Christian values would save the Church from the need to spin

As I left for a business conference in Florida, I learned that the middle classes were to be clobbered in the Budget. I then knew they would feel quite well off after Chancellor Gordon Brown had finished with them.

As I left for a business conference in Florida, I learned that the

middle classes were to be clobbered in the Budget. I then knew they

would feel quite well off after Chancellor Gordon Brown had finished

with them.



Whereas the Treasury tactic in my day was to leak the Budget, now Labour

spin doctors’ ploy, as the infamous Charlie Whelan confessed on TV, is

to mislead us about it.



This is why the discerning among us believe that Prince Charles has lost

his marbles by having Peter Mandelson at his Sandringham ’weekend of

culture and reflection’. Mr Mandelson’s spin doctoring concept of truth

is to invent it and then repeat it 1,000 times through ministerial

articles in accommodating newspapers.



Waiting to fly back, I picked up the Guardian in the airport lounge rush

to snaffle the newly-arrived British newspapers. And there, on the front

page, I found the Church of England being urged to acquire spin doctors

in a Blair-type modernisation programme. First the judges, now the

clerics.



My impression that those whom God wishes to destroy He first makes mad

was immediately confirmed.



The Sunday Telegraph reported that the ’Church faces ’union action’ over

vicars’ pounds 4,000 pay claim’. The Sunday Times said that ’Bishops put

their faith in aliens’, claiming that the ’overwhelming majority of

Britain’s Anglican bishops believe there could be alien life forms out

there’, contradicting the traditional Christian belief that God made the

world and all that dwells therein. And the News of the World, of course,

told us ’Vicar’s wife leaves hymn for her’ - for a lesbian Salvation

Army member.



Some would argue that any church faced with this kind of steady drip of

ridicule desperately needs a spin doctor. Instead I would prescribe a

good old-fashioned press officer who would tell them not to be so bloody

stupid as to encourage bad publicity. But that, I fear, is what is wrong

with the CofE as the Established Church. Like many others, it doesn’t

want sound practical advice; it wants a Mr Fixit. This is a measure of

the damage wreaked by Mr Mandelson on the body politic, corporate,

judicial and now, God save us, ecclesiastical. By persuading the naive

that Labour won the election through spin doctoring rather than through

crass Tory incompetence, he has encouraged the notion that everything

can be finessed.



It can’t.



Of course, the CofE could present itself much better. Who couldn’t? But

it has to decide first what it wishes to present. What does it stand

for?



Christian values or every tomfool, do-gooding, politically correct,

maudlin Princess Di sentiment associated with ’Cool Britannia’ - such as

queer clergy? The CofE doesn’t need spin doctors; it needs to

re-discover Christianity.



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