Where to start?
- 29 miners dead in New Zealand.
- South Korea bombed by North Korea and now this most dangerous part of the world likely to be inflamed.
- Education about to be mucked about with in England (again).
- Pope saying something about condoms, but still not clear whether a tweak or a revolution.
- An extra day off for the forthcoming Royal Wedding.
- Thousands of families about to find their lives changed by government cuts in England.
- A really interesting debate opening up under the ‘Big Society’ umbrella about values, vision and the shaping of a different sort of society – both opportunity and threat.
So, what do we find ourselves occupied with? The non-‘suspension’ of the Bishop of Willesden for being rude and unepiscopal about the Royal Marriage.
It’s absolutely clear: Pete Broadbent was wrong to say what he said in the way he said it. No question. Nothing is private any more and Facebook certainly isn’t. Pete apologised unreservedly and then was asked to ‘withdraw’ from public office until further notice (whatever that means). And now two things have happened: (a) the Twittersphere is alive with charges that a dying story has been given new life, and (b) a campaign has been launched to get people to boycott the Daily Mail.
Isn’t it just conceivable that anyone who would wish to boycott the Daily Mail for this latest expose of a good bloke might already be boycotting the organ because of its shrill racism, ideological hard edge and willingness to destroy people who don’t share its own prejudiced complexion?
I understand the response to the bishop’s predicament. But, in the grand scheme of world events and the enormity of the Daily Mail’s offensiveness, there might be better reasons for choosing not to pay into the Mail’s coffers than their personal stuffing of the Bishop of Willesden. (Is their coverage of the Synod debate about the ‘Big Society’ useful?)
I hope Pete’s purdah will end and he can continue his excellent and valued episcopal ministry. I also hope the Royal wedding will be the beginning of a great marriage for William and Kate (but I seriously fear for their fate at the hands of the same media who are now defending their honour). And I hope we can recover some sense of proportion about all this stuff. As soon as possible.