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Archive for April 12th, 2009

The Archbishop of Canterbury is encouraging us to take advantage of the credit-crunch and consider a monastic life.  As it happens, I am living a fairly monastic, reclusive life.  As with monks, I drink wine – although I tend to buy,  rather than make , my own wine,…  not having cracked the water into wine stunt.

From the pulpit of Canterbury Cathedral, hardly a modest building and one steeped in history of Church acquisition and temporal power, Dr Williams encouurages us…“Accepting voluntary limitation to your acquisitiveness, your sexual appetite, your freedom of choice doesn’t look so absurd after all as a path to some sort of stability and mutual care. We should be challenging ourselves and our church to a new willingness to help this witness to flourish and develop.” (Guardian)

Being a devout and confirmed non-believer I did a quick Google search to find out how much priests earn.  The Chief Rabbi appears to be the highest paid,  with salary and ‘benefits’ approaching the 100k mark.  The Archbishop of Canterbury at 2002 figures (the latest I could find) is on just inder £60k but he does get a stretch limo with a driver, an apartment at Lambeth Palace, one at Canterbury Cathedral and, no doubt his kit is provided.  I suspect that his pension and retirement  arrangements  and  the one way ticket to the kingdom of heaven are also … as we say… East of London… sorted.

Anyway… nothing wrong with making a living as an illusionist… David Copperfield and many others do the same thing, albeit with different props.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the high street, the Blairs have popped up again. The Independent reports: “Mr Blair began last month with an article insisting political leaders needed to “do God”. Then, last week, he directly criticised Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican for their “entrenched attitude” towards homosexuality. But while his words were applauded by gay rights campaigners, Mr Blair sparked a withering response from leading Catholics by comparing the Church with a political party that needed its own Clause 4 moment to change with the times”

Mrs Blair, now possibly in need of a bit of press and other media attention,  is out and about publicising her autobiography.  This is unlikely to be on my reading list as my taste lies with  great figures from history, politics and science – the more villainous and venal the better – so her husband’s books will be on  my list. She did say that she doesn’t agree with the Pope’s stance on condoms and AID however…  so something selfless as opposed to self-aggrandising.

Perhaps Blair isn’t going for President of Europe after all – perhaps he is  running for Pope. The Independent notes: “Mr Blair, in his interview with the gay magazine Attitude, said: “Organised religions face the same dilemma as political parties when faced with changed circumstances”

The great story of the day is the resignation of McBride for planning a series of nasty smears against Tory politicans. There was even talk of George Osborne dressed up in stockings, suspenders and high heels when he was younger.  Frankly, I prefer to have my politicans with a sense of humour having done amusing things in their younger days than some dessicated worthy with absolutely no sins and, therefore, no experience of real life. Guido broke the story and covers it fully – as do the main newspapers.

Did Gordon Brown know what McBride, his closest political adviser, was up to? I have no idea as I haven’t got access to Brown’s emails or phonecalls – although he, or rather his government, now have access to the timing and place  of mine. The Fat Bigot has a view and his blog post on the matter is worth a read. It is ironic, in a week when ISPs have to keep records of emails sent by all citizens of the United Kingdom to allow the government to poke about that the government should be hoist by emails emanating from the very heart of power.  Have a look at Ian Parker-Joseph’s excellent blog post on this and his wonderful plan to thwart the government by putting a whole series of key words  like bomb, Al Qaeda, terrorist, grenade, pigs, troughts, North Korea etc etc in the signature of all his emails. As Ian is the leader of The Libertarian Party UK if his emails and telephone calls weren’t being monitored before they may well be rather more closely now!

On that note…. I have to get to bed early… there is a lot of rising going on tomorrow.

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