Diary: Ironically, Archbishop forgives The Sun its trespasses

Today's diary looks at The Archbishop of York, Leveson and Alan Sugar.

Related Topics

Hallelujah, hallelujah, and kill that fatted calf, for he who was lost is found!

Prodigal Sun on Sunday cleric John Sentamu came home yesterday, and was swift to solve the mystery of his prolonged absence from the Sunday Service column.

The Archbishop of York originally meant to return after a Lindisfarne retreat in July, he told the flock, but was so “disappointed” by the paper’s use of the Prince Harry nudie pix from Vegas –  and so unconvinced by the justifications of the editor Dominic Mohan (“a man for whom I have the highest regard”) – that he decided to absent himself for a further three months.

But of course. Any urge to to distance himself from the Murdoch press while in the running for Canterbury was coincidental. As indeed is him forgiving the paper its trespasses a fortnight after Justin Welby’s appointment. But for how much longer will the cerebral Dominic retain this holy advocate for Levesonian statutory underpinning? “I am sure a newspaper like The Sun,” he sermonised, “would have every confidence in such a system.” Either the Archbish is an unexpectedly gifted ironist or he knows not what he says, a Sun leader on Saturday asking: “Does Britain really want the heavy hand of official regulation to strangle its newspapers?” Dr Sentamu clearly does, so let us pray that The Sun remains the broadest of churches.

Kelvin displays his impeccable tact again

Whether or not His Grace has the highest regard for Dominic’s precedessor Kelvin MacKenzie, this column certainly does. Kelvin builds on his recent Hillsborough triumph by rubbishing Leveson and his supporters. “Then along came the out-of-work breakfast show host Anne Diamond expressing indignation that Mr Cameron did not share her legislation pain,” he wrote.

Ms Diamond had reported how Kelvin answered pleas to let the family grieve in peace by sticking a photo from her baby son’s funeral all over his front page.

Kelvin is an out-of-work columnist himself, though it remains unclear why the Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre dispensed with him in the summer. One theory holds that Lady Rothermere, the proprietor’s missus, demanded his removal because she found his presence an embarrassment, though on this form it’s hard to see why.

Leveson makes for unlikely bedfellows

Last Wednesday, I wondered how long the right-wing tabloids would take, post-Leveson, to invoke despised human rights legislation in defence of their right to free speech. The drinks are on anyone who pulled “four days” from the John Gaunt Memorial Sweepstake hat.

The Mail on Sunday quotes Shami Chakrabarti warning that any statutory underpinning would breach the Human Rights Act. There has been no more touching rapprochement since Gaunty allied himself with Liberty in his doomed legal challenge to his Talksport dismissal.

Sugar exercises rapier sharp wit

No sooner had Leveson spoken than Alan Sugar tweeted his approval, guiding followers to a recent speech he made in the Lords. In this oration, apart from savaging papers and TV companies for editing content “in such a matter that it is misleading”, the Daily Mirror columnist  whose Apprentice boardroom is mocked-up in a west London studio despite the misleading City background shots, railed against the “decay in decency”.

On Saturday, when 16-year-old Ben Clark regaled him at a cycle show in Birmingham with a playful “You’re fired!” Sugar dredged up  “And you’re a p***k”, from his storehouse of Wildean retorts. How to balance the responsibility to fight the decay in decency with the sacred right to express himself freely?

We wish the Demosthenes of the Duncetariat well in resolving this conundrum.

Will Blair stand by his discredited crony?

Now that the Government has withdrawn aid to Rwanda over its involvement in arming the M23 rebel army in neighbouring Congo, how will Mr Tony Blair respond? Will he: a) remove his Africa Governance Initiative workers from Rwanda in protest?; b) supply President Paul Kagame with the missing £21m from his own capacious back pocket; or c) ignore the United Nations condemnation, and continue nipping back and forth on Kagame’s private jet in order to earn absolutely nothing but the satisfaction that is altruism’s truest reward? Given how spiffingly things turned out the last time Mr T ignored the UN’s will,  best lump the mortgage on c).

React Now

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

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Read Next
'Our media are suffering a new experience: not fear of being called anti-Semitic'  

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk
David Cameron (pictured) can't steal back my party's vote that easily, says Nigel Farage  

Cameron’s benefits pledge is designed to lure back Ukip voters. He’ll have to try harder

Nigel Farage
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain