Once before, at the beginning of his term as Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Williams made a decision that exposed him to bullying, when he approved the appointment of Dr Jeffrey John, a celibate gay, as suffragan bishop of Reading. After six weeks of increasing pressure, he cracked and withdrew his approval. The shadow of that failure has lain over everything he has done since. Perhaps he should not have picked the fight at all, but to have started it and then surrendered was the worst of all possible outcomes. Dr Williams caved in over Jeffrey John in July 2003, nearly four years ago; we will find out soon enough if he has learned anything from the experience. If he has not, and if he caves in once more, no one will ever listen to him again. Why should we care what he believes about anything if we know he won’t stand up for it?