Monday, 20 June 2011

Jubilant Jubilee


We do not run away from history. We know what the present crisis of capitalism demands of us...we are in the death-throes of late capitalism, which threatens to inflict even greater violence on mankind than it has done before, we must make our stand with the oppressed, with the movement for liberation throughout the world.

Who do you think wrote that? The content and the tone might give you a clue. Could it possibly be Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, something from The German Ideology or The Communist Manifesto perhaps? It has all the passion of those early works, the eagerness and the anticipation, the determination to surf on history's next big wave.

Actually, it was not the old bearded prophets of communism: it was Archbishop Rowan Williams, the bearded prophet of all sorts of nonsense, from socialism to Sharia. Yes, he co-authored this manifesto in 1974 with one John Seward, a Catholic priest, sitting anticipating the future in an Oxford pub, all dewy of eye and iron of pen. As soon as this pub closes, they sang together, the revolution starts.

Though never published, it was written for the Jubilee Group, a left-wing Christian organisation, which Williams helped found during his student days at Oxford. Alas, the other members, though broadly sympathetic to the view expressed in the Commie Christian Manifesto, declined to accept it, feeling, in the words the Reverend Dr Ken Leech, that it was "a bit of a rant."

Ranting was something Williams did rather well in his distant student days. In the original group manifesto, which was adopted, he said that capitalism "could inflict even greater violence on mankind than it has before". Than it has before what? Perhaps before Jacobinism, socialism and communism came into the world to show how violence was done properly.

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, as the Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday, Williams was a leading member of the Jubilee Group’s executive committee, alongside Tony Benn, now something of a political dinosaur, one Eric Heffer, then an MP, and Reverend Alan Ecclestone, a Communist priest. I'm sure it won't surprise you to learn that the jubilant Jubilees were to be found where the cause needed them, condemning the campaign to free the Falkland Islands from Argentinean generals who were not fascist. No, it was Margaret Thatcher, then prime minister, and the Tory Party who were guilty of "racism and creeping fascism." The Poll Tax was also a big no no, as was the US base at Greenham Common.

Christianity, too, was a bit of a no no, at least as far as the fascist Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan were concerned. In 1989 Williams gave a speech at Edinburgh University, where he talked of the "alarming religiosity of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher." Yes, it must have been absolutely terrifying to hear them talk of God.

Given his subversive activities it's not at all surprising to discover that Little Red Ranting Hood was put on a watch list by the intelligence services. He came to the attention of MI5 soon after the foundation of the Jubilee Group, principally because of his involvement with Marxist, Trotskyite and socialist campaigners of the usual fifty-seven varieties of the loopy left.

The Jubilee Group itself was identified as a "problem" neo-Marxist organisation in intelligence documents drawn up an MI5 officer named Charles Elwell. Elwell, who died in 2008, had a high profile in the intelligence community. Known as the Witchfinder General, he was the man who cracked the Portland spy ring, identifying the traitor in the Royal Navy who was passing secrets to the Soviets. He specifically highlighted the activities of Williams in a 1989 paper called British Briefing, circulated in secret to a panel of leading politicians, including Lady Thatcher. Soon after she was to say that the Jubilee people were "the most subversive group within the religious community in England.” A newspaper at the time referred to them as "a bunch of neo-Marxist trendy clerics."

Perhaps in years to come I shall feel ashamed of some of the things I say and write at this point in my life, my mid-twenties, my late salad days, when I am still green, actually blue, in judgement. It's not fair, perhaps, to hold one hostage to one’s youth. But that's the thing - Williams is still hostage to his youth, to a whole set of risible ideas; he is still the trendy Marxist priest, ready to attack the government at the drop of a manifesto, who now just happens, by the grace of Blair, another trendy of the day, to occupy the most important clerical office in the land. Dr Leech, his old jubilant comrade, recently said of him "I would not want to commit Rowan to the language of 1974, but it does really show the heart of the theological focus of the man and this has not changed."

I'm still torn between treating the Red Archbishop as a bit of a joke or a serious danger. On balance I think him more comic than serious, though his presence in the Church of England may be part of a deeply laid plan to infiltrate moles, thereby undermining it from within. Given the damage being done to the institution under Williams’ guidance his shadowy handlers must be well pleased. I might even go so far as to say that they must be jubilant.

17 comments:

  1. Sadly, far too many political opinioneers graduate directly from infancy, to irresponsibility, to senility without ever having to earn a crust for themselves. Their understanding of life and human nature remains purely theoretical. Then there are those so dim that no amount of empirical proof can shake their delusions.

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  2. Just bind him and throw him in a deep pool of water.

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  3. It is alarming to hear his naive pronouncements Ana. If we are really so capitalistic then would he like it if we put into practice a suggestion by Frank Zappa 'tax the churches tax the businesses owned by the churches'.

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  4. I remember once reading on a flight about the protagonist you have mentioned...of course, what was authored was quite contradictory to what you have revealed..anyways, this was an informative, comical post about the bishop, than serious or simply political! Nice..

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  5. I feel sorry for old Rowan. Here he is - 70-ish? - and he still has the same opinions he held 40 years ago. All those years, including the collapse of the Russian Empire, and he is holding firm. Personally I put it down to lack of a good woman.

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  6. I should have been more specific that heavy chain should be used to bind him as it will help keep him under. You could even administer a few swift kicks before you toss him in, if you like. If you do, be sure to wear your romper-stomper high top boots for best effect.

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  7. Calvin, and the dear old archbish is among the very dimmest!

    A new book made its way to me this morning, one I think you might be interested in. It’s called The Retreat of Reason – Political correctness and corruption of public debate in modern Britain by Anthony Browne. It’s quite short, more of a pamphlet really, published by the Institute for the Study of Civil Society. I’ve now read about half of it and will discuss it here as soon as I have finished. So far it’s not telling me anything I did not already know but it puts the whole question in perspective. I used to laugh at political correctness. I now see it as one of the greatest threats that we face to civil liberty and free speech, both in my country and yours, best represented by the lying Michael Moore, that human hamburger, the high priest of all that is wrong with our times.

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  8. Anthony, I shall ask the same question that Henry II did in 1170 - "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" :-)

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  9. Richard, a first class suggestion! Oh, I think you might also be interested in that work I mentioned to Calvin.

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  10. Fiducia, my dear friend, thank you so much. How did the poll go?

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  11. Michael, I'm reminded of this;

    "If you're not a liberal when you're 20, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative when you're 40, you have no head."

    And if you are a socialist in your seventies? :-)

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  12. Thanks, Ana. Something Orwell understood very well, is that controlling the terms of discourse means controlling what can actually be thought, as well as what can be said. Language is a powerful tool for good or ill. Sadly, those who love liberty have allowed the statists far too much control of the language of debate. The return to human liberty and dignity will begin with writing a description of that future in terms that cannot be perverted by the enemies of liberty.

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  13. Hello Ana. Nice one. That is the Archbishop exposed as another bearded Red. The only problem is that I doubt very much whether MI5 are interested in Rowan Williams and more interested in those who are not signed up members of left liberal ideology. btw ...well said, Calvin.

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  14. Ana I will read it pronto. PC has eroded intelligence.

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  15. Calvin I fear that may be an impossible task, that the debate, the terms of the debate, have tipped too far in one direction. Still, we must try; subversives of orthodoxy, the partisans of liberty. :-)

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