Friday, October 28, 2011

Giles Fraser's Resignation

Personally I felt he had no alternative given his convictions, but it shows how strongly he feels about this given he has no Plan B with regards to his job. I do think those involved with the running of St Paul's would stop, think, and prayerfully consider what Christ would want them to do and how the Church may well be percived by those looking on! Christianity means not just accepting that Christ died for our sins and that we must love the Lord with all our hearts, strength, and mind. It also means loving our neighbour as we love ourselves and we should constantly ask and remind ourselves what that means!

Line of Succession Changed

Am very pleased with this and feel it's about time. Put simply if ones gender should not be a bar in any other job why should women be at the back of a succession queue within each immediate family within the Royal line of succession?
It's a pity though that it is not retrospective but I appreciate that may cause problems, and I am also glad that the ban on marrying Roman Catholics has been lifted, but agree with Alex Salmond that it is a pity that the ban on Catholics ascending to the throne is still there. I can understand why, it's simply because the monarch is Head of the Church of England, well there is an answer to that isn't there, you destablish the C of E, but that will cause uproar for all sorts of reasons and, whilst that is understandable in some cases, clearly some would rather prefer what is comfortable to what is a basic moral right

The Coalition after 18 months - from the right

It is nearly eighteen months since the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition was formed. A perspective from the right...

For many Conservatives the phrase "this Tory [sic]-led government" leaves us wishing "if only". For the Coalition is a restraint on many of our hopes and ambitions for the country, and such frustration is only tempered by the need to tackle the deficit and get this country back on track.

When the election result came through so did a stark warning about a potential market meltdown. At the time a coalition to sort out the country's immediate problems seemed the best way forward in the circumstances. Some of the prices to be paid were done with soft currencies anyway. And in other areas there was the prospect that simply being in office could knock some sense into the Liberal Democrats. The early signs were that such hopes were being realised.

And of course there was the AV referendum when my party learned to adore John Prescott as many Conservatives worked with Labourites together in the national interest. The prospect of a change, not just to the voting system but to a political culture that would just encourage more shameless Cleggism, was seen off, seemingly for a generation. Another demand had cost far less than we feared.

But as time passes the urgency declines and we are left facing another three and a half years of the government being unable to set a clear direction due to its internal divide. And as more and more legislation is passed where the two parties are in agreement, what is left will be endless potential for division as each party seeks to draw its lines in the sand. Nor is there a clear escape route - the fixed term legislation makes it far harder for a hung parliament to be put out of its misery.

And it's not as if a coalition is the only possible government. In the same week that the UK said No to AV, Canada elected a majority Conservative government after five years of a minority one. The Canadian Conservatives did as much as they could in minority and have been rewarded with a majority. Whilst David Cameron struggles with Nick Clegg to repatriate powers from Brussels, Stephen Harper is pressing ahead with, amongst other things, the long awaited abolition of the Canadian Wheat Board's monopsony.

Sure a lot of our aims require a majority in Commons for them, whether won in an election or negotiated item by item, but not everything a government does is dependent upon a majority. And another heave might well have got us over the line.

Do I wish for the destruction of the Coalition? No, at least not at the moment. Now that it's here it's better to let it carry out the programmes it's begun, rather than risk an Ed Miliband government undoing them. However I would like to see some more Conservative leading and less Liberal Democrat tail wagging.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

St Paul's Cathedral and Monty Python: Christian Behaviour

I haven't been following the news much this week, but I was struck by Timothy Moore's blogpost about the protest outside St Paul's and I have to say that from what I have heard about the protest I agree with him.
I appreciate the Health and Safety aspect but these protesters do not want to make life difficult for tourists or worshippers, they want to protest against the corrosive abuses within our society. Namely greed! Christ , as it is said, mixed with the poor and vulnerable and, yes there is nothing wrong with being rich (so long as ones wealth is used wisely), but wealth is not to be worshipped and it is sad that some churches which operate near the City of London, do seem to largely ignore the responsibility side of what the Bible says about money so as not to cause offence and yes one should avoid offence, but not at the cost of diluting the Gospel.
In a similar vein I caught a repeat of that infamous debate between Michael Palin and John Cleese Vs the then Bishop of Southwark and Malcolm Muggeridge on BBC Four on Wednesday night. Repeated from Nov 1979 it makes riveting television although as a Christian I feel embarrassed by Muggeridge and Mervyn Stockwood (the said Bishop of Southwark). I didn't fully agree with Cleese and Palin, but I love the film and accept their premise that the film attacks the inconsistency of followers, not Christ himself. As it was Muggeridge and Stockwood turned it into a slanging match complete with insults ("You'll get your thirty pieces of silver!" from Stockwood).
Please remind me of this in future, but Christians are called to love ones neighbour and ones enemies and even if it was playing to the gallery (which would be more disgusting), it is ones duty to listen and learn. Stockwood and Muggeridge found themselves up a blind alley and did not do that and sadly probably turned a lot of people away from looking at a relationship with Christ in one night.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Coulson Turns Against News Corp

As with previous cases, when someone thinks he is going down, he will turn against those on his/her side who think are to blame. In an issue as murky as this, it will be interesting to see what falls out, that said I doubt News Corp's reputation will fully emerge unscathed from all this. Murdoch has upset too many people over the decades for one thing

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Daily Mail? No Thanks!

As regular readers over the past few years will know, the Daily Mail is not my favourite newspaper and Steve Coogan last night on Newsnight just about hit the nail on the head regarding that said paper (Hat tip to Left Foot Forward).
But it's not just the fact it paints a picture of Britain, or how Britain should be that is inaccurate, they also go for straw opponents. The classic was yesterday when Paul Dacre laid into the "Liberal class" (see towards end of article).
The way the likes of Dacre, or Mackenzie, or Littlejohn go on, anyone would think the "liberal class" had as much power as a newspaper proprietor. They don't. I mean! Did the "Hampstead liberal" with it's trusty lieutenant the BBC, really hold sway over the past thirty years which has seen the dominance of the Thatcherite tendency, eighteen years of solid Tory rule, privatisation en masse (some good, some for the sake of ideology and a quick buck)! No it didn't. Did the Daily Mail, Express, and right-wing gutter red tops who hurt and attacked not only celebrities and then used the argument "free press" a la Woodward and Bernstein when criticised, but also attacked groups of ordinary people who fell into the prejudices of their editors (The possible worst case being Mackenzie's alleged loathing of Liverpool and his papers coverage of Hillsborough)! Sadly yes it did and yet it seems to hate those winging lefty middle class liberal types who clearly pose a major threat to our British way of life! Maybe it's because we not only oppose them, we can easily show them up for what they are and hold them with the contempt they deserve.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hunting Liam Fox

I think it's fair to say that Liam Fox has a no of political enemies, and not all of them outside the Conservative Party or among One Nation Tories. According to Iain Dale, some of them exist within the MoD and you have to consider that if a right-wing libertarian like Iain can dispassionately point out that Liam Fox is in trouble and put forward evidence to back that, then Liam Fox is in trouble. 
Aside from the analysis about Fox's future concerns, there is the fact that Adam Werrity having cards saying he is "Special Advisor" shows that, not for the first time and sadly not for the last, the mere whiff of close access to power can cause some to throw common sense away. That is the tragedy and that is what politicians and those close to them need to be on the lookout for.
One final thing, Harry Cole has suggested that David Davis could succeed Liam Fox. If true that would be news, given the events of the past few years and the evidence that there is little love lost between Davis and Cameron, but this is politics and stranger things have happened

Friday, October 07, 2011

Shadow Cabinet Reshuffle

I think it's dangerous for any predictions yet, although I think it's obvious the top three, Balls, Cooper, and Alexander, will remain in their posts. I hope old hands like Hilary Benn remain and that deserving talent like Jamie Reed get promoted (Declared interest, he's a friend of mine).
In any case let's hope we see an array of faces old and new who can easily make their opposite numbers feel uncomfortable for the next year or two

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Osborne or Johnson?

So I am back from Conference and I see the Conservatives have a major dilemma. Who to pick as PM when Cameron quits circa 2018
Well aside from the arrogance (and bear in mind they don't even have a majority in Parliament), the Tories have in assuming they'd be in power in 2018, whatever makes them think that the electorate would accept Osborne or Johnson as PM!