Knives are out

The Church of England - - ENGLAND ON SUNDAY -

Just to prove that he is a ‘blood-crazed fer­ret’ Damian Thompson com­pen­sated for his gen­tle treat­ment of Justin Welby in The Spec­ta­tor be­fore Christ­mas with a sav­age at­tack on John Sen­tamu. Ac­cord­ing to Thompson, there was a stam­pede for the exit when Sen­tamu got up to speak in Gen­eral Synod in the 1990s, a re­ac­tion to his ‘stream of con­scious­ness waf­fle’. Writ­ing in the Tele­graph last Satur­day, Thompson claimed York was com­pen­sa­tion be­cause it was al­ways known Sen­tamu wouldn’t make Can­ter­bury. The poor Arch­bishop must feel the knives are out to get him. A lib­eral es­tab­lish­ment source is leak­ing the he wasn’t even on the short­list of three to suc­ceed Rowan Wil­liams. Sen­tamu’s de­fend­ers may sniff the bad odour of racism but that old English vice of snob­bery may be what is really to blame. The snob­bery of the left is just as odi­ous as the snob­bery of the right. Some peo­ple can’t for­give Sen­tamu for writ­ing a col­umn for the Sun­day edi­tion of The Sun. Last week’s piece was an un­ex­cep­tional ar­ti­cle on John the Bap­tist. Hardly a grip­ping read but not as te­dious of Giles Fraser’s ac­count of how psy­chother­apy has taught him not to find his own help­less­ness in­tol­er­a­ble, which ed­i­fied read­ers of The Guardian.

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