The Plastic Hippo

June 11, 2011

Murder in the cathedral

Filed under: Education,History,Law,Politics,Society,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 4:25 pm


The last time an Archbishop of Canterbury had the cheek to challenge the power of the state, it ended in more than tears. Some over zealous knights misheard an aside from Henry II and nipped down to the cathedral to bash the brains out of Thomas Becket. One can only hope that the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Rowan Williams has a stout lock on the vestry door.

Given the now blatant rush by the coalition government to dismantle anything resembling a compassionate and responsible state, the comments made by the Primate of All England seem pretty tame compared to what is being said in hospitals, care homes, schools and the few remaining four-ale bar rooms of this sceptred isle. By suggesting that: “With remarkable speed, we are being committed to radical, long-term policies for which no one voted” the Archbishop could be accused of stating the bleeding obvious.

By raising his concerns over the “reforms” being made to health, welfare and education, the leader of the third largest group of Christians on the planet is in danger of being branded as a radical, extremist religious nutter and may find himself banged up for daring to question an illegitimate government. That might seem to be a ridiculous scenario but consider the coalitions latest initiative on countering terrorism which urges British Muslims to embrace “British” values. Presumably “British” values include a lovely bacon butty, cheap cider and taking the kids to a supermarket and then shouting at them. The strange logic being that if you don’t embrace “British” values, then you are a terrorist. Rowan Williams has a big, scary beard, bushy eyebrows and wears funny clothes. Quite what Home Secretary Theresa May and my Lord Carlile, Baron of Berriew would make of Jesus Christ is anyones guess.

Within hours of Dr Williams suggesting that the government did not have a mandate to destroy, sorry “reform”, health, welfare and education, a succession of coalition attack dogs were off the leash and bashing the archbishop.

“Wrong, wrong, wrong” they bellowed. “The government is helping people kick their benefit habit. It is for their own good. The sick, the disabled, the old and the young have to stand on their own two (or possibly one or none) feet, bloody scroungers. We are being kind to them. What the hell does this weirdo Christian fundamentalist know about compassion, love, understanding and the principles of basic humanity. He likes Sharia Law and he’s got a criminal record.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury was, when he was chaplain of Clare College Cambridge, arrested, convicted and fined in 1985. His crime was singing psalms outside the Lakenheath US air base as part of a CND protest. Given the criminal activities of MPs, Peers and the press involving fraud, deception, phone hacking, avoidance of traffic offences and even, more topically, allegations of serious sexual assault, the attack dogs of hypocrisy have managed to put yet more distance between their mortal coil and heaven.

Some expence fiddling “honourable” members went so far as to suggest that the Archbishop`s criticism Michael Gove`s Academies Bill was based on vested interest due to the Church of England`s school estate. Gove`s bill was fast-tracked into law in a legislative proceedure usually reserved for times of national threat and without debate or consultation. The act has to be reviewed again as sudden realisation has dawned upon the small particle of brain located within the skull of the Education Secretary that his sums are wrong…again.

If the infallibility of the bishopric is true, then Dr Williams speaks on behalf of Almighty God, which might prove to be inconvenient when the day comes when the likes of Cameron and Osborne and Clegg and Cable and the editors of certain newspapers are required to present themselves at the pearly gates. If God actually exists, Rowan Williams will undoubtedly enter the kingdom of heaven. If only it were true. That would mean that Gove, Pickles, Willetts, Lansley, Iain Duncan Smith and the rest of the millionaires in cabinet will burn in hell for eternity. There is no point in listing the Liberal Democrats, they are destined to wander purgatory in perpetuity for their obscene betrayal.

But, before we all rush to throw away our crutches, cry hallelujah and be born again into the Anglican Communion, it might be worth considering the the actions of the Church of England regarding education in Walsall. The Diocese of Lichfield, in an unholy marriage with the whore of Babylon Serco, have washed their hands of the education of Walsall children.

After years of neglect and little support, Blue Coat Church of England Comprehensive School is the latest place of learning to be sacrificed on the alter of Michael Gove`s ambition. Battling against crumbling and inadequate buildings and facing the implacable ignorance, spite and incompetence of Serco and the Bishop of Lichfield`s duplicitous education “experts”, the Head Teacher has been cast out into the wilderness. The Governing Body has been summarily dismissed and replaced with an Interim Executive Board comprising of God knows who with the aim of forcing academy status upon the unfortunate school. The Governing Body were blamed for the failings of Serco and the school is nowhere near the conditions for academy conversion. The Christian folk at the diocese happily conspired in all of this without the involvement or knowledge of parents, teachers, governors or, more importantly, students. It would seem that the deceitful will inherit the earth.

Thomas Becket challenged the state over the control of lands, wealth and power and three years after his grey cells ended up all over the flagstones inside Canterbury Cathedral was immortalised as a saint and Christian martyr. It is alleged that his noble assassins took their cue from an exasperated Henry II who is thought to have said: “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”. As long as Reginald FitzUrse, Hugh de Morville, William de Tracy and Richard le Breton remain safely in their graves, Rowan Williams is unlikely to have his head top-sliced in the name of deficit reduction.

However, by voicing Christian concerns over the the cynical attack on the poor, weak and vulnerable, the Archbishop has incurred the wrath of more contemporary barons. The Daily Mail, the Telegraph and those paragons of virtue at News International have already unsheathed their swords.

For theirs is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.

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