Thursday, 1 September 2011

Jesus in the Temple: Father Benjamin and the scurrilous rogues

Jesus in the temple - ejecting bankers and traders, rather than community activists, for some reason, Father Benjamin ...

*updated 4.30pm, see below:

Mrs Angry has been sent the following extract from the facebook page of Father Adrian Benjamin, the generous friend and benefactor of Tory Councillor Brian Coleman's Friern Barnet Summer Show, courtesy of a FB 'friend'. This person strongly disagrees with the outrageous treatment of the members of Barnet Alliance who, as has been reported, were thrown out of the Friern Barnet Show by the vicar, Coleman and Councillor Turner - and had their banner stolen by persons unknown. The extract has been copied and pasted, with original typos, but Mrs Angry has removed the names of the commenters, and commends some of them for trying to remind the hapless vicar of the basic tenets of Christianity and democracy, and the concept of liberty and freedom of speech.

"Adrian Victor Benjamin Onlookers said my actions reminded them, of Jesus in the Temple... But
I used no whip to rid our community festival of these scurrilous rogues!

August 26 at 10:10pm
7 people like this.

Adrian Victor Benjamin I have had the BARNET PRESS on to me about my violence in confiscating
the Campaign against Cuts banner brought on to the Park without my

August 26 at 10:07pm
8 people like this.

(commenter A) Erh???
August 26 at 11:11pm

Adrian Victor Benjamin Sorry, you were on the St James' Gate so missed

this.... The Villain barged past Zoe on the Statue Gate without a
ticket saying he was on a stall but he didn't know which one!
August 26 at 11:17pm

(commenter B) When did this incident happen?
August 27 at 12:49am

Adrian Victor Benjamin On the Sunday after the service I apprehended

the gentleman coming in with a banner not having a ticket or the faintest idea of the name of the he claiomed to be on; & in the afternoon we found the banner put up & a stall occupied with no
permission, insurance or charity number or payment!!!

August 27 at 11:38am

(Commenter C)Whatever happened to Freedom of Speech and by the way "no to the cuts"!!
August 27 at 3:20pm

Adrian Victor Benjamin All the community & charity groups came in
free. Each of them were able to promote their work & aims with our
support. This group applied late & had a negative agenda. I did not
eject from the Park. They carried on chuntering in groups through the
August 27 at 3:50pm

Adrian Victor Benjamin But from a personal point of view I would
rather have cuts than carry on spending our way out of recession
mounding up a bigger & bigger bill for the next generation.We may well
argue tho over which cuts to make & when!
August 27 at 3:52pm

(Commenter C) Cuts to mental health services, services for the elderly at the same time as increases to perks for Councillors. Cuts to Children's services. All stuff that the wealthy Barnet don't give a toss about. Even the proposals about removing meters in car parks are a nonsense.
August 27 at 6:33pm

(Commenter C) Mind you, Brian does say we are hardly going to notice!! Is that because my children don't need lollipop ladies and I use the bus so I don't care about parking charges?
August 27 at 6:42pm

(Commenter D) The bankers have alot to anwser for the predicaments. Unfair to make cuts and leave vulnerable stranded. The charity I was working for could not afford to give me a permanent contract and opted to give me a zero hours one. However, the work still needs to be done! > Adults with disabilities still need support. In process of re registering as a nurse where I hope to find work.
August 27 at 7:09pm

Adrian Victor Benjamin It's not the bankers. It's successive
governments who have provided an unwieldy health service & a bloated
education system by borrowing money we haven't got.
August 27 at 7:12pm

Adrian Victor Benjamin And as for parking, we who travel by bus
(hurrah for Ken Livingstone at least in this respect) are held up by
roads narrowed because of people parking outside their houses treating
the public highway as a private drive. Parking charges ought to be quadrupled.
August 27 at 7:15pm

(Commenter C) Well not all of us have long drives to park on!
August 27 at 8:02pm

Adrian Victor Benjamin
Well at least you are not on a bus route r u?!
And a motorbike doesn't take up much space...
August 27 at 8:13pm

(Commenter D) Guess I was distracted by other events. Wonder whether we will arrive at minimalist policy, as seen in some southern European countries, where much support is given via family and friends, ie > laissez faire? Should know this as I studied this in social policy
August 27 at 8:25pm

Adrian Victor Benjamin
Yes, except our families & friends ties are not
so strong: & think of the number of singles today: who will look after
them. That is why we have evolved a welfare State the way we have:
communal responsibility. But it has become so impersonal & cumbersome
& so ultimately wasteful
August 27 at 8:30pm

(Commenter B) wow this is a secios debate going on.
August 27 at 9:21pm · 1 person

(Commenter B) No wonder you were not yourself when I came to the park on Sunday.
August 27 at 9:22pm

Adrian Victor Benjamin
Haha! Well actually I was more concerned that
X should have her carriage than about all those shenannigans!
But we had been quite clear about the decision in committee.... so we
had to stand by it. It was not so much like a battle as simply taking
an inappropriate toy away from a disobedient child!
August 27 at 9:30pm

(Commenter B) Agreed and thanks for giving X a change to ride in the coach, she enjoyed it much.
August 27 at 9:35pm · 1 person"

Note to the Reverend Benjamin from Mrs Angry: take a look at the lost banner, why don't you, and read what it says:

"Our libraries, our NHS, our schools, our wardens, our streets, our land, our old, our young, our past, our future .... Hands off our Barnet'.

Oh dear, Rev ... it seems you need to come and sit on Mrs Angry's sofa for a little chat, and some spiritual guidance.

Make yourself comfortable. Don't be scared. Just a little advice.

Remember the passage in Matthew, 25:31 -

"Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

(Now then, Jesus: do you think that might have come over as a bit of a, how did the Reverend put it? A negative agenda? No? Fair enough.)

Seems to me that the spirit of the Barnet Alliance is a damned sight closer to the true meaning of Christianity than you understand, or want to admit.

Oh, and what was that phrase in the Sermon on the Mount?

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. "

Dear, dear: a little less time hanging around with Brian Coleman and his cronies, and a little more time in church reflecting on matters spiritual might be in order, I think, don't you? And give Barnet Alliance back their banner, while you are at it. If there is a 'villain' in this tale, there are at least two leading contenders for that description, and neither of them is Mr Silverman.

More tea, vicar?

*Updated 4.30pm:

Great story by Josh Pettit in the Ham & High:

'Thou shalt not erect protest banners at my festival, says vicar'.

Father Benjamin is quoted again as describing 74 year old Mr Silverman as ' a rogue, a rogue'.

The reverend defended his actions in tearing down and then 'losing' the banner by saying the banner was 'peddling a political agenda at a community event'. He said

' ... I'm all for debate and discussion but to have this slanging match, denigrating councillors who are trying their best in very difficult circumstances? If the Tory party came in and started giving our notices they (BAPS) would not stand for it.'

Father Benjamin said in regard to the banner: 'It's probably gone to Summers Lane (dump) and its probably a good place for it.'


Mrs Angry is uncertain of the identity of these councillors who are trying their best in very difficult circumstances. She did spot deputy Labour leader Barry Rawlings at the show, but the rest of the councillors were all Tories: Richard Cornelius, and Alison Cornelius, David 'Golden Arse' Longstaffe, toadying Rowan Turner, and the Mayor, Lisa Rutter, of course: oh, and swanning about, as per usual, the lord of all he surveys, Brian Coleman. These Tory councillors weren't giving out notices, they didn't need to: it was their event - they were all being entertained in a private, sectioned off 'VIP' part of the marquee, like rock stars at a gig: the gig from hell.

As to the opinion of this professed Christian minister that the local dump is a good place for a banner daring to voice support for our community, and our vulnerable citizens, in a time of the most savage assault on our public services - well: what can you say? Mrs Angry hopes there is a special place in Anglican hell, a dump, or recycling amenity, reserved for high church vicars who hang around with Tory councillors with no sense of shame, and no tolerance, and no respect for the freedom of expression, back here in the lost world of Broken Barnet.


baarnett said...

Another day, another visit by Souperman!

The Offord-o-Scope has picked up his presence pouring clear onion broth on a fire in Hendon: see the Barnet Times.

Anonymous said...

From what I remember of my CofE childhood, Mrs A, (in the word of the old Belfast joke I'm a protestant atheist, not a catholic atheist) I seem to remember that we don't do hell very much. But I think Anglican eschatology may need some revision to deal with this turbulent priest.
Dante had the right idea

Mrs Angry said...

Yes: well, far be it for me, a (very) sinful product of a Catholic upringing to advise the Archbishop of Canterbury, but a little more emphasis on eternal damnation for misbehaviour amongst the clergy might be a good thing, and would certainly liven things up a bit, wouldn't it?

My mother once went to Blackpool when she was a girl and paid to see the Rector of Stiffkey in a cage with a lion, reading the bible and repenting for having fallen prey to the lure of naughty ladies. The lion ate him in the end.