The United Kingdom is defined by the war to put down the French Revolution in which it was forged. One of Mrs Thatcher’s finest acts was to give to the French President, as her Majesty’s Government’s official gift on the two hundredth anniversary of the French Revolution, a signed first edition of A Tale of Two Cities. The rejection of the Revolution and the struggle to restore legitimate government on the continent compelled Britain to abandon the ideology of anti-popery and the historic claim to France. It brought Ireland into union with Scotland and England on the same terms and ultimately triggered Catholic emancipation. The rejection of the Revolution’s anti-clericalism, and of its appropriations of ecclesiastical property forever cast a shadow over the reign of Henry VIII now tacitly admitted to be “a spot of blood and grease on the history of England”. The absurdity of Anglicanism does serve some purposes. It means religion is acknowledged as a proper part of public life and freedom of religion in Britain is freedom for not freedom from. Make no mistake if the Anglicans could hang, draw and quarter papists and reduce non-conformists to penury they would. Their ideological incoherence is a side effect of having only one real belief: that ‘we have no king but Caesar’. The Guardianistas lust to ‘bring home the revolution’ while the SNP crave the destruction of the British civic patriotism upon the altar of their authoritarian ethnic nationalism. Yet while the Burkean settlement endures the space in which the Gospel could flourish endures. If only we had shepherds and not hired men.