From the editor's desk
Becket’s lesson for today Premium26 May 2016
It is easy to mock fascination with sacred relics, particularly, in the case of a fragment of St Thomas Becket’s elbow now going the rounds in Britain, when historical events it commemorates strike a discordant note in the modern world.
With a recent past such as that of Europe, the rise of the far Right is profoundly worrying. The presidential election in Austria this week saw the narrow defeat of a candidate who has said that “Islam has no place in Austria”. Austria has had a far-Right fringe to its politics for decades.
Political life pulses to an emotional geography all its own. But the special power of the European question to disturb the atoms of our political class has been tangible, audible and visible since Easter and the cacophony is still rising in volume.
In the world of education, ideas marketed as innovations are often old hat. When “cross-curricular” became the latest in a series of evermore cringe-inducing buzzwords, many teachers shook their heads and rolled their eyes, reminding each other that collaborative links between subjects had always existed.
“In St Paul’s five bishops were photographed dancing in their cassocks,” reported John Bingham in The Daily Telegraph. It was perfectly true, for the Church Times published just such a photograph, adding the comment: “The Bishop of Willesden, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, appears to be a practised pogo-er.”
I always look forward to my trips to Hull. From York, the train runs unhurriedly through a wide, flat land of stock-still cattle and hedges. This pastoral scene is rendered abruptly gothic by the cooling towers rising like castle battlements at Drax power station.
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