I have a great interest in having regular input from people who are consistently wrong. I gave up the research some years ago to find someone who is always right. But if I could find someone who invariably erred every time they opened their mouth then all I had to do was not take their advice and I'd be laughing - unless they told a joke of course.
I will withhold the names of those locally who provide me with this service. It is a piece of work best offered anonymously. Once identified the benefit-givers tend to stop talking to you. Funny that.
But in public life a number of prominent people have been more than useful and I would at this point like to pay tribute to the Bishop of Carlisle. Now before proceeding we must understand that there is nothing rude or sinister about all this. I have simply found someone who, most of the times he speaks, provokes a gut reaction in me that goes, 'I don't agree with that.' It may say more about me than him. Also, not living anywhere near Carlisle, I have to acknowledge that the Bishop could be the subject of poor reporting.
But he was widely quoted a couple of years ago as suggesting that the floods in this country were God's judgement on some aspect of our behaviour as a nation. That struck me as quite wrong. Still does.
Now, according to the Guardian the other day, this:
'Could the bishops' concerns about the government's immorality be motivated by fears for Gordon Brown's immortal soul? Graham Dow, the soon to be retired Bishop of Carlisle, one of the five clerics giving the Sunday Telegraph the benefit of their wisdom, is an expert on demonic possession. His magnum opus, Explaining Deliverance, lists the likely signs as inappropriate laughter, inexplicable knowledge, a false or artificial smile, repeated choice of black clothes or car and, the clincher, Scottish ancestry.'
I love black clothes, am about to (possibly) buy a black car and my wife's car is black, am given to astounding outbursts of laughter for little or no reason, have had my smile described as sickly by someone who hasn't even met me and retain an inexplicable amount of useless information filed well to the front of the useful and... no, no no. No Scottish ancestry as far as I can tell. Phew. Not possessed then. Thanks Bish.
By the way I also heard a member of his family once call for the banning of a film he hadn't seen, so this may be genetic.
More on this whenever.