When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place.


Spare a thought for the staff at Swiss International Air Lines, who were tasked with informing an assortment of bigwigs returning from the World Economic Forum at Davos that they had overbooked the plane and would need some of the business class passengers to move to economy. Luckily for them, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was on board, and promptly offered to trade in his seat."It was very nice of him," says our spy. "The last I saw him, he was at the back of the queue to board." How very Christian.

COMMENT: To be honest, I am unsure how to react to this story. Is the Grand Tufti a brick for volunteering to give up his seat or a pharisee for travelling business class in the first place. I suppose it all depends on who paid for the seat in the first place.



  1. Well, with all that hair, he needs the extra room. In economy class the person in front of him is constantly being tickled by the eyebrows and beard.

  2. at least he had the good sense to see the writing was on the wall and offered to trade in his seat before somebody made him. Smart move

  3. Maybe he is also a savvy traveler who got some nice benefits? Nothing wrong with that. I should think business class for the ABC is acceptable.


  4. That’s easy for you to say, sally. You don’t have to live with him.

    You live with the ABC?

    That’s one beautiful relationship you’ve not previously mentioned, MP. How long has this been going on?

  5. He’s not a good man! Feh!

    He probably snuck up to business and stole someone else’s seat, then “gave it away” to keep from being embarrassed.

    More realistically, I doubt he would’ve done it at all if it weren’t for a great deal of negative attention – including an honorary degree awarded by a prominently anti-TEC “orthodox” seminar and questions on spending and investment raised by many intelligent bloggers and journalists.

    The only good in Rowan Williams is that he can’t last forever.

  6. To be fair to the man, the post of ABC is a poisoned chalice as whatever he did/does will always be an affront to someone. Though I would have thought that with the CofE’s push towards a “green” church, he should cut down on his travels a bit. In this Internet age, he could quite easily do a lot of conferencing from home.

  7. Yes, Saintly Ramblings, but the man has brought affront to an art form. He’d bring George Wallace to a Black Panthers meeting. He’d make conversation at a bar mitzvah by asking if everyone didn’t think there were some valid points in Mein Kampf. He’d visit a Native American reservation and tell them how unfair they were being to the memory of that “brave Mr. Custer.” He’d go to Japan just to tell them how excellent Korean pottery is.

    There’s a difference between bravely stepping up to a position in which one is bound to be unpopular, and just being a blundering, insensitive, shortsighted, dimwitted asshole.

  8. He probably snuck up to business and stole someone else’s seat, then “gave it away” to keep from being embarrassed


    I would pay to see this.

  9. One of the more delicious ironies is that while the Japanese do not like the Koreans and consider them to be inferior, genetic research has proved conclusively that the Japanese people are in fact descended from Koreans who migrated to the islands centuries ago. The Ainu in the northern islands are another branch entirely, but the main Japanese population is essentially Korean in ancestry.