Please note that I have not received a reply to my letter of 23 March 2012 (copy attached).
P K Johnson
23 May 2012
Dear Professor Borysiewicz
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams ("Dr Williams")
Addendum 16 November 2012
note that I have still not received a reply to my letter of 23 March
2012 (copy attached), despite my reminder of 09 May 2012.
P K Johnson
Mr Johnson also
a Certificate of Posting for an item sent to the University on 9 May
2012 and a Recorded Delivery receipt for an item sent to it on 23 May
2012. The Royal Mail website showed that the latter
had been delivered on 24 May 2012. He said that he had still not
received a reply.
We have invited Mr Winchester, Mr Braithwaite and Mr Piper to visit us again to comment.
Mr Winchester, Mr Braithwaite and Mr Piper visited us on the evening of
14 August 2012^ and a conversation took place as follows:
Mr Winchester: Mr Johnson seems to have created a political hot potato.
Mr Braithwaite: Political hot potatoes are often associated with cronyism.
Mr Piper: I agree. We should often remind people of that but Mr Johnson's letters interest me not only politically but personally. My son Maurice and his partner Juliette both lecture on Plant Sciences at Cambridge University.
Mr Winchester: That's interesting. I often go to Cambridge. Perhaps I could meet them there.
Mr Piper (to Mr Winchester): I'll give you their 'phone number. (He writes on a piece of paper and gives it to Mr Winchester.)
Mr Braithwaite (to Mr Piper): George, have you mentioned to them the latest addendum to www.cronies.org.uk?
Mr Piper: Oh, yes - in an e-mail a few days ago. Yesterday, at about 8pm, Maurice sent a very interesting reply, quoting people he'd overheard in a pub called "The King Edward".
Mr Winchester: The King Edward? I've often been there. I usually go to Cambridge on business on a Friday and call in
for a beer and a plate of chips and to bring my records up to
date. I like the chips. The landlord's deputy, called "Ernest", fries them. They're made from potatoes of the variety "Almond".
Mr Braithwaite: That reminds me. I was talking to a Mr Almond yesterday in a pub in Manchester. I've known him for years. He's good in many ways but he has a closed mind on some issues. He wouldn't listen to my criticism of Dr Williams and described him as "wonderful".
Mr Winchester: Mr Almond sounds like a nut.
Mr Braithwaite: Dr Williams and several RSPCA officials should be questioned in public.
Mr Winchester: They should be grilled.
Mr Piper (to Mr Winchester): I agree, Pete but you were telling us about The King Edward.
Mr Winchester: Ah, yes. The landlord's a great innovator. He makes good use of the pub. For example, he rents a space in a rear corner to an Irish cobbler called Paddy Doyle. I know Paddy well. He usually works there from noon until 4pm and from 8pm until 10pm and often eats chips fried by Ernest. He mentioned, last Friday, that he'd stopped frying chips at home, further to an incident when the oil had caught fire, he'd used a fire extinguisher, hadn't been able to put the fire out and had called the fire brigade. He said "Everyone who uses oil in a kitchen should think of fire." That reminds me. He also mentioned that Dr Williams had been there several times this year!
Mr Piper: That's fascinating! I'll tell Maurice. Dr Williams probably meets University officials there. My friend who works at Lambeth Palace has told me that Dr Williams often meets officials in pubs, for example RSPCA officials in a pub in Horsham. By coincidence, I had a drink there in summer 2009, long before my friend had mentioned it to me and it reminded me of animals and the RSPCA.
Mr Braithwaite: Could you explain that?
Mr Piper: It's called "The Cock and Bull".
(to Mr Winchester): Pete, had you finished talking about The King Edward?
Mr Winchester: No. I'll tell you more about it. There's a grand piano a few metres in front of Paddy's work space and a pianist sometimes comes to play it. He particularly likes the works of Chopin but he displays a notice "You are welcome to request a melody." Paddy said that, on one occasion, Mr Fullarton had come with Dr Williams and had had a request played - "Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer".
Ernest's very interested in local history. He has hundreds
of old photographs of local scenes. Some of them show one of his great grandfathers in the Home Guard. One shows a young man in an early police constable's uniform. With it, Ernest keeps a local newspaper from 1870, containing an article about a robbery at The King Edward. He seems fairly sure that a policeman mentioned in the article, Sergeant A Murphy, was one of his great great grandfathers and that the photograph shows him a few years earlier. On the back is written "Albert in his peeler's uniform". There are three barmaids, "Annabelle", "Linda" and "Nicola". They're the hottest things in town. They all have South
American ancestors and often talk about their roots. Annabelle's
new. She has smooth, dark skin and big, brown eyes. Linda's the one who attracts most attention from men; they call her "Golden Wonder". However, Nicola's my favourite. She looks like the Mona Lisa and she's well educated. She has a degree in oceanography and she's done scientific research on climate change on the coast of Brazil. She's written a book called "The Hot Atlantic of the Future".
Mr Braithwaite (to Mr Piper): Well, George, that was very interesting but what did your son overhear?
Mr Piper (taking a laptop out of his briefcase and pressing keys on it): I'll read the whole e-mail to you.
Thanks for your e-mail. I've discussed the latest addendum to www.cronies.org.uk with Juliette and two other lecturers.
We're all disappointed with Professor Borysiewicz but there's been an
interesting development. About three hours ago, I was in a pub called "The King Edward". The public area is in two parts, with the bar between them. I don't know who was on the other side of the bar but, as usual at that time of day, there were only a few customers on the side where I was. They were all talking about Professor Borysiewicz! I joined in. A man said "He should be given a roasting" and I said that I agreed. A few seconds later, I heard a man on the other side of the bar, say "I've had a discussion with my superior and I'm confident that we'll be able to replace that old Pole easily." You could have heard a pin drop. I presumed that he was talking to two other people, because he continued "I know you're both due to attend a seminar tomorrow morning but I'd like to meet you here again at one o'clock to discuss the procedure." I went to the other side of the bar but nobody was there. They must have just left.
I turned round and saw that the other customers had followed me.
I returned to the other side of the bar. The barmaids had all gone but I saw the landlord. I said "Excuse me, Mr Chippendale, did you hear that man on the other side of the bar, talking about replacement of Professor Borysiewicz?" "Yes, sir," he replied, " but I couldn't see who was speaking. I'm wondering what's going on." I was so intrigued that I left without my jacket. I walked home and didn't realise, until I'd almost reached the door, that I didn't have my keys and that I'd left my jacket in the pub, with my keys, wallet and diary in the pockets. Fortunately, Juliette was in. She said that the landlord's deputy had 'phoned to say that I'd left my jacket and that he'd found our 'phone number in my diary. I rang him back immediately. I said "Thank you very much, Mr Fryer" and explained what had caused me to forget my jacket. He said that he'd been in the kitchen and hadn't heard anyone talking about Professor Borysiewicz. I returned to collect my jacket and was relieved to find that nothing was missing from it. I'm planning to go again tomorrow, shortly before one o'clock, with Juliette and the other lecturers. I 'phoned Mr Johnson about two hours ago to let him know what I'd heard. He thanked me enthusiastically. He said that he had a friend in Cambridge and would pass on the information to him.
Best wishes, Maurice
PS Don't forget. Eat a crisp raw carrot every day."
Mr Braithwaite: That was very interesting but it's nearly nine o'clock. I hope he has more news.
Mr Piper (looking at his laptop): Well, there's nothing further from him yet. I'll send him a text message. (He takes a mobile 'phone out of a pocket and presses buttons on it.)
Mr Winchester (to Mr Piper): Presumably, George, before the latest addendum was added to www.cronies.org.uk, your son knew of the decision to appoint Dr Williams as Master of Magdalene College.
Mr Piper: Oh, yes. He said that he'd heard rumours about the background to it. One was that Professor Borysiewicz had met a film director to discuss the possibility of using parts of the University as sets. This might be related to something I'd heard from my friend who works at Lambeth Palace, namely that Dr Williams had attended an audition.
Mr Braithwaite: The University authorities are probably trying to find ways to make money.
Mr Piper: Yes. The University's financial position has been seriously affected by the recession. Another rumour Maurice mentioned was that, at Dr Williams' suggestion, the University had been economising on stationery and postages.
Mr Winchester (to Mr Piper): Your son might have sent you another e-mail.
Mr Piper (looking at his laptop and pressing keys on it): Ah, yes. I'll read it out.
Thanks for the reminder but, when I received it, I was already typing an e-mail to you. I went back to The King Edward as planned, with Juliette and the other lecturers but it was crowded and there were, I estimated, two hundred people on the road and footpath in front of it. We eventually reached the place where, I thought, the man had been speaking. A cobbler called Mr Doyle was working, nearby, in a corner. I don't know him well but he always says "Hello" when he sees me. I described to him, in whispers, what I'd heard yesterday and he whispered back "Professor Borysiewicz is here - with the Archbishop of Canterbury! They're standing beside the piano." There's a grand piano in the pub, a few metres from Mr Doyle's work space. I looked towards it and saw them, each wearing sunglasses and a wide-rimmed hat and holding a half pint glass of beer. The piano lid was raised and only a few other people would have been able to see them. Mr Doyle continued, in whispers, "I've seen a chap with a Bible, quoting from it to customers but I don't think he's come with the Archbishop. A few minutes ago, I heard him quote a passage beginning "What doth it profit a man..." but I couldn't hear the rest of it. I read the whole Bible when I was a boy but I can't remember that part. Anyway, I'm hoping to earn some money from the Archbishop. I've heard someone say that he's lost his sole." We looked around and listened. Near the other side of the piano, sitting at a table, were two young men and a middle-aged man, in British Telecom boiler suits, drinking beer and looking at some papers. The middle-aged man said "I don't know why this place is so crowded" and I recognised his voice immediately. He was the man I'd overheard yesterday. I was very disappointed, but as we walked back to the University, we discussed the situation and one of my colleagues wouldn't agree with me. He'd decided that, if the rumours he'd heard were true, he'd want Professor Borysiewicz to stay. I'll give you the gist of his explanation. The University might earn money from the film company, well in excess of the cost of salary, accommodation and meals for Dr Williams until his normal retirement age. The company might, of course, make major savings on film sets but also minor savings on make-up. There might be a three-party contract.
Best wishes, Maurice"
Mr Winchester: Well, at least we've a plausible explanation for the decision to appoint Dr Williams.
Mr Piper: Actually, there's something I haven't mentioned. The University has a relevant policy. Maurice has shown me a copy of an internal memorandum from Professor Borysiewicz to senior staff who deal with recruitment of staff
and students. It's quite long but I'll outline it. The
University's website states "The University of Cambridge is committed
in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to
a proactive and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and
encourages all under-represented groups, promotes
an inclusive culture and values diversity. The commitment applies
to all protected groups...". There's a link to the
characteristics which are protected and they include "belief".
For example, the policy would require the University not to
discriminate against anyone on the grounds that he or she had been
preaching that there were cheese mines on the moon. Almost
all the University's staff and students almost always write and talk sense, at least when the material will be open to lawful scrutiny by the University authorities. Of course, that's only a qualitative statement. As one might expect from a scientist of Professor Borysiewicz's calibre, he states it quantitatively, giving statistics based on recordings of lectures etc. He calls for the recruitment of more people who've often written and / or talked nonsense and for applicants
to be asked to produce evidence that they've done so. Of course,
the policy of non-discrimination on grounds of belief is inconsistent
with the pursuit of academic excellence but I don't think the
University authorities have noticed that.
Explanatory Notes (inserted on 12 December 2012)
The University's policy is based on the Equality Act 2010.
The policy requires the University to aim to recruit a wide variety of deluded people (but not people with delusions of all types).
If Dr Williams believes that he cannot publicly comment on the
behaviour of the RSPCA, the policy protects him from discrimination on
the grounds that he holds that belief.
However, Professor Borysiewicz is entitled, at least in his
personal capacity, to answer Mr Johnson's question.
Mr Winchester (to Mr Piper): Regarding the rumour about Professor Borysiewicz and the film director, did your son give the title of any proposed film?
Mr Piper: Not
exactly. He said that, according to the rumour, the director had
mentioned a sequel to "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone".
Mr Braithwaite (to Mr Piper):
George, I'm due to go to Cambridge soon but I don't expect to be there
on a Friday. I'd like to visit The King Edward and meet Maurice
and Juliette there.
Mr Piper (to Mr Braithwaite): I'll give you their 'phone number as well. (He writes on a piece of paper and gives it to Mr Braithwaite.)
Mr Winchester (to Mr Braithwaite):
I can chip in, Arthur. The King Edward's on Saxon
Road. It's easily recognisable. It was built for a marquis,
by friars, shortly after the accession of Edward I, in the Early
English Gothic style. I can imagine them, chipping away at the
stone. It has only one storey but it's a tall storey. If
you see Paddy, please introduce yourself, tell him that you know me and
give him my best wishes. You'll see a notice above his work space, in large block letters:
PATRICK BYRNE DOYLE
BOOT AND SHOE REPAIRER
THEY KID YOU, WE THINK
^We regret the delay in publishing this addendum. It was caused by illness of one of our members but we are pleased that he has fully recovered.
Addendum 27 August 2013
On 17 August
2013, several newspapers reported that Archbishop Welby had
been invited by the RSPCA to become its Vice-Patron (as his
predecessors Archbishops Coggan, Runcie, Carey and Williams had done)
but had declined.
A spokesperson from Lambeth Palace had stated: "... the
Archbishop has received many kind invitations to patron a large variety
of charities and good causes... However, in light of
the sheer volume of requests the Archbishop receives and the many
pressures on his time and resources, he has reluctantly decided to
restrict his patronage to a manageable number of organisations ...
Nevertheless, the Archbishop has enormous admiration for the
The next day, the Daily Telegraph published comments from Mr Bill Oddie
OBE and Mr Richard Howitt MEP. Mr Oddie described the
explanation from Lambeth Palace as "absolute nonsense".
He did not accept that the role of Vice-Patron involved any
workload. He added that not only the Anglican Church but
churches generally had a "dreadful record" on animal welfare. Mr
Howitt described the RSPCA as "the most reputable organisation with the
highest levels of integrity".
Mr Johnson has commented as follows:
The statement, by the
Archbishop's spokesperson, that the Archbishop has enormous admiration
for the RSPCA, is disgraceful. In effect, Archbishop Welby is
condoning bad behaviour by the RSPCA, in relation to McDonald's and to
the "Freedom Food" scandal exposed by Hillside Animal Sanctuary.
Although I am a Christian and I know that Mr Oddie is not, I
agree with him that churches generally have a dreadful record on animal
welfare but I wish he would publicly acknowledge the RSPCA's faults.
Mr Howitt is, at best, misinformed about the RSPCA and, as a
Vice-President of it, he could have no valid excuse. His
statement is bizarre in two ways, firstly in that it conflicts with
published evidence and, secondly, in that his Party (the Labour Party)
does not support RSPCA policy on slaughter. Does he not know that, or
does he not want
to draw attention to it?
Mr B has also commented, as follows:
I endorse Mr Johnson's
first two statements. His third ("Although I am a Christian ...")
is remarkably candid. I have not studied the published doctrines
of every organisation which calls itself "Christian" but I havestudied those of six major ones and am appalled by their disregard for
animal welfare. There are many individuals who, like Mr Johnson,
call themselves "Christians" and are very concerned about animal
welfare but such people do not control, for example, the Vatican or the
Anglican Church. He does not have to attend a church. He
can pray at home. I endorse his statements about Mr Howitt
and I suggest that he write to Mr Howitt, asking whether he
supports the RSPCA policy that the "religious exemptions", which allow
inhumane slaughter, should be abolished. As regards Archbishop
Welby's "enormous admiration for the RSPCA", I look forward to an early
sermon from him in support of that policy.
Addendum 30 September 2013
With reference to the last paragraph of the previous addendum, Mr
Johnson has given us a copy of a letter to Mr Howitt, as follows:
14 September 2013
Dear Mr Howitt
I refer to the article
entitled "The Previous Archbishop of Canterbury, the RSPCA ..." on
www.cronies.org.uk (which mentions you).
Please let me know whether you agree that the "religious exemptions", which allow inhumane slaughter, should be abolished.
P K Johnson
We have written to Archbishop Welby, as follows:
20 September 2013
We draw to your attention our article entitled "The Previous Archbishop
of Canterbury, the RSPCA ..." as updated on 27 August 2013, especially
the last sentence.
The operators of www.cronies.org.uk
Addendum 11 October 2013
Mr Johnson has sent us a copy of a
further letter to Mr Howitt, as follows, with a Recorded Delivery
receipt for an item sent to Mr Howitt's UK office on 3 October 2013:
3 October 2013
Dear Mr Howitt
Please note that I have not received anything from you re: my letter of 14 September 2013, of which I attach a signed copy.
P K Johnson
Royal Mail website shows that it was delivered on 5 October 2013.
He has told us today that he has still not received anything from
With reference to the above Addendum of 8 December 2011, Hillside
Animal Sanctuary carried out an investigation at a "Freedom Food"
farm in Cheshire in July 2013, reported to the RSPCA that pigs
were being kept there in appalling conditions and has recently
published a scathing criticism of the handling of the matter by the
Addendum 18 November 2013
Our Hon Sec has sent a letter as follows to Mr Howitt, by Recorded Delivery:
23 October 2013
Dear Mr Howitt
Re: Slaughter of Animals
I understand that Mr P K Johnson of xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx^^ wrote to you on 14 September 2013, as follows:
refer to the article entitled "The Previous Archbishop of Canterbury,
the RSPCA ..." on www.cronies.org.uk (which mentions you). Please
let me know whether you agree that the "religious exemptions", which
allow inhumane slaughter, should be abolished."
I also understand that, although he sent you a reminder by Recorded
Delivery on 3 October 2013, with a signed copy of his letter of 14
September 2013, he has still not received a reply.
If you have not already written to him, please do so. Please also write to me to confirm that you have done so.
Mr Johnson has received a letter from Mr Howitt, as follows:
31 October 2013
Dear Mr Johnson
I recently received a letter
written on your behalf by a xxxxxxxxxxxx^^^, this letter indicated that
you had written to me on 14 September and again on 3 October 2013.
These letters were sent to my constituency office however I am
not the member of the European Parliament who represents you.
Should you wish to raise the issues set out in the web site
www.cronies.org.uk, with your MEP you can find their address details at
I apologise for the fact you
were not advised earlier that in line with agreed protocols I do not
answer letters received from individuals resident in another
Should your query instead relate to the role and policy of the RSPCA please write to them directly at
Richard Howitt MEP
East of England Region
Our Hon Sec has received a letter from Mr Howitt, as follows:
31 October 2013
am writing in response to your letter of 23 October 2013 concerning
correspondent with a Mr P K Johnson. Please be advised I have received
your letter which has been actioned accordingly.
Richard Howitt MEP
East of England Region
Mr Johnson has commented as follows:
My letters were
addressed to Mr Howitt, rather than the MEP for my own constituency,
because they related to a newspaper article which mentioned Mr
Howitt and to his position as a Vice-President of the RSPCA. It
would have been silly to write to another MEP to ask for Mr Howitt's
opinion. As regards his last paragraph, my "query", as he
describes it, is clearly a matter for him, not the RSPCA.
Furthermore, it should have been obvious to him from this website
that I was well aware of the relevant RSPCA policy before I wrote to
Mr B has also commented, as follows:
Mr Johnson's comments are excellent but I can add to them. Mr
Howitt's letter evades the issue but would probably, in many people's
minds, create illusions of helpfulness. It is preposterous.
Has any MEP ever been disciplined for answering a letter from
someone resident in another MEP's constituency? Under the
European Convention, he is clearly entitled to write to Mr Johnson to
express the opinion that the "religious exemptions" should, or should not, be
abolished. If he has agreed to a protocol which has taken away
that right, he should not have willingly done so and, if he has been
pressurised to do so, he should state this on his website. In any
event, my understanding of the legal position is that, if he has
been pressurised to do so, the European Convention overrides the
the above, he should state, on his website, his opinion that the
"religious exemptions" should, or should not, be abolished.
In relation to "Freedom Food", I draw attention to the
fact that, in February 2013, the RSPCA commissioned a review of the
scheme, chaired by a solicitor, Duncan McNair. The report was
published in May 2013 and all its recommendations were approved in June
2013 by the RSPCA Council of Trustees but there is still no evidence on the RSPCA website that failures of "Freedom Food" licencees to comply with RSPCA policies are rare.
I shall watch, with great interest, the website of Hillside Animal
Sanctuary for any further evidence of licencees' negligence but I still
have no confidence in the RSPCA. It appears, from that website,
that the behaviour of the RSPCA in relation to the farm referred to in
the previous addendum was scandalous, there is still nothing on the
RSPCA website disputing the accuracy of anything stated
by Hillside Animal Sanctuary and, of course, I have still not
received answers to my questions re: McDonald's.
I deem Mr Howitt to know that Hillside Animal Sanctuary has criticised
the RSPCA, even if he did not know in August. It is open to him
to publish, on his website, either all relevant RSPCA records or an
explanation for his failure to publish them. The same applies to
the RSPCA records re: McDonald's. It is also open to him to
question RSPCA officials and publish the results on his website.
^^ At his request, we have obliterated Mr Johnson's address.
^^^ At his request, we have obliterated the name of our Hon Sec.