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The British State and Church Establishment in Crisis

State Disintegration

On Monday 14 December 2009, Sir Ken Macdonald, Director of Public Prosecutions in the UK between 2003 and 2008, declared that the ‘sycophant’ ex-Prime Minister Blair had ‘used deceit’ (in English = lied) in order to justify his meddlesome invasion of Iraq. He explained that Mr ‘Blair had misled and cajoled the British people into a war they did not want’ and that the Iraq invasion was ‘a foreign policy disgrace of epic proportions’.

At last a member of the Establishment (who was strangely quiet at the time) has owned up to what virtually the whole British people knew all along. He has also declared the obvious fact that Mr Blair’s weakness was his narcissistic ego, which was flattered by the ‘glamour’ and powerbrokers of Washington into invading another country. Mr Blair’s constant self-justification that he was ‘right’ about invading Iraq, despite what everybody else thought, was ‘typical’, he said, of narcissists. (Did not Hitler also continually rant that he was right, at least until his suicide?) Again this is something that the majority of people in the UK knew all along. Sadly, none of this will resurrect the hundred thousand Iraqi dead, return the million Iraqi refugees to their homes, or resurrect the thousands of US and UK soldiers who have been killed or mutilated, sacrificed for nothing on the altar of politicians’ vanity. Nor will it do anything to resurrect the anti-War arms inspector Dr David Kelly and the anti-War Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, both of whom died in unexplained and inexplicable circumstances. Nor will it reverse the government censorship of the BBC’s reporting at the time.

Little wonder that many ordinary people in the UK and worldwide believe that Mr Blair should be tried for war crimes. Others believe that he should be tried in civil courts for bankrupting the UK with the help of the present Prime Minister, then Chancellor or Finance Minister. For many, Mr Blair makes the Yugoslav Communist leader Milosevich, who was tried for war crimes in the Hague, look like a dove who was simply protecting his own country. In any case, all seem greatly relieved that Mr Blair was not appointed President of the EU Council.

Religious Disintegration

As if the Establishment were not in enough trouble, On Sunday 13 December the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, rebuked the minority Labour government and its unelected Prime Minister for its attitude to religion. Interviewed in the ‘Daily Telegraph’, he said that ministers were wrong to think that religious faith is ‘irrelevant’ and an ‘eccentricity’, ‘practised by oddities, foreigners and minorities’. He also accused the government of treating religious faith as a ‘problem’. ‘The effect’, he said, ‘is to denormalise faith, to intensify the perception that faith is not part of our bloodstream. And, you know, in great swathes of the country that’s how it is’.

Despite the obvious truth of what the Archbishop of Canterbury has said with regard to the Labour Party’s increasingly atheistic attitude towards religion, especially that of the militantly atheistic Foreign Secretary, it must be said that religion in the UK is indeed more and more practised only by minorities and ‘foreigners’ (from Eastern Europe, Africa and the West Indies). It must also be said that the dumbing down of Roman Catholicism (1), Anglicanism and other forms of Protestantism means that they do sometimes attract only the simple-minded, that is, ‘oddities’.

The Church of England’s credit is now at an all-time low, as the Episcopalian (American Anglican) Diocese of Los Angeles is about to confirm a lesbian as its assistant bishop. Nor has the Archbishop helped himself by dismissing Pope Benedict XVI’s invitation to disaffected Anglicans to join his Church as ‘theologically rather eccentric’. Surely, from an Anglican and Roman Catholic viewpoint, it is not ‘eccentric’, but makes perfect common sense. Why would anyone wish to stay on board a sinking ship?

The image of the absent-minded professor, which the Archbishop has in the popular media, justly or unjustly, depending on one’s viewpoint, has only been confirmed by his statements. Nevertheless, the fact is that the Archbishop’s opinion that faith has been ‘denormalised’ in the UK remains tragically true. What is the way out?


(1) Roman Catholicism is the very religion which, to the horror of many of its faithful, received Mr Blair into its ranks. His ‘conversion’ came after his resignation and the infamous words of Mr Blair’s chief advisor, the foul-mouthed Alastair Campbell, who famously said that at 10 Downing Street, ‘we don’t do religion’.

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