I nearly crashed the car coming home from work last night.
The cause was an item on Radio 4, and I’m sorely tempted to ring them up and swear at them. The item was so unbelievable that I had to watch the TV news on both BBC and ITV…… and then Channel 4 too, and I still couldn’t believe it.
The source of my amazement was hearing the voice of an invisible man – the island’s previous Bishop. A figure so obscure that when I once referred to him by name instead of his ‘proper’ title in a letter to a local newspaper the sub-editor put the title in brackets afterwards, just to ensure the Manx public knew who I was referring to.
The Right Reverend Graeme Knowles (as he now is) was a determined careerist who never really sought the Manx Anglican Area Manager job. It was just a necessary evil for him to acquire some political experience – preferably in a low risk environment – before being able to apply for the cushy London job at St. Paul’s he really wanted; and which he now has.
While stranded here on Lambeth orders, this Teflon parson was careful never to express a controversial opinion, never to take sides in an argument…. Never, in fact to do anything except nod and smile politely.
Meanwhile church membership figures plummeted, and even a Manx government report into church buildings co-commissioned and substantially dictated by church and heritage interests managed to conclude that around half of local churches are surplus to requirement. It also accidentally revealed who the diocesan management were planning to flog them to, but that’s another matter!
His final sermon was delivered to a captive audience of government bigwigs. Nobody else bothered to go: indeed most folk simply didn’t know it was on, who he was, that he’d ever arrived here or done anything - never mind that he was leaving again.
Now our Graeme has an equally pointless existence, helping Anglicans suck up to a Westminster government with no future to offer young people by inventing ever more useless ritual ‘celebrations’ for older, more privileged dullards.
Yesterday it was remembering (carefully edited) stories about the Blitz. Tomorrow ….well, I’m sure he’ll be up to something just as bland, safe, and dull as ditch water.
And just in case nobody on the Isle of Man can believe it, catch the grey one’s dull sick tones at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11209078 .
Watch, listen and laugh.
2 years ago