Continuing efforts to get letters published in the MSM have not gone well in the last few months. The Editor’s axe has successfully stifled most attempts to be seen in print.
Whither the Church of England (CofE)
Archbishop Carey’s excellent piece (ST) picks at a scab of concern for many Christians; in particular his words “joining a storm of hatred and controversy” struck a chord. Many perceive that the Army of Bishops focuses on Political Correctness and minority interests at the expense of Ministry and fighting for the interests of suffering Christians worldwide. It seems odd, for example, that the Bishop of Durham decided that a safety-first policy (aka indemnity insurance?) prevented him from giving approval for members of his flock to help to the local community in the face of the Pandemic. .
But it is the perceived lack of support for persecuted Christians worldwide that really is worrisome. From the Surabaya attacks in Indonesia to the recent massacre of 52 Christians in Mozambique to the widespread murders in Sub Saharan Africa, we do not seem to have heard any overt public and continuous condemnation by the CofE. To alleviate the rising concerns of disillusioned Christians it would be helpful if the Archbishop of Canterbury and his considerable Army of Bishops were to focus their Ministry and support for Christians worldwide.
The only encouraging aspect of Mr Cummings Rose Garden statement is that he actually owns a shirt.
My late father used to describe me as a “scruffy officer” – an assessment that probably attracted widespread agreement. However, I cannot but admire the willingness of Dominic Cummings to display such a wanton disregard of the norms of turnout for someone in the public eye.
It may be that the Bishop of Derby was appointment on the basis of his bureaucrat skills where a safety first policy trumps offering help to the community. As for Arundel, the Church of England is playing a leading role in our Community Aid organisation for which we are most grateful.
John Kenny (ST 3 May) reflects on the principle of competition in the Army “..at every level whether between individuals, platoons and companies”. In my day, as the saying goes, overt competition between individuals was severely frowned upon with the emphasis being placed on doing well effortlessly; indeed, it was shameful to be seen as trying too hard. From selection for Officer training through to Commissioned service more emphasis was placed on team work than on individual prowess (unless, of course, one was a victor ludorum thereby enhancing the reputation of the unit). Individual competition therefore remained subliminal with any career enhancing rewards being reflected in the achievements of those in an Officer’s ‘team’ – be it sport or platoon attacks. Of course, as the promotion pyramid narrowed competitiveness became necessarily overt with other selection factors being brought to bear, in particular ambition, brains and communication skills.
Sir Antony Gormley’s statue proposed for King’s College Cambridge reminds me of my childhood construction efforts with a Meccano kit. Perhaps that prosaic reaction is more elegantly, and accurately, portrayed by Shelley in his Sonnet Ozymandias : “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair”.
Much has rightly been said of Stirling Moss’s driving skills but, in his heyday, many of us youngsters thought Mike Hawthorn cut the more heroic figure – after all he liked a pint and, legend had it, never went to bed early on the eve of a race; back then it was classier to be seen as an enthusiastic amateur. However, with maturity came the appreciation of Stirling’s courage in persuading the judges to overturn their decision to penalise Hawthorn seven points at the 1958 Portuguese Grand Prix; in so doing he handed the Formula 1 Championship to Hawthorn. So to set the record straight perhaps Moss’s integrity, selflessness and courage should be accorded equal status, at the very least, to his driving skills.
As a mouldy oldie who is anxious to comply with Government’s wishes that I should self-isolate, I have just placed a home delivery food order from a leading supermarket. On Checkout I was advised that the earliest delivery date is the afternoon of the 27th March. If the Government’s, soon to be, policy is to be taken seriously then some prioritising would make sense. So, for now, it’s either back to High Street shopping or hunger (I refrain from commenting on the options available in the absence of lavatory paper).
Public Sector Pay
Your article a “White police chief claims equal pay with black female colleague” (DT 14Mar) prompts a couple of questions. First, an Inspector is surely a middle rank not a ‘chief’. Second, both the white (£140K pa) and the black (£185K pa) inspector are grossly overpaid.
We entice migrants to work in the care sector-they work hard and rightly aspire for their children to do well’. The children do indeed do well and eschew working in the care sector. What next? We import another migrant to care for original carer. Is this circle a long-term solution?
Your cartoonist is out-of-date (ST 16th Feb). Train Guards are now called ‘On-board Supervisors’ – a re-designation that apparently represents progress but not necessarily an improved service.
The Name Game
Your Editorial rightly states that Nurses have better things to do than read a 26 page Guide on how to refer to people. A better solution might be for nurses simply to say: “How do you wish to be called”?