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.
Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
h/t Thinking Anglicans