Saturday, February 09, 2008

Share ya' laws

A regular theme of this blog is an objective view of marketing hype, or indeed of any hype, but the principle remains that something is only worth noting here if the view here differs from the common view.

The common view at the moment, front page news across Britain, is that the Archbishop of Canterbury has said something really stupid, that he recommended that particular communities should be allowed to use Sharia law as an alternative to British law for certain types of case. He did not say that. Read his actual words. But even those who quote his actual words seem to be drawing another conclusion from them, that although he did not recommend it, he thought that this was inevitable. No, he did not say that either.

My view on this is simple - no religious law has any place in a modern state. However a fair analysis of the Archbishop's actual words is provided at the Language Log, I have neither the time nor space to replicate the linguistic analysis here, but I will repeat just two conclusions from it:

One that I agree with: Dr Williams is a gentle, learned, brilliant, scholarly man, and a bit of a public relations doofus.

And one that I don't: Someone duller, more political, less original, and less intelligent must be found for that job.

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