Best of British

St. Trinian’s 2…….best film I’ve seen this year. Won’t spoil the plot but beside being v, v. funny in a Carry On type style at times it’s also an amazing bit of social observation. There are also some excellent cultural observations.

The sub-cultures have been updated from the first movie to reflect contemporary culture and cultural changes in the last couple of years. Chavs have been replaced by Rude Girls and the eco’s have been introduced.

Interesting look at the patriarchal attitudes which see men maintaining key positions in society and the writing of history, although I believe that a key historical character really was a bloke. There is a secret society involved whose meetings involved alot imagery associated with religion…incense being swung amid chanting, a chalice of wine being passed around and alot of candels with hooded vestments.

All in all an excellent film. Couldn’t resist thinking that I’d liked to have sat down and watched it with Bishop Michael Ali-Nazir. Was reading an article by him, in ANVIL’s 25th anniversary journal, entitled “Britain Today: How We Came to Be Here and What We Can Do About It” recently. The article included the type of accusations one would normally expect by a conspiracy theorist regarding the downfall of Britain and the traditional nuclear family. Within the article Nazir takes a swipe at Sociology, without directly mentioning the discipline, somehow lumping Anthony Giddens in with Gramsci and Marcuse when saying there has been a direct attack on the family. He criticised the move away from patriarchal, heterosexual norms which this movie was questioning. No doubt this movie is just another part of the cultural conspiracy to stop Christianity becoming dominant again.

Going back to the article, from a serious perspective, it sourced and backed up the New Right ideas put forward by Civitas. The data that comes from this source is grounded in what at first sight becomes “common sense” approach. However, a critical analysis of the data raises a series of questions about the underlying assumptions and interpretations. I won’t go into a critique of the view here, but there are holes within the position being put forward.

Further on in the article he goes on to to criticise pluralism and argues that Islamism is the replacement to Marxism in terms of ideologies to be battled. Again whilst there are some sensible points within this he fails to be convincing.

The article then goes on to criticise Dawkins and intellectual reductionism before going on to look at the relationship between history, philosophy and religion. He calls for an engagement in the public square to remind people of the Christian values which underpin our legal and democratic system. Yet, Nazir-Ali is careful to make clear he thinks there should be some gap between religion and the legal system. Thus he carefully seeks to reinforce Christianity whilst leaving no room for the incorporation of Islamic law into the English legal system.

He then calls for a growth in the coverage of Christian worship in the media.

All in all it is an interesting article, but one which reveals the link between the New Right and some elements of the religious establishment within this country.

I am not looking to crititicise the key points Nazir-Ali makes regarding the importance of family and traditional forms of family. I am, however, questioning the position he takes through much of the article. The society we are living in and the development of that society is much more complex than he is saying. I certainly don’t think that there was a conspiracy theory which bridged the pre-war Neo-Marxists and Third Way, late twenty-first century theorists. Just as Nazir-Ali accused Dawkins of intellectual reductionism this is what I think he was doing in his reductionist approach to Radical Orthodoxy, which again he did not mention directly although he crudely borrowed from it.

I don’t think that St. Trinian’s 2 is a bad film, rather I think it is one which has more positive to say than negative amid the anarchic, very British humour.

About tractorgirl

Hi my name is Sally Rush: I'm a Christian, a mother, a community engagement officer, a listener, a dreamer, a partner, an experienced teacher, a friend, a daughter, a sister and so much more.