Monday, May 26, 2014

The Church must now reconsider its europhile bent

A few years ago, the Church of England’s ‘Europe Spokesman' in the House of Lords was highly critical of David Cameron's terse negotiating style in the European Council, calling it "disastrous". The then Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Christopher Hill (now Clerk of the Closet), who chaired the House of Bishops’ Europe Panel, said: “In the long term, it will be disastrous if we were actually isolated from the rest of Europe, economically and in terms of international relations... We are part of Europe, culturally and historically.”

We are, to coin a phrase, associated with Europe but not absorbed. The problem the Church of England has is that all of its bishops - including both the archbishops of Canterbury and York - are fervent supporters of Britain's membership of the European Union. They may quibble about aspects of its functioning or raise scruples over its institutional aloofness, but they are all persuaded that a divided continent is a tragedy for the Church; that mission is best served by a unified polity with a strong social dimension which is not subject to the inconveniences and whims of democracy.

Britain out of the EU would not be "isolated from the rest of Europe", not least because Europe is not the EU. Historically, Britain's economic might and global influence came as a direct consequence of the Reformation: it was the Protestant faith and a Reformed Church which permitted England to run her affairs, without recourse to Rome. Thomas Cromwell drafted the fairly decisive Statute of Appeals which established this: "An Act that the appeals in such cases as have been used to be pursued to the See of Rome shall not be from henceforth had nor used but within this realm."

We are undoubtedly "part of Europe, culturally and historically", and yet we are apart. The Supreme Governor of the Church of England wears the Crown of the United Kingdom, and Parliament governs in her name. Of course, by virtue of her EU citizenship, she is subject to foreign courts and so no longer sovereign. But what Parliament can give away, it can reassert.

It is true that the European structures were "created for peace" after the major wars in the 20th century. But the structures need reform for greater accountability. We have learned after 40 years that this is not possible - not least because they were never designed to be accountable to the people - and there comes a point where you have to say enough is enough.

There is something spiritually, economically and politically naive about the belief that the the answer to all our problems is "more Europe", which will doubtless be the pan-European response to these elections. For our bishops and archbishops, it is as though Europe is the supranational way, truth and life: all things were made by it, and without it was not anything made which was made.

Both the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church are pathologically predisposed to bouts of Europhilia, sometimes verging on Eurotica. They’ve got Europe Panels, Europe spokesmen and Bishops' Conferences, all ostensibly concerned with the ‘Soul of Europe’ to ‘encourage the religious communities to present projects meetings, seminars social activities...; to contribute to the recognition and understanding of the ethical and spiritual dimension of European unification and Politics’.

Daniel Hannan MEP observed a few years ago:
As regular readers of this blog will know, one of my own recurrent themes is that the EU always pits the top brass against the Poor Bloody Infantry. This is true of the CBI, the TUC, the NFU, most political parties and, for that matter, most churches. I'll never forget walking past my local parish church in 1992 and seeing, among the prayers being posted, one for "the Maastricht Treaty and peace in Europe".
Let us by all means continue to pray for peace in Europe, but the EU's "ever closer union" is fast becoming a grievous cause of civil unrest and rising fascism. When it comes to 'Europe', there is an epistemic distance between the laity and the episcopacy. It is time for lay members of both the churches of England and Rome to object to this obsessive europhiliac nonsense, and to do so at the highest levels. God Himself instituted the separate nation states, and He appoints their kings, parliaments and legislatures. Britain would not be "isolated" if we were to leave the EU: secession would not be "disastrous".

It is not for the Shepherds of the Church to instil fear into their flocks. And neither is it their task to help re-create a political empire under the guise of missiological imperative. Jesus never aligned himself with the political ideology or objectives of the pagan Roman Empire: his modern representatives on earth ought to have no truck with its secular and increasingly anti-Christian successor.


Blogger Boring Bloke said...

It has always amazed me that Bishops of a church founded on (amongst other things) the principle,

"The King's Majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other his Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all Estates of this Realm, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign Jurisdiction."

and still (just about) proclaiming it to be part of the church's doctrine, can support the EU. Admittedly, of the 39 articles, this is probably the only one without clear warrant in scripture or the early church (being more derived from the politics of Henry VIII's bedchamber), but neither is it contrary to these founding sources of Anglicanism, and thus ought to be accepted by the Bishops and ministers of the church unless clear proof can be brought in from scripture or the early church that it is a bad idea.

What the Church of England needs most of all are Bishops who actually understand the faith of the church they claim to be members of.

26 May 2014 at 05:00  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The problem is that the elites who run Europe really don't trust the masses to perceive the benefits of union. It's that "false consciousness" problem. The masses need a vanguard ... dare we say a "vanguard of the masses" ... to keep them on task. The theory is "They will love it once we get it, but we have to keep them from stopping us getting it." It's something akin to enlightened noblesse oblige. Or at least they think so.


26 May 2014 at 05:08  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Indeed. The CofE's Europhile stance seem s to me to be based an a misunderstanding of the nature of socialism, for the EU is above all an international socialist Utopian entity. Socialism is not the same thing as a Christly approach to poverty. A biblically informed politics cannot be boiled down to redistributive tax and benefits.

And how I wish that Dan Hannan took over as party leader from 'Cast Iron Dave' but his past comments about the NHS and his excellent, cultured spoken English would be held against him.

26 May 2014 at 05:48  
Blogger MFH said...

YG .. You could do a series on "The church should reconsider its" ........
You should start with its oostion on bibilical authority.

26 May 2014 at 07:20  
Blogger The Explorer said...


Apocryphal though that Victorian headline may be, it does highlight both our historical proximity to Europe, and our historical separateness.

26 May 2014 at 08:30  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Your Grace, many thanks for this most excellent and timely article. It shows a deft grasp of current affairs.

It sets out my position almost to the letter, and therefore I need say little, except this.

Yes indeed, The Episcopacy of the C of E has a naive misunderstanding of the nature of the EU, its inherent socialism, and therefore its dangers for the Christian faith; as well it misunderstands the history, nature and mission of the English Church, which is indeed global, not just confined to tight little europe.

In past centuries the more energetic and intrepid priests and minsters took the plain gospel far and wide, doing sterling work, all to the glory of God. Today in Africa, and worldwide, a burgeoning Christianity, that puts the Mother church to shame, is the glorious legacy of this mission work. I welcome the return flow missionaries to revive our dying C of E. They would be a positive boost to the work of the many excellent committed evangelical ministers within Reform and Anglican mainstream, who are steadily expanding the faith. But given the dysfunctional way our borders are controlled, keeping out good Commonwealth and other citizens, but allowing in all and sundry from the wretched EU, regardless, they may be imprisoned at Heathrow - what an irony !

All this confusion and muddle headedness may spring from the sad, somewhat dysfunctional reality that the 39 Articles are quite simply ignored , except by the Reform Group to which I belong. Yes we have a leadership that has lost its understanding of what it is leading.

26 May 2014 at 08:49  
Blogger John Wrake said...


I must disagree profoundly with one statement in an otherwise excellent post.

The E.U. was NOT founded on the premise of maintaining peace in Europe.

Any reading of the words of its founders makes clear that the purpose was political dominance of the continent.

Rodney Atkinson has identified those who joined together to found the E.U. as a mixture of ex-Nazis, following on the plan set out in 1943 and doctrinaire Socialists wishing to form a power-bloc to counter American influence.

No doubt there were Europeans who misread those intentions, due to the horrors of WWII and their fear of the future risks to peace from the Soviet Union, but that was not the philosophy of the founding fathers.

John Wrake.

26 May 2014 at 10:13  
Blogger Albert said...

Historically, Britain's economic might and global influence came as a direct consequence of the Reformation

And the slave-trade!

26 May 2014 at 10:44  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

@ Carl Jacobs "The problem is that the elites who run Europe really don't trust the masses to perceive the benefits of union."

The masses who reside outside the M25 consist of uneducated, uncultured Northern proles, rural yokels and Essex chavs. These backward and benighted voters need to be sneered at and lampooned by the BBC in order to prevent them getting ideas above their station.

I expect there will be a more effective deployment of metropolitan establishment propaganda before the real election.

26 May 2014 at 10:54  
Blogger Albert said...


The masses who reside outside the M25 consist of uneducated, uncultured Northern proles, rural yokels and Essex chavs. These backward and benighted voters need to be sneered at and lampooned by the BBC in order to prevent them getting ideas above their station.

Yes. I've noticed that the more UKIP leaders said things that were "unacceptable", the more people voted for them. I reckon the reason people voted for UKIP is because they are fed up of being told what to think: variously immigration, race, homosexuality, Europe, and even what to eat - sugar, salt, fat, processed food. Along comes a beer drinking, chain-smoker like Farage with friends who say things politicians tell us we aren't allowed even to think, and people vote for him.

If the BBC et al continue to sneer at UKIP and such people, they will only strengthen them.

26 May 2014 at 11:21  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

The real interest is the success of the NF in France

They have a genuine right wing agenda that registers with working people

UKIP is really a centrist party and policies are no threat to anyone.

I agree with the commenter’s above that it is no coincidence that the Anglican Establishment have found the EU favourable just when they themselves are attempting to align the Church with secular values.

It makes not sense, but then does aligning the Church to secular values make sense either?

The only sense it makes perhaps is that it a well trodden path to decline as we have seen with other Denominations.

Biblical orthodoxy – growth

Liberalism – decline.

They are not stupid to why follow the losing team?

The same can be said for our mainstream politicians. Wishy washy policies gets no interest and no votes.

57% did not vote.

Now what would happen if the 57% heard something worth voting for?


26 May 2014 at 11:54  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Despite the silly words from the establishment lackeys MS media and press, Ukip is a moderate patriotic party that welcomes all colours and creeds to support British values and independence. It is NOT, a party of extremists. It's existence acts as disincentive to the growth of the far right, and many believe, explains partly at least, the collapse of the far right vote.
Ukip is the only party whose leader has stated that he is happy to be the flag bearer for the Judaeo-Christian heritage. We all know Cameron's deep respect for Christian values - he demands that "they get with the project" - that is his project, to redefine marriage and the entire understanding of man, woman and their relationship to children.

The establishment of this country has form in sneering at good movements, both theological and political. It may well be that violent revolution was averted due to the Christianising influence of The Methodists. But could the establishment of the time see this - oh no, and shame on the then Church of England for all but abandoning the industrial masses in the burgeoning northern manufacturing towns whilst, with a few notable exceptions, the clergy enjoyed a comfortable, respectable life ministering to the fewer, rural souls.

Blindness characterises the British establishment I believe. Churchill was shunned but his words of warning came true. Those outside mainstream, establishment politics, often in commerce or the more fringe theologies seem to see more clearly. Does not being too secure breed a sense of smugness and invincibility ? Are not prophets sent to jolt the smug out of such death embrace complacencies ? Was not Churchill a political prophet ? I suspect that the episcopacy, drawn from a certain type of establishment person generally, will be amongst the last to turn from their wrong headed muddle, confusion and misunderstanding of so much. For now let the forces of change sweep around them. But those forces will not come to rest until they have achieved the goal of regaining our independence.

We are in so many ways a global, outward looking nation, interested in continental europe, friends with its many fine peoples, but we will form our own ways forward, politically and theologically.

26 May 2014 at 12:23  
Blogger Integrity said...

Well done Cranmer, a good swipe at the top heavy misguided administration or the CofE. You may not have forgiven me but I now have high hopes for you.

Our dear departed John Richardson has on his bog still; The Church of England has only consecrated one Conservative Evangelical bishop of 'complementarian' views since 1997. Since he retired in October 2012, it has been without ANY of that persuasion

How do you change an unelected administration without rebellion?

26 May 2014 at 12:32  
Blogger WindsorBloke said...

Perhaps the bishops of the CofE should be reminded to render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's etc.....

26 May 2014 at 12:35  
Blogger John Wrake said...

Albert at 10.44:

Very little historical justification for your comment.

If it were true, why did not those countries without reformed religion who supported the slave trade, like Portugal and Brazil, not enjoy the same economic might and global influence?

The slave trade is often quoted as a stick to beat the British. That trade was a blight and an affront to humanity which has existed since ancient times, fostered and practised by Greeks, Romans, Africans, Arabs, Europeans and Americans, but it was the Protestant British who put a stop to it across most of the world.

John Wrake.

26 May 2014 at 12:36  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace

The EU presents a clear and present danger to the UK in the form of the 43 Articles that are to be implemented on 1st November 2014. After that date, to all intents and purposes the UK ceases to exist as a self-governing polity. It is a terrible end for a nation that fought its way out of absolute monarchy by way of parliamentary democracy to great power and wealth, apparently to be subsumed by an absolute bureaucracy. No bang, not even a whimper until 22nd May 2014.

Now that the electorate has delivered such a powerful rebuff to Lib/lab/con and similar cabals across Europe, one can only hope that the EU will reschedule the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon, through indefinite deferral. The alternative could well be a series of revolts that will make 1848 look like the work of amateurs.

We should leave the CofE to follow at a safe distance, as it does on most things.

26 May 2014 at 12:47  
Blogger Albert said...

John Wrake,

Very little historical justification for your comment.

I think you may not have read my comment. It was not that Britain's wealth rests on the slave trade, but that the slave trade was a factor.

Are you going to deny that?

The slave trade is often quoted as a stick to beat the British.

I wasn't using it as a stick with which to beat the British, I was pointing out that it was a factor.

26 May 2014 at 13:02  
Blogger Owl said...




If the UK and Ireland were to leave the EU then the continent would most certainly be the anglosphere.

I know who stands to lose most.

26 May 2014 at 13:03  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Owl @ 13.03

The Republic of Ireland are our friends and should be invited to rejoin the Commonwealth - obviously with suitable very private discussions beforehand, as in the way of these things. The Republic constitutes an important trading partner, and the two countries (The UK being a 4 countries in 1 arrangement ) form, physically, The British Isles.

26 May 2014 at 13:10  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

I am amazed if so many are pro-Europe. Are they really not just fast asleep but snoring loudly as they fail to perceive what the purposes of the founders was? Are they morally happy with the year after year unsigned off accounts? Are they morally happy about the lavish expenses? Are they morally happy at the loss of democracy, and that not only would it be expensive to lobby en masse the European Parliament, but pretty pointless as the unelected Commissioners are the ones who make all the big decisions?

Also are they happy with the morality of those chosen to be commissioners who represent us?

Because I for one would expect them to have researched who started it and why, and not be blinded by Armani suits, prestige and celebrity. I would expect them to be anxious on the average morality of the commissioners we have sent over. Better a virtuous poor man in a raggedy pair of jeans than a rhetorical rogue in a smart suit and some dodgy finances. One might expect Bishops not to be fooled by the "worldling's splendour" but sadly it seems that this is not always the case.

But perhaps they will be pondering over their episcopal cornflakes as to whether they might have lost touch with the man and woman on the street in these matters.

26 May 2014 at 13:21  
Blogger Shadrach said...

If the Conservatives were committed to re-negotiation, why haven't they started already, rather than wait to see if they get a majority. Blackmail perhaps?

26 May 2014 at 14:01  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I think Cranmer's Churchill quote* has been manufactured; in part taken out of context and possibly ‘coloured’ intentionally or not by Nigel Farage or perhaps his source. It’s a pity there is no link to the actual ‘quote’ as it appears in the OP: as far as I can ascertain, it does not seem to appear in Hansard of May 11 1953.

Regarding the ‘choice between Europe and the open sea’ - Churchill is alleged to have shouted a remark to Charles de Gaulle, in a row on the eve of the Normandy landings in 1944, to show side with Roosevelt over France, something along the lines of ‘*Every time I have to decide between you and Roosevelt, I will always choose Roosevelt.’

Far from Churchill being opposed to a United Europe, he was very much a progenitor of a United Europe, recognising that primacy for peace in Europe rested between France and Germany, going back to the days of the post WW1 Locarno Treaty:
‘As Chancellor of the Exchequer in those days I was closely acquainted with it. It was based upon the simple provision that if Germany attacked France we should stand with the French, and if France attacked Germany we should stand with the Germans’.

Churchill, stood with Robert Schuman, in calling for Franco-German reconciliation in a united Europe, in a speech in Metz on 14 July 1946, calling for a United States of Europe, and to begin with, a Council of Europe …. Even to the extent of forming a European military.

The major parting of the waves happened when France and Germany formed the Coal/Steel pact forerunner to the Common Market, without consulting Britain.

26 May 2014 at 14:07  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Dreanaught.

Churchill is frequently quoted on either side of the EC argument. He was very critical and dubious about the concept of a pan-European army calling it a "sludgy amalgam". TO what extent you can apply this phrase outwards to the whole EU, or the erstwhile EEC, is a moot point.

It is fascinating how a manic depressive provided such leadership during the war, but also salutary to remember that bipolar disorder usually worsens with age, and that it may be unwise to look for complete consistency from an aged manic depressive. It is highly possible he was ambivalent. Is it not enough that he led the country through a war in which we came to a hair's breadth closeness to destruction without also expecting him to provide superb guidance for decades to come?

26 May 2014 at 14:32  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Lucy Mullen @ 13.21

Brilliant post, but mark you, others before me have noted that the episcopal breakfast table is far more likely to have a bowl of muesli nestling alongside their daily dose of "The Guardian".

Therein lies the gulf between many in the pews and the "leadership" of the C of E, a microcosm of that gulf that has for some time separated the people, from the establishment generally and its tame media.

The elite are mainly lefty-liberal types, who see the BBC 's horribly, silly and oh so biased gushings as normal, but increasingly many of the people do not. This dangerous gulf of non-undestanding has grown over some decades.

Unless the establishment recognise this, and cooperates with the redesign of the body politic to make it fit for purpose, reflecting our true traditions and the will of the people, then though the hour be late, far worse sparks will fly, and indeed should fly - indeed there will be a revolt !

26 May 2014 at 14:44  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

Having said that I had a relation who knew him who was adamant that he was against Britain joining the EEC.

And a possible scenario that I think takes in all the quotations is that he thought it was a good idea for the continent, but not to the extent of federalism, and thought that it was not for Britain.
Cranmer's quotation is easily sourced, and very apposite, I would say..

26 May 2014 at 14:45  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ David H

Yes, cornflakes was perhaps off!! Nothing against muesli which was my own breakfast choice for a while, though not with "The Guardian" (!),but I have degenerated towards chocolate croissants!!

I thought the BBC election coverage was fairer than I expected, and the gaffes against UKIP, like suggesting that they might ally with the Front National, were fairly swiftly corrected, and the new reality repeated. They do struggle with understanding that the totalitarian- anarchist axis is as important as the left-right one, and their experts were in part a bit jejeune for the women were too young, too American and too inexperienced and partially there seemingly for their looks. There are women who can say very worthwhile things but they tend not to be so attractive, and tend to have been immersed in UK culture for decades and generations. TV does need to grow up. However David Dimbleby did press politicians for not just a response to the views of the electorate, but to outline what they were going to do to enact a response. I felt a little sorry for Jeremy Vine making his way through a sea of lollipops with the different countries' votes upon them, but overall it was OK!!

26 May 2014 at 15:03  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I can only go by the accredited sources I found. If you wish to contend my references I hope you would do the same. If Hansard can only offer 'moot' content I'd be very much surprised.

26 May 2014 at 15:16  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Lucy Mullen

I agree the BBC coverage was not too bad, but I did baulk when David Dimbleby spoke of one party being of the far right and another being of the radical left in the same sentence. Still I suppose it will take a while for these metropolitan, media types to adjust to the new terrain.

26 May 2014 at 15:19  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Lucy above.

26 May 2014 at 15:19  
Blogger Anglican said...

Rather to my surprise I agree with (part) of what the former Bishop of Guildford said about Europe. We are part of Europe – culturally, historically and geographically. But what has that to do with the EU? The EU is a continuing disaster. What I would vote for is a European Free Trade Area, with cooperation in many areas, both bi-lateral and multi-lateral, between European countries. There is not the least need for the undemocratic, financially corrupt and overbearing EU.
By the way, what is wrong with muesli, on a large plate of porridge? But certainly no Guardian (which I read in my young days, before I grew up).
Has anyone else noticed that the BBC refers to political parties it dislikes as ‘far right’ (which some may well be), but never, to my knowledge, refers to any as ‘far left’?

26 May 2014 at 15:34  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Dreadnaught

is a link which places this in context. This link actually claims that the words were written rather than spoken, and in 1930, but continued to express his expectations that the UK would be a facilitator, a friendly observer, and not a participator in European community.

It is a rather lofty and romantic idea, of a man for whom Empire and Commonwealth were still part of the furniture. The author of the article describes his views as "the natural emanation of a man immersed in certainty that history entitled Britain to ordain the best of all worlds for herself".

However his views maybe didn't worry enough about how other nations in Europe might see this unity as undesirable. Yesterday's votes showed how many in those nations are unhappy.

26 May 2014 at 15:43  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Lucy Not the resounding testimony for provenenance of the 'quote' I was hoping for, but thanks anyway

26 May 2014 at 16:06  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Lucy Mullen,

Thank you for responding in an appropriate vein to my more than slightly tongue in cheek reference to the muesli/ cornflakes AXIS, but it points to a truth I think, albeit in an intellectually lazy sort of way.

Without getting bogged down in precise chapter and verse ( which I leave to the Hansard anoraks), my recollections of writings touching on Churchill's character, attitude to Empire, Britain and europe all point towards supporting your version of how he saw europe's moves to avoid the worst of nationalism, being viewed in an encouraging, supportive way, but from a semi-detached British position.

It is unthinkable that he would have spoken, worked and voted for the incorporation of his beloved country within an european single state -and a total loss of sovereignty. Indeed his very fabric would have rose in full revolt ! I doubt whether he saw it as more than some form of friendly cooperation between the main western continental european nations, and no further east than W. Germany.

26 May 2014 at 16:10  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

David Hussell

( which I leave to the Hansard anoraks),

You're such a bumptious oaf Hussell.

You just can't stand reading something you haven't written yourself in case it disturbs what you prefer to believe.

26 May 2014 at 16:36  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

This is an important day for the Inspector, he’ll have you know. You see, he takes his guidance in many matters from Cranmer, and has finally come to the conclusion that the only way we’ll ever see the end of these ‘District Administrators cum bishops’ is to disestablish. There’s no end to their meddling in affairs of this world when they should be concentrating on the souls of man. They’re getting to be as bad as the pre reformation church, these petty officials in their palaces.

So, throw the whole lot out of the governor’s office and tell them to confine their interests to the church. We can start with My Lord Bishops who sit in the Lords.

If Christ can throw the money men out of the temple, we can do the same with priests who tell us the way the world should conduct its affairs. That’s OUR job, not theirs ! They need to be put in their place, before they put us in ours.

There. Said it !!

26 May 2014 at 16:53  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Got it off your chest Inspector have we. Quite right too. But I'm not quite sure if your motive is right. I might suspect that as an RC you might just be wanting to get even for events long ago.

26 May 2014 at 17:10  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Not at all Shadrach. The mechanics of Christian faith does not interest this man to such a degree that he would willingly do the dirty on the Anglican community.

26 May 2014 at 17:18  
Blogger Len said...

If those behind the EU had been honest and forthright with their intentions for a federal Europe not many of the public would have wanted to join.
But the elites steered us in the direction of a Union without consultation with the people.
As the EU has proceeded with its plan for a United States of Europe many people have the feeling (quite rightly ) that they have been 'conned' and their sense of feeling about living in a democracy has been devalued.
The people have voted against closer union, against having their freedoms taken away,people want a say in who rules them and who makes the laws and the EU is not doing that.
The Church cannot remain part of this corrupt world system because it then becomes one with the problem and cannot point to the solution which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

26 May 2014 at 17:19  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Dreadnaught @ 16.36

"can't stand something you haven't written yourself in case it disturbs what you prefer to believe"

Rubbish, Dreadnaught, rubbish. I champion free speech.

But do put something on that skin to thicken it up a bit.

26 May 2014 at 17:25  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I champion free speech.

Try 'reading' some, then comment.

26 May 2014 at 17:32  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! No muesli served at breakfast in the Palace at Barchester, just tripe.

26 May 2014 at 18:34  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

If any of you fellows comes across a prediction of what current UKIP support as projected on our first past the post parliamentary democracy would result, do say...

26 May 2014 at 18:54  
Blogger Marie1797 said...


It does seem possible that Churchill would have said words like that in 1953 even though our empire was slowly being handed back by then, it was through our adventurous spirit and conquering the seas that we had created the worlds first multinational -The East India Company which had traded successfully for around 300 years from 1601. It all started in 1591 when Queen Elizabeth I granted permission to London merchants to sail to the Indian Ocean where one ship the “Edward Bonventure” made it round cape Comorin and on to the Malay Peninsula returning to England in 1594. Later in January 1601 Q Elizabeth I gave her approval and support to The Earl of Cumberland, merchants and adventurers of the East India voyage to sail to the Indian Ocean, They set up trade deals and business flourished all round. I don't see why we have to be bound by the EU.

The Bishops need to assert their energies in more preaching on Jesus and against the modern day evils of greed and corporate greed, the evils of people trafficking and modern day slavery, corruption and corrupt politics, and against sleaze in society.

26 May 2014 at 19:18  
Blogger Martin said...

I cannot help but wonder at a church that considers socialism more important than the preaching of the gospel.

Perhaps the CoE bishops should spend some time reading sermons, like those of Charles Spurgeon & Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and seek the souls of men as Jonathan Edwards whose sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" they would do well to emulate.

Then perhaps the CoE would appear less like the churches of Sardis and Laodicea


26 May 2014 at 19:20  
Blogger Roy said...

Albert said...

Historically, Britain's economic might and global influence came as a direct consequence of the Reformation

And the slave-trade!

Other countries participated in the Slave Trade but none of them invented the Industrial Revolution which was the true foundation of Britain's might and global influence.

Industrial Revolutions don't grow on trees!

26 May 2014 at 19:41  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Roy @ 19.41

You may have heard this before but, just in case, it's worth saying that,

All societies recognised slavery, in its different forms, but it took a protestant Christian one to pass laws to make it illegal. Wilberforce was a committed evangelical C of E believer who dedicated his life to it, at great personal and professional cost. But to hear the anti-Christian mob you'd think that he never existed and that the Royal Navy never patrolled the seas off west Africa to physically stop it. It is always a useful fact to throw at the "I hate Christianity" mob. The thinking atheists can be fine,but its the ignorant ones that seem to predominate, or are the most noisy anyway.

26 May 2014 at 20:02  
Blogger Albert said...


I think I have answered your point already.

26 May 2014 at 21:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeremy Vine wasn't making his way through a sea of lollipops. He was walking on water amid the lifebelts that keep what's left of their economies afloat.

The left-right divide is not what it seems. The interventionist policies of the FN place them on the left. This idea trumpeted by the media that the centerists are flanked by left & right extremists is simplistic. True there is no love lost between these extreme anti-austerity or anti-EU groupings. But they are leftist and they will both assault the common enemy, the Commission and its Eurocracy. (Probably physically as well as verbally when debates overheat as they most certainly will.)

26 May 2014 at 22:01  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Albert said...

John Wrake,

Very little historical justification for your comment.

I think you may not have read my comment. It was not that Britain's wealth rests on the slave trade, but that the slave trade was a factor." (Bit like Rome's wealth from the New World?)

Are you going to deny that? (Are YOU?)

The slave trade is often quoted as a stick to beat the British.(It is sometimes conveniently forgotten the blessing given by the RCC to countries such as Spain and Portugal, in their adventures/enterprises in the New World)

I wasn't using it as a stick with which to beat the British, I was pointing out that it was a factor.(As has Ernst, pointing out the hypocrisy of Rome!!..."Albert said...

Historically, Britain's economic might and global influence came as a direct consequence of the Reformation

And the slave-trade!" The mere mention of the word 'Reformation' towards Britain's historical greatness when mentioned on here, seems to irk RCC's no end.

Dum Diversas onwards, with Pope Calixtus III reiterated the bull in 1456 with Etsi cuncti, renewed by Pope Sixtus IV in 1481 and Pope Leo X in 1514 with Precelse denotionis.

The concept of the consignment of exclusive spheres of influence to certain nation states was then extended to the Americas in 1493 by Pope Alexander VI with Inter caetera.

Which only goes to show that Rome is always first on the scene for any means of finding a nice little earner, to drop into the church's coffer)


26 May 2014 at 23:04  
Blogger Len said...

And that very nice man Cortez brought Catholicism to the pagans.Cortez stole from the Aztecs, looted and destroyed their temples, in the process of 'converting them'(and confiscating any gold he could find) killed and enslaved many natives.

27 May 2014 at 00:03  
Blogger Albert said...

Ernst et al,

Are you going to deny that?

Of course not. BTW, your comment shows, as earlier did, a complete failure to understand the point I made.

As a matter of interest, all the Weberean emphasis on the Reformation, to what do you chaps attribute the wealth of the Italian city states?

27 May 2014 at 08:39  
Blogger graham wood said...

Slightly off topic but relevant.

No doubt many in the C of E hierarchy will join Cameron's call for "reform" of the EU" as the recent election results "bite" in the pro-EU Establishment.

But reform of the EU is not possible for it is nothing more than a totalitarian power structure and resistance to any such reform is inbuilt within its institutions.
Thus to effect "reform" would be to destroy it - and that would be like a turkeys voting for Christmas scenario.
The EU is self defined (in its hidden but real objective to dominate the European states); self appointed, and self regulated.
The EU "parliament" gives it a mere figment of democracy.
To reform the EU would mean democratising it at every level and in all its institutions.
But that would immediately threaten the status, perks, wealth and lavish lifestyles of all its bureaucrats, and that would never do.
Under new pressure to reform a few superficial changes will probably be announced but nothing fundamental or radical.
The three equally unaccountable and unelected instruments of real control will remain: the Central Bank, the Council of Ministers, and the EU Commission.
The EU is in effect impossible to reform. It has to be destroyed.

27 May 2014 at 09:30  
Blogger David Hussell said...

graham wood @ 09.30

Quite !

We are about to see the Conservatives roll out another deception based on a misunderstanding of the nature and purposes of the EU. How Labour will react i am not sure.
Lazy MPs who cannot be bothered to study its foundational documents may genuinely believe that it can be significantly reformed, whilst others are not so naive, but will support their "side", putting that before country and principle, just for a safe seat and a quiet life.
Tactical euro-fanatics embedded within the EU may well concede certain powers in order to live to fight another day, taking the long view, waiting for the older generation to die, only for their totalitarian ambitions to reemerge.
Unless the beast is totally crushed I fear deep trouble ahead. So the task is to continue to campaign for its removal by explaining its true nature and purposes, all without allowing the genuine enthusiasts or their "useful idiots' to potray us as extremists.

27 May 2014 at 09:46  
Blogger Len said...

Cameron turns up at the EU and says "we need to reform the EU".
Angela Merkel says "Nein".
Cameron "well I tried"
End of story.

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

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 May 2014 at 20:12  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 May 2014 at 20:14  

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