The Carey problem

I promised myself that I wouldn’t write any more about George Carey once he retired. But the bugger won’t stay retired. He continues to regard himself as the man in charge of the Anglican Communion and to dispense advice and exhortation in all directions. No one takes any notice – no change there – but clearly he needs a proper job, and I think I have found it for him in the New York Times.

The clue is in these prose fragments quoted by David Brooks. Who wrote them?

“We have to understand and appreciate that achieving justice for all is in jeopardy before a call to arms to assist in obtaining support for the justice system will be effective. Achieving the necessary understanding and appreciation of why the challenge is so important, we can then turn to the task of providing the much needed support.”

“When consensus of diverse leadership can be achieved on issues of importance, the greatest impact can be achieved.”

“An organization must also implement programs to fulfill strategies established through its goals and mission. Methods for evaluation of these strategies are a necessity. With the framework of mission, goals, strategies, programs, and methods for evaluation in place, a meaningful budgeting process can begin.”

American readers may have spotted that the answer is Harriet Miers, Mr Bush’s nominee to the Supreme Court. But the prose style is pure Carey. So, now that her nomination is running into trouble, why not put +George1 on the Supreme Court instead? He has the essential qualification. Like Meirs, he thinks that the most brilliant man he has ever met is called George, and that any organisation run by this man is blessed. He’s never been a judge, I agree, but neither has she. And you could not do more to gratify the base than to appoint an Archbishop to the Supreme Court. Go on, George W: do it now, for God’s sake and the sake of both our countries.

1 another advantage occurs to me — if there was a +George on the Supreme Court, we would have to distinguish the one in the White House as -George.

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5 Responses to The Carey problem

  1. Mrs Tilton says:

    We don’t do prelatry at Casa Tilton, so it took me a moment to twig that plus-sign. (Do bishops like Carey still get to use it after relinquishing their bishopric?)

    If so, then I am all in favour if him becoming Supreme Court justice, and of giving the other one a minus-sign for clarity’s sake. And then I would like them to shake hands.

  2. Rupert says:

    Isn’t he off somewhere being an ‘umble parish priest? That’s Carey, not Bush. Although I can see Pastor George with some clarity, perhaps doing some snake-handling down Alabamy way.

    And that episcopalian prefix – it’s ++ when you’re Archbish, isn’t it, indicating that you’re a preincrementing object-orientated prelate – and if getting the see of York is a plus, then that makes the Canterbury see plus plus. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a Bishop of Java.

    I suppose there are arguments to be made that the Reformation was the first open source movement; it certainly spawned enough squabbling and general incomprehension, while annoying the sellers of indulgences and making sure that a number of people got flamed. RMS as Calvin, perhaps?

    Nurse – the incense!


  3. Mrs Tilton says:


    doubleplus good, that.

  4. acb says:

    That is an insult to Calvin. What’s wrong with RMS as the guy who led the anabaptists in Muenster?

    Though flame wars were more interesting when the heretic himself was at stake.

  5. Rupert says:

    I first suspected there may be connections between open software and extreme Protestantism when I first saw a photo of a Belfast skinhead with “FTP” tattooed across his forehead. And I was briefly a server…


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