Friday, 22 April 2011

The rich and powerful should be required by law to spend time every year helping the poor and needy.



Well, there was something that I was missing recently – and then as if by magic, and just like that narrative of the Mr Benn character created by David McKee who appears in several children's books, and an animated television series of the same name transmitted by the BBC in the 1970s, you may remember, but if you don’t here is a minuscule reminder.

Mr Benn, a man wearing a black suit and bowler hat, leaves his house at 52 Festive Road and visits a fancy-dress costume shop where he is invited by the, fez-wearing shopkeeper to try on a particular outfit. He leaves the shop through a magic door at the back of the changing room and enters a world appropriate to his costume and suitable for a particular person or place or condition, where he has an adventure (which usually contains a moral) before the shopkeeper reappears to lead him back to the changing room, and the story comes to an end. Mr Benn returns to his normal life, but is left with a small souvenir of his magical adventure.

Well what I remember of Mr Benn came to mind whist I was reading a story into today’s news, and I do suppose that the Easter weekend has a little to do with it.

Apparently the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has suggested that the rich and powerful should be required by law to spend time every year helping the poor and needy.

Well such a suggestion and from the top vicar, a man of the cloth and a spiritual leader of the Christian Church, well, Church of England as created by a British male monarch who had more than a roaming eye, well that’s quite something else really and so is the daft ludicrous and cockeyed statement from Rowan Williams on this Good Friday, and now all we are waiting for is an equally sanitized and counterfeit sermon from the pontiff.

It’s the statements and pronouncements, dictums, say-so’s and the authoritative declaration of the likes of ‘Williams’ which really gets my goat’.

Now, am I missing something – or is it, that the very existence of a rich and powerful in society is ‘simply’ our real problem; or what?”

Mr Benn as I remember was able by magic to escape into a fantasy world with imagination, unrestricted by reality until the shopkeeper reappears!”   

I don’t know really think that whatever Williams has to say will be listened too, although his statement has attracted and pulled in some disapprobation from the usual quarters. However I think that we should consider the statement made by Rowan Williams in this context that there are jitters amongst the ruling class, and they are worried.

And so a pillow of the establishment sends out a mixed message, and of course the church state owned and run with the Queen at its head will play its part in quelling and quenching any discontent from below, just last night in the Stokes Croft area of Bristol, an area that has a long-standing reputation for alternative living and a stand against corporate consumerism. Scuffles broke out on Thursday night when officers forced their way into a property being used by squatters on virtually opposite a Tesco shop. A fuller report can be read here http://tinyurl.com/3ns3ya6

1 comment:

Chris H said...

The 'church' is indeed a broad church and I'd hate to be in the position of leadership in any of the branches. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

However Rowan's dropped a clanger with this one, acting from a position of superiority where he knows best and the poor should know their place.

He should be asking the poor, oppressed and powerless what they want. And then the poor, oppressed and powerless should just take it!

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