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Sunday, 10 September 2017

The Zoe Williams Guide to the Catholic Sexual Imagination

I should not be defending Jacob Rees-Mogg again. I don't belong to his denomination. I don't agree with him on Brexit. I'm well to his left on economics and benefits. Mostly due to his position, not because I'm a bleeding-hearted liberal.

But after the world's worst opinion piece, by Zoe Williams, has made me realise there's something odd about all the Guardianista Mogg-bashing.

Zoe Williams gives it away in the first sentence: " The problem with people who bring religion to their politics is that they’re obsessed with sex." Are they? Theresa May, daughter of a vicar and always happy to admit to her faith, never known for banging-on, if you'll excuse the expression, about sex. Gordon Brown - son of the manse - if he were obsessed with sex he never mentioned it. There's no evidence from Rees-Mogg's original interview, which confirmed that this posh Tory Catholic is in fact a posh Tory Catholic, to suggest he is -  he answered a question. In fact, a more accurate first sentence would be "the problem with Guardian columnists is they're obsessed with other people's attitude to sex."

The Guardian these days, given its online presence, seems to depend for what income it still gets on its dating site. So my assumption is that its columnists need to mention sex at every opportunity in the hope of exciting its readers with the thought of becoming romantically linked with other like-minded people. Yes, I know that sounds awful. But the Guardian don't get as many readers as it used to, so by getting them together they're offering a real social service to the rest of us. Although surely "Hobbies: Writing scathing BTL comments about sky-fairies" is probably not even much of an attraction to most Guardian readers.

Zoe Williams, having mentioned Tim Farron, then starts talking about Church and State. Rees-Mogg is a Catholic, so that's irrelevant. Tim Farron is a non-comformist. So that is too.

The article then goes off to a random set of non-sequiturs. Rees-Mogg never said he wanted to change any laws, he just told us what his view is.  He also never said he went around imagining other people in their bedrooms - curiously, that is what Zoe Williams has claimed, while also imagining Jacob Rees-Mogg in there as well. I'm starting to see who has the strange obsession with sex here.

The poor headline to this poor piece suggests the Pope should tell JRM that "you ain't no Catholic, Bruv". This appears to be based on the idea that the Pope is an environmentalist who wants all Catholics to be Green. That's not how being a Catholic works, Zoe. You could read into it. But you're probably too busy imagining Catholics imagining other people having sex.


  1. Are you sure Farron is a non-conformist? I was under the impression that he was a low-church Anglican. Certainly, my own denomination has not claimed him, Harry Kane-like, as "one of our own", so he's definitely not Methodist.

    1. Not sure now... Either way he weren't going to be in a position to appoint bishops.

  2. Whatever JRM's view on sex, they are his own private thoughts and trying to second guess them by a journalist or else is pointless sleaze.

    The Guardian is rapidly becoming the 'sink estate' of the third estate so to speak. Their online presence speaks volumes for their inability to attract readers of their printed page.

    I don't read their stuff on a point of principle, as they follow every article with a begging plea for donations. They are not a charity case, rather a basket case.


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