Wednesday 21 December 2011

David Cameron is right!

David Cameron spoke at my old college in Oxford last Friday about the important role religion must play in national life. He was speaking at a service to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. I very much agree with his stance. Politicians should not avoid talking religion , though I would hate if we ever found ourselves landed with the hypocrisy of the American religious right that so mars politics there.

But we should celebrate the contribution that religion makes to our civil life and to a better community. It is very clear that people of faith play a great role in our sector , both in terms of giving and volunteering. The injunction to giving is something that unites Muslims , Christians and Jews .

But I hope it is always in the spirit of tolerance. There is something nauseous about the strident voices of those who denounce others who have different views or approaches to life , whether on the issue of abortion or on homosexuality. You will not be surprised to know I prefer the gentle tolerance of the dear Church of England , much derided but actually rather splendid. Much like the glorious king James Bible! A former Vicar of Charlbury was one of those involved in the translation of that Bible , as marked by a plaque in the Church placed there to mark the 300 th anniversary. And my parents gave me a copy of that original 1611 Authorised version to mark my knighthood. Appropriate eh!

And at the risk of sounding like a reactionary old buffer I was appalled to hear of 2hideous crimes this week. On Monday my mother goes down to open up the Parish Church in her village Orsett and discovers it has been broken into. Not content with stealing whatever they could ( not very much as it happens ) they let off 2 fire extinguishers and cause a lot of damage. And this just before the Christmas celebrations. You do have to wonder what is happening when whoever did this shows such disrespect. So as you can imagine my mother was also much in approval of Mr Cameron and his views!

And then there is the news of the robbing of the Hepworth sculpture in Dulwich Park. This is a great work. I often walk the hound here. She has peed close by indeed. My favourite walk is to trek through Brockwell Park , down Half Moon Lane into Dulwich , with a nod towards that brilliant picture gallery ! It beggars belief that anyone could be so ignorant as to steal this for scrap. I felt very " colonel of Tunbridge Wells" this week!

And as I'm on the rant can I mention email Christmas cards. Ridiculous. I loved the one from the Chair of the Big Lottery Fund. But did Peter Ainsworth realise that his " Merry Christmas" was rather spoilt by the message that appeared immediately below the festive picture.

It said , " This email is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed.The contents of this message will not be in any way binding upon the Big Lottery Fund. "

Charming. And similar sentiments came with email greetings from the Cabinet Secretary and Crispin Blunt MP , to name but 2.

I think this nasty mass email faux Christmas greeting should be outlawed. But the contents of this Blog are in no way binding on ACEVO!

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