LOGIC IS NOT ALWAYS BEST
By Michael de la Bedoyere
PROBABLY nothing could seem on the face of things more perverse and idiotic than the appointment of bishops in the Church of England by the Prime Minister. Yet it is fact that on the whole this topsy-turvy system has in recent years especially produced capable and devoted prelates.
The reason for this is obvious. There is a general interest in having good bishops and those who advise the Prime Minister are in a position to select without fear and probably little favour.
No system of appointment will succeed if those involved in it are not men of conscience, integrity and expert understanding as to what is required. Any system will work when it is run by such men. Yet it is true that the oddity of the present system is preposterously nut of tune with Christian thinking that bishops should be appointed by the secular authority.
The Anglican monthly, "Prism." Suggests that under the chairmanship of the Archbishop, the bishops: of the provinces, three clergy and three laity from the vacant diocese and one clergy and layman from each diocese should form an electoral college. A good plan but it will be interesting to see whether logic does better than present pragmatism.
INDIA: The McMahon Line
IT is sad to think that India has had to move so far away from Gandhi's pacifist idols. Yet however we view the Nehru [ape of Goa, it is hard indeed tu see how India could do other than seek to repel by force the latest Chinese aggression along the well-established McMahon Line.
It is strange that this aggression should be attempted at a time of year when it can hardly be pursued owing to the weather. This may betoken a Chinese intention to give punch to their persistent and strong anti-Indian propaganda. But what the ultimate Chinese aim may be is a mystet y, for their action runs directly counter to the attitude of the Soviet Union which sells arms to India.
No nation in the world today can safely play the old military game of local aggression, and if it remains as yet impossible to establish an outlawry of major war owing to tile continuing depth of ideological rivalry, one might at least have expected that no powers would wantonly turn the clock back and revert to military pin-pricks in order to pursue politicul and military advantage across disputed and even non disputed frontiers, for the McMahon Line has long been an established frontier.
DRAMA: A TV exposure
ONE speculates about reactions to ITV's dramatic presentation of Constantine Fitzgibbon's thriller "When The Kissing Had To Stop" two and it half hours of it in two doses It is possible
that too many people took it too seriously as an exposure of the dangers of pacifism in this country.
Even if one accepts the high improbability of a kind of pacifistlabour government, is it really likely that such a government would be blinded by its idealism into failing to detect not only political self-seekers. but spies and traitors in their midst? And is it true that the British police could he turned into a sort of Black and Jan thuggery'? Happily it is a characteristic of this country that while its principles of freedom breed individualists and idealists with too little sense of political realities, the nation possesses a genius for loyalty and toughness in any really dangerous crisis it could show that toughness even in passive resist. ance.
Nor did it ever appear quits clear why nuclear disarmament ir Britain should involve such dis. asters for Britain rather than tot other countries content to remair disarmed, if not for conscience' sake, at least for financial ones.
FORDS: A matter of scale
THE fundamental problem o the strike at the Dagenhan Ford works, immediately after ; rise in pay to help efficiency, i really a matter of scale. Is then any proportion between an im mense works of vital importanct to the country's trade and thi single action of a shop-steward even It he was deputy chairmat of the shop steward's committee? Whether he was breaking rule agreed by the unions or not whether he had a moral right ts hold a meeting in the lunch-hum or not. all this is a petty matte that should he dealt with by sone kind of joint investigation impar tially carried out. To the layman in such matters it seems fantastic in this age tie whole country should be held ti ransom in ite productive capacie because of unwillingness, whethe on the management side or th anion's side. to possess and respec machinery that can equitably dea with a matter—and to do so auto matins Hy. How long are our industria relations to continue on the craz lines of throwing millions o pounds away. not for some grea principle. but for technical hitches
PAINTING: £45,000 • for child s play
RECENTLY the colour sectio of the "Sunday Times" had frontispiece consisting of a squar orange background on whic twelve scraps of colour or eoloure paper were placed. It was a ga enough design such as any chit cutting up coloured papers migl have put together with a greats or lesser felicity. Below we were told that ii auction value might he f,45,000 an that it was the kind of pictut which the Tan; Gallery needed t maintain its reputation. But for scrap of writing at the bottom, th might have been an arousing jok at the expense of some modern at But the writing read: "I Matisse 53". It was all Inv Perhaps in fifty years' time a world will have seen the joke.