Defenders of the Faith

The Archbishop asks the Queen ‘where did you get stupid hat?’

 

Listening to Radio 4 and 5live this morning before leaving for work there were the usual jubilee propaganda features….

Radio 4 plugged a ‘religious’ programme that examined ‘the Queen’s deep spiritual mission to unite diverse communities’ in her capacity as Defender Of The Faith, that’s the white, protestant, Anglican faith. Yeah right!

Not only was this outrageous untruth relayed as fact but also the narrator also pointed out  ‘the queen’s role as a focal point for national unity.’ Her majesty takes this role so seriously that ‘she’ chose ‘multi-cultural  Leicester’ to begin her jubilee tour of Britain. There she met Sikhs and other compliant ‘darkies’ of alien faiths. What a hero!

One arselicking man of the cloth praised his employer (she’s chosen by God Himself y’know – even the Pope has to be elected) and declared that ‘the state church acts as a glue and if you de-stabilise the Queen’s church then you have no values at all.’ And that’s a scientific fact!

Well here’s what the CoE’s website has to say about it…

The parish is the heart of the Church of England. Each parish is overseen by a parish priest (usually called a vicar or rector). From ancient times through to today, they, and their bishop, are responsible for the ‘cure of souls’ in their parish. That includes everyone. And this explains why parish priests are so involved with the key issues and problems affecting the whole community.

What about those of us who don’t want our ‘souls’ curing? What about those of us who regard the concept of an immortal soul as a primitive form of mind control? What about those who have different concepts of faith and belief or none, why must we claim allegiance to this sanctimonious and undemocratic defender of the faith and swear by her? I am the monarch of my own dominion mate! I am the God of my own making.

Republic’s Graham Smith did get a few seconds to denounce the elitism of the Church of England’s state monopoly on religion but his voice was largely drowned by the gushing encomiums to this selfless and deeply spiritual monarch, who takes her responsibilities very seriously and uses her powers for nothing but good. And killing kids in Iraq n’ shit. The Church of England ofcourse is also one of the wealthiest institutions in the country and makes no bones about its fundraising capabilities…

As part of their commitment to providing a diverse portfolio of assets, the Church Commissioners for England hold a commercial property portfolio valued in December 2010 at £1.6 billion. This issplit across a variety of property sectors and geographies in order to provide the funding the Church of England requires with the best possible risk/return profile. Total Real Estate is further dividedinto five sub-portfolios, Commercial and Residential property,Let Land, Strategic Land and Global Indirect.

The Commissioners’ Total Real Estate portfolio has won IPD’s three year rolling performance award for large balanced funds for the past four years in a row.

 

They’re actually bragging about how much wedge they make on the stock market. Now I have little time for any religious Tv or radio programme and regard the so-called ‘faith community’ as inconsequential as the ‘spiritualist community.’  Yet, despite the BBC being criticised for its narrow, conformist and elitist agenda, its default position is one of absolute obedience to that portion of the state that constitutes the invisible power behind the throne.  The myth that the BBC is awash with ‘liberal lefties’ is just a right wing phantom used to browbeat the upper echelons of the organisation into submission. It has worked for as long as the Queen has been on the throne.

This wasn’t all however……

Starting this week on Radio 4 ‘Britain’s Lost Routes with Griff Rhys Jones (or Professor Griff Rhys Jones as we call him). Sounds interesting! I wonder what the first lost route will be? The old coast road from Connah’s Quay to Prestatyn perhaps or the drover’s road from Clackmannan to Dundee (I made that up). Don’t be daft, the first episode is Queen Elizabeth I’s royal route from Windsor to London. Who’da thunkit? Is that ‘lost’ or jsut a timely tie in the Queenfest?

Maybe we can escape to 5live, y’know a bit of non-olympic sport or topical news programme?

Beginning this weekend on 5live, The Day I Met The Queen.  The series begins with David Cameron who tells us “she started with Winston Churchill and now she’s got me!” which I’m sure he meant to sound self-effacing but only brought home how little the establishment has changed in the past 60 years. Here’s a rundown of all 12 PMs during her ‘reign’

Winston Churchill, Conservative (1951-1955)

Educated – Harrow & Royal Military College

Anthony Eden, Conservative (1955-1957)

Educated – Eton & Oxford

Harold McMillan, Conservative (1957 – 1963)

Educated – Eton & Oxford

Alec Douglas-Home, Conservative (1963 – 1964)

Educated – Eton & Oxford

Harold Wilson, Labour (1964 – 1970 & 1974 – 1976)

Educated  – Royd’s Hall Grammar School, Huddersfield  and Wirral Grammar Schools & Oxford

Edward Heath, Conservative (1970 – 1974)

Educated – Chatham House Grammar, Ramsgate & Oxford

James Callaghan, Labour (1976 – 1979)

Educated – Portsmouth Northern Secondary School, joined Inland Revenue after leaving school

Margaret Thatcher, Conservative  (1979 – 1990)

Educated – Kesteven and Grantham Girls School & Oxford

John Major, Conservative (1990- 1997)

Educated – Rutlish Grammar School, Merton, joined insurance company after leaving school  

Tony Blair, Labour (1997 – 2007)

Educated – Fettes College, Edinburgh & Oxford

Gordon Brown, Labour (2007 – 2010)

Educated – Kirkcaldy High School & University of Edinburgh

David Cameron, Conservative (2010 – date)

Educated – Eton & Oxford

What a diverse bunch of Old Etonians, Oxonians, Grammar school arrivistes and the odd lower middle class wannabes, Cally and Major perhaps two of the weakest PMs ever and undoubtedly the most class conscious. Only Thatcher perhaps beat them for being embarassed about her humble origins. Whereas nowadays, even the wealthiest and most aristocratic of MPs and PMs pretend that they’ve had it tough (their fathers, mothers had to hold down five jobs and went without food for seven years to send them to public school and they won a scholarship to Oxford/Cambridge, the usual bullshit), Maggie’s contrived grocer’s girl image belied her deep seated insecurity masked by that pathetic emulation of upper class RP vowels.   Maybe that’s why she felt such utter contempt and hatred for those who reminded her of her past.

On another Radio 4 feature, Daily Telegraph writer and author of The Fix, Damian Thompson  discussed treating addiction as a disease with Colin Blakemore, professor of neuroscience at Oxford University. Now as someone who works in the drugs and alcohol field, this debate has raged for years. The  evangelical ‘recovery movement’ based around AA/NA and 12 Step Fellowship are firm believers in the concept of addiction as a disease that the addict has no control over. There are other ‘recovery’ models such as SMART, Intuitive Recovery etc that have a more behavioural/neurological approach. Perhaps it might have been useful to speak to existing or former ‘addicts/substance misusers’ to get their opinion. I could give you five people sitting in the next room  who could put a better, more nuanced argument than either the prof or the hack provided this morning. Fuck them, they’re just ex-junkies and not even well educated ones like Will Self or famous ones like Russell Brand, what do they know? .

Thompson is popping up everywhere now and claims that AA ‘saved his life’ but wants to start a wider debate on all forms of impulsive behaviour such as dependency on internet porn and computer games. He has a valid point but he’s not saying anything that hasn’t been around for decades.

This is typical of Radio 4’s approach and why all their programmes seem to feature the same voices, the same accents, the same prejudices. Some broadsheet journalist or donnish author knocks off a ‘provocative’ column/interview and the rest of the media regurgitates it in order to fill air time. Researchers ring up the usual suspects; other writers, academics, celebrities, self-styled ‘experts’ and professional gobshites and what you end up with is a very narrow, usually ill-informed range of unrepresentative views presented a biased or twisted interpretation of the ‘facts.’

Tune into Radio 4 randomly at any point in the day and tell me I’m wrong.

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