Monday, 27 March 2017


If Douglas Murray sees fit to appear on TBQs, who am I to sneer ? 

Still, most people see the programme as sensationalistic and pugilistic. Poppy and corny; it provides light relief from the heavy religio/ political programming on either side. Jeremy Kyleisation of the Sunday morning ‘God’ slot. 

True, TBQs’s front row is usually full of the BBC’s go-to controversialists, but last Sunday morning, despite the presence of Anne-Marie Waters and Peter Hitchens who looks increasingly like a parrot, no-one got heated enough to get Nicky hushing everyone and begging them not to all talk at once. Perhaps in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist incident people felt slightly less obliged to tiptoe round the religion of peace, but it was interesting to hear the claim that unless the perpetrator is caught in the act crying “Allahu Ackbar,” citing Islam as a motivating factor in a given terrorist attack is speculative and uncalled-for.

Less platitudinous was the second Big Question about confidentiality within the Catholic confessional, and is it/should it be sacrosanct?

Nicky Campbell seemed to be working on the assumption that all paedophile priests must have gone behind the black curtain to confess to a colleague at some point, reliant on celestial confidentiality and redemption, and exemption from hellfire without all the fuss and bother of going to prison. 

Not being a Catholic, I know not if holy fathers treat each other like doctors and dentists do, but I always thought that the confessional was designed to absolve the guilt / scare the bejesus out of lesser mortals, like children and the subservient.

In an age of counselling and psychiatric therapy, is priestly absolution an efficacious method of dealing with guilt and shame? The TBQs debate danced round the issue without tackling the fundamental business of original sin, confession and absolution, concepts which seem like hangovers from the dark ages, which, sorry Catholics, should be done away with..


  1. Nicky Campbell is very good at asking if Christianity needs to change and adapt to modern thinking and get rid of old values. But ask if Islam needs to change, and you get hushed. "We're not talking about that now."

    I didn't watch this one, but I've seen him do it a number of times before. I once saw him scold a black American female pastor about how "Things have chaaaaanged," regarding views on homosexual marriage, and how she needed to get with the times. Later on in the show, somebody tried to ask if the Mohammedan ladies up front needed to abandon their burqas for similar reasons, and hypocritical old Nicky shut him right up.

  2. Yes, as neither a Catholic or a Muslim it is interesting to observe how, in the BBC world, the Catholic church can do no good and the Muslim world no wrong.
    Strangely the BBC shares many of the views of the Catholic church, original sin, well that is the Torys, and confession and absolution, isn't that what Newsnight is for. Tradition, family, prudence, anti-gay, good Muslim 'values', what's not to like BBC?