You are here . on the pale blue dot


Blog notes

'Anonymous' comments for publication must include a pseudonym.

They should be on topic and not involve third parties.
If pseudonyms are linked to commercial sites comments will be removed as spam.


Monday, 19 October 2020

Strictly come politicking



They're off! 

The annual, glitzy culling ritual has begun but with a new twist as ballroom dancing competitors dance against each other to get their hands on the prized glitter ball trophy.

After weeks of speculation the first same sex dancing partnership has been revealed on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing show. 

From Twitter: Strictly Come Dancing launch sees Nicola Adams and Katya Jones paired. The Olympic gold medallist and former boxer joined 11 other celebrity contestants for the launch of Strictly.

In defence the corporation said that the show was 'inclusive' and that it was happy to facilitate Ms Adams' request to dance with a woman. 

So much for the BBC's mission to act in the public interest, to educate as well as entertain. What next one wonders if BBC policy is to facilitate personal requests.

The BBC defended their decision to have a same-sex pairing on the new series of Strictly Come Dancing after receiving complaints from viewers about the move when it was first rumoured. 

"The sex of each partner within a coupling should have no bearing on their routine", they said. Much like the Anglican Church's attitude to same sex marriage. More liberal drift.

Among the 'celebrities' I had heard of was boxing gold medallist Nicola Adams. Why anyone would want to take part in boxing is a mystery to me given all the evidence of brain injury resulting from the so-called 'sport'. The more so for women as they risk breast damage. This is entertainment? 

I had also heard of former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith but for very different reasons which resulted in her quitting her Cabinet post in 2009. 

Caroline Quentin rang a bell but I failed to recognise her from her Men Behaving Badly days. I recognised Bill Bailey mainly because I find his sense of humour irritating. The rest of the celebrities were unknown to me. The full list is here.

The surprise partnering of celebrities was a joke. There were no disappointments as one might have expected. All were delighted at the happy coincidence of the pairing of their dreams. 

As ever the professionals maintained their composure throughout. Let's face it. It can't be easy to maintain a smile while dragging around the dance floor an amateur retained purely by popular demand of the various voting factions regardless of terpsichorean ability.

 Strictly it's not dancing, just glitzy politicking.  

Monday, 12 October 2020

Resigned to Anglican Bishop Blunders!


The Bishop of Reading, Olivia Graham, attracted more criticism than she might have anticipated after the first of four 'environment' talks on Care for creation

The Rev Peter Ould tweeted: "What rampant heresy is this @oxforddiocese? God did not pour 'godself' (searches Bible for word) into the Universe. God and the universe are clearly distinct. This is basic theology."

After criticism of the bishop's video message Oxford diocese added this comment: "A number of commentators have said that the core message of this film by the Bishop of Reading is pantheistic or panentheistic. Of course, this isn’t the intended message of the film. Read a response from Bishop Olivia here." As a woman of some notoriety might have said: Well she would say that, wouldn't she?

Up North, the Bishop of Carlisle is facing calls to quit after he wrote – but later withdrew – a character reference for a paedophile priest. The issue became public after the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) released its report into the Church of England's handling of child sexual abuse. The inquiry’s damning report concluded that the Church of England failed to protect children from sexual abuse.

The Church in Wales did not escape criticism in the IICSA Report. The Inquiry found that "to date, the Church in Wales has never had a programme of external auditing, so there has been no independent scrutiny of its safeguarding practices. It also highlights record-keeping as a significant problem for the Church; the Inquiry’s sampling exercise demonstrated both poor record-keeping and a total absence of records in some cases."

'Barry Morgan's true legacy!' wrote a regular commentator under a previous entry. 

The former Archbishop of Wales did much to encourage the like-minded to interpret scripture as they pleased in pursuit of their secular, political goals. Something that attracted a stinging response from An Anglican Theologian among others.

Liberal drift is the legacy of Western Anglicanism. Oceanographer and former Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, mentor of women bishops in Wales, left the Episcopal Church in a dire state of decline, foundering like the Church in Wales with the Church of England following close behind.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Anglican Communion, has often faced criticism, most recently from child sex abuse victims who have called for the Archbishop to quit. 

Archbishop Welby said that the damning findings of the IICSA inquiry were a 'big wake-up call' but he refused calls to resign insisting that he was "better staying in the role to continue his work"!

There have been previous calls for archbishop Welby to resign here, here and here. In the unlikely event that he were to go there would be more problems. His replacement would be political, not spiritual, causing more problems for the Anglican Communion.

As the current Archbishop of Wales said when he replaced Barry Morgan, it would be more of the same but faster, thus further hastening the demise of the Church of England and Western Anglicanism.

Friday, 9 October 2020

Caption corner 9 October 2020


US Presidential hopeful Joe Biden, Vice President Mike Pence and a fly                                                                                                     Source: Harper's Bazaar
                        

Publishable captions will appear under comments.

Monday, 5 October 2020

It's Wimmin Wot Matters

 

#GoodNews: So glad to follow the lead of St David’s. Historic for @ChurchofEngland and very welcome alongside Diocese
of St Davids in @ChurchinWales with female Bishop Joanna and female @DeanofStDavids Sarah  Source:Twitter

The tweets in the caption above suggest that the diocese of St Davids (not St David's) has become the model for feminist expansion in the Church of England. 

Four out of five Cathedral clergy are female. The bishop, dean and two minor canons are female with one solitary male, the sub-dean.

Looking at the various published figures for ordinations in 2020 more female than male deacons and priests have been ordained in St Davids diocese, a trend in the Province as a whole.

Gender parity, or Church by numbers, is the name of the game. 

Early in 2019 the Church in Wales concluded that there was 'more work to do on gender parity'. In September 2019 Cherry Vann was appointed Bishop of Monmouth. This allowed the former Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, architect of the Church in Wales' demise, to brag last night on S4C's Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol that the smallest Anglican province was the first to achieve parity among bishops.

Archbishop Morgan also spoke of the part played by the bilingual Church in Wales in helping to maintain the Welsh language. Not something regarded as important when aiding the feminist cause by 'electing' the three women bishops in St Davids, Llandaff and Monmouth. 

None of the three female bishops is a natural Welsh speaker. Neither is the current Archbishop of Wales which necessitated wheeling out the retired archbishop to speak of the achievements of the Church in Wales one hundred years after disestablishment. 

Archbishop Morgan was also given the opportunity to advance another of his 'achievements'. His policy of accepting same sex relationships on a par with traditional marriage. This policy has not been accepted by the Church at large and this, along with the ordination of women, has seen many faithful Anglicans leave the Church through exclusion.  

New worshippers have not been attracted by these failed policies. After years of decline a mere 0.8% of the population in Wales regularly attend Sunday services. 

Between 1996 and 2016 the number of signed-up Church in Wales members dropped from 91,247 to 45,759. The 2018 Membership and Finance Report shows that the average Sunday attendance of people over 18 had fallen to 26,110.

At its demise the Church in Wales will be a feminist institution along with the Church of England. In 2019 the CofE ordained more women deacons than men.

Sweden already has a majority of women priests and a female archbishop. In 2009 Eva Brunne became the world's first openly lesbian bishop, another example of feminist 'equality'.

The process of 'feminisation' went much quicker than the Swedish Church had foreseen. In 1990 it was estimated that it would take another century before half of the clergy would be made up of women. But the 50 percent threshold has been reached just thirty years later.

None of this prevented Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland, warning that "people are leaving the Catholic Church 'in droves', tired of 'little old men' who continue to 'beat the drum of obedience'."

Complaining that she is "ignored completely by the Church's hierarchy" McAleese should not be surprised after all the false promises made by women's groups such as Women and the Church and their supporters.

Describing herself as a person with a "thinking brain" it doesn't take much thinking to see where the Catholic Church would be heading after ordaining women based on the experience of Protestant Churches.

For feminists it is wimmin wot matters, not the Kingdom.                                                                      

Friday, 2 October 2020

Caption corner 2 October 2020


Covid-19. Rule of six!                                                                                                                                                                                                    Source: Twitter

Publishable captions will appear under Comments.

Monday, 28 September 2020

Evangelism?




In 2018 the Church in Wales announced that they would spend £10m to 'breathe new life' into its churches:
 
"In the wake of dwindling numbers, the Evangelism Fund will fund “ambitious projects” to get more people engaging with churches. Between 1996 and 2016 the number of signed-up Church in Wales members dropped from 91,247 to 45,759. Now, grants of between £250,000 and £3m will be available for new projects."

Llandaff diocese received £3 million from the fund for their Young Faith Matters Scheme which made possible the Citizen Church with a mission designed to create a new Christian Community for Cardiff students. - That doesn't say much for the Cardiff University chaplaincy which attracts just a handful of students compared with its early years when faith really did matter in the Church in Wales. 

To make the church plant possible, without prior consultation the congregation of St Teilo's in Cathays were to be moved to St Michael’s, also in Cathays, to make St Teilo's available for the experiment. 

Similarly parishes learnt at last week's Llandaff Diocesan Conference how they were to be grouped into Ministry Areas or Benefices, again without prior consultation.

Parishioners in Cathays now learn that they are to be combined along with the parish of Roath St Martin into a new Benefice of Roath where only one of its four daughter churches remains after many years of decline.

Citizen Church is part of the Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) network known mainly for its charismatic leader Nicky Gumbel and his Alpha course. At 65 some are questioning Alpha's survival following Gumbel's retirement.

Many former members of the Church in Wales who kept the faith, digging deep in pockets and purses for the Church, now find themselves on the outside seeing money squandered on fads and fancies.

In his address at the September meeting of the Governing Body, about the only part of the video proceedings that did work before the meeting was abandoned, the Archbishop urged all the church to embrace change

So far that has increased the number of senior posts while congregations dwindle. Liberal feminism has taken hold leaving traditional Anglicans unchurched.

That is the Church in Wales, where faith doesn't matter outside the bishops' guidelines.

Monday, 21 September 2020

BBC Gravy Train


The BBC has come under fire after it published accounts showing that staff pay had soared 3.5 per cent to £1.5billion this year - while the Corporation pushes ahead with its plans to strip a million over-75s of their free TV licences. (Mail Online)

The BBC's highest paid 'stars'.  Source: Mail Online

plus executive pay:

There are 91 BBC executives who are paid MORE than the Prime Minister and 11 bosses get more
than DOUBLE his salary.  Source: Mail online


The BBC's mission is "to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain".

It is a job they do well at their best but 'Auntie' is not what she used to be. Pay and 'bias' have again been dominating the headlines. 

Their salary bill is similar to the cost of running their main TV channels: BBC One- £1.2bn, BBC Two- £481.2 million and BBC Four- £52.3 million according to the BBC's Annual Report and Accounts for 2017/18.

In 2015, the government announced that the BBC would take over the cost of providing free licences for over-75s by 2020 as part of the BBC fee settlement. 

In a staggering breach of faith the BBC later claimed that "BBC Two, BBC Four, the BBC News Channel, the BBC Scotland channel, Radio 5live, and a number of local radio stations would all have been at risk" if they honoured the commitment that guaranteed their fee settlement.

Delayed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, demands for licence fees are being received by pensioners over 75 year old at the same time as the BBC published accounts showing that staff pay had "soared 3.5 per cent to £1.5billion this year".

There is no recognition in the BBC that part of the problem in honouring their obligation to elderly pensioners is the unjustifiable amount of money paid out in salaries when they cannot afford to do so.

I suspect that I am not alone looking at the photographs of the highest paid 'stars' only to find that just two of the ten have any impact on my life and then only because they are BBC newsreaders.

Personally I prefer Reeta Chakrabarti and Ben Brown at less than half the cost.

Programme content has become dire with endless repeats. New series are built around murder and violence while frequent soccer programmes pervade the airwaves, something that could well be left to other providers given the cost to the licence payer.

New content is bogged down in the BBC's 'diversity' drive. Knee deep in political correctness and wokism BBC's mission is increasingly questionable. Not all change is for the better as the BBC should learn from their mishandling of their previously successful Strictly Come Dancing.

In the 2011 census over 86% of the population were white with 13% identifying as  BAME but often the BBC's news coverage conveys the impression that white people are the minority in the UK. 

The BBC's Breakfast time programme constantly undermines the Government's strategy to defeat Covid-19 while some of the presenters adopt the role of official opposition to the Government.

One ought to expect the highest standards from a public service broadcaster but some of the trailers are jaw dropping. 

Following on from their promotion of BBC 3's Drag Race, the BBC are currently promoting Little Mix in a series that encourages grotesquely made-up youngsters to mimic their hosts by cavorting around in clothing that could easily be mistaken for underwear.

I do not watch EastEnders but the trailers illustrate life in the East End as constant misery and angst. No wonder the programmes are accompanied by health warnings.

As a public service institution the BBC should be readily available to all, informing and educating. 

Instead we have an over-paid politically correct woke elite constantly lowering standards by foisting their own liberal views on audiences thus 'normalising' abnormal behaviour.

The announcement by Gary Lineker that Sue Barker is to be replaced on A Question Of Sport by ex-soccer player Alex Scott brought one of the best suggestions: Alex Scott should replace Lineker.

That would be diversity!