The Dean of Southwark, The Very Revd Colin Slee, seems to have gotten a taste for being in hot water.
In December he stoutly defended his allegedly drunk bishop who somehow staggered across London from an Irish Embassy Christmas bash to clamber into someone's car, chuck out baby toys and refuse to come out until forcibly removed. In February he used Youtube to call for the legalisation of drugs as a means of stopping drug-related violence.
Now he's taken on the Government over plans to prevent smoking in enclosed spaces. From 1st July, the law will insist that 'no-smoking' signs be put up prominently - so that smokers know that they can't light up, and non-smokers have something they can point to politely, if they do. The Dean is fuming (incensed?) that these signs will have to be up in churches and cathedrals, which he considers "daft" on the basis that he's not seen anyone smoking in Southwark Cathedral - just noshing their organic burgers from Borough Market.
We don't have much truck with him on this one, for lots of reasons. The signs look small - distinctive enough to make their point without being gawdy or disturbing anyone's worshipping. Churches already have notice boards festooned with tatty scraps of paper stuck to them, which don't seem to annoy him or anyone else. And just because he hasn't seen anyone smoke doesn't mean that they haven't - unless god has given him some kind of cool superhero all-seeing-eye power. He doesn't look like it in his Youtube clip.
On the other hand, a few carefully-located 'no drinking' signs at the Irish Embassy could have prevented all sorts of past misdemeanours, don't you think so, Reverend? Speaking of which, has the Dean asked the Bishop if he happened to take a little 'disco nap' in the Cutty Sark early this morning?
Image taken from ildiva's Flickr stream