Saturday, June 18, 2005

The axis of unbelievable.
I am hitching a shameless ride in the vehicle of Mark Steyn's website at the moment. No, not his columns, for once- his links.

One thought occurs to me: is the Archbishop of Canterbury the saddest and worst ever? I just want him to get hence to a nunnery and never bother my ears again. This time he's found common cause with the Chinese Communist authorities. How so? Well, he too understands the dangers of unpoliced conversation.

The Archbishop, from all that I have read and heard (and unlike the outputs of many dignitaries I have bothered to listen and read a fair portion) is a staunch defender of the politically correct establishment and the powers of the social welfare state. Never mind rendering unto Cesar- the Arch. Bish. would like us to lick their *****.

That's why it's the commercial media that irks the bearded fool. He accuses them of creating an 'alternative reality' far removed from the lives of ordinary people. Sorry A.B.C.- most people live in the world of money, and buy a newspaper or subscribe to a channel because it appeals to their tastes in information. They are not dupes and Rowan's simplistic argument yet remote language doesn't come close to identifying the problems with today's media.

Of course Rowan Williams is too lost in his own theo-sociological maze to be worth talking to, but nevertheless his folly gives me chance to restate my views.

The problems with today's media are twofold:

There are too many national medias in the world where positions on tv, radio and so on are reserved for people who meet the approval of oppressive political and social powers. China is a classic example. Where politicisation reigns in so much of the globe, it makes western media look good and enables them to luxuriate in politcal choices of their own when it comes to the simple matter of stating the news.

Secondly, among the relatively free western medias they are many examples of voluntary subjection of the media to political patronage, usually in return for status and privileges. The BBC is a classic example of this, but other media that seek to be the organs 'of record' tend to fall into the same traps (CNN Iraq for one notorious instance). The sad fact is that the British people and Government sanction the politicisation of their media through the licence fee and the Foreign Office's links to the BBC.

The danger with media 'of record' (inevitably a matter of the general public interest) is that it trivialises its more commercially dependent competitors (or, occasionally, forces them to suck up even more rigorously to a ruling power than a heritage media 'of record' needs to) . Maybe that's where Rowan Williams needed to begin his critique, rather than with the sub-marxist nonsense with which he turns off the British people.

But the thing that really annoys me about Williams is that he's such an establishment lackey- even though the establishment really rather despises Williams' (alleged- for he doesn't understand a thing about it) church. He reserves his praise for recent MBE Frank Gardner, even though Gardner has nothing much to recommend him apart from the fact that Islamists shot him viciously (why such people get MBEs is another question that could be asked of our 'liberal' establishment). Expert he may be, but he has been a unexceptional appeaser of the Islamofascism that leads to the terrible restrictions suffered by Christians in Islamofascist countries like Saudi Arabia. I've plenty of sympathy for Gardner, and I'd like the heads of those who shot him, but this is really a coda for Williams to endorse statism and the statist BBC especially. Trawling for another Dimbleby lecture perhaps? Or perhaps an entree to China- there are no doubt Buddists and Falun Gong who need his help, let alone Christians.

By the way (for any interested) I was christened and confirmed in the Church of England. NIMN, A.B.oC.

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