Batley and Spen by-election
Democracy

Batley and Spen by-election: you don't respect a murdered MP by suspending democracy

 

“Following the tragic killing of Labour MP Jo Cox, the Conservative Party has decided not to contest the forthcoming by-election as a mark of respect to a much-loved and respected politician,” announced a Conservative spokesperson on 17th June. Former Tory Chairman Grant Shapps had previously tweeted that the murdered MP died “doing her job serving the community she represented for too short a time”, adding: “I hope that in the sad by-election to follow, Jo Cox’s constituency is left uncontested as a tribute to Jo’s extraordinary public service.” The Liberal Democrats and Ukip have joined the Conservative Party to announce they also will not contest the by-election in Batley and Spen.

It feels the right thing to do: it is generous and compassionate. The cry is ‘unity‘: the Prime Minister wants to banish hatred, division and intolerance from our public life. The only way to drive division out of a liberal democracy is to deny the people choice. And so, unchallenged by any of the main parties, Labour will have a free run. O, there will be political minnows, but that is no credible democratic choice at all. Whoever Labour chooses to be their candidate will be gifted a seat in Parliament. We honour a murdered democrat by suspending democracy. Our political leaders respect her values service, community, tolerance – by treating her former constituency as heritable property. There can be no disjunctive voice, no division and no dissent: Jo Cox’s values, her political philosophy and her apprehension of the world order must be perpetuated “as a mark of respect to a much-loved and respected politician”. The Batley and Spen by-election thereby becomes a memorial, and her successor a living monument.

This won’t be a popular post: indeed, when slight disquiet was expressed about the decision not to contest the by-election, one Church of England vicar tweeted a terse response: “..it shows generosity and integrity, which should be a mark of the Church: you should therefore shut up about it full stop.” You see how it goes: to demur, even respectfully, gently and politely, is met with a sanctified bark to muzzle valid opinion. Division must be driven out of public life, and there’s nothing so divisive to the ecclesial liberal elite as a right-wing Christian blogger, no matter how thoughtful or reasoned a treatise may be.

The thing is, there is something odd in not contesting a seat after a sitting MP has been murdered:

1990 Murder of Ian Gow by PIRA – By-election contested – LD gain
1984 Murder of Sir Anthony Berry by PIRA – By-election contested – CON hold
1981 Murder of The Rev Robert Bradford by PIRA – By-election contested – UUP hold
1979 Murder of Airey Neave by INLA – No by-election, but GE seat contested – CON hold
1922 Murder of Sir Henry Wilson by IRA – By-election uncontested.

So the last uncontested by-election in this tragic circumstance was in 1922 for North Down (which had occasional uncontested elections into the 1950s).

Perhaps things have moved on since the murder of Ian Gow: 26 years is an eternity in politics. Or is it that only murdered Protestants and Tories have to be challenged in the hope of driving their particular brand of hatred, division and intolerance from public life? Whatever, the decision not to contest Batley and Spen permits the Labour Party to put into Parliament anyone they want. Although it is extremely unlikely that the seat would have changed hands, it is an offence against democracy to respond to attack upon democracy with a rigged political appointment. Far better for all the main political parties to put up a full slate of candidates, and then for  those candidates to selflessly exhort the people of Batley and Spen to vote Labour as a mark of respect to a much-loved and respected politician. At least then the people would have been free to honour Jo Cox’s values of service, community and tolerance as they would wish to do, instead of being coerced into a contrived expression of political unity, or hectored into a mellow manifestation of Anglican generosity and integrity.

  • The Explorer

    Don’t contest the by-election as a mark of respect. Cancel the Referendum as a mark of respect. Where should we stop? Should the non-Labour parties not contest the next election as a mark of respect? Tragic event, but the individuals within the democratic process should not be greater than the democratic process itself.

  • IanCad

    So the cry goes out: “Disenfranchise the electorate of Batley and Spen.”
    In the fore is the wretched Grant Schapps.
    If, as I understand, Brendan Cox will assume her seat, then politicians really do aspire to immortality. The two are one and the same. Troughers both.
    Who will lead the Conservative Party on June 24th?

    • Watchman
      • IanCad

        That’s Him!!
        Got to love those kindly, self-sacrificing charity heroes; struggling along on only four times the average salary. Oh Well! Someone’s got to do it.

    • bluedog

      Cameron. It would take more than 24 hours to evict him whatever the outcome of the vote.

      We can be certain that if Brexit prevails Cameron will suffer total memory loss about anything he has said or done since 23rd January 2013, when he announced the referendum.

      They used to call this Waldheimer’s Disease, after the Austrian Chancellor who could remember nothing he did in the years between 1934 and 1945. With good reason.

      • IanCad

        You do him a slander. The man is honourable and will resign immediately if the vote goes against him, as would be his expected duty.

        • bluedog

          Time will tell. Some good comment in the DT on options for Cameron. None contemplate immediate demise.

        • James Bolivar DiGriz

          Cameron seems to have honourable roots but has repeatedly acted in dishonourable ways.

          Just on the referendum:
          – He has flip-flopped about whether to have one, seemingly based purely on political expediency rather than on principle.
          – He listed concessions that he would insist on getting from a renegotiation, else he would campaign for Out. He got few, if any, of those concessions but has campaigned for In.
          – He said those concessions were fixed when numerous reliable commentators (including senior EU officials) have said that they are not.
          – He said that Ministers would be allowed to campaign for Out but has tried, and to some extent succeeded, in hampering those ministers from doing so.
          – He has spent £9million of yours and my money on In campaign literature whilst pretending that it just presents the facts.

          How much of that was honourable?

          • IanCad

            I was being sarcastic. The lowest form of debate – and the easiest.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            Sorry, that competely escaped me.

  • Watchman

    It is an appalling thought that they could parachute in someone like Ed Balls without the electorate being given an opportunity to reject him. Few of us want to see his blustering, hectoring figure once more filling our screens and it would show little respect for the sensitive folk of Batley and Spen.

  • bluedog

    Surprising that Grant Shapps should gush over the political legacy of Jo Cox. She was after all an enthusiastic supporter of BDS according to wiki.

  • preacher

    To allow an evil deed to change the political situation in the area would be to grant victory to the perpetrator.
    After an agreed time of mourning the only honourable & correct course of action is to call a by-election, & I’m sure that’s what Jo Cox would want. She had a heart for her constituents & was a giver of time & effort & will be greatly loved & remembered by them.
    Erect a permanent memorial so the local people will remember her & hopefully hold her memory dear in their hearts for years to come. She was a practical, optimistic person & has showed what a politician irrespective of party line should aspire to be.
    Bless you, Jo you set the bar high for others to follow, may your replacement live up to the task.

    Blessings.

    • Inspector General

      Don’t delude yourself, Padre. Jo Cox was a ‘passionate activist’. Such types do not appreciate a level playing field, and why would they…

      • preacher

        Well inspector the main thrust of my response was that there should be a By-election, rather than an empty seat because of a reaction of grief to an awful crime.
        Personally I wish we had more ‘ Passionate activists ‘ (Although not of a political calling ) in the Church.

        • Inspector General

          Just so you know what a passionate activist is, that man.

          • preacher

            A pretty good idea old chap. just wanted to make sure that the Crocodile tears of certain politicians don’t throw a spanner in the works of the referendum & manipulate the vote because of manufactured sentiment.
            IMO Jo Cox was ardent in her beliefs, even if they didn’t correspond with mine. But she worked hard at her job & didn’t deserve the fate that befell her & I won’t criticise her for her passion.

  • Inspector General

    Why the surprise, chaps? Don’t you realise what has happened? One of the ruling elite was murdered. That calls for extreme revenge. Suspending democracy in Batley and Spen is but a small price to pay. In a previous ‘EU’ with the same German hegemony, 50 hostages would already have been shot. And that was just for starters. By now, the SS would be ‘dismantling’ the apparent culprits home area, and the Gestapo would have arrested anyone who so much as nodded to him in the past.

    And yet we object at our peril. When the Inspector initially questioned this outrageous manipulation of the political process, it was correspondent grutchyngfysch who pointed out what a cunning trap lay in wait for those that express disquiet. Why, for who ever takes that position, might as well cruelly ended Jo Cox’ life himself.

    One repeats. One of the ruling elite has been murdered. It doesn’t get any worse than that…

  • Jo Cox’s values, her political philosophy and her apprehension of the world order

    Cox’ values included bringing sweetness and light to her grateful constituents while, at the same time, celebrating the Third World immigration which will render the English a powerless minority. Based on that, her political philosophy would appear to have been: Good deeds with one hand and a stab in the back with the other. Her apprehension of the world order included bombing Syria.

    Brendan Cox, widower of the martyred saint, resigned from Save The Children over ‘inappropriate behaviour’.

    • Inspector General

      An angel has been destroyed by man, JR. A divine thing. All criticism is thus a thought crime. May Westminster have mercy on our souls…

      • @ IG—I don’t recall a similar outpouring of global grief when Pim Fortuyn was assassinated:

        ‘For his supporters, Fortuyn represented a solitary voice of courage and an embodiment of hope for freedom’s preservation in the land of the dikes and windmills. But for the Dutch political class and its allies in the media and academia—variously blinded by multiculturalism, loath to be labeled racists, or terrified of offending Muslims—Fortuyn himself was the threat. They painted him as a dangerous racist, a new Mussolini out to tyrannize a defenseless minority. The result: on May 6, 2002, nine days before the election, Fortuyn was gunned down by a far-left activist taken in by the propaganda. The Dutch establishment remained in power. For many Dutchmen, hope died that day.’—Bruce Bawer

        • Ivan M

          Good point JR, but the impact would depend on the prevailing conditions. Some may backfire.

    • Martin

      JR

      So she is hardly the unconnected backbench MP she is depicted as since hubby was a senior advisor to that Brown fella.

      • @ Martin—Cox was a loyal member of the élite who successfully marketed herself as a champion of the people, making her the perfect politician. Small wonder the Establishment is distraught at her loss.

    • Ivan M

      It is odd to be both for bombing the Syrians and supporting the ‘White Helmets’.

  • CliveM

    With the type of Parliamentary democracy we have, we are not simply voting for a party, but an individual. There are no ‘lists’, as with the Scottish Parliament elections. Because of this the electorate must have the right to reject a candidate and given a proper choice.

    This isn’t respecting Jo Cox, its virtue signalling.

  • Uncle Brian

    We are witnessing a curious resurgence of clericalism in a new guise, based on the underlying (though unspoken) premise that the Church of England is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Labour Party. That is why the laity are banned from expressing any political views that dissent from Corbynist orthodoxy.

    A day or two after the general election last year, we had the unidentified hooligan vicar who threatened to beat any Tory voters in his congregation over the head with a crowbar. The title of His Grace’s post that day was Vicar regrets not being able to ban Tories from Communion.

    Then last month there was the vicar of Roborough in Devon who falsely claimed to be unable to detect anti-Semitism in a Labour MP’s proposal to ethnically cleanse all Jews from the Middle East: C of E priest says Labour’s anti-Semitism is a right-wing plot, and Tories are racist.

    Today we are introduced to the vicar of Chesterfield, a loudmouth who tells His Grace to “shut up” because he has presumed to express an opinion in the matter of by-elections that is different from the opinion held by an ordained minister of the Church of England.

    When a by-election is to be held following the assassination of a sitting MP, should that by-election contested or not? The orthodox Anglican answer, we now learn, is Yes if the murdered MP was a Tory, as in the case of Ian Gow, Anthony Berry and Airey Neave, but No in the present case, because Batley and Spen is a Labour seat and that’s that. Shut up!

    http://archbishopcranmer.com/c-of-e-priest-says-labours-anti-semitism-is-a-right-wing-plot-and-tories-are-racist/

    http://archbishopcranmer.com/vicar-regrets-not-being-able-to-ban-tories-from-communion/

    • bluedog

      Perceptive, UB. But the Established Church toes the government line these days and supports Remain. If the government deems there shall be no competition for Labour in Batley & Spen, why the CofE is there to concur. Given Sentamu’s political leanings, one might expect any Yorkshire cleric to regard support for Labour as a career essential. Thinking of darkest Africa, where’s Mrs Proudie when one needs her guidance?

      • Martin

        BD

        I understand that Sentamu is taking a Grand Tour, relabelled as a Pilgrimage, lest any of the Laity get uppity.

        • bluedog

          Typical

  • sarky

    Although this is an utterly tragic event and everyone concerned has my deepest sympathies, what it has done is awaken the all to familier national outpouring of grief that we have seen time and time again. All this will do is stifle debate and open up the referendum to voting out of guilt, with anyone going against the tide being labelled a racist murderer sympathiser.
    I truly hope common sense prevails.

    • Inspector General

      You see sarky. By hanging around Cranmer and his worthy correspondents, a thick like you has, over time, become much improved. The Victorians were right. There is hope for the mental ‘hand to mouth’ ignorant types through self improvement. Shame about the tattoos though…

      An uptick for you, sir. Well done!

    • preacher

      Amen to that Sarky !

      • Inspector General

        Doesn’t the Inspector get an uptick. For all the effort he has put into trying to turn sarky into a decent sort?

        • preacher

          Well inspector we are all waiting with baited breath for you to deliver the uptick you promised to Sarky, but seem not to have delivered yet, LOL.

          • Inspector General

            F5 your contraption, that man…

          • len

            The inspector has ticked, he and sarky are’ bezzies ‘now.Not sure if that’s a good thing or not?Sorry just edited’ sparky’ to ‘sarky’.Just had to take the ‘p’

          • Inspector General

            Indeed, Len. the Inspector sees sarky as his brother. Albeit with learning difficulties…

          • sarky

            Your more of an embarrassing drunk uncle.

          • bluedog

            Inspector dancing?

          • Inspector General

            Ah, typical lower class contempt for his betters. Something else you have to overcome, apart from being thick.

          • Hi

            I’ve got to admit there’s a part of me which is somewhat fond of inspector, despite his outrageous posts.

          • preacher

            Perhaps the Euro version of MI6 are hacking my box, the only up votes I have is yours & mine at this time len.

          • Hi preacher,

            You mean like the DGSE or the FSB ?

          • preacher

            Hi Hannah, long time no hear !. Hope you’re O.K. I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage with the DGSE & FSB !.

          • Oh hi preach,

            I’ve been campaigning in this referendum…

            The DGSE is the French external security service and FSB is the former KGB of Russia.

          • preacher

            Thanks Hannah, the Euros & the Bureaus get daily more like curios.
            I will have to avoid Russians with umbrellas & French gents on bikes with strings of grenades disguised as Onions now.

          • bluedog

            You make a very serious point, Hannah. Given the EU’s plans for a military, internal and external intelligence services are a necessary and inevitable adjunct. We can see where this leads, particularly when one considers the European Arrest Warrant too. Very dangerous.

          • len

            Don`t give them your name Preacher!….

          • preacher

            If they haven’t got reward posters out on me yet, I’d be very surprised!.

          • len

            Lol. Wanted. ‘Preacher’… told truth which is a criminal offence under EU law.’

          • preacher

            Got it in one brother, but I hope after the 23rd I can be outside of their jurisdiction.

        • Politically__Incorrect

          Time to go t work on Linus next…

          • Inspector General

            The brown eminence has already dumped on the previous topic this day…

          • The Explorer

            Linus could be in the process of assuming yet another persona. We’ll have to see if Eustace reappears, or if it’s some some new excrescence eructating the same language as its predecessors.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Is Linus the real Doctor Who?

          • carl jacobs

            No. Jon Pertwee is the Doctor. All others are imposters and pretenders.

          • Martin

            Carl

            Pertwee, the young pretender, Hartnell is the one and only real Doctor!

          • carl jacobs

            Heretic! Heathen! Right Deviationist!

          • William Lewis

            Hogwash. Jon prepared the way. For it is written “by his scarf you will know him.”

          • carl jacobs

            Self-respecting Time Lords do NOT wear either a floppy hat or a dippy scarf.

          • William Lewis

            “… but they knew him not.”

          • Pubcrawler

            Hartnell was the forerunner.

          • CliveM

            Patrick Troughton! With a soft touch for Matt Smith.

          • Excrescence? Eructating (will google this one right after posting)? You have been infected by Linus’ s Disease, a dangerous but treatable disorder. Collect all personal documentation, pack a tooth brush and several pairs of underwear and present yourself at the nearest re-education centre.

          • The Explorer

            Excrescence:. something abnormal or morbid that grows on you. Can you think of a better definition of Linus? After all, we’re so used to his railing against us and insulting us over such a long time we’ve grown quite fond of him.

          • O, I was familiar with excrescence, etymologically related to excretion, a term also suitable in discussions about Linus. The fancy Latin one for belching, though, had me totally stumped.

        • Yes, a cookie for you, IG.

          • Politically__Incorrect

            Surely you mean a hobnob?

          • We will not make, distribute or discuss hobnobs in honour of the Lady of Barchester during her absence.

    • Martin

      Sarky

      Absolutely agree.

    • Eustace

      Common sense will prevail. We’ll remain in the EU and those who want us to leave will gnash their teeth and tear their hair, and then get on with their lives. Some may leap off tall buildings or, copying a French precedent when a vote doesn’t go the way one requires it to, shoot themselves in the head on a cathedral altar (Salisbury probably … might as well punish the dirty liberals even further by making them clean up the mess). One certainly hopes not, but such is the penchant for melodrama among the Leave campaign, anything is possible.

      Could Royal (don’t forget the Royal) Tunbridge Wells be the new Jamestown? A mass suicide of apoplectic colonels and their tweedy wives? The market for second hand pearls will crash under the weight of such a sudden glut…

      In any case, the calm yet highly emotionally charged intervention on TV this morning by Brendan Cox, widower of the slain MP, will be the deciding factor. As you read this, Undecideds are swinging towards Remain in droves.

      It’s in the bag.

      • sarky

        Postal vote seems to be in favour of leave!!

        • Eustace

          By definition Undecideds haven’t voted by post, otherwise they would be Decideds, wouldn’t they?

          • sarky

            No such thing as undecided, just not prepared to say!!

  • Politically__Incorrect

    So the logic goes something like this. A deranged man with mental health problems and an alleged supporter of an obscure U.S.-based neo-Nazi group murders a woman Labour MP. Anybody who held views different from the deceased MP is therefore complicit in her death and must have no part in the democratic election of a replacement MP.

    What is done is done. Nobody can undo this terrible crime. All that’s left to do is bury the dead and grieve at the loss. The living go on living and are entitled to political representation. That includes the many constituents who, though appalled at this act, still have the right to political representation. Batley and Spen is almost certainly going to stay in Labour hands, but that should not deny supporters of alternative views the right to express their views at the ballot box. Holding and expressing views different to those of Jo Cox is not disrespectful to her or her family. Exploiting her death in a mawkish way for political purposes is both disrespectful and an unfitting tribute to an MP who almost certainly would not have wished for the democratic process to be blocked in her name..

    • Inspector General

      Yes, you have it. The only thing missing is granting of the Royal Prerogative to hand over the seat to the next of kin. Lest if fall into ‘the wrong hands’ if it be re-contested.

  • Hi

    While this is doubtless a safe seat for Labour , voters should at least have a set of candidates and a choice to make on who succeeds Mrs Cox. Democracy isn’t about one candidate for office getting elected without opposition , however unfortunate the context.

    • carl jacobs

      Being by nature a cynic, my immediate thought was “They won’t contest it because it’s a safe seat and this is a way to make virtue of necessity.”

      • Gasp!

        • carl jacobs

          Was that perchance a cynical expression of surprise?

          • You’re getting too deep for an American.

      • Hi

        you have to deposit £500 to be a candidate and that gets forfeit if you don’t get x % of the vote, 5 % I think.

        • Pubcrawler

          Yes, 5%

          You also need the nominations of ten voters in the constituency in order to stand.

  • Your Grace,

    In some sense I agree with your critique here. In the past when MPs have been murdered we have grieved, picked ourselves up and carried on. A contested by-election is a sign to those who have killed that they will not destroy the basis of our democracy, the freedom of the electorate to choose and reject who they want as their local representative. A contested by-election is a defeat for the terror that caused it.

    And yet….

    There is something qualitatively different about this assassination. If we look back at previous murdered MPs we see that they were in their own way icons of the Government, of the ruling power.

    Ian Gow – A very public opponent of the Anglo-Irish agreement and long before his murder concerned that he might have an assassination target for that reason
    Anthony Berry – A government whip killed in an attack on the Government
    Rev Robert Bradford – An MP who symbolic of the resistance to the Irish Republican cause
    Airey Neave – Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the architect of the Tory policy (at the time) that favoured the removal of devolution from Northern Ireland

    These four murders were political and they were terrorist conspiracies. They weren’t the actions of a lone person acting by themselves but rather they were carefully planned executions involving a team of people knowing and facilitating the murder. They were assaults on the power of government (or future governments), they were “punishment” in a long standing political feud that has divided Ireland for over two centuries (and continues to do so today).

    But the murder of Jo Cox is different to these. There is something shocking on a much deeper level about the murder of a lowly constituency MP who hasn’t even risen to the first rung of a (shadow) ministerial career, the execution of a representative of the people who did nothing more than seek to look after her constituents and act for them in any way that she appropriately could.

    The other four murder of MPs post-war were assaults on the power of the executive in this land, on the political settlement in a fractured group of Islands that we call Britain and Ireland which has produced much bloodshed. The murder of Jo Cox was an assault on the very foundation of our democratic life. It strikes at the heart of the ordinary rather than the special, the weak rather than the strong. It is an affront not just to the power structures that we put in place in our country to govern it, but to the way we decide what those power structures are. It is one thing to shoot someone managing our country, it is another to shoot someone whose role is to hold those who manage our country to account.

    I am struggling for words here to explain what I mean, but I hope somehow I’m communicating it. This was *different* to what we’ve seen before. This was no man of power murdered, this was a woman of frailty murdered for being frail not powerful.

    There are two things I would like to see here. The first is I want the politicisation of Cox’s death to stop. Stop it now. Stop it. Just stop it. I don’t care what her alleged killer did or didn’t believe, it is almost irrelevant. It is abhorrent that those who say Cox was killed because of demonisation are now demonising others as a response. It is sickeningly hypocritical. The only person to the blame is the person who shot Cox.

    Second, I would like to see a by-election that isn’t contested by the Tories, the Lib Dems or UKIP, but let’s go further. I’d like Corbyn to announce that Labour won’t contest the election either. Let’s have a by-election where the electors of Batley and Spen choose between men and women who have no links to power, a by-election that in it’s lack of party politicisation expresses the root of our constituency representation system – a man or woman to represent the people. I’m sure there are plenty of local business leaders, charity workers, government employees who could do a fine job of being the next MP for Batley and Spen.

    Wouldn’t that be a wonderful tribute to Jo Cox? Wouldn’t that be an expression both that our democratic system survives such an assault on it and that for once, just once, we can exercise such a system without the vitriol and partisanship and demonisation that has plagued us for the past few months?

    It’s just a thought.

    • Inspector General

      Unfortunately, sir, not a very good one.

      • Forfend you would point out why?

        • Inspector General

          We need to discourage assassins. If your suggestion that an assassinated MP be replaced by other than a professional politician, who have proved as a crowd on many occasions to be self serving wretches, one should think that would be killers would need to form an orderly line lest chaos break out among them…

          • Again, I’m asking for a unique response to a unique event. If you think that’s a licence for murder then you really have got the wrong end of the stick.

          • Inspector General

            Best keep it under you hat, old chap, and whatever you do don’t go public with it…

            “Local Resident Peter Ould Uses Jo Cox Tragedy To Push Forward His Own Anti Political Establishment Stance”

            They just wouldn’t understand you mean well, you see.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s just the Inspector. You get used to him after a while. He even kind of grows on you.

            🙂

          • Albert

            The Inspector’s growing on you?

          • carl jacobs

            Well … not like fungus. He’s like the Uncle who when spotted with his cat quickly stuffs the cat into his coat and declaims “I hate cats, you know!”

            What would we do without him?

          • Albert

            What would we do without him?

            It sounds like you’re saying w’d have to keep applying the athlete’s foot powder.

          • carl jacobs

            Nah. He’s not an irritant. It’s true he wants to be seen as an irritant. But it’s all pretense. He’d slip you a 20 if you needed it, and then fiercely deny he had done so.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Poofs , coloured folk, and heterosexual women excluded !

          • Cressida de Nova

            Chuckles !

          • Martin

            IG

            Why do we have professional politicians? Do we really want or need them?

          • Inspector General

            Why do we need priests?

          • Now there is a question. Your Grace?

          • Inspector General

            Or professor doctors. Why, Mr Ould could say a few words over the wound instead…

          • William Lewis

            Love it

          • Martin

            IG

            Um, we don’t, nor bishops (despite what Flanders & Swann might say)

          • But who would assist the Bishops?

          • Martin

            HJ

            With no bish, no need for assistant.

          • Inspector General

            We don’t need women priests. Will give you that…

          • Martin

            IG

            No Christian priests in the NT, only those Jewish types.

          • Inspector General

            No democracy in the NT either…

          • Martin

            IG

            The elders and deacons were chosen from within the congregation. Much as churches with congregational government do.

          • carl jacobs

            They weren’t elected, though.

          • Martin

            Carl

            Chosen & elected are the same thing.

          • carl jacobs

            They were appointed. They weren’t elected. This concept of church election is a Western bias imposed on Scripture.

          • Martin

            Carl

            No, you’re thinking in modern terms. They were chosen by the people and the apostles laid hands on them.

          • Anton

            We ARE priests, and Jesus is our High Priest.

          • Martin

            Anton

            That’s why we don’t need priests.

          • Anton

            I think you mean that that’s why people don’t need ordination.

          • Martin

            Anton

            In the sense that Elders/Overseers need to be set aside for the ministry, I have no problem with ordination.

          • Anton

            Nor I, but the problem is that ordination is understood (and phrased in the ceremony) to mean “to the priesthood” in the large denominations.

          • Martin

            Anton

            Only in those denominations corrupted by the World and desire for power.

        • bluedog

          Okay until ‘There are two things…’. Then the wheels fall off.

          You need to make a better case for anarcho-syndicalism than just asking for the next MP for B&S to be anyone other than a representative of the current political parties. And politics is adversarial. That’s the out-working of the competition of ideas. Are you afraid of competition? If so, what is the alternative? Central planning?

          • I’m not making a generalised case for anarcho-syndicalism. I’m making a case for a unique response to a unique event – a chance for one by-election to represent more than just one election amongst many.

          • bluedog

            Not convinced.

          • bluedog

            The problem is that your proposal acts against the interests of the constituents of B&S. Cross-bench independents in the Parliament are inevitably powerless protesters and as such, largely ineffective at representing the interests of their electors. What have the electors of B&S done to deserve irrelevance?

            Independents by definition can never be the government, they merely act as intermediaries between the constituent and the government, the latter having no incentive to listen. For all its faults, the party system enables individual MPs to be effective as representatives. If their party is in power, and if say, the MP is a Cabinet minister, that representation can be effective at the highest level. Even in opposition, an MP can be effective in lobbying the government; favours are recorded to be called upon at the next election.

            This communicant agrees with His Grace’s proposition. The best outcome for the electorate of B&S is a by-election that gives them every opportunity to chose the representative they want, not some handicapped electoral race.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      I hear what you are saying Mr Ould, but I do not see why any of this is a justification for blocking the democratic process. If your doctor gets murdered, would you expect your local surgery to remain unstaffed for months on end as a sign of respect? Mrs Cox’s murder does not prohibit constituents from the right to political representation, nor does such representation in any way disrespect the deceased MP: quite the opposite in fact. I seriously doubt Jo Cox would have wanted such capitulation to an anti-democratic killer to be her epitaph.

      • I’m not asking us to block the democratic process, I’m asking us to exemplify the democratic process.

        • Uncle Brian

          I’m not asking us to block the democratic process, …

          Yes, that is exactly what you are asking. “We are prepared to tolerate parliamentary elections — provisionally, at least — but only on one condition. Candidates may stand for election in their own name but they may not band together to form alliances or so-called ‘parties’.”

          Have you thought about a suitable punishment for anyone daring to defy your ban? Transportation to New South Wales, perhaps?

          • Martin

            UB

            There’s some good ideas there.

    • carl jacobs

      The difference you are describing is more a function of the assassin than the assassin’s target. He was not a professional. He did not have an organization to support him. He chose a target at hand – one that was within his reach. I don’t think she was killed for her frailty. She was killed because she was there.

    • CliveM

      Understanding what you are saying, however I still feel your point misses the fundamental basis of British representational politics. You are not simply voting for a party but an individual. What you are suggesting takes the power away from the electorate and places in entirely in the hands of a single party. This constituency has been deprived of its choice, it shouldn’t be deprived of being allowed to choose the replacement.

      • I’m suggesting an election with potentially lots of individual candidates, just none from any of the Parliamentary parties.

        • You are suggesting a radical departure from tradition: A new custom allowing political assassinations to affect elections.

          • I used the language of “unique”. This is not “a new custom”.

          • Same thing. What is unique becomes standard in such cases. God forbid such should happen again, but if it did, would you be arguing against a repeat of this unique suspension of parliamentary democracy and on what grounds?

          • I think I’d have to cross that bridge if we came to it.

          • So, not only have you not thought about it, but refuse to do so. Have you considered the possibility that grief and the standard human desire to respond dramatically drives this suggestion? This is why all cultures have instituted formalised mourning periods and rituals; not so much to ensure that the deceased are honoured, but to act as brake to disruption by preventing the inevitable competitions of emotional mourners wreaking havoc on society with dramatic and “unique” acts of conspicuous mourning.

          • Pubcrawler

            All that went down the pan in September 1997.

          • I’m guessing you mean 6th of September, rather than the 5th, when the Orioles beat the Yankes 13-9 in the longest 9 inning game?

          • carl jacobs

            Be careful. Talking baseball on this weblog can cause Brits to suffer shock, disorientation, and dizziness. It’s a sport too rich to be introduced without proper preparation.

          • Martin

            Carl

            Sport? Calling rounders a sport is a bit strong.

          • Inspector General

            We call the thing ‘softball’ over here…

          • CliveM

            Or Rounders.

          • Uncle Brian

            They gave us a chance to learn everything we needed to know about baseball when we followed George Costanza’s brilliant career, week by week, as Mr. Steinbrenner’s right-hand man at the New York Yankees.

          • Albert

            I went to a baseball match once on the other side of the water. It was the biggest waste of time I have ever had. And what’s all that strange thing with the leg when the bowler bowls?

            Apart from that, I thought US was very nice, and almost British.

          • carl jacobs

            Baseball game … not match. And he’s called the pitcher. He pitches. There is no bowler in baseball. Bowling is a game played with a ball and ten pins. A bowler rolls his ball down the ally to knock over the pins. Then he sits down and drinks some beer until his next frame.

            The leg thing is called the wind-up and it helps the pitcher throw the ball at 90+ mph.

          • What’s with the head thing too?

          • carl jacobs

            The what? You mean the catcher’s mask?

          • No, all the turning of the head from

          • carl jacobs

            Two possibilities. The catcher needs to know what pitch to expect (fastball, slider, curve, change-up, etc) so he will signal a pitch to the pitcher. Sometimes the pitcher wants to throw a particular pitch so he will “shake off” the catcher’s sign and keep doing so until the catcher signals the pitch he wants.

            The other possibility is a runner on base. The pitcher will watch him to make sure he doesn’t take too big of a lead off the base. It’s called checking the runner. The runner has to be concerned that the pitcher will try to pick him off by throwing the ball to the fielder instead of the catcher. The closer he is to the base, the easier it is for him to get back before he is tagged out.

          • Martin

            Carl

            Bowling is throwing the ball properly, not chucking it as girls & rounders players do.

          • Albert

            I thought “pitcher” was colonial for “jug”. All very confusing.

            Then there was this weird thing, when a children’s entertainer started trying to get us all to stand up and “salute our veterans” and then sing left wing songs together (something about being on strike and shaming the home team – presumably the scabs). But there weren’t any children present and no miners, either. Didn’t stop the adults though joining in though. As I say, all very confusing.

            And as for the toilets…

            The leg thing is called the wind-up

            Funnily enough, that’s exactly what it looked like.

            And it went on for hours.

            The only enjoyably thing about it was being asked for ID when I wanted to buy what passed for beer (despite being well over the age of 30 at the time).

          • len

            I suppose this game is ’rounders’?. We never needed all that padding and helmet things when we played it as kids. Then we moved on to cricket a game for grown ups….

          • IanCad

            Given that a cricket ball is harder, smaller, faster, it can be concluded that baseball is a game for girls.

          • Albert

            It’s certainly very camp.

          • Maalaistollo

            I have always been given to understand that the only ‘sports’, properly so-called, are hunting, shooting and fishing. All the other things are just ‘games.’ Of course the denizens of HM Plantations Overseas seem to use ‘hunting’ to mean ‘shooting’ which can confuse the issue.

          • bluedog

            Toff.

          • Anton

            You play football and rugby but you don’t play boxing.

          • Pubcrawler

            Translator, please!

          • carl jacobs
          • I’m making sure you meant the, um, unique funeral of the Princess of Wales on the 6th.

          • Pubcrawler

            Not specifically, more everything ‘unBritish’ that followed her demise.

          • carl jacobs

            Do you see what you have done? Do you? Look at these poor souls. All of them will have to lie down in a darkened room with a cold compress for no less than four hours just to recover their senses. And one might require hospitalization for hysteria. Britain is a place that considers boiled meat a delicacy. You can’t introduce a subject as complex and nuanced as baseball into a British audience like that. You have to give them an opportunity to adjust first.

          • Anton

            Try reading “Playing Hard Ball” by Ed Smith, a cricketer (not long retired) who was good enough to play for England in 2003 and who astutely did some pre-season training with a minor league baseball team to get fit and to learn about the “other game” and then write an intelligent book comparing the two, which deserved to sell well on both sides of the Atlantic.

          • carl jacobs

            Interesting looking book. I read a few reviews.

            Btw. I stumbled across something called called “The Underarm Incident” today. Is it true that many reading this will instantly know what that is?

          • bluedog

            A wardrobe malfunction involving a cheap deodorant?

          • Anton

            Anybody with any interest in cricket will know. But that is not everybody, sadly. I remember the reports of it taking place and you can find it on YouTube.

          • carl jacobs

            Well, I hope you are proud of the pandemonium you created.

            … Canadians …

          • jimbo1978

            That the shameless politicisation of her death should stop I am in total agreement. That instead it is being increased, is possibly the most shameful episode in British politics I’ve had the misfortune to witness. This has seriously changed how I see politicians (some of them anyway) in a way that even Iraq and Cash for Question/Honours and the expenses scandal never did.

            Do I want my country back? I did, now I’m not so sure. But i there is any natural justice (no theology, just layman’s speak) I hope this shameless appropriation of a tragedy backfires massively. God have mercy on us all.

          • As a priest I’m very comfortable with the idea that ritual is a language for mourning that helps people articulate what they need to express. In that framework view this unique by-election as part of a unique mourning ritual to help us as a nation process what has occurred to us.

          • I see, Reverend, so with all due respect, you are proposing a new non-religious mourning ritual under vague secularist notions about symbolic “articulation” and the need to “process” a trauma by political means? May I suggest that speech and commentary still serve as the best mediums for articulation and that thinking about ways to prevent such atrocities, and prayer, rather than selwctive suspensions of parliamentary procedures, may be a better way to help the nation to process this event?

          • You may suggest what you wish. It is your democratic right.

          • Merchantman

            Then delay the vote for a period to ensure a cooling off.

        • CliveM

          Including Labour?

          • Including Labour. No parliamentary parties.

  • Martin

    It should be contested and the electorate should have a free range of candidates. I fail to see how voting Labour doe anything to respect the dead. If anyone, it has been the left, such as Blair and Cameron, who have turned politics into a bitter warfare.

  • Albert

    I don’t agree with this post. Let us suppose that there is a by-election and Labour lose. They will have lost a seat because of a murder. That seems wrong to me. And what example does it set? If you don’t agree with your MP, murder them and perhaps you will get one you do agree with. In politically unstable times, indeed, in any times, that seems a very dangerous idea to me.

    • Inspector General

      Absolute nonsense from you!

      What you are bemoaning, without knowing it, is the weak state of affairs British justice is in. If the culprit was facing a charge of Capital Murder, as should all who strike down public office holders: police, prison officers and members of the armed forces included, then you wouldn’t be so silly because justice would really be served…

      • carl jacobs

        No. Even if the culprit is punished, he should not get the satisfaction of changing the Gov’t by violence. It would allow him to achieve his political goal even at the cost of himself.

        • Daniel1979

          Except Jo Cox wasn’t in Government

          This madman has not changed who is in Government by assassinating Jo Cox, nor has he changed the Government’s position on any matter, nor would any elected Government allow such an event dictate position.

          You (nor I) know what his goals are, if he even had any in the first place, (rational or otherwise)

          • carl jacobs

            I was referring to the general case. I was not making a specific comment about this case in particular. And you are using a different definition of Government than I am. She was an elected MP. That counts.

      • Albert

        I’m struggling to see your argument.

        • Inspector General

          Have you and sarky swapped intellect today, just to play a joke on an old Inspector…

          • Albert

            I really cannot see the connection with the post I made.

          • Inspector General

            Give me strength!

            Alright. One is saying that you wouldn’t suggest suspending the democratic process if the guilty was going to swing for what he did. There would be closure. No one is above the law, so why should anyone be above the democratic process…

          • Albert

            I can’t for the life of me see the connection. But in any case, I have not suggested that the democratic process be suspended. As I said to Daniel 1979, if you feel so strongly about it, go and stand yourself. You will see the democratic process has not been suspended.

          • Inspector General

            But…But…But…

            {Splutter!}

            Your above post, man, your above post!

          • Albert

            But what? I really cannot follow your train of thought.

    • Daniel1979

      The Labour Party is not the sitting MP, the MP was Jo Cox, and they lost their MP when she was Assassinated. Labour don’t own the seat.

      Seemingly by the logic of your disagreement, absolutely any lowlife could now stand with a red rosette and be accorded a free pass to Parliament. That’s not a road I want to go down.

      I don’t think people are going to start murdering MPs because of disagreement, any more than i think Party Leaders will start killing MP’s who defy the whip, which seems to fit within the same scope of logic/consequence.

      Jo Cox can’t go to Parliament, there should be a contest now to let the locals decide who will replace her. It will probably be a Labour candidate, but under no circumstances should we give anyone a free pass to Parliament. Any replacement should be subject to the same scrutiny and rigour as all other MPs

      • Albert

        In theory all our MPs are simply local representatives. The reality is much more complicated and much more party based. This is acknowledged in the OP:

        is it that only murdered Protestants and Tories have to be challenged

        The second problem with your argument is that you react as if someone has put a ban on someone else standing. That’s the not the case. Parties have decided apparently, not to stand. If you feel so strongly about it, go and stand yourself. No one will stop you. Not me, not anyone. People have made the decision not to stand. Democracy demands that they can made that decision, and it demands that you can make a different one, if you wish.

        Seemingly by the logic of your disagreement, absolutely any lowlife could now stand with a red rosette and be accorded a free pass to Parliament. That’s not a road I want to go down.

        The key word there is “seemingly”. Obviously, Labour will not wish to do that. But if they do, then other people can stand against the “lowlife”. That’s how democracy works. If the lowlife is lowenoughlife, then the other parties can change their minds.

        Jo Cox can’t go to Parliament, there should be a contest now to let the locals decide who will replace her. It will probably be a Labour candidate, but under no circumstances should we give anyone a free pass to Parliament. Any replacement should be subject to the same scrutiny and rigour as all other MPs

        I say again: it is up to anyone eligible to stand there. If not one wants to stand against the Labour candidate, that is democracy too.

        • Martin

          Albert

          Except of course that politics is so arranged that only the low life belonging to a political party normally get to stand. And they are all of a muchness anyway.

          • Albert

            In which case the “lowlife” argument cannot count either way!

          • Martin

            Albert

            Depends on who you consider ‘lowlife’. 😉

        • Merchantman

          Yes but the major parties are GrandStanding.

      • Hardly much scrutiny by the electorate. Batley and Spen is a safe Labour seat. Jo Cox was nominated by the Labour Party to contest the seat vacated by Mike Wood in the 2015 general election. She was selected as a candidate for the seat via an all-women shortlist.

        • Ivan M

          There is also the pragmatic point that hardly anyone with aspirations to get elected from the Lib Con or UKIP lists would want to get slaughtered under the circumstances. It will be a vote by acclamation for Labour.

  • Whist the main political parties may not be putting forward candidates, there’s nothing to stop others doing so or, indeed, any individual so minded to stand who has £500.

    • I think UKIP should stand.

      • Inspector General

        Provisional tick, Marie. Need to think about that idea…

        • Don’t think too long.

          • “Don’t think too long.”

            Remember it’s the Inspector you’re talking to, Marie.

          • Uncle Brian

            Ooooohhh. That stung.

          • ; O ))

        • No need, Inspector. Jack Buckby, ex-BNP member, has announced he will be contesting the seat for Liberty GB. Wouldn’t want to divide the far right vote.

          “While the murder of Jo Cox is tragic, we must not let this tragedy blur the fact that the Labour Party is responsible for the demographic and cultural assault on Britain which has already done great damage in areas of Yorkshire.

          ”Too much is at stake to allow Labour to retake Batley and Spen unchallenged. The constituency is part of a region that has been turned upside down by mass immigration, with mosques sprouting like triffids, Islamic extremism proliferating, child-rape gangs still on the loose, and long-standing English communities under threat of demographic eradication.

          “The Labour Party has blood on its hands. And by shutting down debate and labelling working class people concerned about their communities as racists, they risk driving desperate, disenfranchised people to further horrendous acts like this.”

          It seems a vote for Buckley will be a vote for the assassin, who was just a desperate, disenfranchised person driven to this murder by the Labour Party and their ilk.

          • Inspector General

            You do realise your Red mates only tolerate a Christian fellow traveller like you only for the time being. Don’t you…

          • Jack is neither of the right nor of the left, Inspector.

          • carl jacobs

            [cough]

          • Inspector General

            That’s what your Marxist interrogators will be noting down, Jack. By the way, it’s not the right answer you’ve given. Not for them…

          • Eustace

            “Mosques sprouting like triffids…”

            And there you have it. Confirmation that the far right really is off its head.

            How does a triffid sprout? Ever seen one doing it? Ever seen that equally fictitious God of yours?

            No, I thought not….

          • The Explorer

            Ah Eustace, old perennial, still here I see. We were speculating that you might be in the process of assuming another guise. Four points.

            1. Jack was quoting some one else. When we do that, we are not responsible for some one else’s imagery.

            2. Buckby (someone I’ve never heard of, any more than I’d heard of Jo Cox before the tragedy) used a simile. With a simile, licence is allowable. We could legitimately say “like a Cyclops” and make sense: even though the Cyclops does not exist in Nature.

            3. The Triffids proliferated after the population was blinded. That seems like an extraordinarily perceptive (in the circumstances) choice of simile, rooted in reality.

            4. As for the proliferation of mosques in Yorkshire, google Mosques in Dewsbury. If you include Islamic centres, there are twenty six. And the population of Dewsbury is only 63 thousand. Sprouting seems not inappropriate. (I speak as one without a regional axe to grind; I don’t live in Yorkshire.)

          • Eustace

            1. Jack can quote whoever he likes. If he quotes far right sources, those quotes can be cited as evidence of far right attitudes.

            2. Buckby used an intentionally derogatory simile designed to make us equate mosques with a fictional bloodthirsty, murderous alien life form. Have you ever seen anyone killed by a mosque? Have you ever seen a mosque lash out and blind someone? How about ambulatory mosques? Do they pull up their foundations and wander about the countryside?

            The intention was to bracket mosques (and therefore Muslims) and triffids together, with the implication that the one is just as alien and murderous as the other. That’s not only libelous, it’s also clearly untrue. Many millions of Muslims who live in this country and elsewhere have never committed a murder. In “The Day of the The Triffids” every triffid had to kill – and would kill – to survive. If you’ve ever sat beside a Muslim on a bus or a train and survived to tell the tale, you know that comparing Muslims to triffids is a gross distortion of the truth. Muslims don’t go around slaughtering indiscriminately. Some Muslims are killers, but then so are some Christians, some Jews and some Atheists.

            3. So when were the British blinded? I still have full use of my eyesight, and all my other senses too. So do all of my neighbours. I know a couple of blind people, but they’ve been blind for many years. And they see much more clearly than the average fascist. They’ll all be voting to Remain on Thursday. That’s what I call extremely clear vision.

            4. Mosques will “sprout” wherever Muslims settle in numbers. Islam is a religion with high observance rates, so 26 Islamic centres for a population of 63,000 is not in any way a surprising figure. Are you proposing to ban new mosques? You, the great champion of religious freedom, want to ban the public practice of a rival faith?

            Now I know I’m talking to a blinkered theocrat.

          • The Explorer

            For Linus watchers, some classic Linus tactics to admire.

            Quoting far right or far left does not mean one has those beliefs oneself: any more than being a witness in court and quoting something said by the accused makes one complicit with the accused.

            A ‘church’ can be a building, or the people inside it. Ditto a mosque. When we speak of ‘Parliament’ passing a vote we do not mean Big Ben coming to a decision in consultation with the neighbouring masonry.

            In addition to simile, we have metaphor. We say Justice is blind, by which we mean we hope that it is impartial. Blinding the public can mean depriving them of information that might influence their views. Jean Monnet’s statement that “European nations should be guided towards the superstate without their people understanding what is happening,” is a good example of blinding by under informing.

            63 000 is the total population of Dewsbury, not just the Muslims: who are probably around 20% of that. Muslim religious observance is, indeed, highly laudable. To cite an example of rapid proliferation is not necessarily to pass a judgment: it is simply to give evidence.

            You are quite right that triiffids is a pejorative comparison: although accurate in terms of growth.

          • CliveM

            I think what you’re saying is he’s a mendacious old fraud.

          • The Explorer

            I doubt that the ‘triffid’ comparison was intended to be as exact as Eustace would like it to be. The triffids communicated by beating sticks against their stem. Presumably not even Eustace would suggest Muslims communicate in the same manner.

            “Some Muslims are killers, but then so are some Christians, some Jews and some Atheists.” Yes. Except look at the breakdown of 9/11, Madrid bombing, London bombing, Mumbai, Fort Hood, Drummer Rigby, Boston, Paris (three incidents), San Bernadino, Tunisia, Brussels, Orlando. How many of those were perpetrated by Christians, Jews or Atheists?

          • CliveM

            Linus and Jon have one thing in common. They are not interested in what is being said, rather they are interested in what they wish was being said. So it doesn’t matter how you respond or clarify, they won’t address the truth.

            But as moral truth is simply relative, its sole function being the control of the community to enable is efficient function, we shouldn’t be surprised.

          • Pubcrawler

            The total population where I live is around twice that of Dewsbury, yet there is only one Islamic centre. So 26 for half that looks pretty remarkable to me.

          • The Explorer

            Dewsbury’s Markazi Mosque is one of the most important mosques in the English-speaking world, and the European headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat. So with a religious centre like that, maybe Dewsbury is a bit special.

          • Hi explorer ,

            Also it’s worth noting Eustace is being ghastly about the Triffid community when he describes them as “a fictional bloodthirsty, murderous alien life form “. Clearly he’s never a Triffid before. I think many Triffids will feel this smacks of Triffidphobia , speciesim and colonel blimp types attitudes…..

          • The Explorer

            Say it with flowers. Give him a triffid.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            That’ll Wyndham up!

          • Sybaseguru

            Suggest you read “Day of the Triffids” by John Wyndham to round out your education. No doubt you can explain what caused the world to exist “Ex nihilo” as science has failed so far, and its 90 years since “Big Bang” was first proposed so its not from lack of trying.

          • Eustace

            I have read “The Day of The Triffids”. I’ve seen the film and the miniseries too. Works of fiction, all of them. But not in the weird alternate reality of the far right, where immigrants are evil, greedy interlopers whose sole aim is to conquer and enslave the English.

            Works of dystopian fiction bear no reality to life as we know it. Next they’ll be telling us that immigrants are actually zombies and must be taken out with a blow to the head.

            Unlike religion, real science (as opposed to the fictional kind) does not pretend to be in possession of all knowledge. We don’t know what started the Big Bang because we don’t (yet) have access to the relevant data. This in no way invalidates what we do know. And what we know is that not a single, tangible shred of evidence of the existence of the Christian God has ever been found and verified by independent scientific review. All we have are fantastical claims and outlandish stories, like wafers that turn into human flesh when a few words of mumbo-jumbo are pronounced over them by a Christian witch doctor, or wine that turns into human blood in similar circumstances, or people coming back from the dead. None of these events has ever been verified and backed up with solid scientific data. It’s all just hearsay, rumour and wishful thinking.

            I’m far more reassured by my lack of knowledge than I am by Christians’ pretended access to all knowledge. They only think they know it all, whereas I know I don’t. But I also know that it’s possible to find out more, which gives me reasonable hope for future knowledge.

            There’s nothing reassuring in the motley collection of Christian fairy stories and fables supported by nothing more than “it’s true, believe me, I know it is…” Who are you and what exactly do you know and more importantly, why do think anyone is going to believe you?

          • Sybaseguru

            Excellent logic: we don’t know what it is, but it can’t be God! Suggest you take up the water/wine bit with a catholic as to me its symbolic. Do you challenge all use of simile, symbolism etc – if so, then you clearly believe in zombies as you’ve introduced them. I’d love to know how many you know personally.

          • Given the hyperbole and excess that springs forth from your pen, you’re hardly one to comment.

      • David

        It’s not worth the inevitable torrent of false outrage from the MSM which will disaffect the naive, and we’d lose their votes.

        • Oh! David, with that negative outlook nobody would get anywhere. Read Bluedog’s reply to this.

          • David

            You clearly have a very different political calculus to me. If Ukip stood they’d be attacked from all sides. Is that what you want ?

          • People should have a choice. I’m not saying UKIP wont be attacked, but they’ve got to fight back, they will be all the stronger for overcoming the adversity.

          • David

            You’d be setting them up for an own goal. That’s all you’d achieve.

          • bluedog

            Don’t agree. There are clearly two distinct demographics in Batley & Spen, the old white working class and the Muslims. UKIP would potentially win the white vote 100% after the death of Cox, leaving the Muslims to Labour. If UKIP win the seat and others like it, the MSM can carry on all they like. Would the voters care? No.

            The death of Cox may well be a transformative electoral event in ways that are not yet obvious.

      • bluedog

        Why not? The idea of a Labour luvvie getting a free office of profit under the Crown is very wrong. Give them a run for their money, but no announcement before 24th June.

    • Uncle Brian

      And the individual is free, of course, to let it be known on the grapevine that once he takes his seat in the House of Commons he will consistently vote the same way as the Conservative Party, or as the Lib Dems, or as that nice Mr Farage and his Kippers …

      • Why on the “grapevine”. If s/he is standing one would expect them to present their views during the campaign.

        • Uncle Brian

          I’m afraid that might be seen as a breach of the agreed rule that none of the main parties, other than Labour, will field a candidate of their own.

  • Well said YG.

  • David

    A very pragmatic political calculation lies at the root of this decision. Given that the seat is a very safe “Labour” one, Cameron, that lover of pensioners and the disabled, is not giving up very much; however he believes that he is gaining a great deal through his virtue signalling. The truth is though, that the voters of that constituency are effectively, being disenfranchised.
    So what price the democratic principle ? The answer to that question is that, all the political elite attach a far lower price to that principle than they do to the importance of their own political manoeuvrings.

  • The Explorer

    It emerges that Jo Cox was working on a report about violence towards Muslims, especially women. Good for her. I assume the projected report contained appropriate details about honour killings (the ultimate in violence, after all, against Muslim women) and a comparable analysis about violence to underage non-Muslim females committed by the grooming gangs.

    • bluedog

      Sailing close to the wind there, Mr Explorer. Perhaps one should add that this sort of report should be presented at an Iftar dinner with places reserved for the local LGBT community to share experiences and reject Islamophobia.

      • Anton

        Sadiq Khan voted for gay marriage; let him explain it.

    • Dreadnaught

      It would be a damn sight more effective if Muslim women/men took this on board and did it themselves through existing channels provided under common law. They cant declare themselves special cases because of their ‘religion/culture’ then do bugger all to reform that primitive Paki/Somali village mindset.

      • Uncle Brian

        See the current issue of Private Eye for news of an outfit called Muslim Women’s Network:

        http://www.private-eye.co.uk/hp-sauce

        • Dreadnaught

          What is needed is the equivalent of ‘Burn your Bra’ – Burn your Burka’ or better still walk away from this so call religion – oh wait on… that could be regarded suicide by death wish.
          This country of ours has to be less squeamish about calling out multiculturalism for being a corrosive failure of policy that is destroying the British culture.

  • len

    The tide of public opinion is swaying back and forth regarding the referendum on the EU.It would be rather strange if the actions of one person with mental health problems decided the outcome?.I speak of course of the assassin of Jo Cox.
    Some people will vote ‘Remain’ with their heart out of sympathy for Jo Cox rather than with their head after weighing up the reality of staying in the EU and all the problems that will entail?.

    • preacher

      The thing the people have to bear in mind is that this awful crime has nothing to do with the way they should vote on Thursday.
      There is so much more at stake. The future of this country, our children & grandchildren our economy – in short our whole future. Whether we are content to be ruled by a foreign unelected self sustaining government who make rules that must be kept by their law, who cannot be voted out if, or when we disagree.
      They are untouchable – Veto’s don’t work because of the rules they have made to protect themselves, they answer to no one & have proved that they control the monetary systems of member countries & can send their own chosen ambassadors to rule over once sovereign countries.
      If we stay in, we shall cease to be a country, but be relegated to being a state of Northern Europe, as such we will be forced to obey & our prosperity will be taken & stored safely for their future use.
      There is more, but it’s all readily available for those that can be bothered to research.
      So what is the connection with the Murder of Jo Cox you ask – it’s this, our men went to war seventy odd years ago & died in their thousands, many still in their teens or twenties, others from the Commonwealth died with them & other nationals also sacrificed themselves, to protect the freedom & democratic rights of our countries.
      If we sign away our sovereign rights those men will have died in vain. The E.U boasts that there has been peace in Europe for decades because of it’s existence – it’s a lie !. Without the sacrifice of those men & boys, there would not be a Europe to have a European Union in. The blood of those patriots liberated France, Belgium, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland & so on.
      If we sign it away at the stroke of a pen, we might as well lived under the Third Reich all those years ago, Hitler would have settled for a non violent surrender – on his own terms of course which is the same choice that is now on offer from the European Commission.
      Jo Cox was too young to remember those terrible times so her choice as many others will be is made on the back of predictions, half truths & lies. But that is the choice that she made. Beware of falling into the same trap.

      • Merchantman

        The EU is a rerun of all Britain has struggled to oppose since the 16th century.

      • IanCad

        I’d like to give you several for that Mr Preacher. One will have to do.

        • preacher

          Thanks Ian, remember Chamberlain “Peace in our Time!” ?.

          Blessings. P.

  • David

    Let’s not be naive. The timing of her murder is extremely suspicious. Because MPs being murdered, or dying suddenly in mysterious circumstances, is fortunately very rare, the question must be raised, whether this was a politically inspired assassination to stop the rise of the Brexit vote ? I doubt whether this will ever be properly investigated as the police and the establishment will want the matter closed as soon as possible.

    • whs1954

      Bloody Nora… you’re saying this was a plot carried out by Remain to hold down the Leave vote. Really?

      • David

        Please read the words I wrote, “the timing of her murder is extremely suspicious”. Beyond that I shan’t conjecture, not on this thread anyway. Just seek the truth I suggest.

        • bluedog

          In the choice between cock-up and conspiracy, cock-up usually wins. As a murder trial is pending it would be quite wrong to try and reconstruct the likely course of events in a public forum. One can possibly get close on the basis of information disclosed and reasonable supposition.

          But if you want a conspiracy, let’s consider the possibility that Warsi’s volte face is predicated on a promised return to the Cabinet after 23rd June if Brexit fails!

          • David

            Yes, cock-ups are more common than conspiracies. But both causes are sometimes correct. As I said, the timing of this makes me suspicious.

          • bluedog

            And it’s only Monday…

          • David

            I think that Len’s thoughtful comments below express the potential political potency for harnessing the sympathy vote. Do you think that the world is run by “nice” people ? I don’t !

          • Maalaistollo

            For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12) Does Satan object to Brexit?

          • David

            I agree.
            In the UK the interests of the EU have been advanced by lies, deceptions and stealth. So make your own mind up.

          • William Lewis

            Indeed. The timing may be more demonic than conspired.

    • bluedog

      Sounds like one for Chilcot.

    • CliveM

      Well I’m going to be naive, I’m find nothing suspicious about this at all. Tragic and sad. But not suspicious. I don’t think this is anything to get paranoid over. I see no conspiracy.

      • David

        A popular choice you’ve selected there.
        However unless the full facts are thoroughly investigated, which I doubt will happen, no one can be sure.
        But you may wish to just reflect on what the probability is, of a high profile death like this occurring at precisely the right time, which just happens to have a significant, maybe crucial, effect on an impending historic decision.

        • CliveM

          Well it’s wrong to speculate, but considering what we know to date, I see nothing suspicious.

          • David

            Why is it wrong to conjecture ?

          • CliveM

            Conjecture to me all to often borders onto gossip. Things are heard, magnified upon, treated as fact. A woman is dead and a man has been arrested. What more do we actually know?

          • David

            You may conflate gossip with conjecture, if you wish. I shan’t.

          • CliveM

            I’ve said why I think it’s wrong, why do you believe it to be right?

          • David

            In the pursuit of truth, we sometimes have to ask questions. It is that simple.

          • CliveM

            “an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information.”

            Asking a question is different.

          • David

            Conjecturing is a form of questioning.

          • CliveM

            Conjecture has its place. I’m not sure that place is in relation to a murder.

          • David

            Why not ? Is this not one of the ways that we interrogate and investigate the world, including evil acts. The act of murder was clearly, in Christian terms a sin. So why should we not bring our normally inquiring minds to bear on it ? But perhaps for most people it is easier not to entertain the horrors that may lie in the background.

          • bluedog

            If your hypothesis has a rational basis it lies within the well-known guerilla warfare tactic of bombing your own people to enrage them. This tactic was employed extensively in the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. If you are drawing parallels with the death of David Kelly, it would appear that the motivation of his killer(s) was completely different. A great deal is going to depend on the testimony of the accused in the Cox case, and the nature of the questions asked. Will we learn how a supposedly intellectually challenged and unstable individual who never held a job was able to negotiate the acquisition of a gun? If the government makes the mistake of holding the hearing in camera, your position is vindicated.

          • sarky

            Because a women, wife and mother has lost her life. Have some respect.

          • David

            Please demonstrate how seeking truth, and conjecture often leads us to it, does in any way show disrespect. We respect by seeking to understand, and not by averting our gaze from what may be unpalatable truth.

    • Eustace

      And the conspiracy theory nutters come wriggling out of the woodwork right on cue…

      • David

        It appears that simply asking questions and wondering is now seriously out of fashion.

    • The Explorer

      I can’t remember any details, but I seem to recall an incident during the Newbury Bypass Protests of 1996 in which a young and pretty protester was killed. I think she fell off a parked lorry full of protesters, and there was speculation as to whether she had fallen or been pushed.

      Some said the developers had done it to discourage the protesters; others that the protesters had done it to one of their own to shame the developers. As far as I remember, a rather-rapid verdict of accidental death was arrived at: which may, or may not, have been the correct analysis.

    • Dreadnaught

      Oh no… not the Grassy Knoll again!

    • sarky

      I’m sorry but this sort of theorising is tawdry to say the least. I would prefer the whole thing to be called off than for it to cost a life.

      • David

        Many lives are already being irreparably blighted in the hopelessness of never ending unemployment in much of southern Europe. Hopefully Brexit will knock the first support out from under this rotten, undemocratic and elitist pile.

        • sarky

          People with your attitude are why brexit could lose.

          • David

            Meaning ?

      • Anton

        There is no exchange rate between any of (a) money; (b) human life; and (c) constitutional issues. It is most important to think of each separately.

  • Dreadnaught

    Donald Tusk:
    “Whatever [the referendum] result is going to be, we must take a long, hard look on the future of the Union. We would be foolish if we ignored such a warning signal as the UK referendum. There are more signals of dissatisfaction with the Union coming from all of Europe, not only from the UK”.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2016/jun/20/eu-referendum-live-warsi-leave-parliament-recalled-jo-cox?page=with:block-5767dd42e4b0bdbb38e5dece#block-5767dd42e4b0bdbb38e5dece

    • Uncle Brian

      At least since Britain joined the “Common Market”, if not earlier, there has been a perceived need among the Eurocrats for a constant, ceaseless impetus in the direction of “ever closer union”. Why? Why did they have to keep tampering with the formula? Perhaps it’s like a boy on a bike. Anyone can learn to ride a bicycle, but it takes an acrobat to remain balanced on a bicycle that’s standing still. If the EU should ever decide that it has already achieved as close a union as it wants, and from now on there will be no more convergence, no more forward movement, then that may very well be the end of the ride. The boy won’t be able to keep his bike standing upright and he’ll fall off.

      • IrishNeanderthal

        De Gaulle spoke of a “union des patries”, but that is not, methinks, the same as the “ever closer union of peoples” meant by the Eurofounders.

      • Dreadnaught

        Why did they have to keep tampering with the formula?

        They have their careers and pensions to think of and as we know, ‘work’ will expand to fit the time available.

  • Inspector General

    Overpopulation is a curious thing. Take Japan. They’ve been overcrowded for decades. In fact, curing it was a cause for their participation in the 39 45 war. Oh, yes, the point. If a couple do manage to get a place there, the mortgage is only paid off by their children. Think they run for about 80 years. Such is the price of property in Japan. Of course, that’s not just in their ‘south east’ either…

    • IanCad

      Careful here Inspector. What defines overpopulation?

      • Inspector General

        Shall we call it unable to buy a home of your own. Now, that would bring us back to Victorian standards, when half the income went on rent. For ever.

        • IanCad

          My concern was, Inspector, that the eugenecists and fellow travelers are great advocates of population reduction. By whatever means necessary.

          • Inspector General

            Nature has her own way to deal with overpopulation, Ian. Pestilence, plague, Islamic jihadism to name but a few…step forward super rat from a few years ago. He’s poison resistant, don’t you know…

          • IanCad

            Agreed! Nature runs a hard school.

  • The European Human Rights commissioner is calling Poland’s abortion laws a violation of human rights:

    It maintains that compulsory sex education in school is “essential to guarantee women’s sexual and reproductive rights,” lamenting the fact parents have the right to exempt their children from classes …

    The report comments that access to contraception is hindered by the conscientious objection of doctors who refuse to prescribe them and pharmacists refusing to provide them …

    It further complains that children must have parental permission for contraceptives and that many contraceptive devices are not covered by health insurance.

    Poland, a traditionally Catholic country, has the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, yet it still allows abortion at any stage of gestation for the “life and health” of the mother, if the fetus has an “incurable or life-threatening ailment,” or when the pregnancy is the result of a criminal act — allowing abortion through the 12th week of gestation.

    Although the mother isn’t punished if she procures an abortion outside the legal limits, anybody who assists her in an abortion is guilty of a criminal offense.

    The report proceeds to bash a 1996 law allowing medical professionals the right to conscientious objection with regard to medical procedures, including abortion and the prescribing of contraceptives. It mentions that it has not just been individual doctors but entire healthcare facilities appealing to the law.

    “This is illustrated by the fact that almost 4,000 Polish doctors signed a ‘Declaration of Faith of Catholic doctors and medical students regarding human sexuality and fertility’ expressing their commitments to following ‘divine law’ in their professional work.”

    It complains that “the vast majority of medical practitioners and other health personnel exercised the right to conscientious objection, thereby preventing effective access to abortion procedures and undermining the right of women to the protection of their health.” …

    The commission’s recommendation is not law but the European Union can attempt to force Poland to comply through financial penalties.

    • Eustace

      There’s an organisation called Women on Waves that helps women living in countries with restrictive abortion laws and a coastline to get around the ban.

      They let women wanting an abortion board their boat, which then sails into international waters where, as the vessel is registered in the Netherlands, Dutch law applies. The termination can then take place legally.

      It’s already visited Poland, so at least some Polish women were allowed to reclaim the autonomy over their own bodies stolen from them by their repressive government.

      • bluedog

        Brilliant! Will you be extending the principle to euthanasia? Now that the graveyards are filling, burial at sea is the sustainable solution.

        • Eustace

          Not a bad idea. I wonder if Dignitas could be persuaded to charter a boat. Not sure if a sea-going vessel can be registered in a land-locked country though. So perhaps the Dutch or the Belgians could do it.

          And you’re right, burial at sea is a very eco-conscious and green option.

          Britain’s already had Radio Caroline, so in principle there’s no reason why the offshore alternative can’t be used to circumvent other repressive laws that prevent the individual exercising his or her own personal sovereignty.

          • bluedog

            A disused oil-rig platform with a helicopter landing area would ideal.

          • Pubcrawler

            Sealand

          • Eustace

            You clearly don’t have much experience of helicopters, or understand how temperamental the wretched things are, and how much they and the prima donnas who pilot them cost to run.

            And anyway, oil rigs are unpleasant places and not where most of us would choose to end our days. Much better to shuffle off this mortal coil in a well appointed cabin on board an elegant yacht. If you’re going to do it, you may as well do it in style.

          • bluedog

            You’re quite right about helicopters, can’t stand the things and one has hired a few in one’s time. Never confident they won’t just fall out of the sky when the engine stops.

            Otherwise, agreed in principle, but one never goes broke underestimating the public’s taste and the mass market is where the money is made. A tastefully revamped oil rig could appeal to the lower orders and the helicopter ride gives a rather exotic twist to arrival and subsequent departure. Cue theme music from Apocalypse Now mixed in with The Wind beneath my Wings, you know the sort of thing. Bear in mind if this works, a number of ceremonies will be conducted simultaneously so a semi-industrial location is operationally required. Different ‘themes’ would need to be accommodated. One can imagine that the chef’s lobster thermidor would be a smash hit at the wakes.

            As to the top end of the market, there’s a large, blue, used yacht tied up somewhere near Edinburgh that would possibly appeal to those seeking a more bespoke experience. Indeed, the former owner may shortly call on its services.

          • Eustace

            Top end of the market? Britannia? A floating monument to threadbare chintz and faded 50s elegance? You have to be kidding, surely?

            Granted, she’s better than an oil sheikh’s gold and marble gin palace. But desperately middle class, as anything the Coburgs touch always is.

            No, much better idea to charter Atatürk’s old hulk and turn that into a floating clinic, complete with “Well Woman” and “Happy Release” decks. She’ll have to be re-registered in Amsterdam of course, as you couldn’t have Turkish law in force on board. But despite all the bullion and glitz inside, she has (unlike dumpy old Britannia) beautiful lines, and all that marble should be very useful in a health care context. Easy to scrub down and disinfect…

          • Anton

            Elegance of ships’ lines? Helicopters? Versions of Day of the Triffids? We could have some good conversations if only you were less caustic. I regard Britannia’s lines as reasonably elegant and you have to be very careful with too much marble, because top-heavy = bad roller in heavy seas. But do say more about Ataturk’s yacht and its history.

          • bluedog

            Hmmm, had to google Savarona as haven’t been closely following the steam yacht market. Certainly impressive, but somewhat intimidating and unwelcoming. Pics of the interior suggest a distinctly garish and ostentatious touch, hardly surprising for a former floating brothel now used by the Turkish president (cough) for state purposes.

            Dear old Britannia. Veteran of so many ceremonies of retreat from empire and with that slightly down at heel country house interior. Let’s face it, the RN never did Phillipe Starck, although he’s become something of a cliche now. One can imagine no better place for one’s own retreat from empire, if it should ever come to that.

          • Eustace

            Yes, Savarona is a gin palace below decks, but above she’s as graceful as they come. A fashion model’s slim and well-turned ankle compared to Britannia’s sad mirroring of her former owner’s lower leg. A straight up and down cankle that might have been acceptable in the 50s when chunky was chic, but is sadly off trend in the 21st century.

            It’s a good thing for the nation that Britannia was retired. In her current state Kate Middleclass would have spurned her and sent her off to a shipyard for the boat-building equivalent of rib removal, a butt lift and major liposuction. The interior refit would have been placed in the hands of someone suitably neutral like Conran or, in a bid to win plaudits for modesty and economy, Ikea. The result would have been akin to a floating W hotel – hugely expensive for not very much. The perfect decaffeinated backdrop for the perfect decaffeinated duchess.

            Those dumpy York girls can breathe a sigh of relief. No photocalls on a pale and anorexic yacht next to their cousin’s pale and anorexic wife. As long as they perfect the art of staying a wide-angled lens’s distance behind their bookmark of an in-law, preferably with massive and slimming backdrops like Buckingham Palace and the Round Tower at Windsor behind them, they’re safe from unobliging comparisons in the popular press. Herded together on the deck of a minimalist yacht, they would have looked like two dazed Herefords being rounded up by a whippet. So Granny’s loss is being huge, sorry, Bea’n’Euge’s gain.

            It’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow some Coburg somewhere any good…

          • bluedog

            Yes, one has to concede that the Hanoverian iteration of the House of York leaves a lot to be desired.

          • Inspector General

            You really do hate humanity don’t you? Whereas the Inspector only despises some of it, you included, oddly enough…

      • Poland is making its own laws through democratic means and the EU is attempting to bully them.
        Perhaps you should organise “Queers on the Waves”.

        • Pubcrawler

          Hello, sailor!

          Would they be dragged up on deck?

        • Eustace

          Several steps ahead of you, old bigot. I’ve been organizing parties on board my little tub for several years now. Angling for an invitation, are you?

          Sorry, centenarians not allowed. Especially pious Catholic ones. You might witness something that gives you a seizure, and medical evacuation is such a bother at sea. Wheeling out and dusting off the helicopter means clearing the dance floor. And the only crew member who knows how to fly the thing is also the only one who can mix a decent vodka Martini, so your chances of making it back to shore alive would be slim to none.

          We might be able to videoconference you with a Catholic priest for the last rites, but really, would we want to clutter up the satellite link with such a pointless exercise?

          No, you’d be better off staying on dry land where you can disapprove and condemn to your heart’s content, safe in the knowledge that the emergency services are just a phone call away.

          • Been playing ‘make believe’ with your bath toys, Linus?

      • Anton

        If Polish women wish to kill the unborn children they chose to conceive then be it on their conscience, but at least the Polish State has clean hands.

        • Eustace

          States don’t have hands. Or consciences. They’re intangible concepts that exist only in the minds of people who believe in them. As such they have no form, no mind and certainly no physical existence.

          What you really mean is that the majority of people who identify as Poles and who support a ban on abortion feel satisfaction at the thought of compelling a woman to have a child she doesn’t want. They revel in the thought of bending her body to their will. After all, she has to be punished for the grievous sin of not wanting the child, doesn’t she?

          I wonder what she thinks of them? Not that her opinion means anything to them, of course. Who gives a damn about the thoughts and feelings of a baby-making machine? Do they even have any?

          • Anton

            She should have thought of the consequences before getting pregnant. After that she is responsible for two lives, not one.

          • Eustace

            A fetus is not independently alive until it can survive outside the womb. So there’s no question of a woman bearing any responsibility for its “life” until it actually has one.

            And as for the consequences, as the guilt and suffering associated with terminations comes principally from outside sources, e.g. bigotted Christians who want to force women into obeying the tenets of their faith, every woman who has the misfortune to be associated with members of such a rigid and intransigeant sect will indeed have to consider very carefully what she does.

            Will 9 months of gestation followed by a painful and possibly damaging birth and a struggle against hormones that have evolved to bond mother to child be preferable to the lifetime of odium and persecution visited on her by her Christian entourage if she decides to abort?

            It might be. But that’s the choice she’ll have to make if she wants Christians in her life. If she doesn’t, she can have her termination and get on with it. But (imaginary) hell hath no fury like a Christian thwarted in his attempt to control a woman’s body, so pity the poor lady who has an abortion in the face of Christian opposition in her close circle. They’ll make her pay…

          • Anton

            “A fetus is not independently alive until it can survive outside the womb. So there’s no question of a woman bearing any responsibility for its “life””

            The key word here is “independently”. By your criterion a man placed on a life support system in hospital after a major operation is not independently alive either, yet he is expected to recover with time. Would you say that pulling his plug is not taking a life?

            “the guilt and suffering associated with terminations come principally from outside sources, e.g. bigotted Christians”

            I’m sure you will agree that people do not find it easy to accept that they have done something wrong. Is it possible that we simply assist people in overcoming their denial? Those who find forgiveness afterwards speak of a great weight being lifted from them.

            And, going back one: “States don’t have hands. Or consciences.”

            Yes and No.

          • Eustace

            Sigh. The same old threadbare arguments…

            Yes, a man on life support has independent life. He has a history and an identity and probably people who depend on him. His independent life may require support for a little while, but only as an interval in an otherwise continuous state of independence.

            An early term foetus has no history and no identity. It has never existed as an independent being. It is not alive in the sense that you and I and a man on life support are alive. It can’t think, it can’t feel, it’s completely inert. It doesn’t have brain activity or a central nervous system. This changes as it matures and once it’s capable of surviving outside the womb, we can say it’s alive. Before then, as its existence depends on the life of the woman who carries it, it’s really just an extension of her body and therefore totally under her control.

            And no, Christians assist nobody when they cast blame around. They take their own arbitrary moral standards and try to convince everyone they’re universal. The guilt they try to engender is nothing more than a weapon in their never-ending struggle for domination and control. Some fall for it. Others see through the strategem and recognise it for what it is.

          • Anton

            You have altered your criteria for being a human who should not be put to death at the whim of another, from “having independent life” to “having independent life and a history”. Nothing wrong with changing your mind, but if you don’t admit that that’s what you are doing then it does rather look as if you are making it up as you go along.

          • Inspector General

            We are NOT machines, you evil blighter…

  • Happy Jack will be doing a Live Feed tonight at 8pm presenting an informative and non biased review regarding the EU referendum.

    • IanCad

      Come again??!!

    • Where?

      • Wait, wait. No, Jack won’t. He’ll be watching England play Slovakia in In Euros.

        Apologies.

        • Aw, well I’m watching Nigel, Kate Hoey, and David Davis live in Gateshead now anyway.

        • dannybhoy

          Population of Wales… approx 3.2 million.
          Wales beats Russia 3-0.
          Population of England… 53 million
          England draws with Slovakia 0-0

          (thinks)
          If we stay in the EU will Germany lend us their football team?

          • Inspector General

            There won’t be any ‘regional’ teams in the EU, silly. Just an EU one. The German team…

          • dannybhoy

            Gotcha! But perhaps it will be a Englishman that runs on with the bottled water…?

          • Pubcrawler

            If he doesn’t pull a hamstring crossing the line.

          • dannybhoy

            I had such high hopes (winking furiously)
            English Football; “Mediocribus esse omnia”

          • Pubcrawler

            The 25% of me that is of Welsh origin is probably happy, though.

          • Pubcrawler

            Half of it of Turkish origin.

          • Ivan M

            About time you fellows fielded a UK team, instead of riding on Imperial priviledges.

          • dannybhoy

            There is something to be said for that as an ideal but not so much as an intention. English football is less a sport,more an entertainment. My guess is that the reason England’s national team continues its downwards trend is because it’s driven more by money than patriotism.

  • IanCad

    About an hour ago HG posted this speech by Peter Shore (Lab)
    Truly, it is a must watch.
    Our blood is cold and slow. PC and H&SE have seen to that.

    • William Lewis

      Was there a link?

      • IanCad

        I’m sorry William, that was very remiss of me:

        • Pubcrawler

          Fearsome! A sad reminder of what minnows we have in Parliament four decades on.

          • Anton

            This is a myth. Westminster was always full of mediocrities with a few decent rhetoricians and one or two men of principle.

          • bluedog

            There’s always been a fine line between Pentonville and the House of Lords. Never more so than today.

          • Pubcrawler

            Yes, perhaps the present blanket media presence in our lives necessarily means that the media-trained ‘on message’ minnows are more to the fore these days.

        • William Lewis

          Thanks. Powerful stuff.

  • Dreadnaught

    The Saint Jo the Martyr campaign will deliver a remain decision.
    If such a saintly person was so driven to remain (see the White Rosed Commons today) that it cost her her life its only right that we honour her memory with a vote to remain.
    Every numpty who er-before couldn’t give a toss either way will be making their tear stained mark in her name.
    Democracy? more like Shamocracy.

    • Inspector General

      Bit of the old Catholic faith showed itself today – a beatification, no less…

      • Dreadnaught

        I almost used that very word… but thought no, I can’t, not li’l ol’ atheist me.

        • Inspector General

          Now comes the difficult bit. a couple of miracles. Perhaps a cure for Linus and his problems. A tall order but there’s enough there to count as two…

          • Dreadnaught

            My money is on Linus taking up cage fighting.

          • Inspector General

            Perhaps his hard drives mysteriously wiped overnight. That would devastate him. All those {Ahem} ‘images’ lost…

    • CliveM

      Nauseating isn’t it.

    • chiefofsinners

      Things are looking up, boys. Baroness Warsi has changed sides.

      • Inspector General

        What! Gone back to the Punjab…

        • bluedog

          Perhaps she’ll be using the Foreign Aid budget to build a gated retirement village for superannuated British politicians of Pakistani origin.

          • Inspector General

            Still, she’s done damn well for a taxi driver’s daughter. Er, she is a taxi driver’s daughter, isn’t she? All the rest are…

          • Pubcrawler

            Better ask her mother.

          • Inspector General

            I say, that’s below the belt, old man…

          • Pubcrawler

            Below the Warsi belt?

            *shudders*

          • Pubcrawler

            So long as the gates can only be unlocked from the outside, she’s welcome to it. Perhaps she could take a few of Rochdale’s finest groomers with her — punishment for both parties, you could say.

          • Inspector General

            Calcutta’s gain is our loss, as they say…

          • Pubcrawler

            She’ll fill a much-needed void.

          • Inspector General

            Must use that at work sometime…

          • chiefofsinners

            You are employed?

          • Inspector General

            In the loosest of meanings, one would say.

          • chiefofsinners

            European Commissioner?

          • Inspector General

            EU Secret Policeman, if you must know…

      • Pubcrawler

        Who?

        • chiefofsinners

          Sorry, Barreness Warsi.

      • Pubcrawler

        Apparently Kinnock Snr thinks she’d be an ideal EU Commissioner. Well, never having being elected to any of the positions she’s held does seem to be her favoured mode of career aggrandisement.

      • len

        That’s for today, tomorrow she could change back again.

        • chiefofsinners

          Not that anyone would notice.
          A bit like when David Icke prophesied that Tyne and Wear would fall into the sea.

  • chiefofsinners

    When an Islam-inspired lunatic kills, we hear endless cries that ‘this is not true Islam.’
    When a lunatic latches on to right wing extremism we hear ‘this is a true reflection of the leave campaign.’ parroted by every Remainer.

    If ever a campaign was morally bankrupt, bereft of decency and driven to desperation, this is it. A new nadir for our democracy.

    • dannybhoy

      Right on the money. Total hypocrisy.

    • David

      Agreed.

  • CliveM

    Just heard Kinnock Jr. In Parliament. What a sanctimonious, self righteous, creep. Even worse then his father.

    • Dreadnaught

      No doubt Lloyd-Webber is already setting about writing the score for his next musical – EUvita.

      • bluedog

        ….featuring yet another re-working of Elton John’s Candle in the Wind.

        • chiefofsinners

          Remember Ronnie Corbett? It seemed to me that he lived his life like four candles in the wind.

        • dannybhoy

          Or in light of recent twists and turns ‘a Cameron in the Wind’…

          • Inspector General

            Yes, let’s go to Brussels with him next time. He’ll need a couple of spare arms to help carry back nothing (again)…

        • HedgehogFive

          Expelled colonic wind, of course.

        • Dreadnaught

          I had in mind a variation more along the lines of ‘Oh what a Circus ….’
          Salve regina mater misericordiae
          Vita dulcedo et spes nostra
          Salve salve regina
          Ad te clamamus exules filii Eva
          Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes
          O clemens o pia

      • CliveM

        Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, the horror………..

    • dannybhoy

      His father’s income ensured he got the best possible preparation for a career in politics….

      • CliveM

        I was going to make a response, but decided I had better not :0)

  • IrishNeanderthal

    The Tarantella is a dance widely held to be effective against the bite of venomous spiders (the name Tarantula originally was applied to an Italian species).

    So, next time the poison-filled spider (you know who) bites, here is some music for this dance:

    • chiefofsinners

      Saw this on China’s Got Tarent.

      • Inspector General

        That would be Chris Tarent. If only…

      • Pubcrawler

        On fire this evening, Chief!

        🙂

        • chiefofsinners

          Likewise!

      • dannybhoy

        China’s Got Tarrant.
        -if only.

    • dannybhoy

      You’re not an Italian Neanderthal posing as an Irish Neanderthal, are you?

      • IrishNeanderthal

        No, but this might sound familiar:

        • dannybhoy

          Oh my!

  • I found this from a lady called Toni Bugle
    A few truths about JO COX MP just to get things in perspective.

    The day that Jo Cox was murdered, reporting restrictions were lifted on the fact that a 13-man strong Muslim paedophile ring in Halifax was being sentenced to a total of more than 150 years at Leeds Crown Court. It was a good day for burying bad news. Was Jo silent on the children being abused because of the number of Muslims in her constituency?

    The day before that, Jo and her husband Brendan and their two children were part of multi-millionaire Bob Geldof’s floating gin palace-led flotilla, on the Thames, from which, on behalf of Stronger In Europe, Geldof led a load of drunken oiks in haranguing and verbally abusing our out-of-work fishermen.

    Brendan Cox had to resign from the charity Save the Children fund in November 2015 over multiple allegations of being a sex pest and behaving inappropriately with female members of staff.

    Today, with her body barely cold, her husband Brendan Cox is tweeting out a Go Fund Me link to his wife’s ‘favourite causes’ and one of those is the White Helmets. The White Helmets is not a charity. The White Helmets is well-funded by George Soros’s organisations,, the UK, the US and the Syrian Opposition Party in its work, which is mainly with the rebel group Jabat al-Nusra, the infamous al-Qaeda affiliate. The White Helmets are the military propaganda arm of the Allies attempt at regime change by destabilising Syria – and this is exactly what is causing the refugee component of Europe’s migrant crisis in the first place.

    • Pubcrawler

      Another beneficiary, Hope not Hate (sic), aren’t exactly angels…

    • grutchyngfysch

      But Marie, you can’t insinuate anything against “our Jo”. You can’t take issue with her politics whilst lamenting her murder. You can’t thoroughly oppose what she stood for whilst standing for her right to stand for it. You must just accept that your betters have only pure motivations. Thank your MP. Or else.

    • David

      Well there you go. Not exactly a little angel was she ? But now for the purposes of the Referendum she is being sainted ! It reinforces my suspicion that this might have been a political assassination.

      • preacher

        David, the real truth will come if & when the arrested party is taken to court & answers the charges. Regrettably this will be too late to influence the result of the referendum.
        We must focus on the facts of the need to reach the sentimental folks who have been confused by this killing & feel that a vote for remain will in some way be a vote for Ms Cox.
        As I said earlier approximately 61 million people of the allied side died in W.W 2 to stop the rise of Hitler’s plan for a “United Europe” under his control. Now Junkers, Cameron, Merkel & Co are following the same plan but with lies deceit & veiled threats instead of guns & tanks.
        If those Allies hadn’t died in the Second World War, there would be no E.U !!! .
        One death against 61 million, although reprehensible does not add up to surrendering our future to a foreign political power that will rule us & our descendants for ???.
        Now is not the time to speculate on the cause & effect of the crime, but to strive for a sane result on Thursday. We must not take our eyes of the ball & be sidelined by events, too much is at stake.
        Blessings. P.

        • Anton

          Charlemagne, Napoleon, Hitler… in each case one man tried to put the apparatus in place to rule all Europe. Today the apparatus is being put in place for the man: same plan, different order. I have no idea who he is, but watch out because when times get rough – and we can see them getting rougher before out eyes – the people will want a saviour.

          And no, I don’t necessarily mean the Antichrist/Beast, although given the prophecies I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.

          • Eustace

            ROFL!

            The only European (even if he was born in South America) who has any kind of public profile in all European countries is the Pope. Who else has the kind of exposure that would make citizens of all countries take him seriously? So are you saying the Pope is the Beast? The Antichrist? The Great Deceiver?

            You should team up with Jack’s boyfriend Mundabor. Gibbering conservative wrecks are going to need all the support they can get when we vote to Remain. At least you’ll be able to gibber together as you huddle before your homemade altar waiting for the Apocalypse to begin.

          • Anton

            On this occasion I am making an entirely secular argument and only then looking at the Bible. People consistently try to unify Europe and I trust that you agree with that simple fact of history. When times get rough people look for a saviour, eg the Germans – the most culturally sophisticated nation in Europe in that era – and Hitler. When times get rough again (and do you really think we shall all live happily ever after?) and the EU has an infrastructure in place, it is not too absurd to suppose that a messianic dictator of all Europe will emerge.

            Once we have discussed that, I am willing to discuss the relevant scriptures with you.

          • Eustace

            People don’t consistently try to unify Europe. A few people have attempted to impose their personal authority over the continent, but none of them had any kind of vision of uniting disparate peoples into one coherent whole. Louis XIV and Napoleon were concerned purely with personal power. So was Hitler, with some added crazy ideas about racial, Germanic superiority. None of them had the ambition of seeing Europe united by its own will and for its own good.

            The EU has nothing in common with any previous attempt at a pan-European regime. Trying to equate it with previous dictatorships is utterly ludicrous. There’s never been anything like it before and its future will be equally unique. It takes a real lack of imagination to project the past onto a future that has nothing at all in common with it.

          • bluedog

            ‘There’s never been anything like it (the EU) before and its future will be equally unique.’

            Now that is simply not true. Research the governance of the Holy Roman Empire, which the EU replicates. The HRE had an Emperor (president of the EU Commission) and the emperor was appointed by Electors who were aristocrats of various German speaking states, including Prussia. Compare the role of the HRE Electors with that of the EU Commissioners who decide the EU Commission president. The model used by the EU is identical to that employed by the HRE. Having said that, there is no suggestion that the EU consciously set out to copy the HRE, it just turned out that way.

            Another possible model for the EU is not so much a federated state consisting of the 27 or 28 members, but a greatly expanded Federal Republic of Germany. The precedent for that is the expansion of Prussia in the 19th century, made possible by the defeat of Napoleonic France. Once Prussia had absorbed its ancient rival, Saxony, there was no obstacle to a German empire centred on Berlin.

            One can easily envisage Austria, the Netherlands and the Czech republic being incorporated into an enlarged Federal Republic of Germany. Such an entity would absolutely dominate the EU both economically and in terms of population. If you read the ravings of the current German defence minister, Ursula van der Leyen, you could forgiven for thinking that this idea is already in the process of implementation.

          • Eustace

            The Holy Roman Empire was not a pan-European state. It was a federation of one ethnic group – Germans.

            Various conquests by the Germans brought non-German states into the Empire from time to time, but they didn’t stay there for long and for the vast majority of its thousand year history, it was a German organisation.

            The only exception to this was Bohemia with its Czech majority, which functioned however as a German state with a German elite and large and influential German minority.

            The EU is pan-European and Germany is merely one member among many. No EU member state resembles Bohemia in being dominated by a German minority.

            I repeat, the EU is unique. Never before in history has a diverse range of ethnicities agreed to be bound together in a commonly governed union. Compare it to the Holy Roman Empire all you like. The comparison doesn’t bear even the most rudimentary scrutiny.

          • bluedog

            ‘The comparison doesn’t bear even the most rudimentary scrutiny.’

            You haven’t bothered to read my post which specifically relates to the Governance of the EU in comparison with the HRE. I’m familiar with the history of the HRE and its ethnicity.

            I’ll stick to boats in future, it may be less challenging for you.

        • David

          Sage advice indeed.
          I have just returned this minute from distributing the final leaflet urging “vote Leave” around adjoining villages. With just forty others, including many Christians, we have been working hard for months in Mid-Suffolk to influence our area to support leaving.
          God bless !

          • dannybhoy

            Well done David. Any person male or female who acts in accordance with their convictions deserves our respect.

          • David

            Many thanks.

          • LindaRivera

            David, Thank you so very much for your work of months. Please also thank the others for me and tell them how much I appreciate you all working hard for Leave. God bless you all. I’m a member of patriotic, political anti-Islamisation party, Liberty GB http://www.libertygb.org.uk/
            https://www.facebook.com/LibertyGBParty

          • David

            Many thanks.

    • Anton

      Perhaps, changing the subject a bit, His Grace might sometime write a column about the scandal of charities – including some that claim to be Christian – paying their Chief Executives 6-figure sums while sending a diminishing percentage of donations to the causes they solicit for?

      • Maxine Schell

        Hoping he starts with the Clinton Foundation

    • dannybhoy

      Marie, you’re a mine of information! I copied and printed off that list of British interests gone oob or gone overseas that you printed a few days ago, to give to a neighbour of mine.
      I will try and chase up the facts of your latest comment… :0)

  • IanCad

    I wonder if would be Trump assassin – Michael Steven Sandford – has any social media records indicating he is a Remainer?

    • bluedog

      No records needed. Trump is pro-Brexit, his would-be killer is self-evidently a Remainian.

      • IanCad

        We need to work this for all it is worth.

        • bluedog

          Certainly. It needs a journalist to pick up the story and give it splash coverage. It’s being tucked away out of embarrassment.

      • dannybhoy

        My feeling is that the American political elite will do their very best to ensure Trump never makes it to the White House….
        Remember JFK and The Gipper?

        • bluedog

          Yes, The Donald has his enemies. Can’t really see Melania as FLOTUS, she’s definitely no Jackie Kennedy, more Playboy centrefold. She won’t win the women’s vote, only that of teenage white males too young to vote.

          • IanCad

            “She won’t win the women’s vote–“

          • bluedog

            One should probably consult expert opinion on the merits of Melania, a conversation we haven’t had. But one suspects that the third wife’s perpetual pout and big hair will be regarded with derision.

    • James60498 .

      Possibly not. But of course, anyone who opposes Trump now has to feel that their view is leading people to become murderers and must therefore switch and vote for Trump.

  • The Explorer

    “Not through speeches and majority decisions will the great questions of the day be decided – that was the great mistake of 1848 and 1849 – but by iron and blood.”
    Bismarck’s words related to unification of another sort, but his solution to unification remains a horrible possibility.

    The late intervention by iron and blood might yet determine the outcome of this referendum. German policies on non-EU immigration might yet determine an eventual iron-and blood fate for the EU itself.

    • Eustace

      That’s right, Germany’s going to invade on Friday if the decision goes the wrong way. The Wehrmacht will pour through the Channel tunnel (which is why it was dug, of course) and there’ll be SS officers on every street corner by sunrise.

      I must get sausages and beer in for the weekend…

      • The Explorer

        That hadn’t occurred to me. You really think so? Or are you simply expressing your secret longings?

        Let me explain for you what I meant.

        1. There have been many speeches from both sides trying to influence opinion. Then a woman was murdered: her death involving blood and iron. That might have more effect in determining the outcome than the speeches.

        2. The scale of ongoing immigration from outside the EU is causing unrest in Greece and Germany. If it continues, it could provoke a violent reaction. Britain could vote to remain, but the nature of Europe could be decided not by majority opinion, but by blood and iron.

        PS: Blood is a vital fluid for the human body. Iron is a substance that comes out of the ground and can be used for making weapons. When iron comes forcefully into contact with the human body, the result is bloodshed.