Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Unsolicited Advice

I've been stewing over this matter for a few weeks now, but this piece of information has moved me to say something.

It turns out the Diocese of St. Asaph in the Church of Wales (yr Eglwys yng Nghymru) is looking for a Communications Officer. That can only be a good thing, because the Bishop of St. Asaph desperately needs some competent public relations support.

You will recall that, around the time of the launch of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition, the Bishop of St. Asaph, Gregory Cameron embarrassed himself, describing critics, opponents and sceptics of the proposed Anglican Covenant as: "Little Englanders" and "the nearest to an ecclesiastical BNP."

Let us be clear. Bishop Cameron was saying that critics of the proposed Anglican Covenant - a document which he had no small part in drafting as Secretary of the Covenant Design Group - are fascists. The BNP or British National Party is the largest fascist political party in the United Kingdom.

Now, Bishop Cameron has since said that he didn't really mean it. Or at least, not part of it. Or perhaps he did. Except for maybe possibly he might not have meant all of it. Unless he did.

In an incoherent bleating quoted in The Church of Ireland Gazette, Bishop Cameron rambles as follows:
I have to accept that the comparison to the BNP has offended because some people have taken this as an accusation of racism. This was not my intention, and I have never wished to make such an accusation. The Church Times advert reminded me strongly of the rhetoric of the far right in British politics . . .

Now, I'd like you all to go re-read that quote. You'll notice that this isn't even the usual politician's non-apology apology:
I'm sorry you were offended.

Instead, this is:

I did mean to call them fascists. I just didn't mean to call them racists.

Here is my unsolicited advice to Bishop Cameron:

When you've said something bone-headedly stupid and mind-numbingly offensive, your clarification should include either the word sorry or the word apologize - or possibly both. Otherwise, don't bother saying anything at all, since you're only going to embarrass yourself further.

Perhaps that new Communications Officer might be able to teach Bishop Cameron how to behave in public.

In the meantime, here is a good Canadian sketch about non-apologies.


Lesley said...


Ooh good.. I need a job - do you think the Bishop will employ me? How about if I say I'm sorry he came over so badly about the Covenant?

Malcolm+ said...

Your apology is too apologetic. ;-)

Ann said...

Love it!! Those apologies remind me of abusers who are mostly sorry about being caught and not at all sorry for what they did.

Leonard said...

Lesley you are brilliant--if the good bishop were REALLY wise/secure--he´d snap you up for employment in a second--don´t hold your breath.

June Butler said...

Geaux, Malcolm!

Lesley said...

Thanks Len!

And thanks for the job ad you sent me Malcolm! :) Bit far to travel for the kids to see their dad..