budget 2017 church of england
Market and Economics

Church of England dances a jig over Tory Budget 2017

The Church of England has responded to the government’s Budget 2017 with a round of effusive applause.

In a statement gushing with appreciation, the Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Rev’d David Urquhart, who speaks on behalf of the Bishops in the House of Lords, lauded the fact that 3.5 million private sector jobs have been created since 2010, meaning that more people have the security of a wage and the dignity of employment. This was great news for millions of families, and the church likes families. And mindful of the biblical exhortations to avoid debt, the Bishop praised the Conservatives for cutting the deficit by over three quarters over the past seven years, which obviously helps to keep the economy strong, which benefits everyone. And the church likes helping everyone. Being a trainspotter, the Bishop was especially gleeful that the Tories have invested half a trillion pounds in transport infrastructure, including the biggest rail programme since the Victorians.

The Bishop likes the Victorian era very much.

Being a fan of ‘The Blue Planet‘, the Bishop was very much hoping that something would be done to cut the amount of plastic being dumped in the world’s oceans, so he was very happy indeed that Tories are taking action on single-use plastics that damage our environment. This will surely help to save baby whales. He likes sea creatures a lot more than he likes maths, but he does understand that maths is almost as important as theology, so welcomed the £600 maths premium to schools for each student who decides to study the subject beyond GCSE. He intends to write to the Chancellor to ask for consideration next year that RE be given equal treatment. If they can afford a whopping £500m to fund technology to keep Britain at the forefront of new technology and #fitforthefuture, there’s really no reason why half a billion couldn’t be found to keep Britain #spirituallyfitforthepresent.

But this was the Bishop’s only quibble.

He cheered the fact that from next April the National Living Wage will rise to £7.83, meaning full-time workers will be £2,000 better off since the Conservatives introduced it. Thanks to the National Living Wage, lower paid workers have seen their wages grow in real terms more than any other group, which is good news for the poor. The church likes helping the poor. And changes to Universal Credit will make a real difference to those claimants currently experiencing hardship. The church likes helping those suffering hardship. The Bishop cheered even louder that also from April the personal allowance will rise to £11,850, making a typical taxpayer £1,075 a year better off compared to 2010, ensuring people keep more of the money they earn in their own pockets. The church likes it when people keep more of their own money, so they can be more generous with it in church on Sundays. The Bishop also lauded the wisdom of keeping fuel duty frozen for the eighth consecutive year, meaning the average car driver is £850 better off since 2010. And he applauded the extra £2.8bn investment in the NHS (with an immediate £350m to prepare for the winter). The church likes it when the sick and infirm are cared for.

Mindful of the importance of 5.5 million small businesses to the economy, the Bishop was very happy to hear about plans to bring forward the planned Business Rates switch from RPI to CPI to April 2018, which is worth £2.3 billion to businesses over the next five years. And he was even happier to hear about plans to invest £44 billion in house-building to deliver an average of 300,000 homes a year by the middle of the next decade – the biggest increase in supply since 1970. And to help the next generation buy a home of their own, the Tories are abolishing stamp duty for over 80 per cent of first-time buyers. This pleased the Church of England greatly, for home is where the heart is, and the church cares about people’s hearts.

It is unacceptable in the 21st century that people are sleeping on the streets, so the kind and compassionate Conservatives are investing £28 million as part of their commitment to halve rough sleeping by 2022, and eliminate it altogether by 2027. The Church of England danced a jig over this announcement, and are inviting the whole Parliamentary Party to Lambeth Palace for Christmas drinks to express their appreciation, and to apologise for constantly slagging them off as the ‘Nasty Party’.

Especially heartening to the Bishop was the good news that Conservatives are freezing duty on beer, wine and spirits, which will make their Christmas drinks (and communion wine) even cheaper. And he boogied all night when he heard that they are investing a further £3bn to prepare Britain for every Brexit eventuality (ie, ‘No Deal’), for all the Bishops are now conceding that the Bishop of Shrewsbury is a prophet of God.

It is heartening indeed when the Established Church appreciates the fiscal prudence of the moral economy. It is even more heartening when they remind their congregations of the dire consequences of unmanageable debt, and of what Labour’s departing Chief Secretary, Liam Byrne, told the incoming Government in 2010: “I’m afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck!”

Hm..?

What’s that you say?

This wasn’t the Church of England’s response to the Budget?

Oh, there’s a surprise.

  • Royinsouthwest

    This wasn’t the Church of England’s response to the Budget?

    I must admit that I have not yet heard anything about the CoE’s response to the budget yet. Mind you, even without the benefit of His Grace’s brilliant satirical article I think I could guess what its general tone would be – much the same as that of the BBC.

    Last night, watching the news on BBC1 was a bit like watching a report on a natural disaster of the kind that happens in countries unfortunate to be in a part of the world subject to earthquakes, hurricanes etc. but on this occasion had struck Britain. The gloomy looking BBC reporters stressed over and over again that the forecasts for economic growth had been cut, never once pointing out that economic forecasting is no more reliable than long term weather forecasting.

    The BBC also repeated referred to the uncertainty caused by Brexit, although I think that they do have a point there. The government’s leadership has been dithering and indecisive, it has been weak in its negotiations with the EU, and very little has been done in time, getting on for a year and a half now, since the Referendum.

    Regional public affairs programs were probably no better than the BBC news. In Wales, I forget whether it was BBC Wales or ITV, in a studio decision one indignant woman kept on talking about food banks and people “dying on the streets” without being challenged. Another person asked why the NHS had not received the extra millions that some leave campaigners had promised. It was pointed out to him that we have not left the EU yet but that cut little ice. Others grumbled, quite predictably, that the £3 billion set aside to prepare for any Brexit eventuality should have gone to the NHS instead.

    I imagine that the BBC and ITV’s regional coverage was much the same all over Britain and that most CoE bishops would see little wrong with that.

    • To be fair, the BBC (Radio 4 Today, around 07.40 today) tried repeatedly (but without success) to point out to the shadow chancellor that his policies would increase debt and debt repayments. Like the Marxist Fundamentalist he is, he repeatedly asserted that the maths were unimportant and that it was obvious that we could borrow and spend our way to prosperity. My dementing mother in law has a better memory than these crooks and the mugs and leeches that vote for them in the hope of more free stuff.

      True, if British voters elect a Labour government led by such innumerate and unprincipled rogues it will deserve what follows, but given the utter uselessness of the shower currently infesting Downing Street, I can understand youngsters saddled by student debt and unaffordable housing being taken in.

      I can remember all our Prime Ministers back to Harold Wilson, but can never remember such a parcel of rogues in a na5tion as this gang.

      Cannabis or junk-TV induced stupor has never seemed more appealing.

      • CliveM

        Ive resorted to large amounts of alcohol.

        • Royinsouthwest

          The Government Inspector would probably approve. I suspect, however, that his full approval would depend on your particular choices of ale and/or spirits.

      • At my great age I can remember back to the ‘Barber boom’ (nothing to do with haircuts) of the early ’70s. Suffice it to say that it didn’t end well.
        Spending one’s way to prosperity is like drinking one’s way to sobriety of fornicating one’s way to chastity. They sound more fun than the alternatives, but, alas! They do not work.

      • Chefofsinners

        Yes, John McDonald attempted, clumsily, to use the age-old argument that the multiplier effect would create more wealth. This argument ignores its own corollary, that an equal and opposite effect operates whenever the debt is repaid, and in the meantime a secondary effect also operates through the interest payments.

        • Manfarang

          Of course the multiplier effect would create more wealth. Money thrown around spent on imports. More wealth in China.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    I like the photograph of spiritual lords a-leaping…very seasonal. It could spark off a new must-watch google box programme, e.g. “Quickly Come Prancing” or “Lords of the Dance”… As for the Church of England’s response to the budget, isn’t it ultimate irrelevant…and most probably irreverent?

    • Royinsouthwest

      In modern parlance it would “go viral” Mrs Proudie. How would such an outbreak of “enthusiasm” be received in Barchester? Presumably Mustafa Fatwa would regard it as provocative but would everyone else think that in these dark times any sign of a pulse is cause for rejoicing?

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        Enthusiasm is a horrid, horrid thing, dear Roy.

    • dannybhoy

      Amusingly written: I like amusingly written articles…
      What about,
      Here we come a-prancing, amidst the empty pews…?

    • Father David

      More like the Pop Group – Blur, judging by the quality of the photograph.
      I recognise Fulham and Kensington (Area Bishops and therefore not in the House of Lords) and I believe the one in the middle of the blurred trio is the Acting Bishop of London (also not in the Lords) typically wearing a different shade in his purple frock to to others.
      I think the Reverend Kate Bottley could shew them a thing or two about jigging in the aisles.

    • Bernard from Bucks

      Don we now our gay apparel, … Sing we joyous all together,

    • jsampson45

      “Is Saul also among the prophets?” (1 Samuel 19:24)

  • Inspector General

    When the shocking news reached Inspector Towers that that
    apostate cabal in the Lords had abstained on Same Sex Marriage (with the sole
    exception of Nazir-Ali, who lone among them thoroughly deserves his salvation) the Inspector raised his staff to the air, held it in both hands, and cursed the rotters in the name of the Lord. Their heirs and successors too, for all time and in perpetuity

    It is only his concern that there continues to be enough curse to go around that keeps this man alive, probably.

    • dannybhoy

      I fear your life of solitude, pacing the rush strewn and ale splashed flags of Inspector Towers is making thee into a weird religious extremist IG…

      • Inspector General

        Danny. You wouldn’t think 39 bishops acting as one could go wrong, would you. That’s what so astonishing about it…

        Still, 39 divine judgements to come. It won’ t end well…

        • dannybhoy

          The CofE has been taken over by subversives and wannabe politicians, what do you expect?
          Btw you took your time answering.. Indisposed?
          Syrup of figs for you young man..

          • Inspector General

            Spent the rest of the day cursing Anglican bishops. Some in person…

  • dannybhoy

    ot
    And what has happened to Avi Barzel, anyone know?
    Hannah?

    • carl jacobs

      Avi was around a week or so ago. Hannah is gone. She decided the weblog was too offensive to her lesbian identity.

      • dannybhoy

        I hope Avi will get around to contributing his own perceptive viewpoints again.
        I am very sad about Hannah. I followed her own blog for a few years because of its particularly Jewish community flavour and I like her, she’s a lovely person.
        How do you know all this anyway?

        • carl jacobs

          Because I was on the weblog when she left.

          • dannybhoy

            Well so was I, but she continued to answer mine and other comments afterwards so I thought I must have got it wrong..

          • She left …. she returned …. she left again. She’s done it before and returned … she’ll do it all again.

            The world continues to spin and life as we know it goes on.

          • dannybhoy

            Philosophical,
            With a tinge of cynicism Jack.
            Not like you at all…

          • He was a good man, was Antisthenes.

          • dannybhoy

            Brother of Anthistamines?
            http://www.iep.utm.edu/antisthe/
            I understand old Dodgyknees held him in high regard.
            “Virtue can be taught.
            Only the virtuous are noble.
            Virtue is itself sufficient for happiness, since it requires “nothing else except the strength of a Socrates” (D.L. 6.11).
            Virtue is tied to deeds and actions, and does not require a great deal of words or learning.
            The wise person is self-sufficient.
            Having a poor reputation is something good, and is like physical hardship.
            The law of virtue rather than the laws established by the polis will determine the public acts of one who is wise.
            The wise person will marry in order to have children with the best women.
            The wise person knows who are worthy of love, and so does not disdain to love.”

      • Inspector General

        You chased her off, Carl…

        • dannybhoy

          Ah I forgot about that animosity, but I’m not sure that was Carl…
          In fact sounds more like you!
          I

          • Her departing comment: “I’m leaving because you all upset me and it’s all your fault. You should feel bad.”

            Hannah accused commenters here of obsessing about gay people and thinking homosexuality was the worst thing in the world. Carl called her on this and asked her to name names and provide evidence. Then, in Carl’s words, “she stomped off the weblog like a petulant child”, adding “If she was offended, she needs to look inside and not outside for the reason.”

            Carl was correct … as he very occasionally is.

          • carl jacobs

            Just to be clear, this was my summary of why she left. Hannah did not write this. I did.

            Her departing comment: “I’m leaving because you all upset me and it’s all your fault. You should feel bad.”

            Otherwise, thank you, Jack.

          • It pained Jack supporting you …. pained him.

          • carl jacobs

            That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

          • dannybhoy

            At the risk of sounding pompous or holier than thou..
            I had lots of (I thought) exhaustive conversations with Hannah, and others on her blog on the subject of sexual orientation.
            Clive and Pubcrawler were around as well, and there was some lively discussions on that and other issues. For me the conclusion was that on a social level I accept and like Hannah and I liked learning about her family and how they live their lives. On a religious level I disagreed with the LGBT (aggressive) agenda. But I wouldn’t let these differences stop a developing friendship based on mutual respect and liking, and anyway Hannah and her friends (cue film) did not come across as lesbians with an agenda; they simply shared their thoughts around the issues , especially as it related to their Jewish faith and heritage.
            I don’t think we are defined by our sexuality alone, there is so much more to us as human beings, and I hope she and her family and friends will come back and visit us again soon.

  • cutting the deficit by over three quarters over the past seven years

    For anyone interested in the complete picture, Full Fact looks at the national debt between 1997/98 and 2017/18, and the United Kingdom National Debt Clock merrily ticks away here. What was that about ‘biblical exhortations to avoid debt’?

    I’m afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck!

    For anyone interested in the complete picture, Reginald Maudling told James Callaghan in 1964, ‘Good luck, old cock. Sorry to leave it in such a mess.’ On mismanagement of the economy as on everything else, there is nothing to choose between Conservative and Labour.

    • Dolphinfish

      Quite so. And yet, I find it simply fascinating that the English continue in the unchallenged assumption that “the Tories are good with money”. They NEVER question this, even the lefties amongst them. Tories have about as much financial acumen as a drunken duke on a stag night. They couldn’t run the Eton tuck shop, yet their ability with money is unquestioned. Why? Because they’re rich? Thieves often are, but that doesn’t make them desirable. The UK Conservative Party is an organized criminal conspiracy. It exists to enrich its senior members and for no other reason. They are only “good with money” in the sense that they are very, very good at stealing it. Loyalty, patriotism, law and order, these things are merely it’s shtick, the thing it peddles. It doesn’t believe (or even care) about any of it. It has no loyalty to the UK, or even to England. So why, in this insular country whose people insist they know their own mind and can tell a bad ‘un when they see one, is this cabal still alive and thriving?

      • Martin

        Of course it isn’t only Conservative politicians who are rich.

        • Dolphinfish

          I don’t claim it is. My point is that the Conservative Party never existed for any other purpose. Labour once did, though it’s been rotten for decades. I have no idea what the Lib Dems are supposed to stand for, and I’m even prepared to admit that, given enough time and corrupting influences, the SNP could go to the bad. But all of them BEGAN with good intentions; the Tories never had a single social or patriotic impulse in their entire collective history. Other parties became rotten TO the core; the Conservative Party is – and from day one, always was – rotten FROM the core. So what gives? Why do they still exist?

          • Martin

            Why would any political party be other than corrupt?

          • Dolphinfish

            Because, with the exception of the Tories, they were all set up to combat corruption. Paradoxically, that’s the reason why I don’t actually hate the Tories. I despise the Labour Party, but not the Tories. After all, what do you expect from a pig but a grunt?

          • Royinsouthwest

            Bacon?

          • Anton

            Pork barrels?

          • Martin

            You’re serious?

          • Anton

            The Whigs are the lineal ancestors of the LibDems and were not founded for that reason.

            David Alton wrote a fine book showing how all British political parties simply stressed different aspects of the gospel.

          • Royinsouthwest

            I am not a Conservative, except with a small “c,” but your account of the Conservative party is historically inaccurate. You could improve your education by studying the works of Edmund Burke. If that seems too much like hard work you could always read about him.

      • @ Dolphinfish—My parents voted Conservative. I well remember my father stating as though it were one of the Ten Commandments that Labour could always be trusted to govern badly and the Conservatives could always be trusted to govern well. I am ashamed to admit that I viewed politics in much the same way until I began to think for myself and saw that there was nothing to choose between the mainstream parties, all of which are working against the best interests of the people.

        It was unpleasant to admit that I had been naive and stupid all those years. It is terrifying to realize how deceitful politicians are. Perhaps the cabal thrives because some/most people prefer not to make such an admission and prefer not to experience such a realization.

      • carl jacobs

        You hear that the cause of Scottish Independence is “We hate Tories!” but it’s still surprising to see it clearly expressed …

        The UK Conservative Party is an organized criminal conspiracy

        … in all its carefully reasoned, meticulously considered splendor.

        It has no loyalty to the UK or even to England.

        No other options remain. They have all been excluded. The analysis is irrefutable.

        All that is missing is the obligatory assault on the memory of Margaret Thatcher.

      • Redrose82

        Because the alternative gang is a hundred times worse.

      • CliveM

        I thought you’d appreciate this joke:

        Nicola Sturgeon was on her campaign trail again and touring the countryside in a chauffeur-driven car.

        Suddenly a cow jumps out into the road, they hit it full on and the car comes to a stop. Nicola in her usual charming manner says to the chauffeur ‘You get out and check – you were driving!’

        The chauffeur gets out, checks and tells her that the animal was dead.

        ‘You were driving; so you had better go and tell the farmer,’ says Nicola

        Five hours later the chauffeur returns totally plastered, hair ruffled with a big grin on his face.

        ‘My goodness what happened to you?’ Asks Nicola

        The chauffeur replies: ‘When I got there, the farmer opened his best bottle of malt whisky, the wife gave me a slap up meal and the daughter made love to me.’

        ‘What on earth did you say?’ asks Nicola

        ‘Not much really….. I knocked on the door, and when it was answered I said……..’I’m Nicola Sturgeon’s chauffeur and I’ve just killed the cow’!

  • Given much the budget was basically pandering to Corbyn (higger taxes, more taxes, more state interefence, etc etc.) one would have thought leftists would be quite pleased with the budget.
    The CoE statement is basically a carbon copy of Corbyn’s rant yesterday.
    What a poor condition politics and the established church is in. All signs of national decline.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Old fashioned socialists had objectives which, at least in theory, could conceivably be satisfied. Modern “social justice” warriors will never be satisfied as they are always on the look-out for new grievances and will invent ones if they cannot find any genuine ones.

  • not a machine

    Your grace posts on something of current concern and as ever the merchants of kompromat are busy. Far be it for me to consider if my bishops having a dancing session, about the prophetic only to dismiss it as gossip, what does that say? I don’t know, should I be green with envy? Or full of sorrows for the suffering to come that they chose not to heed? I enjoyed r4 today program helping all those innovators….. 🙂

    • not a machine

      From my perspective I am thinking about what comes as consequence,I see natural life systems that could, and that is a reasoned interrogation of observation sort of could, which might be very bad for a very long time frame, and in my view, that is wronging no one.

      • not a machine

        OK will sign off for a while as rolling stones sung its a gas gas gas.

        • dannybhoy

          You’re a stran- interesting chap nam..

          • not a machine

            It’s the days I am typing too quick and my spelling is rubbish, that I also worry about 🙂

    • dannybhoy

      Your quote is wrong, it was Uncle Ben and he said ‘rice’..

      • not a machine

        Mmm that explains his theory of special pineapplertivrty 🙂

        • dannybhoy

          Very good.

      • Anton

        The exact quote (in translation) is

        Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the ‘old one’. I, at any rate, am convinced that He is not playing at dice.

        It is from a letter Einstein wrote to Max Born dated 4th December 1926. English translation in: The Born-Einstein Letters 1916-1955 (MacMillan Press, Basingstoke, UK), 2005, p.88.

        • dannybhoy

          Thank you Anton, you are a good chap.

  • Father David

    April 1st (which next year happens to be Easter Day) is a long way off yet.
    Thankfully we are not going to regain the sobriquet “The Tory Party at Prayer”

    • Royinsouthwest

      I would like to see all political parties at prayer as long as their prayers were sincere and were directed at the one true God.

  • roger_pearse

    The CofE needs a good cleanout. It’s stuffed with worthless lefties who don’t believe in God. We need a reform commission.

  • Manfarang

    The journalist Michael Shanks, in his classic book The Stagnant Society, labelled post-war Britain a ‘Janus-faced’ society, ‘in feverish pursuit of a prosperity it can never quite bring itself to believe in’. When growth slowed down, in the early 1970s, these easily-gotten gains looked to be both reversible and at risk. When things did go wrong, politicians of all parties could deflect blame onto immigration, rising crime and ‘degeneracy’, to their economic inheritance, or the course of the world economy. There was no straight or linear connection between the successes and failures of post-war policy and political popularity.
    History repeats itself.

  • Why are the bishops leaping about?

    • Chefofsinners

      Preparing for the 10th day of Christmas?

    • Ray Sunshine

      And why is the one on the left standing still? Is he afraid his wig would fall off?

    • Chefofsinners

      Because they like the budget. Can’t you read?

      • That’s a typo. It’s the budgie they like.

        • Pubcrawler

          Blame it on the budgie.

          Well, that was Michael Jackson’s excuse.

    • Chefofsinners

      They are debating a deep theological question:
      How many pinhead Anglicans can dance?

      • Mass hysteria.

        • not a machine

          Lol

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          High Mass hysteria?

          • Chefofsinners

            Eucha-cha-charist

          • … at finally realising their orders are all invalid, perhaps.

          • Anton

            Yes, Anglican ordination is invalid. So is Catholic ordination.

        • Chefofsinners

          Cassocks – designed to create more ballroom.

    • magnolia

      I don’t know. It reminds me of “Ring a ring of roses.” in rather pink party dresses. Or perhaps “The farmers in his den” followed by “The farmer needs a husband..”? I could wish it was closer to break-dancing and looked a bit more robust!! Or Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers…now that is honouring to the Almighty!

  • Chefofsinners

    Much is good about the UK economy. However, growth has been fuelled by low wage, low productivity labour, subsidised by government so that real wages have stagnated for a decade.

    More people than ever are working, but children are brought up by strangers. Both parents working has raised household incomes, but the extra money is chasing the same housing stock, causing inflation so that now couples have to both work in order to pay a mortgage.
    None of this is good or Godly. Economic policy has broken the family.

  • dannybhoy

    Thanks Sarky, Nice gesture but I doubt evisceration will solve anything.

  • jsampson45

    I have never understood how plastic gets into the sea – I thought rubbish was dumped in landfill.

    • Pubcrawler

      This might help elucidate:

      https://www.theoceancleanup.com/sources/

      But don’t expect the fact that the bulk of it comes from Asia to deter our leaders from using it as an excuse to levy yet another tax.

    • John Moore

      There are at least another one hundred other countries, many so called ‘developing nations’ which will push it to the nearest place where it will disappear and that is the sea. I am amazed that all the comments in the press don’t seem to have thought of this. I’ve seen it.

    • James Bolivar DiGriz

      As others have said a lot come from less developed nations. When you see a piece about the ocean being full of plastic with a picture showing loads of identifiable items (e.g. bottles) then that picture is from a harbour in a third world country, not from the ocean.

      Some does get into the sea from developed nations. Anything dropped into a river may make it that far. Also lots of the sewage & storm water systems in the UK date from Victorian times and are more connected than they ought to be.

      So when there is heavy rain not only does that rain water end up in rivers (with all of the plastic rubbish dropped on the streets but untreated sewage ends up in the rivers and that sewage contains more plastic than you might imagine. Partly people putting unexpected things down the toilet and partly manufacturers using plastics in things like wet wipes which they say are flushable. They are flushable but they don’t break down and if they get to a swage farm they are screened out whole.

      Also there are microscopic plastic beads in some shower gels, there to act as exfoliants. These are so small they go through a sewage farm and out into rivers.

      The good news is that what little genuine research (as opposed to environmental press releases) indicates that the problem is not that great.

      When ocean water is sieved with, say, a 10mm sieve a certain number of pieces are found. When a 1mm sieve is used there should be (and are) c. 10 times as many pieces. This 10 time multiplying carries on until something like 0.01 mm, when the number of particles plummets to essentially zero.

      Oil, the precursor of plastics, seeps into the ocean all the time and so there are bacteria that live on oil. The most likely reason that tiny pieces of plastic cannot be found is that they are small enough (and so have a large enough surface area to mass ration) for the bacteria to digest them.

  • CliveM

    She has her own site if you wish to follow her.

    • dannybhoy

      Yes, he could go there couldn’t he!

      • CliveM

        You know what I meant.

        • dannybhoy

          Course I did..

  • layreader

    Who do Bishops speak on behalf of these days, I wonder? Certainly not the membership of the Church of England, in whose opinion nobody is interested. Gosh, they might find some of them actually read the Daily Mail.

    • Inspector General

      Karl Marx and his friend Engels. Of course, they may not, but who would know…

      • Royinsouthwest

        Who was the pope who said Not Angles but Engels? If you don’t know Inspector perhaps Happy Jack could remind us.

        • Ray Sunshine

          That would be Pope Reinhard (“Rhino”) Marx, c. 2025–c.2035
          http://www.comece.eu/site/en/whoweare/ourmemberbishops/article/10041.html

        • “Non Angli, sed angeli.”
          (Pope Gregory the Great)

          The story, as reported by Saint Bede, goes that Pope Gregory the Great saw some fair-haired and fair-skinned slaves in a slave market in Italy, and was told that they were Angles.

          Jack thinks your version prescient.

          • Pubcrawler

            “Not Angels, but Anglicans.”

            (Sellar & Yeatman)

          • Plagiarism.

          • layreader

            1066 And All That – The greatest history book ever..

          • dannybhoy

            https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/non-angli-sed-angeli/
            GA Studdert Kennedy aka Woodbine Willy.
            Respect him men; he went through ww1 ministering to the troops and wrote his poetry as a man of his times..

          • dannybhoy

            (Only because he deferred to you.. :0)

  • Royinsouthwest

    The man with the flat cap on the far left, could that be Jeremy Corbyn? And the woman on his left, is that Harriet Harman?

  • Chefofsinners

    Most of all, the British economy needs to be unshackled from the EU.
    The constant supply of cheap labour is a sugar-fix which destroys productivity.
    The net contributions deflate our economy.
    Tariffs prevent us trading on equal terms with most of the worlld.
    Excessive regulation stifles our companies.
    We need to rediscover our identity as a dynamic global trading nation.

    • Mike Stallard

      I wish to inform you, Chief, that this is not going to happen. One thing resists prayer, M. Hammond, and even the Great Mrs May, and that is the burgeoning bureaucracy. If you re read your post, you will see that petitions 1, 5 and 6 are directly supported; petitions 2, and 3 are deeply involved with the Education bureaucracy; petition 4, is simply wrong.

  • Inspector General

    “So. There you have it men. Our bishops are in the main Marxists”

    “Can I shoot them then, Mr Mainwaring”

    “I don’t see why not, Pike. Religion is the opium of the people, according to Marx. They would be done away with eventually, as they have been in that workers paradise, Russia”

    “Mum, Uncle Arthur! Come and see what I’m about to do with the Tommy gun”

  • Has spreadsheet Phil made an error or are we not leaving the EU or the Customs Union? Well done to Jacob for spotting this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj4hPgY_uMo

    • Father David

      Hopefully this is Spreadsheet Phil’s “cunning plan” to keep us in the EU and to Exit Brexit.

      • Well if it is, he’s been rumbled.

        • Father David

          Trust that swot Rees Mogg to do the rumbling
          Ruddy Snitch!

  • Anton

    The Bishops danced all the more merrily when the Chancellor announced that the Foreign Aid budget would be redirected and spent on the Armed Forces and that tax credits would come to an end so as to increase the incentive of people to get a job.

  • Jonathan

    I was shocked to hear that my own bishop David Urqhuart who I have met had apparently turned into a card carrying Revolutionary Marxist and that shock horror even in preference to being a mouthpiece of the current alledgedly “Conservative” government. Gobsmacked. Then I actually read the linked article. Did anyone else? Communist manifesto it is not.

  • Jonathan

    Though I rather prefer the prayer for the day that follows the article by the bishop of Birmingham:
    ‘Heavenly Father,
    whose blessed Son was revealed
    to destroy the works of the devil
    and to make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life:
    grant that we, having this hope,
    may purify ourselves even as he is pure;
    that when he shall appear in power and great glory
    we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom;
    where he is alive and reigns with you,
    in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and for ever.
    Amen.’