Yes, I’m going for very niche humour today…
David Cameron looks set for an unexpected House of Commons battle shortly when he brings forward legislation to end male primogeniture in the monarchy. This new law would end the practice of men taking precedence over women when it comes to who succeeds to the throne, and would ensure that the firstborn child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would have an equal claim to the throne whether they are a girl or a boy.
Despite the proposed legislation winning overwhelming worldwide support from every Commonwealth nation, traditionalists in England have demanded that those who oppose this move be provided with an alternative monarchy using the existing rules of succession. “It is not we who are changing,” explained a clearly disgruntled member of Preform (a group which represents constitutional traditionalists within the English establishment) “it is the whole nation which is suddenly seeking to put itself out of kilter with us and the traditions of England. Where’s the talk of respect and equality when it comes to accommodating us and our deeply-held beliefs, eh?”.
Traditionalists claim that the proposed measure does not make proper provision for their monarchical oversight, and so the House of Commons must go back to the drawing board and create a system which meets their needs. They would not be drawn on exactly what these needs might be, nor on what form acceptable legislation might take. As one member of Preform put it, “It’s not for us to tell you what we might think is reasonable. We’ll just keep telling you it’s not.”
With thanks to Rev Graeme Fancourt – @graemefancourt – for letting me steal the premise of this posting from his Tweet and expand it rhapsodically into far more than 140 characters. Obviously, if anyone doesn’t like this post, it’s my fault, not his!
According to its mission statement, Sidling Sideways in Faith seeks to position itself “equidistant between every single other faction within the Church of England” and promotes the “polite, unobtrusive sidling-around and side-stepping of every ecclesiastical issue of the day”.
Reverend Nice says he is greatly looking forward to taking up his new post and believes that the group’s work is important. “Our affiliated parishes don’t want to be one of those annoying churches who make people uncomfortable,” he explains. “so we are for those who seek to avoid associating themselves with WATCH, Reform, Forward in Faith, Anglican Mainstream, Inclusive Church, Church Action on Poverty, the Evangelical Alliance, Affirming Catholicism or indeed any group with a strong set of opinions about anything.”
The new Director of Sidling Sideways in Faith will take up his post as soon as he is released from his current position as Chamberlain-wrangler of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Eyebrows, a rarely-necessary and largely heraldic post which looks likely to fall dormant once Rowan Williams steps down.