Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

A Stranger's London

The wrath of God?

The row which nearly brought an irreparable rift in the Church of England was amicably resolved last week when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Robert Runcie, stepped in to bring peace to the diocese where the ordination was going to be held.

Of course, Prof. David Jenkins, the priest in the centre of the controversial statement about Jesus' birth and the Resurrection, held on to his radical views which, as late as 300 years ago would have resulted in his immediate ex-communication and possibly burning at the stake for heresy. Thus, all that the protesters could do on the day of the ordination was to register their strong disapproval of the holy proceedings by reading out a statement supported by placard-bearing colleagues.When one protester was subsequently bundled out, he prob ably had the satisfaction of making his views known to both men and God Almighty himself in his high heaven.

What happened next, has definitely kept christians singing 'Alleluya' throughout the country (with a few reservations, for obvious reasons). The fire which swept through the York Minster a few days later costing an estimated £1 million damage is being seriously considered by the faithfuls as a remarkable example of God's retribution on those who use his name in vain. An 'Act of God', they call it and certainly a fire started by lightning in a storm qualifies to be regarded as such. But perhaps the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie who was reported to be in York for a General Synod when the accident happened, put his holy finger on the ecclesiastical angle on the whole sad event. Said he: "It seems miraculous that the damage can be so confined. The transept will rise again". Yes, indeed, God does move in mysterious ways.

Wimbledon and the Olympics

WITH the spectacular performances of John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova in the grand finale of this year's Wimbledon Tennis championships behind us, the newspapers must be feeling a sense of relief which inevitably accompanies such high pressure coverage of sporting events in this country.

Having collected a cool £90,000 to add to the million-dollar bonus she picked up for completing the Grand Slam in Paris last month, the little matter of Martina's friendship with Mrs Nelson which threatened to upset her championship bid and all future participation may have temporarily receded into the background. But if reportage of such scandals in the Western media are anything to go by then the ace-tennis player ought to tone up her hard muscles some more as a means to deflect the charges of lesbianism that are sure to increase in the coming month when her friend's divorce goes through.

Who's the greatest?

As for John McEnroe thrashing Jimmy Connors in that humiliating manner, the debate has already began as to whether he qualifies to describe himself as the greatest. According to one commentator, he "gave Jimmy Connors the third worst beating in the history of Wimbledon... but that still doesn't give the champion the right to class himself in the same magnificent mould as Rod Laver." But the love-hate relationship between McEnroe and the media is best demonstrated by Fred Perry in an exclusive article in one No choice of the local dailies in which he said: "Wimbledon has a worthy champion, a man who deserves to be bracketed with In which to arrest greats but not the greatest" (McEnroe, please don't answer back. Let your racket do the talking). Stand Will continue this process by for the next saturation coverage of sports 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Set for tax exile

Peter Tory's column in the Daily Mirror often brings out quite a few shockers but the news that grand patriot, the Duke of Westminster, also the wealthiest man in the United Kingdom is ready to leave the country for tax purposes did turn my eyeballs right round.

The 32-year old Duke whose wife is godmother to Prince William and No. earns the colossal amount of £11,000 an hour is ready to leave the country and live abroad 'if the tax man's powers become too much'. The Duke who is reported to own a big chunk of Mayfair and Belgravia as well as other large portions of this island is said to be worth £2,000 million.

Admittedly, a man is entitled to do what he likes with his money and could take advantage of any loopholes in the law to avoid paying the enormous taxes that follow in the wake of such wealth. However, it does boggle the mind that with millions of unemployed Britons on the dole, miners locked in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation with the government over pit closures and the misery that is reflected in the defiant faces of the families of these people, such huge amounts would technically leave these shores for havens across the seas. Perhaps, that's what the whole struggle is about.

talking drums 1984-07-16 where was Dikko going when kidnapped Rawlings the man behind the mask