Meditation and Reflection

Is it time for a Good News Day?

Let’s survey the news today: there’s a boycott, a ban, another ban, yet another ban, a blunder, a bereavement, a crisis, a dilemma, sex and drugs, suicide, murder, theft, envy, hate, war, power abuse, petty officialdom and a killer earthquake. O, mustn’t forget Brexit, which will doubtless feed the bad news stream for the next five years. And there’s an awful lot more where that came from.

Is it time to dedicate a day to good news? Christians, of course, have the Good News to share every day (not that we do). But the mainstream media is jam packed with everything that’s dark, depressing and despondent: tragedy and pessimism abound. Where’s the light? Where’s the radiant hope? Where’s the fragrance of optimism, encouragement and edification?

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Phil 4:8).

The Archbishop Cranmer blog is going to try an experiment: from now on, Friday will be #GoodNewsDay. Hits might take a dive, comment threads wane, and mockery abound, but it’s got to be worth a try. In a bit of Twitter crowd-sourcing, the following were offered as today’s good news stories. Of course, goodness is in the eye of the beholder: one man’s loveliness is another’s ugliness; one woman’s virtue is another’s vice. Perhaps in an age of moral relativity, it isn’t really possible (or advisable) to assert anything as morally dogmatic as ‘good news’. But that’s a bid of negativism and cynicism creeping in there, and we can’t have that, can we? No, not today. Today is Good News Day.

So here’s what people immediately offered on Twitter:

To see Sir Vince Cable juxtaposed with the Risen Christ is a resurrection indeed (though one man’s good news is another’s… this is going to be difficult to sustain).

Here’s today’s official Good News offering.

If you haven’t yet heard of Kemi Badenoch, you need to. She was elected to Parliament a few weeks ago, as the Member for Saffron Walden. She made her maiden speech this week quoting Burke and John Bright (correctly); lauding Churchill, Thatcher, Airey Neave and RA Butler; and comparing democracy to sex. You must listen right to the end, where she describes Brexit as “the greatest ever vote of confidence in the project of the United Kingdom”. If this is the future of Conservatism, it is gloriously good news indeed:

  • Anton

    England’s victory over South Africa at the home of cricket, Lords, in the first Test of the summer. (Never mind about the second.)

  • I’m to have a prostate biopsy but the skill of the doctor and the abnormalities in the prostate belong to the Lord.

    • IanCad

      I hope all goes well for you John.

    • dannybhoy

      (With feeling)
      All blokes worry about this one, at least I know I do. Your times are in His hands, but we can all pray for you , especially on the day it’s to happen?

      • Thanks Danny (and Ian). Date not arranged yet.

        • dannybhoy

          Well please let us know so’s we can offer our prayers for you.
          I remember years ago now when I first ever went in for ‘investigations’ of a most intrusive and uncomfortable nature regarding the prostate (which I thought in my ignorance was some form of worship). I’d developed problems with passing urine etc etc. It was said my family were cursed with big thirsts and small bladders…

          Anyway I refused the solutions offered, and do you know the whole thing calmed down, but riding a bike has become distinctly uncomfortable…
          I am anticipating that something similar to your biopsy will prove necessary before long; but as a doctor once said to me regarding the results of a PSA test..
          “Mr Bhoy, it is more likely that something else will kill you before that does…….”
          God bless you.

    • David

      Take courage. Your faith is your lifeline, in all senses of the word.
      God bless you and keep you.

    • len

      The Lord bless you and keep you.

    • Sarky

      My old man went through this and came out fine the other side. Its very treatable.

    • It’s tough when one is facing the possibility of cancer, John. We know we’re mortal but somehow we don’t know. So many thoughts go through one’s head. Jack’s thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • Cressida de Nova

      May God bless you and keep you safe.

    • Anna

      May God heal you.

    • Thanks to all for encouraging comments. I hope it was clear that I was stressing the ‘good news’ that the Lord is in control of all that threatens and for the believer nothing happens outside of his love and commitment to us. All works for our eternal good. In a fallen world this is ‘great news’.

  • David

    Gavin Ashenden announces that they are widening the discussion group which is examining ways to provide orthodox episcopal oversight for the UK’s conservative, Biblical Anglicans of all traditions.

  • Martin

    Before you can have the good news, you must first accept the bad news.

    • Sarky

      Bet you’re fun at parties.

      • This life is no party. But the party is to come.

        • Sarky

          Mine is.

          • Martin

            That’s because you haven’t seen the writing yet.

      • Martin

        The party ends with the writing on the wall.

        • Sarky

          No..kebabs.

  • IanCad

    What absolutely splendid stuff!! We can hope again, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; for such is the encouragement this new MP offers. We are not alone! There is a remnant. The spirit of liberty continues – it is not wholly dead. Tempered only by the miserably small number of parliamentarians who attended, this is a wonderful start to Good News Friday.

  • len

    The only real good news in this world is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.I only wish the church would start to share the Gospel with the World.
    As the world gets darker the Light of the Gospel will shine ever brighter.

    • David

      Yes indeed Len. But like any beacon of truth, unwanted by the prevailing culture of darkness, it will also become a more frequent target.

      • len

        Certainly, all who speak Gods truth are a target for persecution.
        But Christ has overcome Satan and this world.
        ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it’.(John 1:5)

  • Badenoch refers (tenth paragraph here) to ‘people choosing this country because of its tolerance and its opportunity.’ As with any country, Britain’s qualities are formed by her people, and as the indigenous British are replaced by folk less tolerant and less creative, Badenoch’s ‘British dream’ will inevitably turn into a nightmare and she will desert the sinking ship.

    It is famously postulated that if the populations of Nigeria and Japan were swapped, Japan would become Nigeria and Nigeria would become Japan. Bring the Third World to Britain and Britain will become the Third World.

    • IanCad

      Johnny, I’m sure we both agree that immigration without discrimination can only lead to a diminishing of things we hold dear. In Kemi Badenoch’s case we should rejoice that she has become one of our subjects; for, there is a dearth of native fortitude.

      Crushed by conformity, enchanted with the lives others and woefully ignorant, the mass of men are wretched, naked and blind. Effeminate, uncertain; followers, risk adverse; The men that once were are no more.

      We need all the immigrants in the likeness of The Right Hounorable Kemi Badenoch, MP for Saffron Walden, who can be persuaded to come here.

      • Anton

        Just “Honourable”, Ian. “Right Honourable” is for members of the Privy Council.

        How amusing that her surname is “Bad Enoch”!

        • IanCad

          Thank you Anton. As with my other frequent mistakes, I shall leave it as it was written, to serve as notice for me to be more careful in future postings.

      • @ IanCad—The Smithfield porters who rallied to the good Enoch after his 1968 speech were an example of the fighting spirit which had to be crushed to ensure the success of Third World immigration. For Badenoch to sit in Parliament, the British had to be broken.

        • IanCad

          Believe me Johnny, those Smithfield porters could be prompted to action by anyone who could show that their economic security could be assured by the promotion of prejudice against any who threatened their over-protected and over-paid privileges.

          • @ IanCad—I see no reference to the ‘economic security’ of any section of the community in the 1968 speech. The Smithfield porters, and the others who demonstrated their support for Mr Powell, were motivated by the effect of mass immigration ‘upon the existing population’, who ‘found themselves made strangers in their own country.’

    • dannybhoy

      I agree, but not about the Nigeria to Japan/Japan to Nigeria thing. I believe environment plays a large part in the beliefs and forming of a people’s culture. The question is though, from whence comes the influential spiritual values that shaped the innate attitudes of the Japanese and Nigerian peoples?

      • Anton

        The biggest assets and liabilities of a country are in its people, overwhelmingly.

        • dannybhoy

          What I see is hundreds and hundreds of thousands of folks clamouring to come and live here because of our tolerance, stability, prosperity and opportunities.
          What I don’t see is an active and assertive insistence from our political classes that those people be taught and absorb the same mindset that made all this possible for us native Brits; and that’s why our country will die..

          • Manfarang

            Many Indians in Malaysia still regard Britain as the mother country.

          • dannybhoy

            I think that’s great, but the reality might disillusion them. I’d like to see the Commonwealth revitalised as an economic, cultural and mutual defence group, but I doubt our politicians have the courage for that now.

          • Manfarang

            Well the Anglo-Indians in Kolkata still have a big knees-up on the 25 December.

          • dannybhoy

            And may they long continue to enjoy celebrating that day. In my younger days there used to be quite a few books about the situation for Anglo Indians. I would imagine that things have hopefully improved for them now.

          • Little Black Censored

            I bet they don’t call it Kolkata.

          • dannybhoy

            More likely Christmas.

          • Manfarang

            English spoken by Anglo-Indians is with an Indian accent.

      • David

        The idea that the physical environment helps shape a people and a culture is known as Geographical Determinism, which became deeply unpopular in academic circles by the time I became a Geography + Geology undergraduate in 1969. However I have remain of the view that yes, the physical environment is a strong factor, along with faith, in shaping a nation’s culture. But if the faith vanishes, yet the physical environment stays the same, the culture does change.

        • dannybhoy

          Never knew it was called Geographical Determinism -sounds very evolutionary!
          But yes, I do believe our climatic conditions help shape (rather than determines) our national character, and is probably why most progressive thinking, discoveries and advancements have been made by people in the temperate climes, with Christianity providing an underlying foundation.

          • Anton

            We are the same as continental Western Europe but different. The same because our culture too came via the ancient Romans and is a mix of ancient Greece plus institutional Christianity. Different because we are an island.

          • betteroffoutofit

            “Different because we are an island.” Yes … and because that made a home for a special group of Atlantic Celts – who finally retained independence from the Romans. They then ‘interacted’ with germanic escapees from euroland (Angles, Jutes, Saxons, and ‘Vikings’) to create a unique racial and cultural mix.

            Best there ever was or will be, I say 🙂

          • Manfarang

            Your getting things mixed up with the Irish.(never part of the Roman Empire)

          • betteroffoutofit

            You’re mixed up, I’m not. I said they “retained” independence …. that means they held onto it without losing it. The Scots and the Irish retained independence- the Welsh also held onto a lot of theirs until the Romans had to withdraw to defend their City. Even those Celtic tribes in what would become “Engla-lond” kept on fighting (e.g. Boadicea/Boudicca).

            The good new is that ABC will let you be as patronising as you like!!!

          • Anna

            That has certainly been true in the last 500 years, but until then most of the centres of learning and progress lay outside Europe – Egypt, Babylonia, Persia, China, India and even Ethiopia. Even ancient Greece was culturally closer to the Persia rather than to Europe. I certainly believe that Christianity had a transformative effect in Europe, and now with much of Western society turning away from God, decline has set in.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes, we’re definitely on the decline (which is what happens to all civilisations.)
            I’ve been given a book to read by Niall Ferguson entitled “Civilisation, the West and the Rest.”
            He lists six killer apps that allowed the West to become dominant.
            Competition
            Science
            Democracy
            Medicine
            Consumerism
            and,
            The work ethic
            Don’t know that I would agree with that, as others would say that the Christian faith gave us a reasonable world view from which to build. The nature of God, the nature and worth of man, order in the universe which allowed for the proper development of the sciences.
            What do you think?

          • Anna

            I have not read his book, but based on what I have read of different civilisations, I would say all those features that Niall Ferguson mentions, except democracy, played a similar role in the rise of all the other civilisations. In their heyday, each of these civilisations were characterised by high levels of energy, ambition and drive, which resulted in scientific and medical advances. The resulting prosperity would invariably produce a ‘consumerist’ society before decline set in. Consider Egypt as an example.

            Ferguson is incorrect in his assessment of the role of democracy, because in the centuries when European nations realised their potential, democracy as we understand it now, did not really exist. Indeed, there was much oppression of their own poor as well as exploitation of people overseas. America, of course, had a form of democracy prior to its rise.

            I think the weakness in this analysis, could be that Niall Ferguson, in common with most historians who study a particular topic, gain an in-depth understanding of their own ‘area’ – in this case, Western civilisation; but lack an equally thorough knowledge of other civilisations, which might lead them to make an imbalanced assessment.

          • dannybhoy

            ‘I think the weakness in this analysis, could be that Niall Ferguson, in common with most historians who study a particular topic, gain an in-depth understanding of their own ‘area’ – in this case, Western civilisation; but lack an equally thorough knowledge of other civilisations, which might lead them to make an imbalanced assessment.’
            Good point, and in fact you seem to see this narrowness of view everywhere now.
            When we (me not you) were children we received a wide ranging ‘general knowledge’ kind of education. As you got older you developed more specialised areas of interest, but I think that greater awareness was still there. We were also encouraged to read. I remember reading an Odhams Children’s Encyclopaedia for years!

          • Anton

            You want Alan Macfarlane on this stuff, much deeper than Ferguson.

          • dannybhoy

            A Christian friend lent it to me. Are you implying either his literary discernment is lacking or he can only cope with the shallow stuff?
            ;0)

          • Anton

            Are you implying either his literary discernment is lacking or that he can only cope with the shallow stuff?

            If you mean Ferguson, I simply think that he hasn’t got to the bottom of it.

          • Watchman

            Jonathan Sacks gives, to me, the most coherent explanation of the success of all the countries that have been populated by Europeans and if you excuse his fawning to his host, this is a remarkable insight.
            http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2011/12/14/3390711.htm

      • Little Black Censored

        “Britain, the Britain we were born into; were shaped by and love, is dying. Once the last of the pre-war generation have gone, and then my generation has gone the process will speed up.”
        Guardianistas also believe this, but it makes them happy.

        • dannybhoy

          Very good!
          And yes, I’m sure it does.

        • Manfarang

          Wot! Never. There are still lots of yobbos.

    • Anna

      Interestingly, Africa is on the rise. Several countries are doing much better than before, have good educational systems and are developing their own institutions. I would not be surprised if in the next 25 years or so, many of the African nations that seem ‘backward’ now come to the front ranks of the nations.

      • @ Anna—Africa is on the rise

        Jolly good. However, according to Edward Dale in a letter to the Daily Telegraph, South Africa is on the skids: ‘As a surgeon, I have done what I can for the poor South Africans. All of my friends and colleagues have either emigrated or been murdered. We have decided to move to Australia. I am saddened to leave such a once-beautiful country, and I see no hope for it.’

        • Anna

          Countries like Botswana and Ghana are not doing too badly.

          • Inspector General

            …and the pygmies? The pygmies hang on your every word, Anna…

          • Cressida de Nova

            Goodness, I hope you are not suggesting that the Born Again ‘ Christians’ are height challenged. Snow Beige does not like impolite behaviour.

          • Inspector General

            A problem those pygmy fellows are only too aware of is that at their height, they fit into an African cooking pot that much better…

        • Anton

          The following is a good book recently published and reaching the same conclusion: “The big question about ANC rule is whether African nationalism would be able to cope with the challenges of running a modern industrial economy. Twenty years of ANC rule have shown conclusively that the party is hopelessly ill-equipped for this task. Indeed, everything suggests that South Africa under the ANC is fast slipping backward and that even the survival of South Africa as a unitary state cannot be taken for granted. The fundamental reason why the question of regime change has to be posed is that it is now clear that South Africa can either choose to have an ANC government or it can have a modern industrial economy. It cannot have both.”

          https://www.amazon.co.uk/Long-Will-South-Africa-Survive/dp/1849047235/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

          This economic and political critique is all the more trenchant for coming from the only South African Rhodes Scholar to return home after the fall of apartheid, of which he was a trenchant critic.

          • @ Anton—Thank you very much. ANC violence is discussed in this bulletin issued by the Transvaal Agricultural Union, TAU-SA. It is hoped that white farmers will be able to resettle in Hungary.

      • Inspector General

        If you can find a solution that will prevent the natives of the Congo enslaving and occasionally eating their pygmy neighbours, do say…

  • TropicalAnglican

    Well … there is in Hong Kong a group (a small one, admittedly, but at least it’s around) called the HK-UK Reunification Campaign.
    The point? In other words, there are people who have experienced life under British rule and under the rule of another country, and know very well which they prefer.
    Rule Britannia!

    • Manfarang
    • Watchman

      We tend to forget that Britain’s influence on the world was mainly for the good, we not only gave them Christianity but allowed them the benefits of our Industrial Revolution in the building of bridges, railways and method of production. I am sick of listening to historians (usually BBC types) denigrating our colonial past when those colonies reaped the benefits of our successes. Unlike other colonialists we did not go to conquer but to trade. I have talked to many Indians, of all ages, who have huge affection for us and attempt to replicate what they regard as the best of British; what they do not know is that we have abandoned much of what made us great.

      • bluedog

        The European empires may have exploited but they also entailed a massive transfer of intellectual property at no cost. When one looks at Chinese cyber-hacking and data theft today, the benefit of this free transfer becomes clearer.

        • Anton

          Equally, it’s amazing what the Chinese invented that found its way to Europe rather earlier and played a role in Europe’s rise. There has always been globalisation.

  • Manfarang

    It’s Good News Week

  • Dreadnaught

    It’s good news week for me [well good news Friday at least]: yesterday I swallowed my gold tooth. Today I got it back!

    • dannybhoy

      I did that once.
      Got it back and reinstated though ;0)

      • dannybhoy

        The retrieved tooth added a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to my smile…

    • Lol …..

    • David

      It’s called recycling !
      Congratulations on your successful cycle.

    • All things must pass.

  • Manfarang

    I went to the pictures today, Friday, and saw the film Dunkirk.
    Excellent movie.

    • bluedog

      Gender biased to white British males. No women allowed in the battle scenes either.

      • dannybhoy

        “Gender biased to white British males.”
        Funny that.
        All the war gravestones we saw in France were white too…

      • Manfarang

        I noticed some French colonial troops.

        • bluedog

          Phew. Linus will be cock-a-hoop.

          • David

            Unfortunate phraseology !

        • Sarky

          Were they the ones running away?

          • Manfarang

            French Equatorial Africa (including the League of Nations mandate French Cameroun) joined Free France, with the exception of French Gabon..
            From these colonies came vital manpower – a large number of African colonial troops, who would form the nucleus of de Gaulle’s army.

          • Sarky

            It was a joke.

          • Manfarang

            French tanks with only one gear eh?

      • IrishNeanderthal

        But later on they recruited Africans to fight in the jungles in Burma.

        After the war, the MOD were very stingy regarding pensions for African veterans. This resulted in the independence movement of Ghana, and the rest is history.

        Here is the Hong Kong Welsh Male Voice Choir singing the famous hymn I bob un sydd ffyddlon (Rachie). The committee of the choir agitated, successfully I understand, for Hong Kong veterans to get proper pensions.

        Regarding the Gurkhas . . .

    • David

      Shocking lack of diversity – “hideously white” in fact !

      • Manfarang

        Plenty of diversity in Kohima

        • Royinsouthwest

          Yes, that is perfectly true but that is no reason for expecting more diversity in a film about Dunkirk.

          • Manfarang

            I am not the one complaining about the lack of diversity. I did know someone who was there. When things became disorganized, he would say, “It worse than Dunkirk.”

    • David

      Will be following in your esteemed footsteps tomorrow.

    • How does it end?

    • CliveM

      9 things you (probably) didn’t know about Dunkirk
      BBC History Magazine

      In 1940, as British troops retreated through France under fire from an advancing German Army, a massive evacuation was launched to bring the soldiers safely home. Between 26 May and 4 June 1940, a mammoth 338,000 troops were rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk, France, in the remarkable Operation Dynamo. Ahead of the release of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk in UK cinemas this weekend, military historian James Holland shares some lesser-known facts about the evacuation, and the fighting that led up Read the full story

  • TropicalAnglican

    President Trump has offered to take care of the BBC in the same way as he has so kindly taken care of the Crybaby News Network.
    The BBC is due to emerge from under the President’s paw as the Bigly Blubbin’ Corporation …

    • Manfarang

      He has got RT to worry about

    • David

      Anyone who is prepared “to take care of the BBC” in a Trumpian way deserves a medal as big as our latest frying pan. But I am enjoying the latest in-fighting over salaries.

  • Michael Kemp

    A Good News Day. A wonderful and most welcome innovation.

  • David

    Forget to mention to His Grace, A Good News Day is a splendid idea.

  • TropicalAnglican

    The bad news is that the Clueless News Network has been at it again. They re-posted a pix of President Trump being prayed for in the Oval Office. What was their interpretation? CRISIS! Trump is in deep political trouble, that’s why he’s asking for prayer!

    The good news is that the White House deputy press secretary was up to it, and CNN duly got straightened out on the spot: “the idea that somebody would only pray in crisis, I think makes you miss the entire point of what prayer is about — you should [pray] every day … it would be ridiculous to suggest the only time you might [pray] is in a time of crisis”.

    Not fake news, honest:
    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/12/politics/trump-prayer-photo/index.html

    • Manfarang
      • David

        I hope Bhutan survives. I spent two weeks touring that tiny kingdom and it is quite charming. A Christian friend has preached there, although I also hear accounts of mild persecution. The climate, topography, architecture and people are delightful whilst the roads are appalling. Indians seem to do most of the infrastructure construction like bridges and roads, leaving the locals to build the traditional houses and dzongs. The influence of the Raj is apparent, being imported via the Indian take on officialdom and bureaucracy, all of which gave me a quiet chuckle.

    • David

      One in the eye for CNN.
      The Empire (KOG) Strikes back.

  • The real Good News today is Manchester United’s splendid 2 – 0 victory over Manchester City in Houston, Texas, in the early hours of this morning. An excellent all round display, capped off with two exceptional goals. City looked ordinary and out-classed.

    • IanCad

      Surely this is insanity. Why fly to Houston to play a silly game with a neighbour who is but a short cab ride across town?

      • To show the Yanks how football should be played.

        • IanCad

          Very quick Jack!!

        • carl jacobs

          We know how to play football. We invented the game.

          • Did you see the game, Carl?

          • carl jacobs

            I don’t have Cable TV. I’m a cord cutter.

            And furthermore, ESPN delenda est.

          • Just sign up to MUTV and you can watch the games live and exclusive on the internet. Next up is Real Madrid and then Barcelona. Only £5 per month to see how the game should be played.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s about $6.50. That would just about (not quite) purchase a decent six-pack of beer. Which I am sure you would agree would be a better use of the money.

          • For a full month’s viewing of Manchester United Jack would forgo many more cans of (poor quality) American beer.

          • carl jacobs

            Not so bad. I was in class all last week – a class on Software Architecture. I’ve been taking classes since last November. It gets old going to school and working full time. I’ll be done in December.

          • Yes, for those of us not blessed with the Inspector’s level of intelligence, studying around work can be a trial. Still, you’re on the last lap now.

          • Grouchy Jack

            A “cord cutter”, eh? Sounds painful.

          • carl jacobs

            Only for ESPN.

          • dannybhoy

            Hey Carl, welcome back!

          • carl jacobs

            Kinda sorta. Jack needed to be reminded of the lesser place occupied by Man U. But thanks.

          • You had no choice, Carl.

          • Don’t encourage him. It’s been relatively calm around here during his sabbatical.

          • dannybhoy

            Tell the truth Jack, you’ve missed your old sparring partner..
            That new Dunkirk is rubbish btw.

          • Grouchy Jack

            Grid-Iron is not football, numpty.

          • carl jacobs

            The Gridiron is a field. It’s not a sport.

    • carl jacobs

      Yawn. 78-69.

      Someone is compensating.

      • First Division/ Premier League titles:
        Man Utd 20 – 4 Man City

        • carl jacobs

          I guess that might somewhat soothe the pain of last year’s distant sixth place finish.

          • Tactical decision with two trophies the end result, Carl. Three if one counts the Community Shield.

          • carl jacobs

            You couldn’t type that post with a straight face, could you. That’s the worst sporting excuse I’ve ever heard.

          • Battles and wars. Entry to Champion’s League + Europa Cup far better than 3rd or 4th in the Premier League. Sure you’ll agree.

      • Grouchy Jack

        Third place and trophy-less is nothing to brag about.

        • carl jacobs

          Three spots above Man U though. In the competition that counts.

    • Anton

      As it’s summer, may I urge you to look to the ‘other’ Old Trafford, at which the national game of England is played at this time of year?

  • Chefofsinners

    Blimey. That Diane Abbott’s lost a few pounds.

    • Manfarang

      Doctor’s orders.

    • David

      Please use the correct and time honoured phrase, which is, Cor Blimey !
      But I agree about the weight loss.

    • Inspector General

      Perhaps she’s slimming down to breed. So, which of the country’s esteemed public schools will be approached concerning the possible child’s all important education at the due time.

  • Doctor: I have some good news and bad news.
    Patient: Ok, well… Give me the good news first.
    Doctor: You have 24-Hours to live.
    Patient: How is that good news?!? What’s the bad news then??
    Doctor: I’ve been trying to call you since yesterday.

  • Good news.
    I have read all the way to the end of the Bible and I know who wins.

    • Please don’t spoil the ending. Jack will be watching the movie tonight on Netflix.

      • Chefofsinners

        Linus loses.

        • One gets that in the opening scenes – head crushed. Whoever wrote the script gave the plot away early.

      • Anton

        Left Behind? Bad eschatology…

  • Chefofsinners

    They say no news is good news, so

  • Moses is coming down from Mt Sinai with the two tablets. He addresses the people assembled, pointing to the tablets.
    “I have good news and I have bad news.The good news is I got Him down to ten, the bad news is adultery is still in it”

    • IrishNeanderthal

      I remember one from 45 or so years ago.

      God is looking around for a people to be His people.

      He first visits the King of Assyria, and makes the offer, provided the king will accept a commandment.

      “Which is?”
      “Thou shalt not murder.”
      “Sorry, I do that all the time.”

      Similarly with Pharaoh.

      “Thou shalt not commit adultery”
      “Sorry, but I’m doing that all the time.”

      Finally he finds a rather bedraggled lot wandering about in the desert. He goes up to their leader Moses, and makes the same offer.

      “How much is it?”
      (Short surprised silence.) “It’s free.”
      “Fine. I’ll take ten!”

      • Very good.

      • dannybhoy

        Wacist!

        • betteroffoutofit

          Wacist, Truthist, and Lifeist?

        • Bwiggot.

          • dannybhoy

            Watch it Gwandad.

    • Chefofsinners

      At church last Sunday an announcement was made before the service. “Great news. I have been asked to tell everyone that Mrs Jones is one hundred and eleven!”
      We knew she was old, but there was a gasp and a round of applause.
      Followed by “Er, sorry, Mrs Jones is ill.”

    • Politically__Incorrect

      I’ve heard that one so many times. Iit must be in the Book of Common Prayer 🙂

      • Probably why a good Catholic lad like Jack hadn’t heard it until today.

    • Anton

      Not in this form, I trust:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_Bible

      The Cambridge University Library puts its copy on show from time to time…

      • Would never happen with an authorised Catholic bible.

        • Anton

          Indeed. There you may find the following advice on the bringing up of children: “He who loves his son will whip him often… If you play with your child, he will grieve you; do not laugh with him, or you will have sorrow with him… give him no freedom in his youth… make his yoke heavy” (Sirach 30).

          • Fine advice …. in context and without the (protestant) editing.
            http://www.newadvent.org/bible/sir030.htm

          • Anton

            You complain of protestant editing. Certainly I have selected the most damning phrases from that chapter, but if they were not in the passage then I could not have done so, and I have not changed the meaning – unlike your Catholic (mis)translation.

          • It’s not about “mistranslation” at all. It’s about the protestants excluding certain books from scripture because they do not consider them “God-breathed” or Divinely inspired.

          • Anton

            Isn’t that rather a change of subject? We may discuss whether Sirach is canonical, and we may discuss what Sirach wrote in the original Greek. I was doing the latter and I suggest you find a Greek scholar. Of course the two arguments come together if you think the translation I have given is accurate and that God would not exhort such a way to treat children.

          • Stop the dishonesty, the false editing, include the whole of Sirach 30 and take into account the style in which it is written.
            Corporal punishment is strongly recommended in the Old Testament.

            Prov 13:24

            Prov 19:18

            Prov 22:15

            Prov 23:13

            Prov 23:14

            Prov 29:15

            Christ did not overturn the laws of the Old Testament but He fulfilled them to a higher level of spirituality and understanding. He stressed discipline and direction from within, rather than direction by force from without.

          • Anton

            I stand by the translation I have set forth of Sirach’s Greek, and the meaning of those parts of the passage is not altered by including the rest. The issue is not whether corporal punishment is recommended in the OT, of course, but in what circumstances. Think very carefully indeed before charging God with being the author of that passage, Jack.

          • Jack doesn’t have to “think very carefully” about it. The Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit has already declared it to be part of the Canon. One doesn’t go about chopping and changing scripture because one fails to understand it or disagrees with it. Sirach is considered by both Catholics and Orthodox to be an inspired writing. It’s a wonderful book. The Church has taken great over the centuries to preserve the authenticity of Scripture.

          • Anton

            You have delegated your thinking to Rome. That’s not less dangerous.

          • To the Church. She speaks for Christ. Who’s authority do you accept? Perhaps there’s a few other books you’d like to jettison. Btw, the Canon predates the East-West schism. That’s why the Orthodox Church also accept Sirach as inspired scripture.

          • Anton

            Talk to Jerome about that. And remember if you say Sirach is canonical that you are accusing God of advocating cruelty to children; let’s not forget how you tried to draw attention away from what the passage said.

            I am as much a member of the church as you are.

          • Do remember this was written when the full Mosaic Law was in place.

  • Inspector General

    One was reminded of the song below, even before Manfarang got there first. You are unlikely to hear it again on BBC Radio as it was written by Jonathan King, a practicing homosexual… (practicing on under age boys so he was).

    King, like Saville and Gary Glitter have been airbrushed out of musical history. Which is rather sinister, don’t you fellows find. You see, officially they don’t exist. Never did, apparently. Can there ever be so heinous a crime, even so base as that trio committed, that can and should result in man’s eternal damnation consigned on them, on a par with the prerogative that belongs to the Almighty himself. Worth considering, that this ultimate of punishments is in the gift of other similarly weak and corrupt men.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ♫ It’s good news week
    Someone’s dropped a bomb somewhere
    Contaminating atmosphere
    And blackening the sky

    It’s good news week
    Someone’s found a way to give
    The rotting dead a will to live
    Go on and never die

    Have you heard the news
    What did it say?
    Who’s won that race?
    What’s the weather like today?

    It’s good news week
    Families shake the need for gold
    By stimulating birth control
    We’re wanting less to eat

    It’s good news week
    Doctors finding many ways
    Of wrapping brains on metal trays
    To keep us from the heat

    • dannybhoy

      That was sung by Hedgehoppers Anonymous, a sixties group made up of RAF groundcrew staff..
      It was pretty good actually back in the day.
      Read about the group here
      http://thestrangebrew.co.uk/articles/hedgehopperspt1/

    • Royinsouthwest

      I remember the song well. It is strange how many songs from the 60s stick in your mind even if the groups who recorded them never became particularly famous.

      • Inspector General

        The point is, Roy, that it is a non-song now. The Ministry of Truth have never heard of it…

  • Politically__Incorrect

    The free paper “Metro” has a short column devoted to reporting simple acts of kindness and thoughtful consideration. I find it quite uplifting to read, unlike the rest of the paper. However, I say we should not only read about such acts, but attempt to do them ourselves.

  • jsampson45

    Good news: The rise of Christian universities in Africa.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Are they good universities? Unless they are also good at teaching the basic sciences, social sciences and arts subjects the news, which Iadmit I haven’t heard, is neither particularly good or bad.

  • Chefofsinners

    Good news: This week I had the opportunity to lead a leavers’ service for hundreds of primary school children and their families in a beautiful and ancient abbey which has an evangelical congregation. The Christian faith is hugely appreciated when it provides a moral grounding and a great education for people’s children.

    • Cressida de Nova

      A lovely image of Chef conducting the mass children’s choir singing “Morning has Broken” by Yusuf Islam. Sweet !

      • Chefofsinners

        There was no mass involved. We are Protestants, madam.

  • Good news this week was Jacob Rees-Mogg explaining in a SKY interview how things with our EU negotiations have gone very well and that the EU side is impressed by the advocacy of our civil service.

    Vanitas vanitatum Omnia vanitas.
    From about 2:46

    • David

      Good old Moggster !

      • Watchman

        The real good news would be if Jacob became prime minister. He would give us a more polite and gentle politics.

  • Orthodox Patriarch Cyril says Don’t lose hope the Church cannot be defeated!

    • David

      Thanks for the link. A brilliant homily from the Patriarch.

    • Watchman

      Thank you, brilliant. Interesting that the address was in Russian but the singing in English. But why does he have to look like a pantomime dame?

      • Anton

        Pomp and circumstance.

      • That’s an unchristian remark isn’t it. Every layer of the vestments, every necklace has a meaning. It’s quite complicated, I’m trying to find out and understand myself.

        • Watchman

          What is the purpose of all this show, does it glorify God or bring others closer to Him. Have you not noticed that churches are built like theatres for people in costumes to give speeches. We’re did all this nonsense come from and how on earth does it serve God’s Kingdom. What the clergyman said was wonderful but why the drama afterwards?

  • maigemu

    Bad news is market leader in a fallen world.

  • Dodgy Geezer

    1 – Good news does NOT sell. People want to be lightly appalled, not comforted.

    2 – Much ‘good’ news is simply maudlin rubbish.

    3 – There IS a major tranche of good news, which is comprehensively ignored. It is that ALL the environmental disaster stories are hugely exaggerated, if not downright lies, and that in reality conditions for the human race are now, and have been continuously improving for at least the past several millennia.

    However, the lure of foretelling disaster is too strong, and throughout recorded history humans have vied to produce predictions of an imminent apocalypse. It is always the fault of the current generation, and if only they would return to behaving as their grandparents did, the catastrophe would be averted. This is a continual refrain throughout human history – classical examples from Greece and Rome oddly match mediaeval, Victorian and modern scares – sometimes word for word. People who point this out are vilified and ignored – see, for instance – https://www.wired.com/1997/02/the-doomslayer-2/

    • Anton

      I agree about the environment and as a physicist have been saying so about global warming for some time.

      I do regard the existence of nuclear and other WMDs as massive cause for concern, however.

      • Dodgy Geezer

        I spent the first 5 years of my career down a nuclear command and control bunker, and was surprised at the number of casualties expected from even a full ‘spasm’ exchange – far fewer than the CND scare stories. It would certainly not spell the end of civilisation. And other WMDs – chemical/bacteriological – are occasionally used and never work very well at all.

        Of course, a major nuclear exchange would be very destructive, and something we should avoid if at all possible. But I think that we have to accept that humans will keep having wars. Lots of people have tried to stop them, and we haven’t succeeded so far….

        • Anton

          Remember how interconnected civilisation is today. A full cold war nuclear exchange wouldn’t have killed everybody in industrialised civilisations instantly, but most likely within a year. And H-bombs are not just A-bombs.

          • Dodgy Geezer

            With the background I have, I don’t need reminding of the difference between fission and fusion. And why should everyone die within a year? I suspect that you are making the classic ‘mistake’ of the environmentalists – proposing a disaster and then assuming that nothing is done to mitigate the effects.

            This is a technique they use regularly to produce scare stories. The last example I saw – https://www.reuters.com/article/us-airlines-climatechange-idUSKBN19Y0YD – suggested that by the end of the century, current aircraft would be able to carry up to 4% less cargo at some times due to global warming. But by the end of the century we will certainly NOT be flying current aircraft! Similarly, the aftermath of a nuclear attack may require, for instance, different food supply, storage and distribution processes to be developed – the alarmists simply assume that this will not happen, and that we will all sit at home and die….

          • Anton

            The fact is that nobody really knows how a complex industrialised society would respond to the loss of its higher functions, but nuclear winter would be a genuine postwar problem that could very well prevent crop growth in industrialised countries, leading to starvation within a year. I am a research physicist and I don’t confuse genuine fears with things like the global warming scare.

          • Anna055

            What an interesting conversation … even if you are a bit irritated with each other. Do either of you have a good link to global warming (or not) info.

  • Watchman
  • len

    Bad has become good, and good bad.
    So the Gospel(the good news) has become (yes you guessed it)

    • betteroffoutofit

      Ah. Well said, Mr. Len — and I’m sure you write with this in mind:
      “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20; KJV).

      HG is right as ever – we need to concentrate on the Good News!

  • Peasant Farmer

    Great start from Kemi there.

    Chancellor of the Exchequer in a Jacob Rees-Mogg government?!

  • Cressida de Nova

    Oops…I stand corrected.