Friday, 10 September 2010

The Joys of Spectation

This week's Spectator is real joy, with excellent articles by Rod Liddle on Andy Coulson, by Robert Gray on Cardinal Manning, and by Peter Hitchens on hatred of the Pope, but also on how the New Atheists who profess to love the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer would hate them if they bothered to pay attention to the substance of what they said rather than only to the undoubted majesty of how they said it.

He wants to make the Prayer Book the manifesto of a counterrevolution, and of course I do not agree with him on that one, although it must be said that Dr Cranmer's Anthology certainly yields to no one and to nothing in its presentation of the truths common to its users and to the Catholic Church, while its uncompromising Protestantism on other points is, after all, what it is for. Its language may sound particularly impressive now, but in its day, the whole point of it was that it was in normal English. Normal educated, literary English. But normal English all the same. The things said, not only the means of saying them.

Peter seems to be moving into what Maurice Cowling called Public Doctrine, and one thing that occurs to me is that well into living memory his beloved Prayer Book was also widely used among Methodists, as John Wesley had intended, while earlier such Wesleyan Methodists in much of the Empire had pushed for a share in the role and revenues of Establishment rather than for the disestablishment, with its formal declaration of State secularism, to which the Methodist Church of Great Britain, like the United Reformed Church, has never formally committed itself. (Where some Catholics get the idea that the Church favours, or is even reconcilable to, "the separation of Church and State", I honestly cannot imagine.)

There may be part of a future book on this, but for now I have just come from returning to the dear old University Library some of the reference materials for my first ones. Unlike a lot of people, I love Durham, the population of which doubles during the undergraduate terms, both as a lively little city for the half of the year when it is full of students, and as a blissfully quiet one for the other half. It no longer matters which half in order for, as the online directory describes me, "Academic/Management staff" to secure access to a university computer, such as that at which I am writing this, before toddling off home. I have finally even wired up (yes, my contemporaries, it is still that) to feed into my Hotmail account, in anticipation of rather more people's use of it in the coming months. And what a thing it is to be able to take out up to forty books at a time, and to keep them for six months.

Anyway, expect light, if any, blogging, including moderation, until Sunday evening at the latest. My tenth anniversary graduation dinner in my original college is tomorrow.


  1. Your penultimate paragraph appears to be boasting that you have access to University facilities. Why? Is this a new experience for you? It's very exciting at first, but you do get used to it, I assure you.

  2. Boasting about Durham, if anything. Meeting up with some old friends, some of whom had not been here for 10 years and have to make do with London or some such placem, reminded me of just how lucky I am still to be so near at hand. Their other halfs, even the one who went to Oxford, were quite in awe of Durham. Rightly so.

  3. Sir Pop, it's because Lindsay is still hurting from being sacked by Damian Thompson for faking his CV. He claimed to be a college turot but this turned out to be just a voluntary post to befriend freshers, so Damian sacked him on the spot.

  4. Well OK, but wonderful as Durham doubtless is, it's not made more wonderful by the fact that it gives you access to a computer, or a library. That's quite common in universities, I believe.

  5. I'm not, I didn't, I don't know what a "turot" is, and if you mean a tutor, then it is not at all as you describe, and I'd want the several years of tax and NI paid on it to be returned if it were. Do I need to go on?

    The bitterness over this is not on my part. A year, a full year, since what you absurd adolescents thought was a story was dismissed with derision by everyone who mattered and most people who didn't. But you don't learn, do you?

  6. Sir Pop, wash your mouth out. Everything about Durham makes it that little bit more wonderful.

  7. @Anonymous 14:53, you cannot be sacked from an unpaid position and if you were telling the truth then David would easily have won a case for unfair dismissal. But that was the voluntary bit, tutoring certainly isn't. It is not what it was, I suspect you have not been at Durham for a long time if ever, and I suspect that David gave up several things, including blogging for the Telegraph, in order to write his books. All of that crowd are still his friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter and all that. At least one of them is a member of the Facebook group to get him into Parliament once AV comes in and all the boundaries change.

    Get over it. I don't know what goes on at wherever Kamm was, but a student newspaper is no great shakes at Durham and being the subject of a scurrilous story in it positively enhances someone's standing here. As David says, you have been flogging this dead horse for a year now. You have no answer to the fact that he is on the university directory as academic and management. That is the truth, your lies are lies and no-one is paying the slightest attention to them, no-one ever did. Get a life.

  8. Hilarious! The fat fantasist has to resort to posting anonymous comments on his blog yet again!

    You got yourself sacked from The Telegraph for faking your cv, faking Wikipedia, faking letters to editors begging for a column, faking comments on blogs begging for a column, and the whole of Durham is laughing at your cackhanded inept frauds. What does it feel like?

  9. Saying it over and over again does not make it true. I was trying to work out who Anonymous 15:09 was, but I stopped counting at fifty.

    And what a fifty it was. If you really are anything to do with Durham and you try to keep this going into another academic year, then you will be very, very sorry indeed. If I had been in better health last year, then you already would have been. I am given to understand that you had a warning, while I was under general anaesthetic. You won't be warned again.

    As for faking Wikipedia, you are confusing me with the late Oliver Kamm, now buried behind the paywall that marks the boundary of an empire which is about to collapse.

    This thread is closed.