08 September 2008

The Westminster Stakes: Something Slightly Worrying

I won't reprint the entire list: it is the same as it was here with two differences. Fr Edmund Power, the Abbot of St Paul Outside The Walls has entered the lists, but after the publicity in the Catholic press for the Pope's visit to his monastery for the Pauline year, and the fact of his nationality (and the puff from Fr Blake), I expect that his 33/1 is speculative.

Much more worrying is that the money continues to go towrds Fr Timothy Radcliffe: his odds have shortened to 7/2. Why am I worried?

My guess is that this book is being managed by Paddy Power in two ways. First, by paying a modest retainer to a priest of the Westminster Diocese who is known to Paddy (either he likes a flutter himself, or he knows or is related to somebody who works for Paddy at HQ in Ireland), Paddy gets close (how close depends on who the priest is) to what Damian calls the Magic Circle and who they think the Pope will choose. There are three factors here: how good is Paddy's expert's contact list; how accurate is the guesswork of the people he knows; and how well does the contact understand the various dimensions of nuance that are in play?

The second piece of management is more blatant and less subtle: where is the money going? The more money put on any candidate, the more Paddy will have to pay out if that candidate wins; so a fall in a candidate's odds means that money is being placed in sufficient quantities to make Paddy want to cut his potential losses.

Why on earth would anybody be putting money on Fr Timothy Radcliffe? Why on earth would his odds be shortening? Why isn't Paddy offering 100/1 against the certainty that Fr Radcliffe will get nowhere near the Westminster cathedra?

I'd like to pretend that I think that this is Paddy's way of attracting money: but I think that there is a stable group out there who think that Fr R is in with a serious shout.


On the side of the angels said...

No bloody way in a million years.
I think that basically there is a stable group out there who want him - the gay activists from the soho mass, the professional laity, the academics/liberals/media types who are treating this more like a vote in big brother than the choice of a cardinal Archbishop....

JARay said...

It is to be hoped that OTSOA is right. It would be an absolute tragedy if Fr. Radcliffe got it.

Anonymous said...

OTSOTA - Your analysis on DTs blog in recent weeks of what's likely to happen (trust the pope) has been one I would certainly agree with.

However, your inclusion of academics in the pro-Radcliffe lobby is a bit sweeping. Not all English academics are the sort who would want Radcliffe or his ilk. Many are loyal to the pope and magisterium, as you yourself clearly are. Many, too, wouldn't want anyone on that list except Nichols (the OP, not the MEd) - and there ain't much chance of that happening.