Church of England

Bishop slams “right wing headbangers” for Brexit and election “disasters”

You cannot know with what life-sapping weariness it must be reported that the Bishop of London (acting), the Rt Rev’d Pete Broadbent, blames “right wing headbangers” for the “disasters” of Brexit and the outcome of the General Election (ie a Conservative government supported by those ultra-ultra-ultra headbangers the DUP). It doesn’t seem to occur to him that these outcomes were a direct result of the democratic process: a majority of the electorate voted to leave the EU in a referendum, and the General Election gave Conservatives the most votes and the most seats in Parliament. Why should these be “disasters”? Perhaps it would be better if the people were never consulted on anything important, and this sort of complicated stuff were just left to those who know what’s best for us bishops, perhaps, or judges. Or maybe both.

Bishop Pete is, of course, well known for tactlessly speaking his mind, but his perpetual conflation of ‘right wing’ with intellectual deficiency, moral illegitimacy, religious hypocrisy and spiritual superficiality is not what one would expect from a Church of England bishop, especially one who happens to be the Bishop of London (acting). Does he not demean his ministry and bring the church into disrepute by caricaturing patriotic Britons as political headbangers and hard-right extremists?

Pete Broadbent’s broad church is bent towards extending a welcome to all-and-sundry without discrimination, but if you happen to be a Brexit-supporting Tory, his church isn’t for you. And if you’re a Kipper, well, it were better you hadn’t been born. The fewer right-wing headbangers there are in the world, the less likelihood there is of disaster. And then good socialists like Bishop Pete can be free to get on with the important stuff of life such as pursuing social justice and the Common Good, to which right-wing headbangers (or, indeed, the right wing generally) have nothing much to contribute at all.

Another bishop is quite excited at the outcome of the General Election: the Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev’d Philip North, told the Church Times that he was “enthused by the ‘absolutely extraordinary’ election results, because they showed that lots of voters, particularly younger people, were calling for a ‘new politics’.”

Since when was Santa-Clause(4)-socialism a “new politics”?

“People who are fed up with austerity and the poor suffering more while the rich get richer,” Bishop Philip said. “If May is successful in forming a government they need to do a lot of listening.”

As long as it’s listening to the right left-wing sorts of people, of course. Don’t, whatever you do, listen to the likes of Ukip or the DUP, for they speak of nothing worth hearing: God doesn’t want Brexit, and He certainly doesn’t want a Tory government. So the more these extremes can be mitigated, the better. Speaking of Jeremy Corbyn, the Bishop of Burnley was positively effusive: “There’s more to Corbyn than just economics,” he said. “He’s got a vision for what it means to live together which has compelled people. I think that can give the Church confidence that we can be vocal with a positive vision.”

Corbyn gives the Church confidence?

Right.

And then came the obligatory episcopal EU exhortation: “We need greater co-operation with Europe for our own wellbeing and security. If there is now greater willingness to compromise, that can only be a good thing.”

Funny, isn’t it, how bishops propagate the lie that Brexit means the cessation of all European cooperation and the termination of national well-being. What Brexiteer ever advocated global isolation, European insularity or neighbourly antagonism? What Brexiteer has ever proposed the end of liberalism and the Enlightenment?

Has any CofE bishop ever welcomed the prospect of a Conservative government? Have any lauded a Tory leader for their positive vision as a force for good and an agent of inspiration? What is it that compels leaders of the Established Church of England to patronise, revile, berate and alienate those on the political right? Why is Brexit a disaster? Why should the return of a Conservative government be a disaster? What kind of theological wisdom is it which discerns catastrophe in every democratic decision which fails to cohere with personal political bias? What kind of bishop is it who has weeks and months for left-wing lepers and progressive prostitutes, but not a minute for moral, loyal and faithful right-wing headbangers?

Perhaps they worship a different a god, and it’s a god that has no place for ‘the other’. Feel free to appropriate ‘they’ and apportion ‘the other’ to whichever side you prefer, and let it become your via media prayer, for Pete Broadbent’s political fanaticism is really no different from that of the right-wing headbangers: it’s just the other side of the same coin. The problem is that his episcopal fault-finding and finger-pointing pours gallons of milk into a very small cup, and some of us like our tea a little stronger.

  • Anton

    Dear Reverend Broadbent, you are unfit to be a bishop.

    • Maalaistollo

      But don’t you realise that, in a contemporary reworking of ‘the last shall be first’ it is now only those who are unfit to be bishops who are appointed? It’s all part of the perversity and confusion agenda. Just remember that ‘diversity is a strength’. After all, ‘Ignorance is strength’ is so 1984, don’t you think?

    • Linus

      Dear Underemployed Boffin, you are unfit to be a Christian. Thou shalt not judge. Or as god’s infallible mouthpiece on earth, does that commandment not apply to you?

      Of course it doesn’t. As your consciousness (such as it is) is god, you get to be above the rules, don’t you?

      • Anton

        Quite right Linus. We are all unfit to be Christians. That’s the point of Christianity.

  • Royinsouthwest

    Why have we got four gospels? Everybody who matters knows that we need only two; the BBC and the Guardian. Moreover, unlike the obsolete ones those two are kept up to date so they can accommodate every single emerging issue from climate change to trans-phobia. Who could possibly want more?

  • Mrs S wilson

    Hear,hear!

  • Inspector General

    Right wingers, eh? What causes these dreadful people…
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Jo Cox’s husband Brendan on Radio 5 peddling the book he’s written about her. Brendan is an enthusiastic multiculturalist, bless him. His children not so, it appears. They go to a school 50% muslim and aren’t too keen on chicken sausages, whatever they are. Sounds like a ghastly culinary idea. One presumes pork sausages are not to be had. Isn’t multiculturalism great! Your indigenous white one gets suppressed to allow the newby in and not to upset them who count. To wit, other than white children.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Does Broadbent like sausage sandwiches? The Inspector does. How would the man feel about ordering one, and finding it containing chicken instead of pork! On asking the proprietor what was going on, to be told that as 50% of his customers were muslim, pork is off the menu. Permanently.

    One would expect Broadbent and Brendan Cox would get on if they met. So much in common no doubt. As well as jocularly delivering his children’s verdicts on muslim sausages, Brendan says he doesn’t think much about the assassin who killed his wife. Perhaps he and other Reds might want to give it a bit more thought on why an extremist made the man a widower..

    • Anton

      There’s little enough meat in most sausages anyway.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Sending out an S.O.S. – Save Our Sausages!

      • Inspector General

        The point is Anton, pork sausages are pink. So is the Inspector.

        • Sarky

          Is that pink news?

        • Chefofsinners

          You may wish to investigate the phrase ‘mechanically reclaimed meat’, which graces the wrappers of many a sausage. It translates roughly as pig’s bum holes.

          • Inspector General

            It is said that the strongest tasting meat is around the pigs hole. However, the Inspector get his sausages from a safe supplier, Farmhouse, in Gloucester, and lately in Cheltenham. Sausages as they used to be, And they are outlets for marvellous Stinking Bishop cheese too. {Advert Ends}

      • David

        Find yourself a good, independent butcher who fills the sausages with about 90% meat and only 10% bread. The main commercial makes of sausages are stuffed with far too much bread, that’s the problem.

        • Anton

          It’s a serious business. Jim Hacker became PM on the back of the sausage issue, as I recall:

    • Pubcrawler

      Apparently there is such a thing a ‘turkey bacon’, too. One wonders what sort of initial outcry there would be if some young scamp were to leave some outside a mosque…

      http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/mosque-bacon-cambridge-hate-crime-13164800

      • Inspector General

        That would be an ‘ate crime…

        • Chefofsinners

          It was the KGB. They left a note saying ‘From rasher with love’

      • Sarky

        Its on most cheese and ham pizzas!! Most people don’t even know.

        • Pubcrawler

          Goodness! Whatever will they think of next?

          *shakes head, mutters “ex Africa semper aliquid novi” into his beer…*

          • Anton

            That’s another liquid !

          • Pubcrawler

            So’s my diet. (hic!)

      • Hi

        And beef/lamb/duck / vegetarian bacon . Plus there’s plenty of different types of kosher sausages.

        • Pubcrawler

          Different types of sausage is fine: it’s just any sort of meat plus filler stuffed into an intestine. But bacon comes from a pig.

          • Hi

            Well as a gentile , you can eat as much ham, bacon, pig sausage and shellfish as you like. It’s just not for me. But hey, I have
            worked in a pork pie factory . I also as a student worked on several abattoirs(both kosher and non). . People wouldn’t be so critical of kosher slaughter if they saw their “humane” slaughter in action.

            But anyways , I thought of my sister when I watched this one :

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QZY6jC5Dh6c

    • Paul Greenwood

      Brendan is an enthusiastic “meddler” and was asked to leave one paid position for the health and safety of the female staff. He was an “adviser” to Brown or some such and his wife an “adviser” to Brown I think. They were all paid up members of Politics is our Daily Bread and mighty Rewarding with love-ins with Obomo etc.

  • Sybaseguru

    The 10th commandment goes something like “Thou shalt not covet…”, so lets get away from relative incomes and look at absolute incomes. Have the poor got poorer? Well not according to the statistics, in fact they’ve done reasonably well. Take a look at “Growth in median equivalised household disposable income, financial year ending 2008 to financial year ending 2016” produced by the ONS and you’ll see the bottom quintile are 15% better off. Maybe +Pete should concentrate more transforming lives by bringing people to know God. Reading about the Ephesian church in Revelations 2 would be a good starting point.

  • Adrian Smith

    Well we don’t want our pork sausages to become a stumbling now do we 😉

    • Inspector General

      A fellow can learn more from a pork sausage than from the likes of Broadbent. Sure you’ll agree…

  • Little Black Censored

    “…his perpetual conflation of ‘right wing’ with intellectual deficiency,
    moral illegitimacy, religious hypocrisy and spiritual superficiality is
    not what one would expect from a Church of England bishop.”

    I was about to say “I must take issue with you there”, but you went on to take issue very thoroughly with yourself.
    As for Philip North, I had been feeling sorry for him, but your remarks have removed abolished every bit of pity.
    Some one on Conservative Woman today suggests handing all political power to the BBC; now that might satisfy the bishops.

  • dannybhoy

    Matthew 24,
    “21 Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
    New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition..

    In this instance was Jesus being a nationalistic ‘right wing headbanger’, or was He simply pointing out that the Messiah was sent first and foremost to ‘a particular people’?
    Christians are citizens of two kingdoms.
    Firstly to the kingdom of God, and secondly to the kingdom of their country of birth/residency. British Christians want to see men turn in repentance to the living God, and they also want to see their society conform as much as possible to the values of the Gospel. They want to protect our freedoms and values so that the Gospel may continue to be proclaimed and men be saved.
    That examples of capitalism and socialism can be found in both the Tanach and the Brith haHadasha does not mean that either or both systems are individually endorsed by God, but that both systems can be found in the Kingdom of God..
    To love your country and want the (God’s) best for it, does not make you a “headbanger.” A devout Israelite was not a headbanger; he simply recognised the sovereignty of the Almighty and sought to live his life in accordance with the Almighty’s requirements.
    Of one thing I am sure, international socialism is not the political philosophy of God’s Kingdom.
    Obedience to His sovereignty is.

    • Linus

      “British Christians want men to turn in repentance to the living god”

      To prove that something is alive, you must be able to demonstrate that it satisfies the basic criteria of life, i.e. a organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth and reaction to stimuli.

      So where is this god of yours and does he satisfy these criteria? Where’s the physical evidence that he once walked the earth as a living, breathing being and that he was actually divine?

      The cock-and-bull stories in the bible? They’re no more convincing than the cock-and-bull stories in the Qur’an or any other holy book.

      If you want men to turn to your god, you need to provide solid evidence that he actually exists and is what you say he is. Failing that, be prepared to be treated as a deluded fantasist. For if you believe without evidence, that’s what you are.

      • Anton

        How about the cock and bull story that all humanity’s problems are due to poor social engineering and lack of education?

        Today, thanks to modern media and travel, it is easy to see that people all over the world have a lot in common, and that differences of race or nationality are much less deep than the things we all have in common. That is a good understanding, but people don’t take the logic far enough. If we are all the same, we cannot say that WE are good and THEY are bad – whether we are talking about nations, races, political parties or anything else. So, are humans all basically good or basically bad?

        Our secular culture’s view is that “Hey, nobody’s perfect, but unless you are a serial killer or a paedophile then you are basically OK.” Is that really true? Human history is written in blood; it is a tale of warfare. That doesn’t look good. Zooming into personal lives, couples choose to marry because they are crazy about each other, but 10 years on many just put up with each other and nowadays not even that; they divorce. Some people commit worse crimes than others, too, but we are all the same inside – and the evidence is clear that we are all bad inside.

        So what will YOU do about it?

  • Paul Greenwood

    Is there a reason for the Church of England to have 144 Bishops ? Do they serve any useful purpose ? Is the state of communications and transport in England today such that 41 dioceses need to exist ?

    • Maalaistollo

      Yes, because it is a gross.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Your sentence would still make sense, albeit with a different but possibly equally valid meaning, if you omitted the indefinite article.

      • Chefofsinners

        One of the best collective nouns.

  • John

    Bishop Pete. Ah, look, no one is interested in your political opinions. At the end of the day, party politics does not advance the kingdom of God. It’s a dead end. Your job is to defend the faith and preach the gospel. JUST. TALK. ABOUT. JESUS. PLEASE. Don’t embarrass yourself and demean your office by politicising the church and alienating about half your diocese.

    • Linus

      Vicars are just as entitled to their political views as anyone else. Even the fake ones. Or should the author of this blog JUST. TALK. ABOUT. JESUS. PLEASE?

      • Anton

        Is the author of this blog a bishop?

        • Linus

          No, just claims to be.

  • TIME to CTRL ALT & DEL

    Peter is not fit to loosen the latch of Richard shoes

    • Merchantman

      I think it’s quite astounding that Bishop Pete should make his 5th Form comment that ‘Bexiteers’ are- ‘Headbangers’. That was 52% of the good people who turned up to vote and who happened to be the majority. Many also happened to be honest hardworking people who fix the lights and make sure he can enjoy the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed.
      Temporarily he is supposed to be head ‘Honcho’ of the late lamented C of E, in the capital of England. Lead by people like this its hardly surprising people are leaving the C of E for biblically founded churches led by adults. Will he apologise?

    • Anton

      Latch? He’s not in the stocks, is he?

  • David

    Bishop’s like this one seem to believe that Jesus was merely a rather special spiritual manifestation of a mythical kindly Socialist leader; they ignore the fact that Jesus operated outside mere earthly politics; for he was and is the perfect Son of God sent to call us to repentance and to trust in Him.

    Our flawed human nature frustrates any man derived process or system for bringing heaven onto earth. Only our inner transformation by The Holy Spirit can change us individually, and therefore, cumulatively, improve human societies.

    Socialism takes power away from individuals, families, small voluntary groups and small businesses, and gives it unto the state and the big businesses it cosies up towards. It generates discord and division by artificially searching for the so-called “oppressed and oppressors”, which is the artificial classic Marxist analysis of society which it uses to dupe the young, the naive and the idealistic. Socialism by forcibly squeezing an ever expanding, bossy and greedy state between individuals and their families, and God, leads us towards an ever more anti-Christian, godless society.

    Despite all the evidence of history, that Socialism leads to poverty, misery and tyranny, not to mention the destruction of our vital, life affirming relationships with God, these blind guides continue to preach not the gospel of Christ, but that of Marx. They are amongst the most deluded of our society.

    • Manfarang

      They used to say the British Labour Party owed more to Methodism than Marx. Of course there isn’t so much Methodism these days.

      • Paul Greenwood

        that is BEFORE the public schoolboys took over after 1945

        • Anton

          Rich enough to be able to afford voting Labour!

          • Paul Greenwood

            Hartley Shawcross for example, Anthony Crosland, Richard Crossman,

        • Manfarang

          Antony Wedgewood Benn went to Westminster. He descended on both sides from Protestant pastors — his paternal grandfather, Julius Benn, was a Congregationalist Minister in the East End of London. His mother, born Margaret Holmes, was a Scot from the Calvinist and Liberal tradition.

          • Paul Greenwood

            His father Viscount Stansgate switched from Liberals to Labour and was a Minister I believe in Attlee’s Government

  • vsscoles

    I need to break it to you, your grace, ever so gently: bishops don’t believe in democracy either in politics or in the church. They believe in their own Divine Right, right or wrong. Mostly wrong.

  • Merchantman

    ‘Perhaps they worship another god’. Bishop Pete is the very model of a modern c of e bishop. Don’t be dismayed by any of their beliefs or utterances and certainly don’t lose any sleep.

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    Reform of the CofE is necessary.

    • Anton

      Yes. Abolish the bishops.

      • Ian

        No, just have them do justice to their titles.

        • They can’t. Most of them don’t believe the gospel or that the bible is the unalterable inspired Word of God. They are apostate and irrelevant.

          • Ian

            The current batch are, with some exceptions. But that doesn’t mean we should abolish bishops, just get some good ones. That’s what I meant.

          • Anton

            When, ever in the history of the CoE, has a substantial majority of its bishops been good?

          • Ian

            So we should just get rid? Bishops work well in other parts of the Anglican Communion – I’ll continue to pray for conviction and repentance in the CofE and do my bit on the ground. Maybe God will have mercy. It’s not unheard of 😉

          • Anton

            Yes of course. Church polity in the NT is not like that, and by what authority was it changed?

          • Ian

            Ahh my apologies, I though I was talking to an Anglican advocating a purely pragmatic solution. I’m new around here!

          • Anton

            I used to be Anglican. I didn’t quit because of Bible studies of church polity but because of liberalism both in the PCC I was on and in the hierarchy; I could have stuck one or other of those, but not both. Now I know my Bible better, but I don’t go round exhorting Anglicans to do as I did; that is a personal decision after prayer. The day may come when it is impossible to be both faithful and Anglican, but if so then it is not yet.

          • Ian

            Indeed! I can always move to Nigeria 😉

  • Arden Forester

    This is the problem the Church of England faces today. Political entryism, doctrinal mish-mash and a distinct lack of grace. As for charity – real charity – that seems to be a thing of the past for many. Calling people headbangers is mild compared with some stuff. Vile seems a popular epithet.

    Broadbent claims to be a bishop but I think it quite fair to say he falls short of St Paul’s idea of a bishop. “Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil”. A bishop should be sober, vigilant, respectful of others. That would appear rather lacking here.

    • David

      Your measured statement is correct, except in its understatement.

  • Mike Stallard

    The Church that marries the spirit of the Age, ends up a widow in the next.

    • Arden Forester

      Well put.

      • Anton

        A quote commonly attributed to Dean Inge, although I am not convinced.

  • bluedog

    Excellent, Your Grace.

    One waits in vain for the episcopacy to recognise the true genius of Corbyn’s loss, and he did lose, but on very significant terms. Corbyn is a Marxist who sees things in terms of class struggle, and he represents the proletariat, not the bourgeoisie. Many members of the original white British proletariat have abandoned the working class for the consumer society and bettered themselves. But following the economic disaster of 2008, and its cure through the economic policy of QE which has resulted in an extraordinary asset price boom, a new working class has been created. It’s not the migrants but the white British yoof, shut out of the means of production and asset ownership by QE, and struggling as wage slaves.

    Of course, the bourgoisie are actually the parents of the dispossessed, and in the fullness of time, yoof will inherit, less 40% IHT. But in the meantime, an ageing sorcerer like Corbyn can sing a siren song that plays to the insecurities of yoof, and better still, validates his own Marxist political beliefs.

    Which is why any Blairites are being shut out of the shadow cabinet. They are on the wrong side of history, as GE 2017 proves. At least, that’s what Jezza thinks.

    • Manfarang

      Corbyn is a Leninist. His first objective is to gain complete control of the Labour party.

      • Ivan M

        Corbyn will now promise a fire-engine for every block.

  • Ian

    Our Bishops (with a few exceptions) are crap. But there is hope for the CofE at the ‘lower’ levels. Not everyone is a pander-to-the-people, tickle-those-ears imposter 🙂

  • Chefofsinners

    From the Congregationalists to the Baptists to the Methodists and Brethren, many groups have left the Church of England. But in our day we see true Anglicans fleeing this apostate church.

    From Revelation 18:
    “Come out of her, my people,
    so that you will not share in her sins,
    so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven”

    “The music of harpists and musicians, pipers and trumpeters will never be heard in you again…The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again… In her was found the blood of prophets and of God’s holy people, of all who have been slaughtered on the earth.”

    • Manfarang

      Who are the true Anglicans?
      The Church of England should be disestablished and this would reduce this overtly political role that some feel it should have.

      • Paul Greenwood

        I doubt it would. Disestablishment is a red-herring and has no relevance to this kind of posturing.

        • Manfarang

          But are the Lords Spiritual an appropriate voice in Parliament for compassion and charity, or an anachronism with no right to override the opinions of elected MPs?

          • Paul Greenwood

            It is hard to see why the Prince of Wales should be permitted to sit in H/L if Bishops are excluded. The H/L WAS the primary House until c 1850 because ALL Political power emanates from The Crown in England and it is The Crown that owns ALL land in England and from The Crown that all land titles are derived

          • Manfarang

            Land titles-fee simple absolute in possession.
            Honours- the royal prerogative.

      • Chefofsinners

        Establishment ought to mean a requirement for political neutrality. The Archbishops are failing in not disciplining bishops when they behave like this.

        • David

          Good point. Political neutrality should be required.
          Christians are urged to protect and uphold the poor, the weak and the oppressed, so that is a given. But it is the bishop’s assumption that these noble objectives are best, necessarily even, fulfilled by the cold, impersonal, distant bureaucracy of the state that is the erroneous assumption that brings them so much discredit.

        • Anton

          But how to define political neutrality? What if one party is pro-abortion and the other is anti?

          The answer to your last question is the easiest question to answer I’ve come across for some time: No!

    • Anton

      At this stage, Chef, I don’t believe God is saying that to every Anglican who loves Christ. He may yet, as he did to me 15 years ago and Gavin Ashenden recently, but today I think it is a personal decision to stay or go, to be made after prayer. Had I written what you have, soon after I’d quit for the Frees, then I’d have implicitly been condemning men like Ashenden who remained.

      That said, the CoE in its present form stems unbroken from the Restoration, and its track record is a pretty poor one. It cheerfully oversaw the torpor of the 18th century, it persecuted John Wesley who tried to do something about it, and in the 20th century it mutated from the Tory complacent at prayer to the Labour luddites at prayer. It was at its best when its Wesley-inspired 19th century evangelicals took actions such as getting slavery abolished, mitigating abuses of the poor in the factories, and pressing for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

  • UmUmUmUmUmUm

    Yet another Marxist headbanger. I’m sure he’s a closet atheist, at best agnostic. Just another left wing footsoldier of the long march through the institutions.

  • IanCad

    The term – “Silly Vicars” – is firmly stuck in my head.

  • A bit off topic but on the topic of BBC PC free speech comedy here’s Jim Davidson defending it.

  • cybervicar

    It’s funny but as a vicar I tend to go along the lines of keeping quiet about party politics – i just think it alienates your flock because we are to be all things to all men. I have heard of one vicar in this diocese who gives his flock a regular Guardianista-type lecture from the pulpit and the congregation feel patronised and roll their eyes. Indeed, after years and years of it they grow weary. I was taught that once ordained you should see your silence as part of the sacrifice of ministry. It’s something we share with the monarch. That’s not to exclude His Grace’s special ministry but I think here the context and media have been thought out, plus his Grace is largely anon.

    • Anton

      It’s funny but as a vicar I tend to go along the lines of keeping quiet about party politics – i just think it alienates your flock because we are to be all things to all men.

      You are a wise pastor of your flock. I’ve given a series of short talks in the congregation I’m part of, applying a biblical mind to current events, and I’ve found that with a little reflection it is always possible to go deeper on issues than the differences between the stances of the Labour and Conservative parties. These bishops don’t have a flock (or, more accurately, their flock is the priests of their diocese).

    • magnolia

      I think you are completely right on that. A guest preacher at my local church felt he could be overtly anti-Brexit to a congregation about 75% -80% pro it. The repercussions- sometimes at one or two removes- rumbled on for weeks. The same could have happened the other way around, and I am sure it alienates people and divides congregations quite unnecessarily.

      I also agree that being largely anonymous online is a very – though not entirely and completely-different matter allowing far more latitude.

  • petej

    It’s very strange to me because from what I’ve heard of his social and theological views, I would have thought Pete Broadbent voted UKIP or at least conservative…I guess that makes me a loony leftie!!

    I am more satisfied than ever before at an election result. Yes we still have the tories in power, but they have already u-turned on the disasterous austerity policy and treatment of mixed-nationality families. There are calls from *within their own party* to seek consensus on Brexit!

    On the downside the war against foxes and the NHS continues. However I’m not sure the DUP would agree to support either of those.

    • Anton

      But TM would have upped what you call the war against foxes!

      Personally I find foxhunting distasteful but I think people should be free to be distasteful.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Not sure what you mean about “mixed nationality families” but I think it is UK Bureaucracy that is adrift because UK does not record nationality or have any idea of who is and is not resident on that basis, unlike ID-based systems. They have an arcane regulation of Long Term Medical Insurance for Non-Citizens which is probably in line with EU Law but being Britain it is never expressly pointed out anywhere until someone dusts off the regulation. As for the rubbish about filing in forms to prove residence that is the Bureaucracy playing games.

      Had Cameron done what he was paid for these problems would have been dealt with during his 6 years in Downing Street BEFORE he called the Referendum

      • petej

        For example a family where the children and father are British and the mother is French.

        Unless a deal is worked out, the mother would have no right to remain in the UK and the others would have no right to live in France after brexit. The family would be split up.

        If a deal is struck there is no guarantee that the mother would still be able to access public services.

        Until the election, Theresa may was citing these families as bargaining chips. She has changed her tune as a result of so many votes against her leadership.

        • CliveM

          It’s the Germans who refused to engage in discussions on this issue to reach an early agreement. It’s the EU who are using these family as bargaining chips. It’s hard to agree with someone who refuses to discuss the issue.

          Of course we could make a unilateral move, but why should we. I know the strategy of Remainers is to advocate a disadvantageous agreement that would ‘force’ people to change their mind, but why should May play to those rules.

          • petej

            Theresa May used the very phrase “bargaining chips” in her campaign for leader. It made all decent people feel sick.

            She has no compassion for these people, she only cares about her career – which isn’t going very well anyway.

          • CliveM

            Except of course it was the British Government who offered to do a deal on this separate to any discussions on the arrangements for leaving the EU. This was refused by Merkel. It is the EU who are insisting that any agreement is part of the leaving arrangements. It is the EU who are using UK Citizens working in the EU as bargaining chips.
            Of course unilaterally making allowing EU Citizens here residency rights will simply make these UK citizens position even more precarious.

            It’s a pity ‘decent’ people like yourself didn’t show as much concern for their wellbeing as you are showing EU citizens working here.

          • petej

            I also care about UK citizens living in other EU states. I’m not sure why you have assumed that not to be the case?!

          • CliveM

            You’ve shown no interest in protecting their rights and are happy for the government to make the job of securing them harder and their position more uncertain.

            As a British Government I would expect them to treat UK citizens as their first priority.

          • petej

            Then you have completely misunderstood my post.

          • Anton

            Am I an indecent person?

          • petej

            That depends on whether you treat people as human beings or bargaining chips.

          • Anton

            That’s not an either/or in the present situation.

            What about hostage exchanges?

        • Anton

          That issue isn’t only about residence rights but also about marriage. If they are married then the State should let them live here; if not then tough. It’s time to support marriage with actions rather than words.

          • petej

            Currently being married to a British citizen does not guarantee you the right to live in the UK.

            I don’t think any families should be split up by brexit. I don’t think many voters thought they were voting for this.

          • Anton

            It’s the situation in your first paragraph that I wish to change. Although I would put penalties on married couples that come here and then split soon after, to deter marriages of convenience.

            If they don’t want to get split up then they can get married. Time to make marriage count.

          • petej

            Theresas team have promised to massively cut immigration, I can’t see them changing that policy allowing people to stay just because they are married to a British citizen.

            Unfortunately we have what people voted for.

            The families I know who are in this situation all have married parents.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Not sure they are bargaining chips, but the situation affects UK nationals living inside EU countries too especially UK Nationals married to Non-EU Nationals living in EU Countries. The complexities of legal systems are not always evident to people living in UK and cross-border taxation and probate law are a real mess.

    • magnolia

      Foxes are a great nuisance. They bring diseases to domestic dogs, scavenge and spread litter, bringing rats in their wake, and indulge in the wholesale slaughter of traumatised hens whenever they can get hold of them. They also emit a vile eery scream in the middle of the night that sounds like something from a horror movie.

      But they have ginger fur, and can look cute, when well drawn on a Hallmark or such card. So ahhhh! (not). Perhaps you have never lived in the country, or in the city, either, where residents are acutely aware of their downside.

      I am not advising the total extermination of foxes, but any realist knows they need keeping in check. Hunting with dogs is not my scene at all, but it is one of the viable solutions. If there is a war on foxes it seems singularly unsuccessful.

      • petej

        I was brought up in the country and I now live in the city. My Dad was a farmer and, having seen it first hand, he’s totally against these disgusting blood sports.

        If foxes need to be culled there are more humane and effective ways.

        • magnolia

          That leaves us in very great agreement, though I think the difference is that I don’t agree with the law being used though I am entirely unconvinced that being torn apart by the leading dogs in a pack is at all a kind death, having, I think, heard, and recalled the arguments.

          Dogs that go to be put down in animal rescue centres show through their actions that they know what happens in that room. Animal awareness is greater than some people (at least in the last couple of centuries) have thought, and we are becoming much more aware of that.

          • Linus

            Yes, foxes are a pest and need to be controlled. But there are surprisingly few humane methods of doing this.

            The most obvious – poison – is hit and miss at best because you never know how much of the bait a fox will eat. It may take only enough of a dose to make it suffer in agony for hours or even days before dying. Other animals may also take the bait. You may kill 10 squirrels or 5 badgers for every fox you get. Such indiscriminate slaughter upsets the wildlife balance and can have dire consequences for a whole range of habitats.

            Trapping is also desperately cruel. A fox trapped for any length of time suffers intense stress far exceeding the stress of flight. Think about it: would you prefer to be chased through an environment you know extremely well with every chance of finding a safe lair in which you can elude your hunters? Or would you rather be trapped in a cage or have your leg broken in a trap and be immobilised for hours in pain and panic with no way out? Far more foxes are found dead than alive in traps. And before they die, they suffer cruelly.

            Of course fox-hunting should be permitted. It’s by far the most effective, humane and environmentally sensitive means of keeping the fox population under control. But that doesn’t matter. It will never again be permitted.

            Blame the anthropomorphising tendencies of English children’s literature and TV programs. Raise your children on Peter Rabbit, Toad of Toad Hall and Basil Brush and how do you expect them to react when you hunt down their childhood friends and murder them?

            Perhaps the next generation reared on Harry Potter won’t be quite so sentimental about animals. I hope so for their sake.

          • Anton

            They won’t be sentimental about the elderly and the unborn either.

            You are right about foxhunting but a rural vet I used to know says that in some parts of the country fox numbers are kept artificially high for the sake of the hunt.

          • Linus

            If you want them to be sentimental about foetuses and old people, write a best-selling story where a week-old lump of jelly stuck to a uterine wall teams up with a geriatric vegetable on a ventilator to defeat the evil Lord Voldemort.

            By writing a pro-life children’s classic, you’d knock those evil abortion and euthanasia laws on the head forever and solve your apparent employment problem, all in one fell swoop.

            What’s wrong? Don’t think your literary skills are up to it? Well if a Christian can’t breathe life and personality into a lump of gelatine and a pool of drool, who can? Thousands, nay millions of lives could be saved. Won’t you even try?

            I mean, you’re clearly an imaginative individual. These creative ideas you have about toffs artificially pumping the fox population so they always have enough prey for their hunts certainly proves that. How do they do it? Is there a clandestine fox breeding programme going on at a hidden location in the Shires? A battery fox farm? Did Tony Blair throw the UK open to uncontrolled fox immigration from Eastern Europe and beyond? Is there an illicit vixen slave trade going on under your very noses?

            It all sounds rather like a conspiracy theory to me. Something you Christians just can’t get enough of. Why not work the enslavement of foreign foxes into your best-seller and kill three birds with one stone? Your unborn lump of goo and walking dead struldbrug could team up to save a cute litter of Evangelical Polish Yazidi foxlings from certain death at the hands of Evil Lord Voldemort-Chumley-Fanshawe and his pack of hell hounds.

            JK Rowling move over. There’s a new kid in town…

          • Anton

            The vet who told me that the fox population was kept artificially high for the sake of the hunt had lived and worked for decades in rural Scotland and was referring to the area he knew personally. (He also wasn’t a Christian, incidentally.) I am confident that he knows more about it than you or me.

            You will be old someday. I hope you will not then live in fear of being put down.

          • What about the feelings of the chickens and wild birds being torn apart and eaten by the fox? Wild dogs would chase and eat foxes I don’t see why man can’t make a sport from it.

    • David

      The NHS has become state religion, worshipped by all parties, but especially the left. Any constructive criticism is usually met by an emotional response. Yet compared to other countries with similar economies its healthcare outputs leave much to be desired. In many ways it is unfit for purpose. This is unsurprising, for any system devised within the very different world, of 1947, will inevitably have become ineffective. It is now long overdue for a root and branch reform.

      • Anton

        Just give 2/3 of its administrators a year’s notice and let them work it out for themselves. The ratio of administrators to (doctors + nurses) was four times higher than in private medicine in Blair’s early years and it would have got worse since. The NHS will inevitably cost more than in 1947 because thankfully more can be done for ill people.

        • Inspector General

          Remarkably few administrators as such in the NHS. This is because the thing is essentially clinician led, and clinicians fill managerial posts as well as personally practising medicine and the like.

          • Anton

            That was not the finding of consultant surgeon Maurice Slevin, who took pains to find the true figures which I quote in his trust (the largest, London) in the Blair era.

          • Inspector General

            Think you’ll find that London is an exception to the rule. Teaching hospitals abound and it is the destination of choice for health tourism. Especially HIV AIDS.

          • Anton

            Then please give some alternative figures and state their source.

        • David

          Quite !

      • petej

        The NHS has been in a constant state of reform all my life.

        I don’t believe that imposing a decade long pay freeze on its staff is beneficial. I don’t believe that privatising and degrading outpatient clinics is beneficial.

  • Anton

    Cameron says that Theresa May will have to listen to other parties on Brexit.

    She should start by reminding people that 80% of those who voted, voted for a party seeking Brexit. Then – and only then – should she explain that the right negotiating stance in the present situation is to go in prepared to walk out.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    I do hope Bishop Broadbent (for I refuse to use the diminutive ‘Pete’ out of respect for the office) is not chosen to succeed Bishop Chartres on a permanent basis. He divides his lock into sheep and goats and is only concerned with his leftist fellow travellers. This is not what a bishop should be about. His use of language is somewhat vulgar, his views on the royal family distasteful and his very presence on the bench likewise. He may or may not be ‘a good man’ but he doesn’t come across like one.

    • Anton

      Does Her Majesty have a say in this appointment?

      • PaulMcKechnie

        She signs a piece of paper. No, it is not her decision in any way.

        • Anton

          Thank you (and Mrs P).

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        No, she has no say…but as the Bishop of London has a part to play in coronations, it might be a point worth considering for the future, given Bishop Broadbent’s republican views…

    • David

      Hear, hear !
      A bishop should be a focus of unity, in Christ. Broadbent creates division and discord, using socialism as his wrecking bar.

    • BigMach

      “He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.” Matt 25 v.33

  • Navarth

    If you work in the City – or know anyone who owns a successful manufacturing business – you will know precisely why Brexit is a disaster. TM’s manifesto was chock full of empty slogans and insanely cruel and eccentric policies (fox hunting), Corbyn is obviously a prime minister in waiting and the election was not a Conservative victory. For example, any Brexit will now be entirely dictated by the EU and on the EU’s terms. I must add that I see no problem with the DUP taking the Tories for everything it can get, which is is precisely what I would do if I were in Arlene Foster’s shoes.

    • Inspector General

      You are mistaken, sir. The EU is a disaster. Even when this country said it was leaving, was there any attempt or desire to reform itself? There was not. The EU is now going the same way as the Soviet Union. You see, the bribe pot that keeps the majority of the 27 interested enough to stay will get substantially smaller without the UK paying in. They won’t hang around if there’s nothing in it for them anymore…

  • Hi

    Well Jez is a messianic type figure to the left, plus his initials are JC! !

    But anyways I’m waiting for the western musical called
    ” Jeremy Corbyn : superstar” to be written.

    “Hey Sanna Sanna Sanna Hosanna
    Hey Sanna Hosanna
    Hey JC, JC won’t you abolish tuition fees for me?
    Sanna Hosanna
    Hey Superstar”

  • Father David

    I’ve just put a fiver on with Paddy Powers that + Pete Broadbent WON’T be the next Bishop of London

    • Anton

      If London is a High diocese then North should come south.

      • Linus

        North is an enthusiastic Corbynista, which I agree makes him eminently suitable for an episcopal role in London.

        Who knows, greater exposure to Labour Party headquarters may make a convert of him to the cause of equality. If I were Corbyn, I’d set Diane Abbot to work on him. She needs a project to get her teeth into while she’s sorting her insulin levels out.

        Labour’s Di-hard will soon have him singing from the equal rights, multi-culti wimmyn-make-the-best-priests hymn sheet. It’ll be gay all the way and every new lady-priest he ordains will be issued with a buzz cut and dangly licorice allsorts earrings as standard.

        “Our birth or adoptive care-giver who art in diverse and inclusive eco-community” will resound through London’s churches as the first line of a new and improved Lord’s (or Lady’s, or Genderqueer Religious Leader’s) Prayer.

        Can’t wait! It’s all downhill from there.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Please, no. Although he’d be a lot better than many.

    • Little Black Censored

      You could safely have staked a lot more than that, but I can’t imagine the odds were very favourable.

  • Father David

    Mrs Proudie, dear lady, I bow to your superior knowledge of these Establishment matters but pray, what part does the Bishop of London play in coronations of the English monarch? The Archbishop of Canterbury anoints and crowns and the Bishops of Durham and the Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells support but what is left for the Bishop of London to do apart from to be there?
    I have a particular interest in all of this as the Family Business depends upon it. Father formed the “Coronation Programme Sellers Co. plc” just after the War – we had a good year in 1953 but things have been a little slack ever since and, may I add, long may this slackness continue for, unlike Bishop Peter Broadbent, I, like you, am a monarchist – “Long may she reign”

  • Dreadnaught

    Dick-heads like him convince me more than ever that giving organised religion a wide berth is right for me. And he is a dick-head for alienating many decent people from the CoE especially. He gets no respect from me and I will tell him so next Remeberance Day.

    • Anton

      Sometimes atheists say what Christians aren’t supposed to! You could always try disorganised religion, though.

      • Dreadnaught

        No thanks, I’m quite happy in my skin.

  • An alternative mix: “You cannot know with what headbanging weariness it must be reported that the Bishop of London (acting), the Rt Rev’d Pete Broadbent, blames “right wing life-sappers” for the “disasters” of Brexit…”

  • Martin

    Perhaps he should spend more time supporting football teams and abandon trying to be a bishop.

  • Anton

    If he’s the acting Bishop of London then he’s a pretty poor actor.

    Why is there a gap? Richard Chartres could have carried on until a new bishop was installed or consecrated or whatever the verb is, couldn’t he?

  • grutchyngfysch

    What Brexiteer has ever proposed the end of liberalism and the Enlightenment?

    Loathe though I am to contradict the rhetoric mid-flow, I’d have to say: this one.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Not only does he oppose, by denial, Biblical truth – he clearly also denies facts of the world. He’s in a right state.