This impeccably coiffured, white haired gentleman had a smile that through gleaming white teeth shimmered like a Cheshire cats’ during the meal and throughout the exchange that followed.
It began and ended in the restaurant as a discussion of the Internet progressed. I noted that history being cyclical is prone to action and reaction. As the Internet is massively abused it would one day be subjected to control that many will view as un-welcome, however the price of unfettered freedom is inevitably, censorship.
Our Church friend replied that he found the ‘Palileaks’ (the papers that Al Jazeera has fed to the British newspaper, ‘The Guardian’) far more revealing than ‘Wikileaks’. I replied that I would always be extremely suspicious of any broadcaster that bases its programming on racist incitement and the dubious entertainment of televised decapitations.
A little further into our meal, with the other guests temporarily dispersed I added that our universities were run like a business and had revenues of thirteen thousand million pounds last year but chose as always to criticize and incite violence against only one nation. I continued, "The situation in Britain today is ethically almost unrecoverable. I doubt there is a single institution that can accurately declare it truly maintains an ethical position”.
Over a century ago Britain had the reputation for being a smiling friend waiting patiently to stab any competitors in the back. It is no different today. I had met the enemy and his smile was deceptively kind.
The smile radiating self assurance, this senior member of the Church of England responded with the classic fascist response. “Then it is time you left” (the country). I replied “you change nothing by running away.”
I left it at that.