Monday, 11 December 2006

LOUD SING CUCKOO!

Is Christmas becoming a second silly season? It would seem so, judging from the bogus fuss stoked up by the tabloids and the anti-“PC gone mad” brigade about its supposed “banning”. And now the diverting spectacle of a senior Anglican bishop allegedly sitting uninvited in the back of a Mercedes parked outside a City pub in – of all places! – Crucifix Lane, throwing the owner’s childrens’ toys out of the window and solemnly announcing: “I am the Bishop of Southwark. It’s what I do”. The unfortunate bishop is said to have been pulled out of the car, fell and bumped his head, wandered off, and was later found in a confused state on the doorstep of his home, Bishop’s House, Tooting Bec. He had apparently been at an ambassadorial drinks party where one of the other guests was Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, the chief MI5 spook. Maybe she had been fingering him over the sherry and nibbles, and he had decided as a first assignment to test his cover by enacting the Gifts of the Magi story in reverse. All very odd. And, as the bishop is on the liberal, pro-gay wing of the C of E [though said by his junior clergy to be a “disciplinarian”], a splendid opening for the po-faced evangelical Anne Atkins mob to pile in and give a new twist to the time-honoured phrase “bashing the bishop”.

This tit-bit in this morning’s news is of personal interest because many years ago my partner and I considered buying Bishop’s House, which the Church Commissioners were then thinking of selling. We were greatly attracted by the elegant, early 19th century residence, though not by the neighbourhood, and decided against the purchase when the then Bishop’s wife let slip that she felt uneasy about her small children if they had not arrived home from school by tea-time.

13 comments:

Merkin said...

Excellent stuff, straight from a Joan Butler novel.
As you know, we were at 'Any Questions?' on Friday and one of the panelists was Anne Atkins. Surprisingly good despite the sense of foreboding I had had when I saw the name. However, she did make one appeal to the audience, fairly secure in the knowledge that no-one would dare to disagree, about whether anyone had heard of someone who wished to ban Christmas.
Apart from that, Ken Clarke looked more like a 'spitting image' puppet than I would have believed inhumanly possible.
(Needless to say, our questions were not chosen.)

zola said...

Merkin me old tumble in the rumble :-

Was it "to chooooose to choooose", or, be awful-hen-tick ... tock tick

Anonymous said...

Funnily enough, I chose to chooooooose not to make a comment about the Chairman - though he was a stereotype.
I wish I had known the story of the Wicked Bishop beforehand.
Wonder why it was supressed for so long?. It certainly was.

zola said...

Does that mean now I understand?

Anonymous said...

tock.......Yessssssssss.

anticant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anticant said...

Mea culpa - it wasn't the Diocesan bishop's house we nearly bought, but his Suffragette's.

MerkinWoolwichSouthwark said...

I wish to complain about the class system. Especially with regard to our relations with the police and false names.
A normal person, say John Smith, will try and squirm out upon being questioned by claiming to be James Jones.
A Bishop of Southwark is able to squirm out of it by claiming to be The Bishop of Woolwich.
I ask you this.
What would happen to me if I claimed, upon questioning by the police, to be the Merkin of Woolwich.
Short thrift, I tell you.
Plus 5 years, at least.
Up against the wall, any which way they want.

anticant said...

I could tell you a thing or two about them there Bishops of Southwark and Woolwich way back in the 1960s. Honest to God, a rum lot they were.

Merkin said...

I rather gathered that you may have an idea about that lot. Rum lot, you say?.
Rum, sodom and the lash, I say.

anticant said...

John Robinson ["Honest to God" Woolwich] was a dear, and a much braver liberal than the current occupant of Lambeth. Mervyn Stockwood [Southwark] was a grand Princess of the Church.

zola said...

All this jazz.
Is was Rum, Bum and ...George Melly and even a Nutter knows that much.

Merkin said...

What was interesting for me was how quickly the thread got pulled off the front page of CiF, and how quickly the thread on 'rabid anti-secularism' got pulled as well.
Just call me an old conspiracy theorist, if you must.
I did post a link to GrumpyOne's site and then someone came up with a link to this one - absolute hoot - on the subject.
Complete with a great 'cartoon'.

http://doesdazzles.blogspot.com/2006/12/right-rev-tom-butler.html