There’s nothing like a protest march for the abolition of world hunger that works up an appetite. Anglican blogger Baby Blue notes that the Anglican bishops meeting at Lambeth this week did some fine eatin’ following their march through London yesterday:

As someone who has seen her share of protest marches over the years (we have so many in Washington that springtime in DC is affectionately called Protest Season), I am not sure I have ever heard of a street protest against world hunger that that concluded with a march into a lavish banquet at a palace. Why, they even threw in the chandeliers. Who’s idea was that?

An Episcopal bishop [Smith of Arizona] reports:

“We arrived at Lambeth Palace and walked the grounds for a while before hearing a stirring speech from the Prime Minister about world poverty. Then, in an ironic contrast, we were served a very elegant lunch in a huge tent set up on the grounds.”

Here’s how Ruth Gledhill of the London Times describes the luncheon menu that followed the March against poverty:

“The menu was cold lemon and thyme scented breast of chicken with fresh asparagus and porcini mushroom relish, summer bean and coriander, tomato, basil and mozzarella served with hot minted new potatoes. Pudding was dark chocolate and raspberry tart with raspberry ripple ice cream, topped off with coffee and white chocolate raspberries. To wash it down they drank Pino Grigio or Chiraz or cranberry and elderflower fruit punch. The cream marquee was decorated with a dozen chandeliers down the middle.”

Bishop Smith evidently had a hard time washing all this down, but he took one for the team, especially since the primitives bishops from the Global South were really, really hungry:

I would have been happy with a sandwich and a donation to the MDG funds, but apparently there are many from third world countries who look forward to this lavish event.

I’m sure there was much back-slapping and high-fiving by the assembled prelates, what with them having struck such a powerful blow against world hunger and all. At least that’s what Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who evidently knows how much Anglican bishops love bizarre and excessive flattery, told them:

Later at Lambeth Palace, Prime Minister Gordon Brown hailed the march “the greatest public demonstration of faith” ever to take place in Britain.

“There are millions of people whom you may never meet who owe you a debt of gratitude for the work that you do in upholding the cause of the poor,” he went on to tell the bishops.

“You have sent a simple and a very clear message with rising force–that poverty can be eradicated, that poverty must be eradicated and if we can all work together for change poverty will be eradicated.”

Yesterday’s march, of course, fed not one hungry person, nor did it have any effect whatsoever on Britain’s flagging commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), nor was it even noticed on the streets of London, by whose residents Bishop Smith says it was ignored. But it made all the participants feel very, very good about themselves.

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