Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Comment from the Chair of St Augustine

 As a letter to The Guardian pointed out, the colon in a recent headline was misplaced. The headline should have read: The Archbishop no-one voted for: coalition policies.

No reason why His Grace should not have voiced criticism of the policies of our coalition government, of course, and few with any sense would disagree with what he said. But it is hard to see why so many objected to him saying it: he is entitled to say anything he likes, even when has no special knowledge of the subject, for no-one would take him seriously; the man is totally lacking in charisma.

The silly hat is not his fault, for that goes with the job, but he clearly cares nothing for his appearance, not even having the decency to trim his preposterous eyebrows. Lamentable!

But recent Primates of All England have been a pretty uninspiring bunch. His immediate predecessors—Coggan, Runcie and Carey—were respectively dull, hypocritical and slimy, so I suppose Williams, mad eyebrows and all, is an improvement on them. But for a bit of style you have to go back to Ramsey, a genial old person who once very nearly gave me the immense privilege of sharing a drink and a chat. If you bother to follow that link, you will find not only a report on this memorable encounter, but also a note about John Whitgift, whose stylishness has never been surpassed since he died in 1604, though his contemporary detractors said he was just a show-off and deplored his ecclesiastical bling. 

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