“Being brought up in a vicarage, of course the advantage is that you do see people from all walks of life, and particularly in villages you see people from all sorts of backgrounds and all sorts of conditions, in terms of disadvantage and advantage.”

Dawn French in the Vicar of Dibley?

No, it’s our Prime Minister in an interview with The Sunday Times. I am not going to suggest that an Oxfordshire vicarage never sees deprivation. However, as politicians jump on to the sound bites of bashing the liberal elites and protecting the JAM’s (Just About Managing) you do wonder whether this was the street-wisest of self-observations. Rural Oxfordshire is a far journey from those bastions of the Brexit world, Hartlepool and Boston.

In my interpretation of her words she did not go on to say that she would be guided by the Lord above as she endeavours to make “Brexit mean Brexit”. Some interpreted that way. However, she did go on to say:-

“It’s about, ‘Are you doing the right thing?’ If you know you are doing the right thing, you have the confidence, the energy to go and deliver that right message.”

The difficulty with her position is clear. She doesn’t know that she is doing the right thing and she would be wise to recognise that she doesn’t, even if she does not communicate this. If she doesn’t know that she is doing the right thing then, in her own words, it becomes difficult to deliver the right message; any message at all even.

In the lack of clarity it is there. In the fog of her task she has a constant. This I do not criticise – she is being honest. She has allowed herself to be drawn on the subject of her faith.

“I am a practising member of the Church of England and so forth, that lies behind what I do.”

We all know that when politics and religion meet the outcome does not tend to be favourable.

However, at odds with some others in this phoney war fighting to Remain, I see Mrs May’s comments with a degree of optimism. I believe that she recognises her situation, and ours collectively. Even though drawn into matters of faith I do not believe that she has thrown our lot into the almighty and invincible spiritual cart blown along from up in heaven.

Whilst not a person of the church myself I have not forgotten my religious studies entirely. The principles and aims of Christianity are largely admirable, almost from any perspective. Forgiveness, tolerance (well, the eye for an eye bit was in the Old Testament) and even loving thy neighbour. Knowing right from wrong.


Paul Nuttall, the new leader of UKIP is said to be a signatory to an e-petition calling for the reintroduction of the death penalty for convicted child and serial killers. He is in favour, it seems, of restricting abortion rights and is a climate change denier. He advocates abolishing the smoking ban and restoring the right to hunt with dogs. He wants to privatise the NHS.

His predecessor seems intent on maximising self-publicity and has chosen a curious path in cosying up to Trump. The American presidential election was observed in a very interesting way by the British public following the referendum on 23rd June. It was almost as if having flunked an exam there was a perverse sense of relief that another country had come out of the exam with an even lower mark than we had.

I came across many who took some strange comfort in the outcome of Trump’s election. Wrongly in my opinion, they sought to argue that “at least we haven’t got Trump” whereas, of course, a US president only has so many years in office as against the decades of pain, waste and instability that departure from the European Union will cause.

I have heard Piers Morgan say that Theresa May is one of only a few politicians of conviction. Whilst there will have been visitors to the May vicarage who share Nuttall’s views about fox-hunting there will be plenty more who will be deeply uneasy about extreme politicians breaking into the arena. Farage has hopefully exited the stage door but there’s a new act warming up and a lot of people don’t like the look of it, across the spectrum.

The deployment of weapons close to the Polish and Lithuanian borders will not have gone without notice; neither will an MEP’s attempt to foist himself upon the diplomatic service, assisted by his mate with the golden lift.

The European Union is what it says it is. A Union. The concept and value of union will be well appreciated by those with moderate Christian values.

A dose of moderate Christianity will not do the Remain cause any harm so, at this stage, I’m not going to knock it.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Marc Folgate


Cheers for Fears

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying
Are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
‘Cause I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It’s a very, very
Mad world

The haunting words of Tears for Fears from 1983.

America is due to become great again. I thought it was doing pretty well, as it happens. Equally I thought the United Kingdom might be happy to be punching away in the heavyweight category as the fifth largest economy in the world.

No, not enough.

Listening to LBC yesterday a caller rang to say that people needed their national identities back. She stopped, however, when it came to endorsing Marine Le Pen. For some reason she thought Le Pen was a bridge too far and evidently “too extreme” (my words, not hers). It was an interesting observation.

UKIP posted images of refugees prior to the referendum not dissimilar to those published in Germany in the 1930’s. It emerged that a teacher of their then leader had been concerned about his behaviour being demonstrative of some unacceptably far-right tendencies.

Yet, somehow, the caller had determined that the “line in the sand” (again, my words) lay somewhere at or to the right of Farage but to the left of Le Pen.

We are witnessing the destruction of our democracy, so cherished by liberals (with a lower-case “l”). It is now acceptable to acquire political power despite expressing previously unacceptable prejudices, or indulging in behaviour rejected by mainstream society prior to 2016. You can lie and still assume power. In fact, more than that. You can actually use lies to gain public support. When challenged, you merely shirk it off and move on to rhetoric of “taking back control” or “making things great (again)”. You then use your servile press to call for dissenters to be “silenced” and you accuse them of being “unpatriotic”.

The voice of dissent becomes hushed because initially people who oppose start to feel self-conscious of their continuing opposition to the transit with which they disagree. People start to tell them to “move on” or to “stop moaning”.

The dissenters grow anxious. They become nervous of expressing their opinions. The spiral downwards begins. In the absence of dissent the never-satisfied desire for more power drives the vehicle even faster into the spiral.


I recently read an intriguing article by Tobias Stone called History tells us what may happen next with Brexit & Trump” (link below) in which he states that “we humans have a habit of going into phases of mass destruction, generally self imposed to some extent or another”. He also refers to the spiral and issues a chilling prediction about the descent that makes me feel very uneasy:-

“It will come in ways we can’t see coming, and will spin out of control so fast people won’t be able to stop it. Historians will look back and make sense of it all and wonder how we could all have been so naïve”.


It is time to take the car out of gear, park up and look at the storm clouds as well as the torturous-looking road ahead before deciding whether to continue the journey or go home.  The kids in the back are screaming loud to get to Fantasy Land as quickly as possible but like all such locations it’ll probably be an expensive disappointment. Have the parents got what it takes to do what is right for the whole family? Is the short-term pain of transitory disappointment and ringing ears worth the certainty of getting home safe and sound; after all we haven’t even got far out of the driveway?

So for the Mad World I see in front of me I hope Tears do not replace the Fears.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Marc Folgate


Tobias Stone’s medium.com article can be found at: