Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

The Archbishop is little more than a posh John Prescott in a black dress

Rod Liddle is infuriated by a church leader who refuses to confront the inhumanity perpetrated in the name of Islam or the consequences — visible in Malaysia — of legal apartheid

Rod Liddle is infuriated by a church leader who refuses to confront the inhumanity perpetrated in the name of Islam or the consequences — visible in Malaysia — of legal apartheid

I assume it is simply Dr Rowan Williams’s impressive beard which has persuaded everybody that he is an ‘intellectual’; certainly, it cannot be anything he has ever said or written. His latest contribution to the national reservoir of stupidity was the business about sharia law, of course. It was both inevitable and indeed desirable that the state would, somehow, devolve to our Muslim communities jurisdiction over certain — largely domestic — disputes, he opined. Cue a justifiable outrage. Then, apparently astonished at the furore, he issued a sort of Blairite apology, saying that the ghastly media had ‘distorted’ his speech (nope, it really hadn’t) but that he regretted an ‘unclarity’ over words which he may have ‘clumsily deployed’. What a fatuous old goat he is. If he is incapable of expressing himself clearly, then it is because his thought processes are hopelessly muddled — if they exist at all. In short, he is little more than a posh John Prescott in a black dress.

Whether he should be forced out of office is another matter, mind. As a fundamentalist libertarian in this regard, I usually defend to the hilt people who say unconscionable things which enrage the public. However, if the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police were to say he thought that criminals were, on the whole, a much maligned community of individuals who really should be allowed to carry out their activities without the interference of the police, then I would begin to doubt his suitability for the job. I am not so sure that what Williams suggested is much less absurd or more counter to the aims of the beleaguered and dissolving institution to whose stewardship he has, regrettably, been entrusted.

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