Wednesday, 22 May 2013

State Your Intentions/So How Do You Become Archbishop of Canterbury?

My intention had been to post a blog entry every Sunday, but, things, as they say began to queue up and I had several Ideas including the latest post(below) - So, How Do You Become Archbishop of Canterbury? I also have plans for a piece I wrote in Durham with the intriguing title : 'A Broken Down Bus, A Cathderal and A Man With His Trousers Around His Ankles' ( a must not miss if I say so myself ).

Starbuck Memories

 In addition I want to explore 'Well What Are We All Worth?' and my obsession of writing about the future of work will come in useful with 'No Sleep Till Future'. I have also been really encouraged and inspired by comments received since I unleashed rushhour on an unsuspecting world (May spawned a monster), I wanted to make it kind of interactive and use comments from readers and material written by readers, perhaps as quotes, to write a sort of interconnected pastiche - note to Aleisha Chrome 'Interconnected Pastiche' did not win Eurovision in 2007.

However, I am not about to lose sight of Rush Hour and I am also toying with the idea of offering excerpts as we complete the various sections.

Post two below (Post three actually in the blogosphere) So, How Do You Become Archbishop of Canterbury?  Please read, digest, enjoy, comment, share with friends, colleagues, strangers, taxi drivers with plenty of rabbit, household pets, wild animals, politicians, friendly astronauts....

So How Do You Become Archbishop of Canterbury?

Have any of you visited Durham Cathedral? Simply awesome, and a must see. You will know the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Justin Welby, was the former Bishop of Durham.

His journey to the work he does now took him through the world of finance with Elf Aquitaine in Paris and Enterprise Oil PLC in London, before his new post in Kent.  All of which neatly links with...

...Saturday morning, April 27 2013, Bothwell Street, Glasgow. Daft Punk, One More Time, plays on my iPod - not my choice, my son helped me upload tunes onto it and he SAID it was great (hardly Guns N' Roses).

I duck into Costa Coffee.

Have you noticed Costa have a great slogan slapped on the side of their delivery trucks? : Saving The World From Mediocre Coffee - I am sure we all sleep easy in our beds knowing that....

Once inside, I order an americano, hot milk on the side - it brings out the flavour.
Seated, I am opening out my Financial Times in front of me and I immediately move from Daft Punk to Dr Justin Welby without blinking.

"In banking in particular, and in the City of London" Welby, on his new journey, is telling George Parker, the FT's political editor, "A culture of entitlement has affected a number of areas - not universally by any means - in which it seems to disconnect from what people saw as reasonable in the rest of the world." (Financial Times April 27/28, 2013).

Welby goes on to speak about the need for a more ethical and transparent banking system echoing the sentiments I heard when I interviewed members of and wrote about Democracia Real Ya (Real Democracy Now), Los Indignados (The Outraged), Occupy New York, and Occupy St Pauls, London. Yet, nowhere in George Parker's article is the slightest suggestion that Dr Welby is 'anti-capitalist'.

Democracia Real Ya

I checked my notes, impressed again by how those I had interviewed had totally refuted the constant media suggestion that Occupy was no more than an anti-capitalist movement.
"Absolutely not!" Greek born Spyro Van Neemnen, a Masters graduate from the London School of Economics, and spokesperson for Occupy London Stock Exchange was horrified by the suggestion that the movement is anti-capitalist."The one thing we thing we stand for is democracy if you want to summarise it within one word, that's democracy." (Author's interview December 5, 2011)

Across the pond Occupy Wall Street's public relations were equally perplexed by the anti-capitalist claims.

"The first thing is that we have a wide variety of political activists in Occupy", Mark Bray a Rutgers University PhD student and spokesperson for Occupy Wall Street explained to me. "We have liberals and conservatives, we have socialists, anarchists, libertarians. But we are not anti-capitalist because the majority of the people are not against capitalism. We (the Occupy movement) just want an economic system that provides them with the things they need to get by, provides them with the opportunity to get a job, have healthcare, education, and things that I think most people can get behind" (Author's interview February 12, 2012).

This chimes with Dr Welby as he seeks to suggest the banking and financial system has been "disconnected from what people saw as reasonable in the rest of the world." (See Mark Bray's last sentence above)

Have I missed something, is there a difference when ordinary people say something and when someone with the elevation of the leader of over 75 million Anglican Christians says something? Does journalistic interpretation depend on the job you do?

And what of Dr Welby's journey, what of the good Archbishop's 'Rush Hour'? How does one get to be Archbishop of Canterbury?

Is it something we mull over when suffering a double period of maths? 'Describe a Venn diagram to me boy!' 'Is it a special chart that llustrates how Buddhists should meditate Sir?' And then you think, 'I must remember and make an appointment with my careers advisor and see if there are any vacancies for an apprentice archbishop?

Maybe it suddenly pops into our mind as a career advancement possibility while suspended in a cradle high above the streets of London as we clean the windows of multi-storey office blocks.  You wistfully think : Must be a better way to earn a living, I know, Archbishop, that's it, they get to wear great gear!

Of course, as we all know, becoming Archbishop of Canterbury is a bit more selective than that, a bit more cloistered than just nipping round to Durham Cathedral for an application form - or picking out a message on one of the magnificent stained glass windows : 'Archbishop Wanted, Must Be Able To Work Weekends'. Neither is it a box ad in the Durham Times or Northern Echo.

The Archbishop is carefully selected and has to have the nod of the Prime Minister, but he can still side with Occupy, of course.

Dr Welby left the financial industry when he felt a calling to the church, and now suggests a more ethical and transparent approach to his old business. Welcome as these pronouncements are, they are no more than Occupy have been saying for years.

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