Friday, February 24, 2023

Lord Bonkers 30 years ago: He backs the ordination of women

What was Lord Bonkers saying 30 years ago? Or, to be precise, what was Lord Bonkers saying 30 years and one month ago? Because this is a diary entry from Liberator 210, which is dated January 1993.

I've long forgotten what the story about John Selwyn Gummer's pond was, but from this Independent profile of 1995 it's clear that there was one:

Throughout his two-and-a-half decades in British politics Mr Gummer has had little difficulty making headlines. He is, for example, remembered for the hamburger he fed to his daughter during the mad cow scare, for the row over the 'freebie' pond built in his back garden and his opposition to women priests.

And, given that it has never accepted the front-foot no ball law in cricket, I am agreeably surprised to find that the Church of Rutland was taking such an enlightened view on the ordination of women back in 1993.

More recent issues of Liberator can be downloaded free of charge from the magazine's website.


To St Asquith's for Divine Service. What a load of nonsense is talked about women priests! Would anyone think the less of the Reverend Hughes if he were not a chap? I hardly think so. 

Having been married for many years to the first Lady Bonkers, I rarely speak of the gels as the 'weaker sex, and I can see nothing but good coming of their introduction to the pulpit, The nation's choristers will be considerably relieved, and Nancy Seear will make a splendid Archbishop of Canterbury. 

Best of all, it will discomfort that ridiculous little man Gummer. I hear that he is talking of crossing the floor to become an RC, but he may well find the Vatican is less inclined to fund improvements to his garden pond. Indeed, I suspect he has been confusing Anglicanism and angling all along.

Lord Bonkers was Liberal MP for Rutland South West 1906-10.


A Rambling Ducky said...

AH the Pond!

Gummer had, as Environment Secretary, hosted a show at his Suffolk home for European environment ministers. He didn't charge the ministry or anyone else for use of his property. As part of the show, to demonstrate environmental restoration, a silted-up pond on his land had been restored to ADAS (Agricultural Development and Advisory Service) specifications, and the work paid for by Hillsdown Holdings (who are now Premier Foods).

ADAS was at the time still an agency of MAFF, and Gummer committed to maintaining the pond according to their guidance and providing updates to his European colleagues about it.

But he didn't register it at the House of Commons.

He was required to register the work (about £2,600, including hire of a marquee) by the Select Committee on Members' Interests. The Committee accepted he had not meant to conceal it, and he had been left out of pocket by the show.

It came shortly after Lamont was revealed to have received £18,000 from "anonymous Conservative Party sources" for legal fees without declaring it.

Jonathan Calder said...

Thank you!