Clegg Comes Out
Congratulations to new Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg for saying he didn't believe in God. Strange that it should be newsworthy to state something that you share with millions of your fellow countrymen.
But the commendable honesty was rather undermined by the fact he felt it necessary to issue a clarifying statement:
"I have enormous respect for people who have religious faith."
Well, why wouldn't he? You might not think it, but if you remove the word "enormous" I could have said that myself. I respect anyone's right to hold any belief they like so long as they don't attempt to force it on me or enshrine it in the law of the land.
He then added that his wife was a Catholic and he was committed to bringing his children up as Catholics, as though this close association with members of one of the most illiberal faiths somehow mitigated his own atheism. But if he were truly a liberal he would not foist any religious belief on his children but leave them to make their own choice of belief, or non-belief, when they were adults.
He is also said to have implied that he was at the agnostic end of the atheist spectrum.
I wasn't aware there was an 'atheist spectrum' but even Richard Dawkins - if you actually read him - could be described as an 'agnostic'. Agnosticism in a wider, non-theological sense, is the basis of all science.
Still, as it's the season of goodwill, let's be generous and give him 7 out of 10.
And if this were America, he'd be dead in the water. Or even literally dead.
In case you were as confused as I was, I think the position is this: the Queen is now the longest-lived British monarch. But she is not yet the longest-reigning British monarch.
I think that's right.
Like you care......
"The last ever British monarch"..........now that would really be something to celebrate.
I mentioned recently that Robinson's had sponsored (sorry, "supported") the BBC Sports Personality of the Year programme.
The only reference I've seen to this was Peter Preston in The Observer. He says the BBC's response was that Robinson's had sponsored only "the event" not the programme. Robinson's paid for the hire of the venue and for the food and drink for the 8,000 audience. Preston called this "hair-splitting". I would call it blatant dishonesty. After all, the BBC would otherwise have had to pay these costs themselves. And in return, Robinson's got a name-check from Gary Lineker and had their name prominently displayed behind the rostrum.
If that's not paid advertising, then my name really is Willie Lupin.
I still want some of my licence fee back.