To: Mr. "Tony" Benn (MP)

29th August, 1990.

Dear Mr.Benn,

Now here's a thing: I believe you have some experience on the changing of names front. I am currently considering changing my name, but was somewhat horrified to read in Percy Richer's excellent book "Richer's Legal Nuggets - A money-saving guide to everyday legal problems" (ISBN: 0-356-12823-7) that, just because I was once christened without my consent, I have to obtain the permission of a bishop before I can change my first name. This strikes me as very unfair.

Is this why you kept your first name "Tony"? What, if anything, do you think I should do if the bishop in question refused permission? In actual fact, I have already written to the Archbishop of Canterbury asking for an un-christening application form and expressing my displeasure at being bound by such an out-dated, Christian-biased law. I have not yet received a reply.

Just imagine how the Moslems, Jews and Moonies must feel about this situation! Isn't there something that can be done about getting all these archaic laws changed? I'm sure Mr.Salmon Rushdie would feel a lot safer if we could scrap the silly blasphemy laws and I hear Sunday shop openings would be a very popular move.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Date (as is)

Reply »