I MET Gavin Ashenden for the first time last week, and was touched by his immediate invitation to be on his Catholic Herald podcast. Many of you will know that Gavin was the Chaplain to the late Queen from 2008 until his resignation in 2017, triggered by his letter to the Times criticising a service at St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow, at which a Muslim student had been invited to read (in Arabic) a passage from the Koran which explicitly declares that Jesus is not the Son of God. A little under three years later he converted and was accepted into the Catholic Church. Since then this clerical intellectual has become a nationally regarded outspoken, small c conservative Christian commentator; and since 2022, Associate Editor at the Catholic Herald and presenter of their podcast.
To tell the truth I have fought a bit shy of media requests recently, whether from mainstream outlets or for social media podcasts, ever since Mark Steyn’s summary dismissal from GB News. I haven’t felt up for the ‘fight’ some would have involved me in, or for the trite ‘low-hanging fruit’ debates to which we all know the answers (for example, can a woman have a penis? I was asked by GB News to comment on that a few months ago).
But a request from Gavin Ashenden was quite different and a compliment. I willingly said yes. So here is the result. Listening back I couldn’t match Gavin’s intellect and verbal command of some of the critical issues – the lies and duplicities and collapse of principle – confronting us today. But I tried to answer his questions as honestly (maybe too honestly) as I could, if not as coherently as I might have wished.
I hope he invites me back some time and I might be a bit better prepared! As always there is so much I should have said on the ‘locking down’ and shutting up of the law-abiding, and the totalitarian state we are in that Covid took to a new level.
The podcast has been flagged as ‘the crackdown on contrarian conservatism’ with me. I am certainly a contrarian and never more so than when challenging what’s duplicitously sold as ‘conservatism’ today!
You can listen here.