He was speaking to the Church of Scotland, those other well-known modernist reformists.
I don’t want to get into the argument about the relevance of the church(es) in the modern world. I’d rather look at what may be some of his real-world reasons for saying some of this.
And of course it doesn’t come as a surprise that he should have an opinion of this sort. His position is an anachronism of the British State (or more specifically English state) – all that stuff with the lovely King Henry if you remember (I know they trace their history to much earlier than that).
I’m not saying he isn’t entitled to his opinion, merely that it should be clear on which side his loaves and fishes are buttered.
The quote above was in the title of the article in the Scotsman but not in the body of it. What he went on to say was…
“As it is, there is an increasing amount of devolved power in both Scotland and Wales, which I think has been broadly a healthy development. Whether it would help us to be separate states I really don’t know. I’ve still to be persuaded about that.”
“If you want devolved parliaments to have some effective control over let’s say educational and health policy I think you’re bound to have some higher level of fiscal independence built into that – how you raise money and how you spend it. There is a case for that.”
That last bit is in bold because you might want to drop the words “Arms Investment and the Church of England” in at that point if you wanted to be ungodly. That however is old news and it appears the C of E took its money out of some arms companies a few years ago, but not before they had received a god-fearing rogering from Mark Thomas on the issue.
Even now though, the policy of the C of E on this leaves a little room for military manoeuvres. This is from the C o f E’s stated policy on the matter...
So the Church does not invest at all in the defence industry?
Investment is allowed in companies that have exposure to the supply or manufacture of non-offensive military equipment where this does not constitute the main business.
What does the Church mean by non-offensive equipment?
By this we mean suppliers of avionics, radar, sonar, instrumentation, components, military IT and software, as well as refit and commissioning of military systems.
So what we have here is that the leader of the official state church, whose church was and may still be invested in some of the skullduggery of the official state, comes out and says something to defend the official state.
As it is Towel Day today I think Douglas Adams should have the last word…
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.