Saturday, 23 May 2009

No, Rowan

I hear that the Archbishop has said that:
"The continuing systematic humiliation of politicians itself threatens to carry a heavy price in terms of our ability to salvage some confidence in our democracy."
No, Rowan, it was the evident abuse and, in some cases, outright venality that has exacted a heavy price. We are simply in the process of discovering just how heavy that price has been. What you see as damaging to our confidence in democracy is actually the communication to our politicians of the strength of our disapproval.

You are, effectively, calling for the abuses to be kept quiet for the greater good. That was Martin's approach, and the people have made it quite clear what they think of that. We need to keep the revelations going, expose absolutely everything, and start again with an open system of expenses in which honesty is enforced by sunlight, not the Fees Office.


  1. I agree, Patently. But you address the Archbishop as Rowan. Tut, tut, you have assumed familiarity. The Most Reverend and Right Honourable the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury may regard his title and its privileges as important.

  2. Am I being disrespectful?


  3. Is that his full title?
    I knew him when he was just plain old Archie Bishop.
    "Basher" was his nickname.For the usual reason.

  4. Patently, missed the point again? Let me add correction. I suggest you plead that all men are equal in the eyes of God.

    Yet which God is that? There are now many faiths that warrant representation and yet the Church of England enjoys rights not conferred on others that are possibly unnecessary. Many aspects of parliament are long overdue for reform.

    So why is the Archbishop so concerned about the plight of a few MPs? MPs are already thick skinned from the gritty business of politics. The Archbishop should be more concerned that he oversees a flock facing the perils of a recession who cannot feather their nests. What I am saying is that the Archbishop is safeguarding the feathers in the nest of the role of the Church.

    You were being disrespectful, but you can pray for forgiveness and be nice.

  5. "You are, effectively, calling for the abuses to be kept quiet for the greater good. "

    Or in other words, 'stealing a policy from the Catholic church'...

  6. Measured. Everyone in the Church of England calls Rowan “Rowan”.

    Patently. If you read the whole of Rowan’s article, you will see that he is saying something not unlike what you were saying in 'Rules & Procedures are not enough'. He certainly is not saying, “You are, effectively, calling for the abuses to be kept quiet for the greater good.”

    Julia M. Doing something evil for the greater good, is explicitly condemned in Catholic teaching, which serves to emphasise how wicked Catholics are when they behave in that way. The utilitarian principle you attribute to Catholicism, is more usually accepted by secular minded ethicists

  7. Albert, I do not know the Archbishop, nor how he would like to be addressed, nor how other people choose to address him, but it is telling that you did not attempt to rebut the underlying point I was making.

    I for one continue to endorse Patently's post.

  8. Measured.
    I could not address your underlying point because it is not clear to me - on the contrary, you make so many points, I do not know which is underlying and which are overlying! But if you clarify, I'll gladly respond, assuming I disagree with you!

    As for standing by Patently's post, have you read Rowan's piece in Times? I agree that we need to know what's gone on, and I suspect on reading the article so does Rowan. How he was reported by the BBC does not reflect his thought - as George Pticher points out in today's Telegraph.

  9. Albert,

    "So why is the Archbishop so concerned about the plight of a few MPs?"

  10. Measured. Thanks for the clarification - that wasn't at all what I thought your underlying point was!!

    It's true that from the BBC it seems that Rowan is worrying about the MPs, but from the article, it's clear he is worried about our democracy itself. The piece is over 1000 words long - and only 50 or so could misinterpreted as worrying about the plight of MPs.

  11. Curiously enough, a few years ago, there was a bit of a rumpus about the expenses of Church of England bishops. For more details, see The Ugley Vicar.