As the chess game to succeed the Archdruid Williams begins to take form, the favourite to move into a nice comfy palace overlooking the Thames is emerging as Uganda-born John Sentamu, the current archbishop of York and the No. 2 official in the Church of England.
Amongst his qualities for the job, Sentamu is a formidable self publicist, loved by his fans for bashing bankers and mauling Robert Mugabe – although the same fans were a bit dismayed when he shot his mouth off opposing gay marriage. I am reminded, however, of the famous quote that ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity’…
As a measure of how much he was loved by liberals, in 2007 Sentamu came second in Channel 4’s annual search for “the most inspiring political figure of the year”. Of course, my views on men of the cloth interfering in politics is well known.
But will he make a good Archbishop? Well, I suppose the answer to that is that it’s a bit like asking whether a bottle of wine is any good – it depends largely on what you are looking for and what your personal taste is.
But if he does get the top job, then I just hope it is for the right reasons and not because it would be ‘really cool’ to have Britain’s first black Archbishop – a bit like ‘America’s got a black president so we sort of need to balance things out a bit’.
Of course, he might just get the job because of that cute gap in his front teeth because it’s as good a reason as any and, yes, because these days we really are that shallow!
It has also just occurred to me that this could be a rather appropriate discussion for All Fools’ Day…