Richard Ingrams: What is going on in the Church of England?

Share
Related Topics

The Mystery of the Gay Bishop Who Never Was has yet to be resolved.

In 2003, Dr Jeffrey John was nominated for the bishopric of Reading but later stood down following a massive protest from so-called traditionalists and, in particular, African and Caribbean bishops. Seven years later, Dr John was again being nominated, this time as possible bishop of Suffolk. But now it seems that his name has been withdrawn from the shortlist.

In 2003 Doctor John stated that he was standing down "in view of the damage that my consecration might cause to the unity of the church".

But if that was the case in 2003, why should it have been any different in 2010? Had the Church of England in the meantime, like the Conservative Party, become more tolerant towards gays? Or would those bishops in Africa be able to see a fundamental difference between Reading and Suffolk despite there being only 120-odd miles between the two?

Speaking up for Dr John, The Guardian reported this week that, in 2003, Dr John "agreed to sign a letter" stating his unwillingness to cause disunity. The suggestion is that under pressure he gave his name to sentiments which he didn't actually agree with – behaviour that would in the eyes of many people make him a prize humbug. And that is not something, I presume, that his supporters would like us to think.

Clueless about apps and very happy about it

Christine Bleakley, Megan Fox, Holly Valance – as you get older you have to adjust to the fact that the papers are full of names that you have never heard of. But increasingly, with all the latest advances in technology, they are also full of stories that you do not begin to understand. Take this from a report on Wednesday: "A rogue app developer has been hacking into hundreds of iTunes accounts to buy his own apps and boost his ratings". You can react in two ways to something like that. One way is to feel guilty about your ignorance and make some kind of effort to find out what it's all about. The second is to ignore it altogether on the grounds (possibly unverified) that it's of no earthly importance. Readers may not be surprised to learn that I lean towards the second of these two approaches.

It may seem frivolous on my part, but I have found that I can get along pretty well while taking little or no notice of what is going on in cyberspace. I am aware, because friends have told me, that there are quite a lot of people out there passing comment on what I write in this column, much of it malignant, more of it mad. As with the crazy messages relayed by spiritualists from "the other side", it is best to have nothing to do with that kind of thing.

Propaganda, not politics, is Gove's forte

Journalists who go into politics very seldom make a go of it, but that doesn't seem to deter others from trying their hand. Stephen Milligan, Lady Olga Maitland, even Michael Foot. Or going back still further, men such as William Cobbett or Hilaire Belloc. The best you could say of these people is that they failed to distinguish themselves as politicians. Others have come a notable cropper, like poor Alastair Campbell, a good enough journalist on the Daily Mirror and Today but now totally discredited by his disastrous performance supporting Tony Blair over Iraq.

Another fervent supporter of Blair at that time was Mr Michael Gove, then a columnist and assistant editor on The Times. A one-time lefty turned reactionary – always the most unbalanced types – Gove happily followed the Murdoch line that Blair and Bush had done the world a good turn by invading Iraq. David Cameron, who agreed with all that, has made Gove Secretary of State for Education and almost immediately he has tripped up over his programme of cuts and finds himself under fire even from fellow Tory MPs.

In accordance with the general rule affecting journalists turned politicians, I do not expect Gove to last very long as a minister. Within a year or so, I would guess, he will be back at The Times advising David Cameron what he should be doing.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Syria's Kurds have little choice but to flee amid the desolution, ruins and danger they face

Patrick Cockburn
A bartender serves two Mojito cocktails  

For the twenty-somethings of today, growing up is hard to do

Simon Kelner
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones