April 15, 2012

Leak Concerning John

Dean Jeffrey John is rightly protesting the leak that he believes to have cost him the appointment to the See of Southwark. Whether it so cost him or not, he is rightly concerned that the matter of who leaked the fact that his name was under consideration, while it was looked into, has not been made public. The late Colin Slee, whom some had suggested was the leaker, protested he was not, and the press person to whom the leak was made has confirmed it not to have been Dean Slee, while in good journalist manner not divulged the name of him or her who dealt it.

Leaks are an interesting aspect of political life, in and out of the church. There are, in US circles, several kinds of leaks. I don't know if this is true in the UK, or the CNC (the Crown Nominations Committee — the object of the current complaint).  But I imagine this is a fairly universal typology of this particular aspect of hydrodynamics.

  • There is the leak malicious -- information leaked to scuttle some plan or other by someone unable to get the group in question to share his or her objections to a proposal. 
  • There is the leak prophetic -- information shared with the general public as a statement (albeit surreptitious) of conscience because something illegal is about to be done in their name. 
  • Then there is the leak politic -- this is the leak everyone, or almost everyone, on the body knows about, and it is done as a way of testing the waters while at the same time preserving "deniability" and allowing butter quietly to melt in their mouths and hands to remain clean.
From Colin Slee's notes, it appears this leak was of the first type, though perhaps in an over-charitable mood one might imagine the person who leaked thought it in the best interest of the church at large to do so. However, either of these sorts of leaks reflects on the wisdom of such a leaker's continuance on the body, and one would hope for a dismissal. And the third type, the politic leak of information to test the waters, is below the standards of a Christian organization that ought to have the courage of its convictions and act impartially.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
h/t Thinking Anglicans


June Butler said...

The leaker made much mischief. I hope a genuine effort is made to find out who it was. That person should be removed from the CNC if the identity becomes known.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

The English process is problematical in ways different to ours. Both systems can be abused, and this leak seriously damaged the "good points" of the English system, much as lack of transparency harms ours.