Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Boris on Scotland

You will remember how Jeremy Corbyn came along and dismembered Scottish Labour with his attitude to devolution. To me it is no surprise at all that Boris Johnson did the same yesterday with his ill judged comments about devolution. This morning on R4 it was left to wise old Malcolm Rifkind to try to make some sense of it all. However so far no-one has tackled the elephant in the room. It is BREXIT. Guy Opperman had me telling the citizens of Hawick in 2014 that the only way to stay in the EU was to stay in the British Union. I am never going to forget that, as two years later that was swept down the pan. Support for EU membership, admiration for Sturgeon's government style, these remain strong and now with the crucial independence vote coming next May, the SNP have been handed a silver salver. Westminster Tories and Islington Socialites are incapable of understanding Scotland will be the mantra. I will level: the sooner Boris is gone the better. He is an utter disaster. He cannot manage social distancing in his own home, told to isolate, he opens his mouth on devolution! I am not keen on Scottish independence but Scotland is quite entitled to say our settled will was to remain in the EU and the UK government has to square that or else the UK becomes a footnote in history. It is a difficult one to square as is a Border in the Irish Sea and there are now only a few weeks in the world wide pandemic in which to do it. If we crash out to no deal on Jan 1st the resultant chaos will ensure a SNP walk over in May. Independence could easily follow even if I candidly feel it will not become a bed of economical roses. I also do feel that to insist on a referendum in 2021 when we are still reeling from Covid is rather beneath the belt. All Britons Take note, what happens between us and the EU in the next few short weeks will really affect whether you have one united union of nations to be proud of or not.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Monuments and the Queen

Emma Soames ""We've come to this place where history is viewed only entirely through the prism of the present," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. " Much of me has done my best to avoid talking about the rascist controversies. I am certain George Floyd died unjustly. But I am very uncomfortable about much that has happened in the middle of a pandemic lately. Yet to argue about this, easily takes one into a corner one does not want to be in. Do not think I have not thought and prayed about it much. So hear my best offering. At the root of all this lies man's readiness to bully other people. We just love it. I hated school for this reason, dammed near suicidally. I hated workplace bullies, I found my Lady and we have tried to build our little bit of heaven on earth. On all this I hate bullies, I am clearly with George Floyd but what if rioting and civil protest, taking over precincts in Seattle itself looks like bullying? How do we get out of this? I am offering this answer. We recognise that the ultimate bully, the one who started it all is God the creator (because I will not accept the Genesis account and that because man did not consciously fault but faulted into consciousness (I am with Auden, that profound bisexual poet of the 20th c (courting controvery at several levels there))). Auden learnt that, and says so bluntly, in our Pennine backyard. So grant to me any God who created this world must bear some responsibility for the bullying. What should we do in this moment? Surely logic says in the mood of our moment, anything that speaks of God must be torn down. We must not remember we believed. Justice can only be served by removal. Destroy the churches and temples! What does that remind you of? It reminds me of what happened in England after the reformation and in the Commonwealth. Is that the world you wish to be in because we could be quite near creating it in all this monument bashing? Alternatively you might want to read the Gospel stories again and see if some saving paradox is present? So give me a protest in Whitehall today or the Queen's ceremonies at Windsor and I will be with her. A most remarkable woman of faith. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53033550

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

House of Bishops

I have just listened to R4 Thought for the Day. More often than not its announcement jumps me out of bed to switch the radio off. Today was the Revd. Giles Fraser and he rightly ripped into last week's House of Bishops report on Civil Partnerships. His most telling comment that the church blesses warships but will not accept that people can choose to love each other and value person before gender. Despite Jesus clearly valuing person before gender and the whole idea of "One God in three persons, holy and blessed Trinity" getting on for being two thousand years old. This week I have encountered a dear friend who is very much exercised by this dinosaur like mentality. I know many broad minded ministers and I know others who would struggle to welcome a gay couple into church and communion. This is such a pathetic dispute but at its heart lies the idea of authority and whether a book tops the spirit. Jesus never promised a book but promised the Spirit. In my view whether you believe in a seven day creation and possibly even more importantly did pain enter the world before or after the fall will colour what you make of gay relationships. I am with Auden "Man faulted into consciousness". Are you with science or not? Genesis does matter. It is wrong, wrong scientifically (about creation and about death), wrong morally, wrong in its treatment of women. Unless you are willing to confront that and be clear, then the pain will continue and the Churches will be left to the fanatics who do not welcome people and are full of fear and judgement. Sad that when what the world needs is to know that grace and love can be tops. And that God could take responsibility by being incarnate of the Virgin Mary.