Archbishop Pooter (ret’d.)

From time to time, I feel twinges of regret that I was so cruel, so often, to poor old George Carey. I am assured on good authority that I caused him and his family real pain: at one stage, his wife cancelled the family subscription to the _Church Times_ because of a particularly savage piece I wrote lampooning him in the _Mail_. He was very hard-working, possessed of a shrewd understanding of evangelical politics, and personally very kind to a couple of friends of mine when they were in trouble.

Above all, though, he was one of the great comic characters of English life; playing World Spiritual Leader with a self-importance that retirement has done nothing to diminish. Here he is on Rowan Williams:

bq. “He has an alpha-plus mind … His problem is, ‘How do I get my message down to ordinary people?’ I think I can connect with ordinary people … it’s not a criticism of Rowan; all I’m saying is that it would be a particular challenge for somebody who’s been an Oxford professor.” Do they see much of each other? “We get on very well and keep saying we must meet up here and have lunch, but both of us are so busy.”

And he had to throw that Scarlet Johanssen out of his bed last night.

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6 Responses to Archbishop Pooter (ret’d.)

  1. SW says:

    Shoulder, chip; chip, shoulder.

    It’s easy to forget that Carey has a doctorate — and like many academics and clever people he seems to believe that he’s difficult to understand and has to make things easy for people.

    Williams, OTOH, knows he can be difficult to understand and revels in it. And he trusts people to work up to him if they want to. My better half said once that if she imagined him speaking as she read what he’d written that he was easier to understand.

  2. Jeremy Henty says:

    Oh Andrew, do not forsake me! You were the one who cheered me by agreeing that Polkinghorne is a windbag. Don’t go soft on me now! Carey earned my undying contempt in an interview with Andrew Marr where he declared he did not see that atheists had anything to contribute to discussions about morality and society. Sadly my frantic Googling hasn’t turned up that article, but it did turn up which proves my point anyway: Carey is a bigot, and he is that particularly obnoxious kind of bigot who is so wrapped up in his smug superiority he cannot even acknowledge the contempt he has for others. Don’t regret causing him pain; if he wishes to avoid pain he should make the effort to deal with his own self-deceptions, rather than relying on you and me to point them out.

  3. Simon S says:

    Terence Blacker in today’s Independent seems to have stolen your thunder, or are you ghostwriting for him?

  4. Jeremy Henty says:

    Simon, what about the Guardian? Andrew seems to be getting about a bit! “Lord Carey always had a politician’s reverent nose for power”, wonderful!

  5. el Patron says:

    I’m not ghostwriting Terence Blacker; _Guardian_ leaders are anonymous. The real joke about Carey complaining that Rowan lacks the common touch is only apparent to anyone who has tried to read a Carey sermon. “Of course this book was ghostwritten”, said a former member of his staff with whom I was gossiping. “You can tell at once. The sentences have beginnings and middles and ends.”

    So now we know what Andrew Carey has been doing.

  6. Simon S says:

    But indeed, Andrew (Carey) has explained this to the world, at's%20journey (sorry because the CEN uses apostrophes in URLs – which is improper – I can’t make that link easily.)

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