So in a lecture Rowan Williams, admittedly in a display of "political ineptitude", makes some carefully reasoned and apparently reasonable (if obfuscatory) suggestions about how a single, unitary legal system (same laws for every citizen) might accommodate a diversity of religious and cultural practices on "certain carefully selected matters". Then what happens?

For a thoughtful analysis we can turn to David Field. Inane reactions are less difficult to find: "Arch enemy: bash the bishop ... in a damning You The Jury poll [b]y last night, 14,683 had called for his dismissal. Just 631 said he should stay", "barrage of criticism", "fatuous remarks".

And we turn up our noses when some Muslims react violently to an academic lecture by the Pope.

So my advice to Dr Williams, if he is reading, is this: keep it simple. If you can't make your point in half a dozen monosyllabic words, just don't say anything. Don't expect us to make an effort really to understand you. We won't. And be warned: if you get it wrong, we might form a mob and stone you (albeit with sponges).