have been a congregant.

27 May 2014 at 22:36  
Blogger Geoffrey Smith said...

The EU is on record as having rejected any association with Christianity or recognising any debt that the Union owes to the Christian churches for their civilising influence in Europe.
Hence, any clerics who applaud the EU, or run down the UKIP, are guilty of siding with the enemies of Christ and His Church.

27 May 2014 at 23:16  
Blogger Martin Marprelate said...

Would it not be a good idea if these Bishops gave politics a rest for a while and actually did what they are supposed to do?

Having blown the dust off my 1662 Prayer Book, I find this under "The Consecration of Bishops."

Archbishop. Are you persuaded that the holy Scriptures contain sufficiently all doctrine required of necessity for eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? And are you determined out of the same holy Scriptures to instruct the people committed to your charge.....?
Bishop. I am so persuaded and determined, by God's grace.

The average attender of a C of E church wouldn't know Biblical doctrine if it bit him on the leg. As Hosea says, 'My people are destroyed through lack of knowledge.' Yet all these Bishops, and Archbishop Welby especially, seem far more comfortable and confident talking about politics or economics than in preaching the Gospel. They are the blind leading the blind.

28 May 2014 at 00:09  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Rambling Steve @ 22.14

So it was Spon ! I agree that his views are totally heretical.

Thank you for confirming my conjecture.

28 May 2014 at 08:04  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Geoffrey Smith @ 23.16

Yes ! I am glad that someone else as well identifies the "marker" that indicates the basically anti-christian nature of the EU. Angela Merkel complained about it, but when she was ignored together with the few who agreed with her, she took it no further.

This rejection of Christianity by the EU, refusing to recognise even its past beneficial civilising influence on all the european nations, which is perhaps the only thing that they have in common, is the first and fundamental reason why I started my journey of opposition to the EU. Once I started out on the journey of discovery many other reasons soon tumbled out.

However it is not just clerics who should recognise its true nature and support those who oppose the EU, but all followers of Christ.

28 May 2014 at 08:15  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Ah dear Bluedog, I remember Sid and Doris Bonkers - I do believe she became an EU Commissioner you know. I can't quite place the vicar of Neasdon who was their spiritual guide but he was an acolyte of Bishop Spacely-Trellis...could his name have been 'Pete' ? It all seems to fit.

28 May 2014 at 08:43  
Blogger Len said...

It is said we should never.
discuss politics or religion.
Bishop Pete has only broken one of those rules so far.

28 May 2014 at 09:15  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Len @ 09.15

Exhibiting a very dry wit, this morning ....

28 May 2014 at 09:21  
Blogger Roy said...

I suppose that it would be too much to expect Bishop Pete and those who think like him to renounce the two gospels, the Gospel of the Guardian and the Gospel of the BBC, but a little more humility and a little less arrogance would not come amiss.

28 May 2014 at 09:50  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Ah, these Frankfurt School Christians seem to be everywhere. Perhaps in due course we shall see an 'ever closer union' of these 'go-ahead' churches under the authority of a duly appointed (not elected) Eurobishop. Now, why does Ludwig Muller spring to mind?

28 May 2014 at 10:55  
Blogger Drastic Plastic said...

Well said, your grace. Although to complain when establishment-appointed bishops spout the hate of the establishment for ordinary people reminds one rather of Mandy Rice Davies, "Well he would say that, wouldn't he?"

The question is why church appointments are under establishment control (by whatever figleaves of consultation; the end result is pretty obvious). Particularly when the establishment represents nobody.

29 May 2014 at 13:29  

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