Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Foreign Office insults Pope

The Pope is due to make a state visit to the UK in September this year. Naturally the Foreign Office set up a Papal Visit Team to plan and organise the event. But bizarrely an FO memo was then circulated suggesting that, among other things, the Pope:
  • Launch a range of condoms

  • Bless a civil partnership

  • Apologise for something (the FO isn't concerned what, anything!)

  • Attend a debate on abortion

  • Do forward rolls with children to promote healthy living

  • Use sustainable incense

  • Judge a beauty contest

  • Spend his entire 4-day visit in silence in support of battered wives.

The memo goes on and on. There are about 100 suggestions, most of them wildly inappropriate.

This caused some media bemusement, an official apology was sent to the Vatican, which was accepted with good grace, although privately senior Vatican figures said the Pope was deeply offended.

The rest of us could only boggle at the stupidity of the Foreign Office. A civil servant was "moved to other duties", which seems a very minor sanction for insulting a foreign head of state and jeopardising a state visit.

But now some clarity is emerging. The FO Papal Visit Team was led by this man...

Anjoum Noorani: Insulting diplomat

Yes, the FO put a muslim in charge of the Papal Visit Team! And this British diplomat of Pakistani origin took advantage of his position to express his contempt for the pontiff.

It is quite unacceptable to have the United Kingdom represented to the world by such a person. Although this blog does not support the wholesale repatriation of lawful immigrants it is clear that some jobs are too sensitive to be given to anyone other than a native Brit.

FO memo
Papal visit site

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