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Conservative Party

"How can a Christian vote Tory?"

 

It has been the most frequent question posed over the past month or so – sometimes emailed or DM’d; most often tweeted, and frequently interrogated in the chat threads. It isn’t only Christians on the left who ask: “How can a Christian vote Tory?”, though they are invariably the most piously judgmental with their patronising incredulity, as though righteous Socialism were somehow ordained by God; and Jesus, were he to walk upon England’s green and pleasant land, wouldn’t think twice about voting Labour in the prayerful hope of a compassionate coalition with the SNP. No, the question is also posed by cynical Conservatives and sceptical Kippers, both world weary of the Cameron brand of counterfeit Conservatism; disappointed with a litany of broken promises; disenchanted by the soft soap of deception; disillusioned with the sweet talk of jam tomorrow, when tomorrow patently never comes.

David Cameron is not the Conservative Party any more that Justin Welby is the Church of England. They presently lead their respective herds of fractious faithful while stewarding centuries of accumulated wisdom and performing the ceremonies of myth. But man’s leadership is ephemeral; his guidance provisional. Values endure.

The Church of England may no longer be the Tory Party at prayer, but surely Christians and Conservatives can agree that the old Anglican political theology has, on balance, been a force for good in the nation, and the exclusive link of Church and State has, historically, been a partnership which has helped to forge identity, impart truth and inculcate a sense of morality. There is no particular moment in history when the Church was established: it has simply always been so – the spiritual and secular united under the authority of the Monarch, anointed and clothed in the priestly vestments of coronation; appointed to rule righteously and justly, in accordance with the Moral Law and the sacred oracles of God.

The Christian does not primarily vote Conservative because of the taxation policy, defence spending, foreign intervention, social theory or manifesto commitments to feed the poor, house the homeless, heal the sick or offer refuge to widows and orphans. All of these are, of course, important, and the Christian may well be inspired to vote, agitate or legislate for a particular shade of liberty. But Conservative opinion in these areas differs, sometimes to the point of philosophical incoherence. Where Conservatism is uncompromising is in the preservation of religion – Christianity – perhaps no longer as its highest duty, but certainly as part of the sacral texture of public life. Conservatism repudiates the abstract truths of socialism and the exalted claims of liberalism: it seeks to govern by the dynamic political trinity of tradition, reason and pragmatism, mindful of the foundations and sensitive to mutable perspectives. It eschews revolution: it is not ‘radical’ in the sense of desiring to sweep away the old paths or attenuate our historical vision to persuade us of the latest revelation.

You may not believe that the Conservative vine is capable of bearing good fruit, and that it ought to be chopped down. You may be persuaded that David Cameron is a false prophet of paternalistic obligation who has conspired to lead an insensitive assault upon hallowed tradition, and that he ought to be cut off. You may, in the heat of political debate, apprehend Christian theology differently, envisage the gospel more socially, or allege another truth. But, please, temper your hostilty to those of us whose disposition inclines toward the prejudices of Edmund Burke channelled through the aspirations and expectations of Disraeli, Peel, Churchill, Macmillan and Thatcher. We do not all seek the patronage of sinecure or the gongs and baubles of honour and favour. Some of us are simply trying – in the coalition of our minds and the gentle pragmatism of our experience – to find the best way of feeding our soul, providing for our family and loving our neighbour. In that order.

  • Phil R

    There has been no essential difference between lib/lab/con for 20 years or so.

    Cameron is essentially Tony B in almost all respects. (Except perhaps Tony B had slightly more intelligence and did not drift with the winds of what the polls say from day to day)

    More concern as a Christian however, is the lib/con behavour towards their manifesto. I don’t think any previous govt has used the manifesto as simply a gimmick to get them into power then to be laughed at and chucked in the bin as soon as the election is over.

    When Tony was in power people voted Lab and got Con. The reverse happened in the last 5 years. No wonder Labour voters are trying out the SNP and both Conservatives and Labour in England, UKIP.

    As a Christian, it matters not whether you vote Lab or Con. To my mind on most issues, they essentially agree with each other and most worrying, (As 60% of the country will vote for them) both see absolutely no worth in virtue.

  • Merchantman

    The only reason is as a block to a Labour- NSP nightmare. None of the parties except UKIP do God. It seems that Conservatives are now cowardly and almost anti Christian, the Liberals are atheist, Labour is Rocky Horror and the NSP is what it says on the can.
    Its clear UKIP is surprisingly the best option.

    • This is the position Jack is coming to. And yet …. will voting Conservative sustain the likes of Cameron as leaders of the party. Is a glaring defeat more likely to lead to reform?

      • bluedog

        On this occasion ‘glaring defeat’ will lead to national oblivion. The more one hears about the Labour-SNP conspiracy the more it is apparent that voting Conservative is the only hope, whatever one thinks of Cameron. Which is not much.

    • DanJ0

      The only point of voting UKIP, other than as a protest vote, is if you think they will get enough seats to sustain and pressure the Tories, surely? That looks very doubtful to me.

      • Merchantman

        In my constituency the electorate will almost certainly re-elect the Conservative MP. So yes, I hope to give him such a fright he moves his position towards the UKIP manifesto.
        In the national election, numbers recorded by parties are going to have a big influence in future voting systems..
        Going to be a fascinating result after a shameful campaign especially Labour (and indeed by the old parties) who are lying like crazy to convince the electorate they can have it all without paying for it again. It never ceases to amaze me how Labour can ever be trusted with building an honest and prosperous Britain.
        The best ultimate result would be for separate Parliament for England.

      • sarky

        Got a feeling ukip may do alot better than expected. Did a straw poll of 10 colleagues,7 ukip, 2 con and 1 labour!!
        There is also the point that many people are afraid to state their intention to vote ukip, the so called shy kippers!!

        • DanJ0

          Their vote is very scattered. Lots of votes, a couple of seats.

          • The Explorer

            Good point. If you apportioned seats according to the number of votes, the BNP would have had seven in 2010. As the system is, it militates against UKIP. No wonder both Tories and Labour like First-Past-the-Post.

    • The Explorer

      Great summary of the priorities of each party!

      • Merchantman

        Farage isn’t the Messiah but he may be Moses.

  • The Explorer

    As a child, I struggled with the story of the rich young ruler. Christ told him to sell all he had and give it to the poor. My childish mind saw a problem. If he gave away everything he would be poor himself, and in need of help from others. But if everybody followed suit and gave away everything, everybody would be poor and nobody would be in a position to help anybody else. I did take the problem to the Vicar, but he mumbled something and disappeared rather rapidly (his usual pattern when he saw me coming); so I never got an answer.

    My own solution was that somehow one had to keep the wealth generated, in order to combine that with compassionate giving. That does not seem incompatible to me with Burke’s sort of Toryism. The French revolutionaries divvied up the cake, but once it was gone there wasn’t another to replace it. Problem. Burke was rather good at pointing that sort of thing out. .

    • dannybhoy

      ” My childish mind saw a problem. If he gave away everything he would be poor himself, and in need of help from others.”

      I think it must be to do with context again, Explorer.
      Perhaps our Lord was talking about His mission and ministry then and there, and the challenge (to the young man) was to give it all up then and there, and follow Him?
      After all, He knew rich people and was ministered to and supported by people ‘of means.’ He also told parables involving rich people, and it seems to me that it is loving money and possessions as a goal in themselves which Jesus condemned.

    • bluedog

      ‘I did take the problem to the Vicar, but he mumbled something and disappeared rather rapidly’
      You must have been a particularly irritating child!

  • CliveM

    How can a Christian vote Tory?

    In my case by putting a X beside the Conservative candidate on the ballot paper.

    Whether I will this time I don’t know.

  • DanJ0

    Well, I’ve voted Tory again and I live in a marginal seat area.

    This is going to be a fascinating election, or at least the scuffle afterwards is anyway. I expect the Tories will get the most seats but will be unable to form a majority and unwilling to govern as a minority when push comes to shove. New Labour will probably end up in a tricky position, politically speaking, and rely on the SNP for government support. I’d be surprised if they last a full term.

    • CliveM

      If he’s smart he should be able to. They have a lot in common. He should be able to keep the SNP sweet without needing any sort of pact or informal agreement.

      However the key word is ‘If’!

      • DanJ0

        The SNP will push for another referendum, and probably threaten not to stand against a no-confidence vote. Miliband will likely preside over a breakup of the union.

  • Henry Kaye

    Well said Archbishop! I particularly like the reference to the contribution the past influences of Conservatism and the Christian Religion have made to the creation of a successful, thoughtful and compassionate society.

  • len

    The voting choice for the Christian so far seems to be for ;
    A man that ‘does God’ then pushes through SSM with no mandate for doing so and to top it all tells’ porkies’ about referendums.
    A socialist who appears to be a’ Mr Bean’ clone.
    An Atheist who has lost all credibility through making false promises to students and will probably be able to take his party to the House on the back of a’ tandem’ .
    Nigel Farage who might be the only person in politics able to put the view of’ the man in the street’ to our masters in the EU..(who are the only ones who really count)
    or a mix of any two or three of the above?.

    • bluedog

      ‘Nigel Farage who might be the only person in politics able to put the view of’ the man in the street’ to our masters in the EU.’ He’s unlikely to get the chance, except as an MEP. Farage is a high-profile target who will be politically terminated with extreme prejudice. In addition, he’s made the mistake of declaring his retirement from politics in the event of defeat this week. This makes him look like a dilettante rather than a committed activist with iron will.

      • Hi blue dog

        I think farage as the UKIP front man has really messed up at this election.

        • bluedog

          Garage as in gay marriage, Hannah? I’m confused, as usual.

          • Hi

            I’ve got an automatic spell checker which changed farage to garage….!

        • bluedog

          Okay, got it. And you’re right too. Very weak effort.

          • Hi

            I honestly think Farage has “lost the plot” and most chance of wielding any power in the next parliament (let alone getting a seat ). But it takes more than going around the country with a cigarette and a pint to win an election, let alone govern it.

  • One could ask the alternative question, “How can a Christian vote Labour?”
    The Labour party seems to be a major supporter of Islam which wishes to destroy Christianity, all other religions and any non believers. It is surely a Christian’s duty to promote Christianity (something many of our senior church leaders seem to have forgotten) and there is no way, in my view, any Christian should vote for a party which actively supports another religion. Labour is not even neutral in the matter, which I could perhaps find acceptable, it supports measures which give Islam precedence over UK law (eg women’s rights) and Christianity.
    In practice, UKIP is the only party which actively recognises Britain’s Judeo-Christian heritage, and for that reason, if no other, they will get my support.

  • preacher

    IMO we all must vote as we wish. There is no obvious answer in the political parties of today, basically as some would say “You couldn’t get a fag paper between ’em”.
    It’s true that UKIP are the only ones to offer a Christian based Manifesto, plus an ‘in/out’ referendum on our EU membership that one feels would Actually happen this time, without all the usual excuses IF they gain enough seats.
    Personally I feel that there’s less chance of them winning a big enough majority to gain power, but they could have a lot of influence in a hung Parliament & they seem to be bold enough to hold their own under pressure. So that wouldn’t / won’t stop me voting for them. After all, this is the best opportunity to change the archaic system that has existed for decades, or at the very least make the main two parties more heedful of the voice of the electorate after they gain power.

    • Old Blowers

      Dear Preacher

      Old Ernst is of the opinion that even 2nd or 3rd generation immigrant families are leaving Labour in droves.

      If there aint any jobs for their children, adding more immigrants makes it even less likely for their children born here to prosper, as they can’t make the claim of the ‘gold standard get everything’ of asylum to get a home etc for them

  • David

    Love of ones country and love of God has left the Conservative Party. They have been letting that fall to the ground, very slowly, for some time since.

    Tory signed treaty after treacherous Tory treaty ceded our sovereignty to the mighty EU Empire, which becomes more tyrannical and anti-democracy with each successive edict, imposed on us from outside.
    The redefinition of marriage saw Cameron enacting EU “encouragement”. That single undemocratic change, is just the most blatantly anti- traditional, revolutionary enactment ever, in social policy terms.
    The Conservatives are now The Vichy Conservatives, without a doubt.
    Only sentiment and habit holds up the Tory vote amongst many.
    But before our precious battle standard could reach the cold earth, it was snatched up, and is now held aloft by the real patriots, and supporters of our Judaeo-Christain heritage, UKIP !
    Every vote for UKIP demonstrates to our establishment that conservatism, One Nation conservatism, including the principles of Edmund Burke are still very much alive outside the metropolitan establishment.
    Recognise reality – embrace survival – take the plunge – vote for those who are closest to what you believe in – not those who used to believe in what you still support.
    Take courage and Vote UKIP !

    • Old Blowers

      INDEEDIE

  • Inspector General

    Gentlemen – free yourselves from ‘what would Jesus do’. Instead, consider this. God has us clinging to our mothers pinny at a young age, but we can stand on our own two feet now and exercise our greatest gift, free will. We might stumble and fall doing that, but we are LIVING. That’s what it’s all about.

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    Where Conservatism is uncompromising is in the preservation of religion

    It does rather matter which religion. Conservative post-war immigration policy and Conservative delight in diversity leave no doubt that the party welcomes the growth of Islam and the concomitant erosion of Christianity. A vote for any of the major parties is a vote for Islam.

    As the only party hostile to Islam, the BNP, is not standing in my constituency, I shall not be voting.

  • Hi

    From watching the debate, UKIP haven’t really mentioned Christian themes, but immigration (in a tactless way) and of course getting out of the EU. If we mean UKIP is Christian as in opposing gay marriage,to be honest I think this was more to gain the social conservative vote than any real principle , I don’t think they’d seriously repeal same sex marriage. Besides which these “social” issues are not done by party whip , but individual conscious vote, so whilst some Tories voted for this legislation,many voted no and doubtless this was true of Labour. I think one of the most ferocious opponents of abortion, for example, was a liberal, David Alton .

    The Christianity of UKIP is more to do with a secular cultural- national identity , than as a specific religious party. Basically it is a right wing nationalist English party ( at soft end e.g. the village, green, cricket, old Anglican parish churches, Jerusalem,cream teas etc ). It’s like when American politicians say “God bless America”. I don’t think that a Jew from 1st century Galilee would recognise any of this , as Socialism and Tory, these ideals didn’t exist in his time (although I’m sure UKIP would think Jesus was an Englishman).

    • William Lewis

      UKIP have said that they would not repeal SSM as it would be unfair to those already in that arrangement. But they do want to protect those who do not recognise the redefinition.

      I do not believe we should be looking for Christianity, per se, in these parties. We are in the world and should make our assessment based on our spiritual and practical understanding as best we can but perhaps, as Christians, we should not be driven by fear of who might get in, or a so-called wasted vote, but rather vote for the party who we would most want in power.

      • Inspector General

        Wonder if UKIP, rather than repealing the act, just freeze SSM so no more of these ghastly unions can take place.

        • Linus

          Farage has already said he won’t alter equal marriage legislation. Of course he won’t, because he won’t be in a position to. He probably won’t even be an MP. His party certainly won’t have many if any seats. How could he possibly change any laws, even if he wanted to?

          You only have a week left to dream your dreams of a fascist takeover of the UK before reality descends and you find yourself with (most likely) a minority Labour government kept in power by SNP votes. Will you just ignore it and lose yourself in dreams of a Ukip victory in 2020, or 2025, or 2100?

          The politics of wishful thinking are amusing to observe. But not as amusing as the thunderous fury of thwarted fascists. I’d tell you to go scream into your pillow, but your outraged rants are so expressive of the rage and despair of utter defeat that it’s salutary for those of a left wing persuasion to read them.

          You see, all you Socialists, Greens and LibDems, people like the Inspector really do exist and they hates you, they hates you, they hates you forever! You’d better watch your backs, for 5 years or so until old age and/or dementia carries him off…

          • Inspector General

            The Inspector is in it for the long run, you pitiful unfortunate. True, Farage may not be elected, but he says he’ll resign if that be the case. Did you think that Farage WAS UKIP? UKIP goes on, but SSM won’t…

          • Linus

            Equal marriage will go on with or without Ukip, but Ukip won’t survive the fall of Farage. It’s a personality cult and if he bows out, the little support it enjoys will quite simply fade away.

            The “long run” you talk about is just a matter of a few years. Most Ukip supporters draw pensions already, and this may be the last election you see. You have the oldest average age of any party and natural attrition will take care of you soon enough. You can’t vote when you’re 90 years old and incapacitated by Alzheimers. But I wonder if you’ll still be lucid enough to understand what Miliband is doing as he embarks on his second term as a minority prime minister kept in power by an SNP that’s decided to stick around inside the UK while it finishes asset-stripping the English before declaring independence.

          • Inspector General

            Don’t be so sure the weeping sore of SSM will continue indefinitely. It has many enemies, as well you know…

            For an old poof, you are remarkably dismissive about the older and wiser generations…

          • Linus

            Equal marriage is here to stay. The legal system of all Western nations prevents a right being rescinded once it’s been granted. You can’t take the vote away from women. You can’t segregate blacks and treat them less favourably before the law. And you can’t remove the right of same-sex couples to marry.

            The only thing that can topple equal marriage is a fascist revolution, and that just isn’t going to happen. There aren’t enough of you to impose your will on the rest of us, and you’re dying off so quickly, there are fewer and fewer of you with every day that passes.

            The world has changed. You don’t like it, but you know there’s nothing you can do except mouth empty threats that will die with you. Your defeat is comprehensive and irrevocable. Get used to it and live the few years remaining to you in peaceful resignation. Or die a bitter and frustrated old man. The choice is yours.

          • The Explorer

            Do I detect a secret Tolkien reader? Or is it Richmal Crompton? Or a blend of the two?

      • Hi William,

        I wasn’t suggesting a tactical vote. The way things are were going to get a minority Conservative or Labour government and vote by vote for legislation. That or another election. The markets may decide the issue as they’re not going to lend us the money for a massive spending spree & they dislike instability :we’re still borrowing £70 billion a year, I doubt you could get this and more by taxing “the rich” more, sure they can print the money, but the same markets will dump sterling and the currency would be heavily devalued with higher inflation and an IMF bailout. I’m surprised at the debates. It’s as if the country and the politicians think we’re as strong as Germany or are like America who can borrow much more easily as the dollar is the global currency.

        • CliveM

          Hi Hannah,

          It’s been the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ election.

          You make good points.

        • William Lewis

          No, I didn’t mean to imply that you were suggesting tactical voting and I agree with your assessment of the election run up.

  • Inspector General

    That the leader of the Conservative party is a social revolutionary is not in itself a disaster. Though It is damn unpleasant in the duration. It could happen. It did. He sailed to the top under a blue flag, waited a few years, the unfurled his true colours, the pirate flag of the rainbow.

    There were, are, should be safeguards in place. He can say he will quash the lawful convictions of 49000 sexually predatory homosexuals, but of course, the party won’t support him. He is after all, fully recognisable as a social revolutionary. And further, his leadership will be challenged by true Conservatives.

    Not only was he not challenged for the leadership, but he took with him on his jaunt to re-define marriage HALF THE DAMN PARTY, including the dishonourable blighter for Gloucester.

    That sirs, is why the Conservatives are not to be entrusted with the future of this country. They have, as they would say on the street, LOST IT!

  • Darach Conneely

    Not every reason the Anglican Church were traditionally conservative was a good one. They supported the status quo and the poor knowing their place. As All things bright and beautiful once expressed it.

    The rich man in his castle,
    The poor man at his gate,
    God made them high and lowly,
    And ordered their estate.

    The Anglican Church has rightly turned it back on that paternalistic attitude and cut the verse. While the conservative party still supports Billionaires and Bankers and looks down on the poor.

    One thing the Anglican church has remained consistent in, though their methods have changed, is care for the poor. In the past that was done, however flawed, through church and private charities. That is no longer possible and the poor and sick are cared for on a state wide level through taxation. Whereas before, rich men in their castles recognised a duty to the poor, the modern Conservative party has turned their back on the poor and attacking the most vulnerable in society though welfare cuts, bedroom tax and sanctions. The Anglican Church’s scathing criticism of Cameron and the modern Conservative party for their treatment of the poor is deeply traditional and more to the point very biblical. Isaiah 3:15 “What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor?” declares the Lord GOD of hosts.

    • Inspector General

      Right then, you petty Marxist, a figure please. The number of ‘poor’ that have starved to death in the UK over the last 40 years…

      No?

      Tell you what, show us these ‘poor’. Include the one’s that run a car yet cannot or will not purchase insurance, or to tax the thing.

      • Darach Conneely

        Name calling? You will notice I quote scripture not Das Kapital 🙂

        Your justification of abusive treatment of the disabled and unemployed is some poor people have uninsured cars? One of the things that really puzzled me is how Christians could show so little compassion. I think part of the answer lies in the study of fMRI brains scans compring ordinary people with psychopaths. When looking at images of people suffering, psychopaths showed none of the brain response for empathy ordinary people had. But if normal compassionate people believe the person suffering is ‘not one of us’ and a cheat, all their empathy disappears anhd their brain scans are the same as the psychopaths. I’ve written a blog on this. https://simianinthetemple.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/listening-to-right-wing-media-and-politicians-can-turn-you-psychopathic/ and just had a letter published in New Scientist http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22630191.300-letters-believe-in-science.html (2nd letter on the page). Though you may be as compassion as any towards people you consider part of your in group, fMRI scans show your brain will react with the same lack of empathy as a psychopath towards those you dismiss as cheats. It’s the ugly effect of years of headlines complaining about scroungers, benefit cheats, health tourist, cockroaches…

        A good source of information on rising hunger in the UK is the cross party Parlimentary Inquiry into Hunger and Food poverty in Britain set up by the Anglicah Church.
        https://foodpovertyinquiry.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/food-poverty-feeding-britain-final.pdf

        ““This simple but devastating fact that hunger stalks this country should confront each of the main political parties”


        https://foodpovertyinquiry.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/food-poverty-appg-evidence-review-final.pdf

        ““13.7 million households would therefore be classed as food poor”
        “Households in the lowest income decile cut their food budgets by £3.80 per week between 2006 and 2011, and yet this smaller cash total represented a higher proportion of their total expenditure, up by one percentage point over this period.“
        “between 2007 and 2010, households in the lowest income decile on average bought less food rather than ‘trade down’.7 The energy content of the food they bought fell by 8.7% between 2007 and 2010, as the poorest households tended to cut back on bread, cereals, biscuits, cake, beef, fruit and vegetables.”


        Perhaps they didn’t have cars to drive to Aldi.

        ““Well over half a million children (4%) live in families who cannot afford to feed them properly. Over three and a half million adults (8%) cannot afford to eat properly. In nearly all of the households where there are children going without one or more of the food items, adults in the household are cutting back on their own food.”

        You will find 6 pages of newspaper reports of people who have died or taken their own lives after having their benefits cut.
        http://dwpexamination.org/forum/the-governmants-agenda/death-by-government/

        • Inspector General

          Get over yourself Connolly. You ain’t no Che Guevara, and there ain’t no starving people for you to help. This man has lived amongst the so called poor. They are ordinary types but some are also utterly vile, soulless people, especially their young…

          • Darach Conneely

            So the Conservatives would have to reduce the British poor to poverty levels of Andean Campesinos before you would have a problem with it?

            Have a look at https://simianinthetemple.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/hunger-stalks-this-country/ where I have brought together some of the results of studies and surveys on the effects of poverty in the UK. Sick people are dying when their benefits are cut, others with their benefits stopped for months and no money for food are taking their own lives. Children in school are so hungry they can’t concentrate. Their parents are missing meals to try to feed them. Over a 100 people a day with mental health problems are being targeted by sanctions. According to the cross party Parliamentary Inquiry on Food Poverty, half a million children live in families who cannot afford to feed them properly and three and a half million adults cannot afford to eat properly. We are talking about the UK, the 6th richest country in the world not Bolivia.

            Incidentally, you were complaining about poor people with cars not having insurance, 70% of the poorest households in the lowest income decile (bottom 10%) don’t even have a car.

            Interesting what you say about some of the poor in developing countries being “utterly vile, soulless people…” It certainly shows the result of desperation and grinding poverty. Even more interesting is your phrase “…especially their young”. So as the poor grow older, having suffered themselves, many develop empathy and compassion for the suffering of others? Something that is much more difficult for people who are wealthy. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-wealth-reduces-compassion/ “It’s harder for a rich man…”

            Thanks for graduating me from ‘petty Marxist’ to ‘no Che Guevara’, a distant cousin of my wife.

          • Inspector General

            It’s not just this man you have to con, but everybody else too. If you were really on for the poor, wouldn’t you be campaigning to get the EU hordes repatriated so that ‘the poor’ can do the jobs they do?

            Who said anything about the poor abroad, which incidentally is not one’s concern. The English poor do have a tendency to be vile and soulless people. Nothing you can do about that. You can give them all an extra £100 a week from our taxes and they’d only improve to being vile, soulless people with an extra £100 in their pocket. The poor are also especially selfish to be complaining about the so called bedroom tax. Then again, loosing a room where they could idle away the day would mean a lot to them.

            Finally, you are still encouraged to come up with anyone who’s starved to death in the UK, this time we’ll make it within living memory. As for malnutrition, the mothers should have paid more attention during the domestic science classes, and know how to cook the family a proper meal, not relying 7 out of 7 on pub food and takeaways. No wonders the blighters can hardly walk for obesity…

          • Darach Conneely

            Who’s pulling the con? Taking most from the poorest, the Tories have systematically taken from the lower income half of the population and given to the richer half. https://twitter.com/ConneelyD/status/595905749831778304

            If you send immigrants home, you simply reduce the size of the economy with proportionally fewer jobs. Probably less jobs than that because migrants set up 1/7 of the companies in the UK. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2573732/Migrants-set-one-seven-companies-UK-people-born-abroad-twice-likely-start-business.html

            How many people would have to starve to death before it disturbed you? Mark Wood, found fit for work by ATOS starved to death after benefits stopped weighing only 5st 8lb. Former soldier David Clapson died with an empty stomach and no food in the house, but it was was his diabetes ended his life. Most people, 80 that we know of, who died as a result of having their benefits stopped end their own lives. The bottom 10% are spending 22% more of their income on food, but purchased 6.7 per cent less. They are buying less fruit and vegetables because of rising costs, but the calorie content of their diet has fallen by 8.7% to 1803 kCals. This is well below the NHS recommendation.

            Perhaps people should have been warned in 1960s and 70s domestic science classes to pay special attention because future Conservative governments would leave 4 million people unable to find work, and other 4.5 million in part time work unable to earn enough to live on, then they’d cut welfare and kick people off at a whim, so thy need to pay specially attention to all the wonderful and tasty recipes they can make for their kids with a tin of smart price beans.

            What sort of lessons should they have taught in school back then back then for people who were going to develop disabilities or mental health problems, for when some kids in Eton at the time would think it is a jolly good lark to sanction people with disabilities?

          • Inspector General

            There just isn’t any evidence to back up your doomsday scenario. If you can find any bare foot urchins running around scavenging for food, get on to Channel 4. They’ll have a crew down there by lunchtime tomorrow.People are just doing what people always have done, just getting on with it. As for malnutrition, it is a fact that many needing surgical operations can’t be operated on immediately. They need to be built up a little with hospital food. That’s their lookout, not yours.

            As for the wealthy, if they can sustain 45 pence in the pound being grabbed as tax, all the better. THEY can keep the poor. This man before you couldn’t do it, he can barely support one claimant out the income tax, NI and VAT he pays. See, your man here is doing his bit too.

          • Darach Conneely

            So the conclusion of a cross party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger and Food Poverty in Britain, drawing on evidence from Government Agencies like DEFRA, FSA and Inter University projects like Poverty and Social Exclusion, isn’t evidence enough for you because the hunger and deprivation they found isn’t Dickensian enough for you?

          • Darach Conneely

            So the conclusion of a cross party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger and Food Poverty in Britain, drawing on evidence from Government Agencies like DEFRA, FSA and Inter University projects like Poverty and Social Exclusion, isn’t evidence enough for you because the hunger and deprivation they found isn’t Dickensian enough for you? Malnutrition affects how kid do in school and since education is closely related to earnings, it will keep families in poverty. It is affecting people’s health now, as is the inability of many to afford heating, the effect of malnutrition will dog these kids through their life and affect their children and grandchildren. We are already paying through the NHS for the Tories’ welfare cuts, and will keep paying for generations, unless the Tories sell the NHS off. As for the money the Tories cut from welfare, did it pay off any of our debt or help balance the budget? No they passed it all on to their rich friends.

            Benefits are part of a much larger budget. It is about priorities. The Tories had a higher priority on tax breaks for the rich than protecting the most vulnerable citizens. As well as the sheer heartless cruelty of the hitting the disabled with bedroom tax, targeting people with mental health problems for sanctions, stopping benefits for families with children to feed, as well as the stupidity of ignoring the long term health costs, when the economy does start to recover and there are more jobs to go to fill the 9.5 million shortfall in full time and part time, wouldn’t it be better for the UK to have a healthier and better educated workforce that the Tories are producing?

          • Inspector General

            People need to re-learn how to make the money they do have go that little bit further. Of course, it will mean doing without fizzy drinks, takeaways, the latest must have gadgets, the Sky package, alcohol, tobacco, drugs. Get the idea?

            It will be tough, and this man wouldn’t want to do it, but then, this man doesn’t have to…

          • Darach Conneely

            Already we have more and more self employed chasing a smaller and smaller pot of money. The rest of the population people don’t have money to pay for the services they offering. Are you suggesting all the unemployed and underemployed all 9.5 million of them join in too? Then you need money to start a new business. Cameron had invested hundreds of millions into start up loans but the rate of new start ups hasn’t changed. More people are self employed because the older one can’t afford to retire.

            You don’t think much of the unemployeds’ IQs, are you sure they are all natural entrepreneurs? When parent are going without food because they don’t have enough to feed their children, you think all they have to do is stop buying gadgets and fizzy drink and they will have enough to start a small business? It is ridiculous how the Tories keep blaming and punishing the unemployed for the economy the bankers crashed and the terrible recovery and lack of jobs after 5 years of Tory Austerity.

          • Inspector General

            You’re really serious about this, aren’t you? Now listen, submit your offerings here to the local press for them to publish, then at the end of the article, ask the piss poor to contact you if they are in need of help. You are after all, a hands on type, and you will enjoy mixing with those fine deserving whatevers. In the meantime, your man here will retire to his bottle of fine navy rum.

            Cheers!

            Oh yes, almost forgot. Peace to you brother, in Christ.

          • Darach Conneely

            The point about today is we get to choose what sort of society we live in, do we want a society that has compassion for the poor and disabled, and takes care of these people, or one that despises and crushes them?

            Cheer Inspector. Be blessed in the Lord.

          • Inspector General

            Have examined your file. We could have done with you in the 1840s. You wouldn’t have had to rely on such outrageous hyperbole then. As for poor performing children, perhaps mummy can get off her usually fat behind and cook the family a decent nutritious meal once in a while, instead of relying on takeaways and the usual rubbish these people pick up at cheap supermarkets. Sad Johnny. Being fed pizza 5 days a week is not going to help his studies.

            One concession to our feckless idlers though. You do need an IQ of around 110 to survive in this world, something these tattooed obsessed wretches are very far away from.

          • Darach Conneely

            Yes we remember the compassion of British laissez faire economics in the 1840s. The potatoes may be rotten but if the Irish hold their noses they can still eat them.

            When you don’t have a car, local supermarkets aren’t ‘cheap’, and the less expensive options have a lot of rubbish. You’re not advocating 19th/early 20th century eugenics are you? It’s their own fault for not having higher IQs, let them eat frozen pizza?

    • The Explorer

      Not the only terrible verse. Who made the ebola virus and the tsetse fly?

      • CliveM

        That’ll be the evil capitalists as well.

      • Darach Conneely

        “Who made the ebola virus
        and the tsetse fly?”
        Lysteria in our cheeses
        and ergot in our Rye?

        • bluedog

          V I Lenin

    • Phil R

      “I could understand Christians voting for a different form of conservatism, but not one the despises and crushes the poor.”

      Douglas Carswell made a similar point.

      • Old Blowers

        Indeed, fella.

        The need for welfare reform was/is most needed but the Tories made the same type of flawed argument as the Labour party.
        Labour: everybody claiming benefit is genuine, lets treat them as it.
        Conservative: everybody claiming benefit is a cheat, lets treat them as it.

        They never get it or have the courage to separate the wheats from the tares..Cowardly chancers the lot.

    • Linus

      All things dull and ugly,
      All creatures short and squat,
      All things rude and nasty,
      The Lord God made the lot.

      Each little snake that poisons,
      Each little wasp that stings,
      He made their brutish venom.
      He made their horrid wings.

      All things sick and cancerous,
      All evil great and small,
      All things foul and dangerous,
      The Lord God made them all.

      Each nasty little hornet,
      Each beastly little squid,
      Who made the spikey urchin?
      Who made the sharks? He did!

      All things scabbed and ulcerous,
      All pox both great and small,
      Putrid, foul and gangrenous,
      The Lord God made them all.

      Amen.

      • The Explorer

        I’ve always detested that hymn, so this is a welcome antidote. It does raise the question of why Christ healed disease when God created disease in the first place. Wasn’t God just fighting against himself? The other possibility is that the world is not as God made it. Away for a bit, so not in a position to argue the case for that at the moment.

        • Inspector General

          This is the creation as it could be done, Explorer. The good and the bad. Never had a problem with that, personally. Always just got on with it with what we have…

          • The Explorer

            We’ve discussed this before. I’m with Augustine: good can exist without evil, but evil cannot exist without good because evil is parasitic on good. Good once existed without evil, and will do so again. As I say, no time to argue the case now. Regards.

          • Inspector General

            Whether it be God that breathed life into us, or that it just happened, which has always been rather suspect considering the law of cause and effect, it is still a damn cheek to be given said life, and then to compile a list of complaints!

          • The Explorer

            I remember my mother screaming in pain before she was diagnosed with bowel cancer. As a family, we watched her die in hospital. I saw what her suffering did to my father. I don’t think it was cheek to question what was happening to her.
            I myself was an atheist by then, with low expectations of human existence. Questioning the ways of God did not come into it, but the meaning of life, if any, did.

          • Inspector General

            One’s Uncle Martin died aged 46. Heart attack. He attended church every Sunday and lived a chaste bachelor life. He would visit regularly. Your man here was 13 when it happened, and he did not shake his fist at God….

          • The Explorer

            Two issues here, I think.
            1. Suffering and why it exists.
            2. How to react to it.
            Linus and I are focusing on Issue 1, and have different explanations. You are focusing on Issue 2. Granted, one’s view of the reason for suffering will influence how one reacts to it.

          • Inspector General

            Well, as mentioned earlier Explorer, one just gets on with it. Even as a young lad, one was impressed that we are only here temporarily and not in pain, if we are fortunate. The nuns were responsible for that insight at a young age…

          • The Explorer

            Fair enough. But the point that ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ is a very partial representation of the reality of this planet still stands. It’s as warped a view, in its way, as Linus’ counter to it.

          • Inspector General

            It’s a hymn, not a creed…

        • dannybhoy

          I don’t believe that God created disease, but that when He created Adam He accepted the consequences of Adam and Eve’s disobedience.
          Which seems to have involved Lucifer’s rights over our earth, so that Adam and his descendants effectively came under the rulership of Lucifer/Satan/the Devil who according to the Scriptures seems to be a created being much more intelligent, powerful and authoritative than us human beings.

          Whether this status gave him the ability to create or modify life is unclear fro the Scriptures, but let’s be clear…
          The Scripture state unequivocally that God loves us, the ones He put in charge of this world and all living things.
          He doesn’t want us to die spiritually, but to walk through our biological lives with Him and for Him.

          Jesus was angry about death, specifically the death of Lazarus, and raised him up to life again. He healed the sick, the lame, the deaf and dumb and the blind.
          His love for us as human beings was so profound that He was willing to live as we live, but in complete accordance with God’s law so that He might allow Himself to die on the cross in our place, securing forgiveness for all who would respond to Him.
          Did God create sickness and death? I think not.
          Did He allow these things into the world?
          Absolutely.

          • The Explorer

            I don’t believe that God created disease, but Linus does. That is to say, Linus believes God would have if God existed. I think anyone who believes that God exists but Satan doesn’t would have a real problem with Linus’ little poem. So would a Deist who believed that the world is as God intended.
            Actually, I think Linus secretly believes that God exists and IS the Devil. That view, too, makes a lot of sense.

          • dannybhoy

            So much depends on our innermost notion of the nature of God.
            In my own life I have encountered people with ‘overactive’ or hypersensitive consciences, people who believe that since Christ died on the cross for us we are free to do as we want,
            people who believe that God chooses to save whom He wills and if your name ain’t on the list, tough…
            i lost my way for a while I think through a misunderstanding of guidance. My dilemma was that I couldn’t/didn’t blame God, I could only therefore blame my fallible and sinful self and the teaching I had received…
            But God is so much bigger than the brightest of us.
            If he were simply super intelligent we might eventually comprehend some of Him, but He is ‘other’, He is God.
            We can only go by what He reveals of Himself, and the rest is human conjecture.
            He reveals Himself as Righteous, Holy, All knowing, Compassionate and Forgiving.
            That we fail to even dimly comprehend those essential values is often because what we ourselves have (often) experienced as vulnerable children at the hands of damaged and distorted adults we know as parents..

          • Linus

            No, one of the reasons I believe God cannot exist is that if he does, the world he has created is proof of his lack of benevolence.

            That is to say that if there is a God, he can be nothing like the God of Christian scripture. He must in fact be more like a blend of God and Satan.

            The Bible separates these two aspects and calls Satan inferior to and a creation of God, but if he did make Satan then in a very real sense he also made evil. So whether he made evil or it’s part of his intrinsic nature, he is still the ultimate source of suffering and therefore cannot be regarded as benevolent.

            What do you do with a non-benevolent god? You can try to appease it in the hope that it will be nice to you, but then you’re going to have to live with it and pander to its demands forever. So one way or another, we’re all going to hell.

            That is such a ludicrous notion that it forces us to re-examine the whole idea of God. God as Zeus? God as a human being blown up to divine proportions? If God is just us on a bigger scale, then he isn’t infallible, and can’t be a God as we understand the concept. And then when you examine the events of your life and you see that bad things happen just as often as good, and that events follow a distribution bell-curve between the two extremes of joy and suffering, you realize that it’s all random and isn’t being directed by anybody. So even this superhuman God becomes redundant because with or without him “que sera, sera”.

    • dannybhoy

      “I could understand Christians voting for a different form of conservatism, but not one the despises and crushes the poor.”
      Just how poor are you, Darach?

  • Politically__Incorrect

    How can a Christian vote Tory? Quite easily if the party is actually Tory and not a “progressive” bunch of Christophobic, deceitful metrosexuals. Hence I cannot vote for them.

    My constituency is a very close Lab / Con marginal. The outgoing Tory MP is a respectable man who voted against the re-definition of marriage and who supports freedom of conscience i.e. he is not a natural Tory anymore. The new candidate is a little-known councillor. My guess is the vote here will go to Labour. The choice for me is to vote UKIP or not at all. I will be voting UKIP because for me, tactical voting is being almost as dishonest as Dave himself. Beyond that, the country is in God’s hands. We may end up with no effective government at all. It happened in Belgium in 2010. They had no government for around 18 months. The result? Their economy thrived and unemployment fell.

    • Old Blowers

      Why do people keep insisting that UKIP voters are voting tactically.

      I read the UKIP manifesto and agreed. The other parties manifesto’s offer Jam tomorrow come 8th May 2015 but no specifics how or where the jam was coming from.

      Voting UKIP because I agree with their manifesto…it’s that simple.

      Conservatives had their chance to put up a decent thatcherite one but are too mired in social liberalism and as untrustworthy as the others, so they couldn’t. ITS THEIR FAULT NOT MINE!!!

  • Old Blowers

    “How can a Christian vote Tory”The question should be how can a Christian even think to vote for the other parties except UKIP.

    Our christian heritage and values are trampled underfoot by them yet we are blackmailed into being scared of the consequences.

    They knew what was coming from us yet determined to stay where they were and not change…They only have themselves to blame.

    Cameron knew what he had to do to get our vote yet stands by his liberal agenda and tries to scare us to put an X against Tory. I MOST CERTAINLY WILL NOT!!!!

    Old Ernst expects His Grace to join the Tory dyed-in-the-wools over the next few days to plead with us to remain faithful but if they (Conservative Party) cannot be faithful to walk with us in the historical legacy of the party, why on earth should we?

    Labour are pooping themselves in Croydon Central with a bombardment of leaflets so they must know something they are not letting on?!

    Farage may indeed have bu**%$ed up in this election but we who vote will not.

    Ernstie

    • carl jacobs

      Every vote for UKIP in a contested seat is a de facto vote for a Labor/SNP coalition. UKIP will not win. Are you willing to live with a Labor/SNP gov’t in order to make your point?

      • Old Blowers

        So voting tory is getting tory then?
        If I want to vote for a liberal government I’d vote Clegg..or are you saying I should vote LibDem?

        What are my options?

        • carl jacobs

          The SNP is not just any party.

          Unless you want the equivalent of Argentina on your northern border, I suggest you hold your nose and vote for Cameron. Unless you want streams of refugees pouring back across the border from the latest attempt at building paradise on Earth, I suggest you hold your nose and vote for Cameron. Unless you want to find houses and work for all those refugees, I suggest you hold your nose and vote for Cameron.

          • Old Blowers

            Dear boy, those immigrants in their hundreds are at Paris on route to Calais as they refuse to claim asylum in the country they landed in..Cameron will do nowt.

            That’s the choice, nowt do do with holding our nose

          • They’ll be a few up here in Scotland who’ll be heading back South too.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack beat me to it, Blowers. I was specifically talking about Jack. And many, many, many more like him who will vote with their feet. And they will all be UK citizens. What are you going to do with them?

          • Old Blowers

            Deport them to the Vatican. They will feel much more at home. *chuckles*

          • carl jacobs

            OK, OK. It might be better for the UK if Jack was sent off to the Vatican. But joking around can’t cover up the threat of what a colation including SNP would mean to the UK. You have to face this, Blowers.

          • Jack would happily live in Vatican City. He hears the Papal suite is free these days.

            The answer to the question is – deport the Scots in England – and let Jack and his family have their homes in exchange for his. Equivalent in size, location and comfort too, regardless of market value.

            There’s more Scots south of the border than English north of the border.

          • carl jacobs

            I realize you aren’t being serious. …

            You aren’t being serious, right?

          • About the Vatican …. or the exchange of Scots and English?

          • carl jacobs

            The exchange of Scots.

          • Hmmmm …. ask Jack after the election result.

          • carl jacobs

            Evasion, evasion, evasion. Perhaps you recognized your vulnerability on this topic, after all.

          • Vulnerability?

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, Jack. Vulnerable.

            In the first place, there aren’t any Scots in the UK per se. There are only citizens of the UK. Any independence for Scotland will of necessity require people to choose one citizenship or the other. Many of those Scots south of the border will keep British citizenship, so you won’t be able to deport them.

            In the second place, you would be forcibly deporting them into economic catastrophe. Which is an interesting position for you to take given your other posts on this thread. Your proposal is one of naked self-interest.

          • Well, now you put it like that ….

          • Athanasius

            Carl locuta est.

  • Inspector General

    Sarky, further down, makes a good point. Secret UKIP voters. After all, those of us made of sterner stuff can ignore being called racist, xenophobic homophobes, but the English aren’t used to that kind of thing as a rule.

    And to prove the point, one recalls the marvellous results UKIP had in the last MEP elections.

    • Phil R

      If you work in the public sector, it will mark your card.

      So they will stay silent.

      • Old Blowers

        Got it in one, specially if it’s the home office !!!!*Chuckles crazily*

  • Albert

    As a case against socialism the case is well made. But for myself, the issue with the Conservatives has nothing to do with that. The issue for me is that Cameron took the view that in order for the Conservatives to be elected he needed to become socially liberal. The electorate now needs to send the signal that the Conservatives are in fact unelectable if they are not socially conservative.

    Labour will get in again, sooner or later. The only question is, when the Conservatives get in again, will they be socially conservative or not? Thus, to borrow from David Cameron, I won’t vote conservative despite being a conservative. I won’t vote conservative because I’m a conservative.

  • Old Blowers

    Daily Mail believes we ex tories will vote Conservative coz Kate has given birth…called the feelgood factor, don’t cha know?

    They really don’t get it, do they?!!!

    • Inspector General

      The Express is pro UKIP

      • Old Blowers

        Indeed but even they wobbled with the winner being Lab-SNP government threats/emotional blackmail from Con’s HQ.

        • Inspector General

          One recommends Nick Ferrari’s column in the Sunday Express. He’s bang on the money…

          • dannybhoy

            Absolutely agree Inspector.
            He’s great on LBC every week day from 8-10am too..
            A bonzer human being is our Nick!

          • Yes, he does some cracking interviews with the “Phone Farage” slot usually on a Friday about 9am I think, repeated on You Tube.

    • ROFLMHO

  • carl jacobs

    The fundamental error of the Left is that it begins with a false assumption about human nature. It presumes that man is fundamentally good and is therefore capable of moral progress. Because it presumes that man is good, it locates the source of evil external to man’s nature. According to Leftist ideology, the basic purpose of gov’t is to arrange the externals such that evil may decline and the true nature of man may emerge. The power of gov’t is deployed to accomplish this re-arrangement. When the reality of immutable human nature stubbornly subverts this presupposition, the Leftist will diagnose the problem as reaction, and false consciousness. He will perceive that man must be made to conform and justify the means he employs by the ends he desires. At the limit, he can only produce terror and poverty.

    The reason to vote Conservative is because Conservatism accords with the truth of human nature. It does not see man as either good or perfectible. It seeks to operate within the limits of this reality. Conservatism is not revolutionary. It is incremental. It understands limits, and most especially the limits of man himself.

    • Phil R

      So you are “rich” because you were a good boy then Carl?

      • carl jacobs

        Ummm … no. That is not a universal truth. Neither is it a universal truth that men are poor because they are victims. Does the sluggard ever consider the ant? Or does he call the ant an exploiter who crushes the poor?

        I guarantee you this. If you set a minimum standard of living at $25,000 per annum, you have set the floor on wages at $25,000 per annum plus the value of the leisure provided. All men naturally seek rent so they can live for free. This is what I mean about human nature. The Left says “Men must be afforded a minimum standard of living without a thought for how real actual human beings will react to that incentive.

        • Dude

          For various reasons , I once took a job working in burger king on the minimum wage and I also took a job working at a national , but cheap pub chain. For each job I peobably got about a fiver an hour.I got taxed on that, but I did it because it earned money.

          What pissed me off what the “Jeremy Kyle show” types (the sub class, the ones the left bleats on about) coming in and eating the most expensive meals and they’d be drinking at 9 am in the morning and would stay most I’d the day.

          But this was the best bit : They “earned” more than I or those whom I worked with, probably triple or quadruple ,through the benefits system. I’m educated, so managed to get something better, but the others will probably do this for the rest of their lives and they were relatively poor .

          So people , the real working-class earning £5 an hour, are paying in their taxes for the idle feral under class, who sit around on their bums drinking, smoking, taking drugs and have multiple children by different partners and thinks “the social” will pick up the pieces. The left let’s down its working-class supporters and rewards idle sloth.

          • Phil R

            There is a woman in the village, who has a new car provided every year because she is too fat to walk.

            I kid you not. Where is the incentive to work or get fit?

            Both Con and Lab though do not tackle this because it is too difficult. They go after the family, especially the one wage mum and dad with kids types. If you earn under 40K you can actually increase your income by 10 to 15K by divorcing. That tells you the real agenda of both parties and it ain’t Christian

          • Being fat… ahem … morbidly obese (sounds so much better) is now emerging as a protected group under equality legislation. Soon bed and breakfast providers will have to ensure wider corridors, reinforced beds, over-sized showers and toilets and suitable seating, particularly in dining areas.

          • Phil R

            My Dentist stated that he now needs to provide an extra strong chair at considerable expense, the extra paid for of course by the rest of the customers who are not fat

          • Dude

            I’m shocked. As this is Wales, I thought lamb and leeks would be quite nutritious.

        • Hmmm …. and the ‘right’ ignores greed and avarice in man’s nature and idolises an amoral economic system that exploits it.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack, answer me this.

            Does a man have a moral right to a portion of my income merely because he breathes?

          • No …. but you do have a moral obligation to provide assistance to a man who needs it to breath, Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            In all cases? If a man will not work, neither shall he eat.

            This is the problem with translating an individual moral responsibility into a collective gov’t entitlement. The ability to discern is completely lost. The moral responsibilities of which you speak are not properly fulfilled by means-tested entitlement programs.

          • In all cases, yes, Carl, unless you are absolutely confident someone’s starvation is indeed the result of culpable indolence. Even then, in Jack’s view, you cannot walk on by and leave someone to die.

            Jack knows the difficulties, Carl.

            So far as Jack is concerned, at its core, modern day, free market, global consumerism, is founded on the premise that greed and the pursuit of luxury and wealth is good – whatever the cost to others.

          • carl jacobs

            We aren’t talking about starvation. We are talking about the sloth demonstrated in Sam’s post just below. That is the fruit of entitlement. It is entirely predictable and poisonously contagious. What are you going to do about it?

          • Jack doubts the complete accuracy of Sam’s perceptions.

            Dorothy Day, a ‘leftist’, wrote all about the perils of state run welfare programs. Here’s what she said about the New Deal:

            “Roosevelt will be elected on the platform of Cake and Circuses. During the depression years the relief checks flowed in, and now during the war years the government checks come regularly on the first of every month. The millions who are thus bought and paid for do not want any change. They are afraid of change. Mothers of six children cash their $180 stipend every month and go on a binge of department-store buying, movies, … candies, radio, and even sometimes a car. It’s amazing how much you can get in the way of luxury if you just do without the necessities.”

            Day believed that social security legislation is a defeat for Christianity because its based on state force and compulsion. It is an acceptance of Cain’s dismissive statement on the part of the employer: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” It corrupts.

            Day believed that state welfare programs also corrupted the poor. Government funds induced those with limited means to “hug” luxuries like cigarettes, liquor, movies. Such “dissipations,” led them to ignore their responsibilities to attend to basic necessities – “the leaking plumbing,” the “lack of coal,” and the “crowded quarters where the poor mothers’ heads reverberate with the din of the not too healthy children.”

            Day saw taxation as also morally ruinous. Here’s what she said about war bonds:

            “And they are not only being taxed, but they are being seduced. Their virtue is being drained from them. They are made into war profiteers, they are forced into the position of usurers. The whole nation, every man woman and child, is forced to become a profiteer-hideous word-in this war.”

            Day was a libertarian and she dismissed minimum wage and anti-child labour laws as “palliatives.” She feared that the “all-encroaching state” was leading to “socialized medicine” in the form Medicaid and Medicare. Her view of taxation: “The less we ask of Caesar, the less we will have to render to Caesar.”

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            Jack doubts the complete accuracy of Sam’s perceptions.

            On what basis? Other than the fact that you don’t have any answer to the problem of entitlement-funded idleness. Your argument so far seems to be “We must fund Bob to sit in a pub and drink all day, because otherwise he might starve.”

          • Read all of Jack’s post. He doubts Sam’s perception because it will have been formed by pre-conceptions.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            1. I did read all of your post.

            2. We all have pre-conceptions. That doesn’t mean we can’t understand situations with sufficiency.

            If you have specific reasons to assert that Sam was incorrect in his assessment, then state them. Otherwise, it looks like you are just trying to avoid answering a question that you don’t know how to answer.

          • How on earth would he know this: “But this was the best bit : They “earned” more than I or those whom I worked with, probably triple or quadruple ,through the benefits system,”?

            Did he undertake a means test before serving burgers or a pint?

            And this is a somewhat broad and sweeping generalisation: ” … the idle feral under class, who sit around on their bums drinking, smoking, taking drugs and have multiple children by different partners and thinks “the social” will pick up the pieces.”

            Welfarism indeed creates dependency and saps the spirit, Jack agrees. However, all of this, even if accurate, is not an argument that supports unrestrained capitalism. The question is what economic system will bring the best out of man and not the worst?

          • carl jacobs

            Now that you have written them down, I’ll let Sam answer your questions.

            The existence of a feral underclass is not a sweeping generalization. It is a fact. Whether any individual is a member of that underclass is a matter of discernment. And discernment is what means-tested entitlement does not allow. This is the concept of “the deserving poor” that means-testing was intended to eradicate.

          • Tis question was addressed to you:
            “The question is what economic system will bring the best out of man and not the worst?”

          • carl jacobs

            I’m not sure how you think the promotion of diligence and thrift is “bringing the worst out in man.” The Scripture flat out condemns the situation Sam described. You know this. I am not going to pay someone to sit on his ass and drink all day simply because he is too lazy to work. I have no responsibility to do so.

          • Well, no, and Jack agrees with you.
            However, unrestrained capitalism requires a welfare system to survive or there would be revolution on the streets, because the ‘market’ is amoral. This system then corrupts. Because it’s driven by consumerism and debt, capitalism encourages people to live beyond their means. Because it is divisive, capitalism provokes envy and greed. It judges men according to their pay cheque and possessions. It is ostentatious. It produces a sub-class because inevitable becomes concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer men.
            Can’t you see how the man you say: “sit(s) on his ass and drink(s) all day simply because he is too lazy to work” is something of a fiction and, for those it might apply to, may well be a sane reaction. Yes, change the welfare system – but also address the underlying amorality of capitalism.

          • Dude,

            I didn’t means test them, but being a sociable dude I got to know the regular clientele. Hence my views and what I said. I’m going by personal experiences. As I said there’s the social safety net and a system which makes being on benefits pay more than work. Add unemployment benefit to council tax relief, with child benefits, with income support, with a council house and housing benefits, times this by 2 and you get to quite a tidy sum of money, which isn’t a safety net for those who require benefits when they’ve lost their job or who are unable to work through sickness. Why else did the current government cap benefits at £20k a year ?

            As for the bit about economic systems, no country on earth has a purely capitalistic system. Even the US has a welfare system of sorts, in food stamps and Medicaid and Medicare. But we do know what a Socialist system looks like and that doesn’t work.

          • Phil R

            Carl

            Bob would starve. A few years ago I employed a few people off the dole. Never again. More trouble than the worth of it. They are on welfare for a reason it seems.

          • carl jacobs

            So Bob is entitled to a life of leisure precisely because he lacks the necessary character skill to perform productive work? Suffering is a great way to build character. Let him go hungry, and see how he changes.

          • On the one occasion I went to the dole office you could tell the difference between those who’d been laid off and those whose full time job was welfare and they were treated differently by the staff who’d given up on the seasoned veterans as I called them.

          • Phil R

            The seasoned veterans I came to the conclusion needed a life change. The Gospel would have done it. (I am not sure that starvation would as they were still around even in Africa).

            Without the Gospel changing their lives I think there is little hope for most of them.

            The Army used to work for some of them because it was a life change. They had to conform and the Army was willing (and allowed) to put in the effort in those days.

          • Hang on there dude,

            There’s a difference between not wanting taxes to go to a lifestyle which benefits no-one and seeing people starve. I’m obligated to pay 10% to charity ,because of my religion and no I don’t believe people should go hungry. But there’s a difference between a safety net, so people don’t starve and a free lunch at mine and yours expense.

            [ as an aside: It gets on my wick when the left starts saying conservatives are ruthless uncaring sods, because there’s a desire to see people in work and being as fulfilled as they can…. but also balancing the books, so we don’t give the future generations a debt burden to pay.]

          • As Jack keeps saying – he is neither ‘left’ nor ‘right’ in his politics.

          • Dude

            socially conservative and economically socialist, perhaps?

          • No – Jack is most certainly not a socialist.

            Pope Francis has brought “Distributism” back on the agenda by denouncing unfettered capitalism as tyranny:

            “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills…

            A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which has taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits.”
            (Evangelii Gaudium)

            Distributism is an approach based on widespread property ownership, small businesses, co-operative working arrangements and profit sharing.

          • “Distributism is an approach based on widespread property ownership, small businesses, co-operative working arrangements and profit sharing.”

            That does sound like socialism to me, if the state is going to be in the vanguard. Although I do think that paying employees in shares as well as wages is a reasonable idea and coops or partnerships , like John Lewis seem to work well (but note, they are “privately” owned, not by the state) .

          • Albert

            Is this a law, Carl. I’ mean did Paul mean to teach “If a man will not work, he must starve to death”?

          • carl jacobs

            Albert

            Your question reminds me of an adult who takes seriously the threat of a child to “hold his breath until he turns blue.”

            But I actually don’t think people are concerned about starvation. I think they are concerned about violence. The system has created an entitled population that feels no particular responsibility to earn its own living. I think people are afraid that this population will take its living if it isn’t given a living. These people have expectations, after all. And you damn well better meet them.

          • Albert

            But surely, when having a philosophical discussion one sets up unrealistic scenarios (e.g. trollyology) to isolate the moral issue. The purpose of my question is not to ask if a man will starve himself to death, but to ask if St Paul is denying basic human rights. That’s why I asked whether Paul was giving us a law, or a figure of speech. The answer one gives to this question affects the force of your point.

            Having said that, I think both you and HJ are making important points.

        • Phil R

          The Bible tells us how it is.

          “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given,
          but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken
          away.”

          That doe not in my mind remove our obligation to help the poor help themselves. The Gospel being the most important by far.

          The ten tallents tells us lots about our attitudes should be to money. My wife told me once during (the usual) rows couples have about money that God gave you the ability to make lots of money and gave me the ability to spend and give away lots of money. She asked me to read my Bible and read what is says about building bigger barns for your old age.

          She told me to relax and enjoy as a Christian what God has given us. I did (Well I tried) risked more and trusted to God.

          “”Men must be afforded a minimum standard of living without a thought for
          how real actual human beings will react to that incentive.” I get your point, but that presupposes that men are only wealthy or poor due to their own effort or lack of. Although it is fashionable mantra. That is not what the Bible says and it not what we observe actually happens.

          • carl jacobs

            Phil

            I am not surprised that you got my point since you made the exact same point 37 minutes ago on this exact sub-thread.

            Here is what you said:

            There is a woman in the village, who has a new car provided every year because she is too fat to walk.

            I kid you not. Where is the incentive to work or get fit?

            So what is the sudden difference? Or is being fat a moral fault that overcomes all the arguments you made above?

          • Phil R

            Different point Carl.

            The Bible tells us how it is. ” but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”

            I remember reading about a Christian who worked in a poor housing area in the US. A beautiful 14 year old girl came along and to the Church and the Bible study. Just before the guy was going back to college for 3 months she mentioned that she was being pressured to become a prostitute. He told her to resist evil etc and left. When he come back she was not at the church or the Bible study and when he eventually tracked her down she would not look at him and said she had given in and now works as a prostitute.

            How could you? he asked. Well she said they said if I did not agree they would beat up my brother and they did. Then when I still did not agree they beat up my father and put him in hospital. They then said they would rape my mother and my younger sisters so I agreed.

            Why did you not go to the Police he said. She looked at him understanding that he had no idea of her world. She said “Bob don’t you know who THEY are?”

            Because she was poor the riches God had given her could be taken away. This would not have happened to a rich girl. Indeed a beautiful rich girl would be given more and the poor girl gets what little she has taken away.

            That is reality, the Bible understands this.

          • dannybhoy

            “Why did you not go to the Police he said.”
            The Police are bought and paid for by the government of the day..

          • Phil R

            Rich people have access to lawyers and people of influence.

            The poor in this world generally do not and so are easy targets.

            Easy to exploit. Easy to take what God has given them

          • dannybhoy

            Yes, (human) ‘justice’ costs, and either you have sufficient clout to secure it, or you have sufficient contacts to ensure it…

          • Dominic Stockford

            I have no chance of having a barn, so I don’t even try. Thank God.

          • dannybhoy

            It’s not wrong to be wealthy if you’ve earnt that wealth legitimately!
            As a Christian It’s wrong not to judiciously/prayerfully/compassionately share some of that wealth to bless others; especially Christians who are struggling.

    • “According to Leftist ideology, the basic purpose of gov’t is to arrange the externals such that evil may decline and the true nature of man may emerge.”

      And ‘leftist’ ideology, rooted in scripture, about social justice, Carl? The message that the economy needs a renewed moral basis to benefit everyone?

      Jack remembers Pope Benedict XVI releasing “Caritas in Veritate”, in June 2009, calling for the rebuilding of economic policies by giving greater emphasis to social justice and equity in the distribution of wealth and opportunity. He criticises in particular the exaggerated belief that free, unrestrained markets of themselves provide the most ‘efficient’ mechanism to promote growth and distribute resources. He regards this as an ideology which downplays the moral demands of social justice.

      The Pope observed the free-market ideology encourages a ‘greed is good’ mentality, but corrupts the moral standards in the wider culture by fuelling an unstainable debt binge and consumerism. At the same time, despite the huge gains in wealth in recent decades, most richer nations do little to reduce global hunger and tackle the severest poverty.

      Pope Benedict was challenging the belief in unrestrained economic growth, insisting that we need to adopt more modest lifestyles lest we damage the resources needed for future generations. He was calling for a better balance between the need to increase goods and services for poorer people while restraining extravagance and irresponsible consumption.

      This isn’t socialism or communism, though it is often misrepresented as such, it is a set of moral considerations about modern forms of free market capitalism.

      • Old Blowers

        Are you suggesting voting RC…Have they got candidates then? Benny for Chancellor?

        Any chance to get the RC point across, you religious chancer. *giggles*

        • Old Blowers

          If Blair didn’t ‘do God’, does RCC ‘do politics’?

          • The Christian message is social, political and economic – as well as personal. You can’t keep your faith ‘indoors’, Ernstie.

        • Jack would like to vote for a faithful Roman Catholic politician but they are scarcer than hens teeth.

  • Athanasius

    “As though righteous socialism were ordained by God”. Exactly the point, Mr Cranmer. That’s the way lefties see it, even those who don’t believe in God. It’s a hangover of the Marxist theory of inevitable progress, “progress” being whatever it is they believe in today. Curious how a socialist atheist can sneer at the concept of God, but have no difficulty whatsoever with the idea of some ineffable “spirit of the ages” moving through history, delivering mankind to…well…THEM. To oppose them is, in some form, against nature. A perversion, if you will, and it’s permissible (isn’t it?) to stop perversion by any means necessary. Presumably, that’s why they feel entitled to illegally check postal votes in Scotland BEFORE next Thursday – it’s different when they do it.

  • Royinsouthwest

    How can a Christian vote for the Labour Party when it is the party that did most to create a climate of opinion in which police officers, social workers and council officials thought it better to ignore the sexual abuse, sometimes accompanied by physical violence, of thousands of young, predominantly white British girls for reasons of political correctness?

    How can a Christian possibly vote Labour when Ed Miliband shows that he has learnt absolutely nothing from the sexual abuse scandals, mainly in Labour-run councils, by saying that he will suppress freedom of speech by making “Islamophobia” a criminal offence, thereby making it even more likely that such scandals will be hushed up in future?

    How can a Christian possibly vote Labour when the Labour Party says it will oppose allowing the British people a referendum on whether or not to stay in the EU?

    How can a Christian possibly vote Labour when, for reasons of expediency the last Labour government greatly relaxed the laws on postal voting, thus creating the conditions for widespread electoral fraud, not just in Tower Hamlets as revealed by the recent trial of Lutfur Rahman, but also in many other parts of Britain following the local elections last year?

    Police asked to investigate more than 50 allegations of electoral fraud, The Guardian, 23 May 2014
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/23/police-open-inquiries-allegations-electoral-fraud-uk

    Officers in Manchester, Bradford, London and Birmingham have begun inquiries after receiving complaints about “ghost” voters, false statements by candidates and multiple attempts to vote by a single person. …

    As well as Birmingham and Bradford, they include Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Calderdale, Coventry, Derby, Hyndburn, Kirklees, Oldham, Pendle, Peterborough, Slough, Tower Hamlets, Walsall and Woking.

    West Yorkshire police, whose officers serve Bradford where former councillors have been imprisoned for electoral fraud, said they had received 21 allegations of electoral irregularities.

    • Phil R

      Roy you could have similar rant about Conservatives and Thatcher throwing whole communities on welfare in Wales for ideological reasons. For creating refugee problems, for weakening our Armed Forces, for not supporting marriage, for increasing pension arbitrarily to 67 (Without thought for how this will work out. — I don’t want my future grand kids taught by a 67 year old or rescued from a burning building by a 67 fireman (sorry FiregenderX)).

      The truth is that neither the Conservatives or Labour have the slightest clue about how to run the country for the benefit of Britain and neither party seem to have a clue what virtue actually is, because both think that it is no longer desirable.

      Why? Because essentially they are the same. While we are at it that the Cons are a party of Business. I generally made far more money each year under Lab than the Cons.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Roy you could have similar rant about Conservatives and Thatcher throwing whole communities on welfare in Wales for ideological reasons.

        I realise that and did think of writing that it is easy to think of reasons for not voting for any political party at all. I just chose Labour because there are a lot of people around who think that there is something self-evidently virtuous about voting for a left-wing party regardless of its record.

  • Inspector General

    DanJ0 below…

    “The SNP will push for another referendum, and probably threaten not to stand against a no-confidence vote. Miliband will likely preside over a breakup of the union.”

    Let that vote go through. An election will then follow. Let the electorate see the SNP in action, and be sickened by them. THAT is the time for tactical voting, not this one coming up…

  • Inspector General

    Nick Robinson talk to Cameron can be found on the BBC news. Surprise Surprise! An in-out referendum is now plan B, if he can’t ‘renegotiate’ UK membership.

    Knew this was coming when the rotter announced this ghost of a policy a few years back. You really can read him like a book…

  • Dominic Stockford

    Vote Christian Party “Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship” – and at least you can say that you HAVE proclaimed Christ.

    • dannybhoy

      Umhmmm.
      In the little branch of UKIP I belong to, they all know I am a Christian.
      We had a day of action yesterday and the lady I was delivering leaflets with told me that she tried to live her life through Christian principles, but that she also believes in reincarnation..
      If your heart is open and obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, God will use you wherever you are.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Your need to listen to Mr Farage’s comment this morning on the Marr show about Christian b&b owners and what he says they are not allowed to do. The words “direct prejudice” came from his mouth, along with the comment that they may not make moral decisions over guests. So much for Christian conscience.

        • dannybhoy

          And Nigel Farage has proclaimed himself as a Christian where, exactly?
          He has never said he is a practicing Christian, but he accepts the positive influence of Christianity on our British culture.
          What more do you want from him?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Allow and permit people to live by their Christian conscience, and protect them when they wish to. There’s no point having one otherwise.

          • dannybhoy

            You’ve lost me.
            As Christians we are citizens of the Kingdom of God and citizens of a worldly kingdom.
            That’s the basic situation as I understand it.
            I don’t follow your argument.

          • Dominic Stockford

            1. Mr Farage promised earlier this week to defend Christians and their right to hold conscientious belief. Now he makes it clear that this doesn’t extend to being able to live according to that aforementioned conscience.

            2. We will therefore be able to believe but not act on what we believe.

          • dannybhoy

            You mean this?
            “Ukip offers legal protection to Christians who oppose same -sex marriage.”

            http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/28/ukip-christians-legal-protection-same-sex-marriage

          • Dominic Stockford

            “People’s religious beliefs are their own affair
            and all people should be allowed to live their lives
            as they choose, as far as is possible within a free,
            tolerant and civilised society.”

            From the UKIP ‘Christian’ manifesto. And if this really was true then people who run businesses IN THEIR OWN HOMES would be allowed to welcome only who they wish into THEIR OWN HOMES. But they won’t be allowed to, even under UKIP.

            http://www.election2015.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/UKIPChristian_Manifesto-1.pdf

          • Linus

            This is actually true.

            So all couple of hundred of you extremist right wing Christians who were planning on voting Ukip should now vote for the Christian Party. Especially if you live in constituencies where Ukip is polling neck and neck with another party.

            Your few tens of votes will help to keep Ukip out of parliament and, of course, not even enable Christian Party candidates to retain their deposits. You’ll still end up with a minority Labour government, but at least the Conservatives will be able to form a cohesive opposition without having two or three Ukip MPs hogging all the headlines with their extremist “gays cause hurricanes and earthquakes” sideshow.

          • dannybhoy

            We are now irrevocably a mixed cultural and religious society Dominic. The only way that clause for Christians could be enforced, is if Christianity is recognised as the only official religion of the United Kingdom, and it can’t be. For all sorts of reasons.
            What we do need is for our leaders to reaffirm the supremacy and sole authority of our traditional British system of law. We need to scrap the Human Rights Legislation which has caused such confusion and undermined our own laws and securities, so that we cannot deport people who mean us harm.

          • Inspector General

            Farage is not UKIP. Remember that, Dominic…

          • Dominic Stockford
          • Inspector General

            Not seen your link, but we’ll see how far UKIP gets without pandering to the Judaeo-Christian heritage of this country. Isn’t it marvellous to use the word pandering in a positive sense. A first for the old hound of an Inspector…

          • Linus

            That’s right, all the parties that can actually win seats (and even most of those that can’t, and I count Ukip among them) have ruled that religionists are not allowed to impose their religion on others.

            Let a Christian ban gays from his B&B “because it’s his religion” and then how do you stop a Muslim stoning gays to death “because it’s his religion”?

            “Because it’s my religion” is no excuse to indulge in illegal behaviour. And minuscule political parties made up of a handful of religious fanatics won’t be changing things any time soon.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Back to your best ‘compare apples with fish and say they’re the same argument’ I see.

            A B&B owner being allowed to decide who stays in their home is so many light years from murdering someone that I simply don’t know where to begin. But then I don’t think you care, do you? Let us not allow logic or truth to upset your carefully (or not) crafted assault on anyone who happens to believe something different to you.

          • Linus

            The principle is identical in both cases. You’re demanding that “because it’s my religion” should exempt you from obeying the law. If you’re allowed an exemption for your religious imperative, why shouldn’t Muslims be allowed one for theirs?

            The point at which all Western legal systems are currently converging will soon be enshrined in the formal principle that religion does not excuse you from obeying the law. Believe what you will, but obey the law. That’s the only way religions can co-exist in a diverse society.

          • CliveM

            It does ask the question however with regards UKIP’s proposal for a conscience clause and their commitment to it.

          • dannybhoy

            well as we know currently the law says that if you are a business you must offer your service(s) to everyone.
            As a citizen I accept that.
            I would like to see a conscience clause introduced, but of course that would have to apply to Muslim surgeons asked to perform FGM or Asian surgeons asked to abort a child because she is a child, or devout Muslims demandinbg the right to observe the call to prayer during the working day…

          • Merchantman

            I am in favour of getting Christianity given by Act of parliament Foundational Status. Basically this recognizes it as the foundation of Great Britain in early common law, custom etc, etc. That would give the naysayers something to chew on because they would have to unravel the historical fact, which they might struggle to do.

          • CliveM

            You highlight some of the difficulties. Although I don’t see a conscience clause ever applying to FGM.

            I think the courts would probably struggle with such a law, it’s interpretation and when it’s applied.

      • Shadrach Fire

        I was planning to vote UKIP because I can’t vote Tory, but when I looked at the candidates, the UKIP candidate didn’t even know the proper name of his constituency. Plonker. Do I have to vote for such?
        Of the six candidates, only one submitted a CV to Yourextmp.com and that English Democrats, probably the most intelligent candidate.

        • dannybhoy

          I heard today that the ukip manifesto was the only one which had been officially examined and cleared as costed and workable. None of the others had been properly scrutinised..
          We’re in an embyronic state as a party. There are dodoes and unbalanced people in the party, but the essential values and goals of UKIP remain worthy of support.

          • Inspector General

            We long servers here know all about the Dodo…

    • Orwell Ian

      Maybe, but under the “first past the post” system the Christian Party is a very small tail trying to wag a rather large and recalcitrant dog.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Indeed, but our ‘leader’ has already won, and already rules, whatever happens in the election.

        • Linus

          So why bother standing?

          Oh of course … Brownie points, eh? “Look at me Jesus, I stood up for you and was mocked for it! Now, what’s my reward?”

          Watching Christians is like observing avaricious and self-interested small children. Like my nieces and nephews when Uncle Linus comes to stay. “What’s in the suitcase, Uncle Linus? Gifts? For us? What’s mine? I hope it’s better than my brother’s because I’ve been nice to Maman like you said I should, and he’s been a perfect little beast, so what’s my reward?”

  • David

    How can any Christian vote for any party that supports membership of the EU, whose very constitution ignores Europe’s only commonality, Christianity; an EU which pours laws based on Humanism into its constituent countries, thus replacing our previous Common Law ones, that were loosely based on Biblical values ?

  • B flat

    I will not vote again for the Conservative Party led by David Cameron, or by anyone who bends to the spirit of the present age, BECAUSE I am a Conservative. I know what the word means, and I keep my word. David Cameron, and the Party following his lead, do neither. The last paragraph of this posting surprises me, and disappoints me. I never doubted YG’s sincerity and true conservatism, and I was not aware of any ad hominem attacks made against the writer. Surely, it is possible to see the distinction between political conservatism as it has been manifested over the last two hundred years, and what has evolved (or morphed) from it in the last thirty years. Is it unimportant to resist the latter perversion, and fight for the former philosophy? Or is it now impossible to support it? Then why support the lie that clothes itself in a stolen name?
    I really do want my country back.

    • carl jacobs

      If SNP gets into power, you won’t have a country to get back. This isn’t about competing political ideology. It’s about the integrity of the UK.

      • Phil R

        At the end of the day Carl, it is up to them. If as you say they are determined to be poor, then nothing is going to stop them.

        We will function quite well with or without Scotland and the rest of us will certainly be richer without.

        Perhaps the Romans had the right idea after all.

        • carl jacobs

          No, it’s not up to them. Sovereignty rests in London. You don’t ever have to give them a referendum. But that’s the likely result of an SNP coalition.

          And, yes, you do have to worry about what happens North of your border. Roughly half the population in Scotland doesn’t want independence. Do you think they are going to renounce their citizenship? Do you think they will want to live in the economic chaos that Scotland will become? Do you think they will want to be milch cows for the Scottish state (because that is what they will become) and a source of hard currency (because that is how Scotland will view them.) You will not want to be a British citizen trapped in an independent Scotland when all the fantasies about independence turn to dust. Many of them will try to come back to the UK. Tens of thousands of them. Where are you going to put them? What are you going to do with them? Oh, and that’s on top of all those who left because of departing businesses.

          The true believers in Scotland are determined to make a nation out of a majority of 50% plus one. It is a disaster waiting to happen. And you will not be immune to that disaster.

          • bluedog

            Well said, Carl. The Scotland Act 1998, which enabled the Scottish parliament, contains a clause which permits the UK Parliament to revoke the right of Scotland to conduct a parliament or any other devolved competency. One highly explosive option for the British government is to simply use the powers it already possesses. In which event, expect more than one riot and a declaration of independence by the Holyrood parliament. But possibly worth a try on the promise of a federal constitution on US precedents.

        • not a machine

          I think Scotland will end being an economic mess if they leave the UK , they perhaps want this parliamentary spectacle of bellicose scots brawling with the mace in Westminster , but SNP reckon they will offer Independence referendum at same time Cameron (if elected ) wants EU in/out referendum . The SNP will cause chaos , they have told us so , haven’t they

        • bluedog

          Poverty is not an option for the Scots. If the UK fails to deliver the required living standard, the EU will oblige. Look at the billions of Euros being transferred to Greece by the ECB to prevent Greek default on IMF loans. It’s the new probity. Want something? Borrow money from a banker who just prints more of the stuff.

          • carl jacobs

            Scotland isn’t going to get into the EU, and Greece is why Scotland wouldn’t get all those loans in any case.

          • bluedog

            Possibly, but we won’t know the answer until the Greek drama concludes. The EU is always collecting minor nations to add to its portfolio of dependencies.
            The UK faces an existential dilemma. The federalists in Europe seek ever closer union and the final extinction of the component nation states under the sovereignty of the EU itself. In addition the botched partial devolution of the UK has enabled the SNP to press for the dissolution of the UK. Clearly the domestic issue of the SNP is the easiest problem to fix because it involves no external party or likely sanction. Restoring the Union is therefore the priority. Once that is done the UK can potentially re-negotiate its relationship with the EU to something like an enhanced free trade agreement. The UK is already semi-detached having avoided the disaster of the EMU. Incredibly the EU is now pressing the UK to guarantee the debts of nations within the EMU and their banks. This diktat is likely to convert most Europhiles in the British political class into Europhobes.

          • The Explorer

            No, no, no there are no plans anywhere in the EU to dissolve the component nation states. Linus has said so.
            The implications of the Lisbon Treaty: EU embassies, President and Foreign Minister. Forget that, and stop Chicken-Little type scare mongering. If the sky falls, it won’t be because of the EU. So that’s all right then.

          • bluedog

            Oh, sorry. I was just going by EU actions rather than EU propaganda.

          • I think the Germans are fed up with Greece and bailouts. Why would they want to prop up a state of Scotland whose banking system has banks with liabilities thousands times the GDP….

          • bluedog

            But the Scottish banks were all recapitalised by the British taxpayer. The balance sheets are probably quite conservative and Basel 2 compliant.

          • Hi blue dog,

            If I thought the Scottish banks were going to be regulated by the SNP and denominated in a Scottish currency (the Scottish groat?)it would like be the worth of the mark in 1920s Germany or a Zimbabwean dollar. I’d pull my sixpence from Lloyds and tuppence from Nat west. So would loads of others , a bank run and they’d need the bank of England to be lender of last resort. I guess the Scottish banks would have to pop over their HQ’s to England (and also decrease the revenue for a Scottish republic).

          • CliveM

            Interesting. If I remember correctly, during all the hullabaloo of the referendum, when the RBS said if Scotland declared independence it would be forced to move the headquarters south, it was pointed out that by doing so they would also be taking the liabilities with them!!!

            Of course both sides for various reasons chose not to dwell to much on that.

          • Dude

            True , but hardly a vote of confidence in the hypothetical people’s republic of Scotland and their Scottish groat, if the big banks moved south….. man that referendum didn’t get into passionate reasons why our Scottish kith and kin are better within the UK. Just watching the BBC news and the disgusting antics of the SNP against Labour’s leader in Scotland and Eddie Izzard (hardly far right Tories ).

      • Inspector General

        Carl, the SNP are not to be totally feared. They represent only 45% of Scots. Remember, the moral high ground can never be theirs…

        • Moral high ground? Come now, all they need is power. And remember, we’ve had UK governments with a lower percentage of the popular vote.

          • Inspector General

            They are not going to get power. The wee hussie has said if it comes to ‘an agreement’ it will be by vote by vote.

          • Not heard of ‘smoke filled rooms’ and ‘nods’ and ‘winks’, Inspector?

          • Dude

            Although thanks to the smoking ban, they’ll be e cigarette filled rooms….

          • It’d be all vapour, LOL!

          • Long live the vaporiser – Jack stopped smoking for Lent and has made the transition.

          • Sorry to say I still like a fag and a pint….

          • The E-Cig is so clean and convenient. No more trips to the shed for a puff. Try it. Get the 24mg ‘tobacco’ version. After a while you’ll not notice the difference.

          • Oy, I find the shed to be a manly refuge….

          • Do you like the fag after or before the pint? Best let Linus know.

          • I’m moving to shapely Cubans (cigars).

          • Ah, that reminds Jack of your dear uncle. Lord L, who we once shared jokes about Cubans and whiskey. May he rest in peace.

          • bluedog

            Don’t underestimate Sturgeon.

          • Hi inspector,

            You should be made the UKIP chief whip !

          • Hi happy Jack

            It’s funny because I thought the SNP lost the referendum 55 to 45…….yet their supporters have been acting as if they’re the ones who won. I just watched the news and apparently Labour’s Jim Murphy had to stop a rally because of bullying SNP thugs shouting him down and “scuffles” between the two parties. So the SNP not only hate the English, but any Scot who doesn’t agree with them and are trying to bully their own people as “red Tories”…. like a third world election really.

            And this adds to Carl’s point below, because this is what the SNP are like BEFORE they get all of the power as an independent republic , but it is clear the SNP will make no efforts to reconcile with those who will continue to vote no, so they’ll be leading a disunited country to independence. I would not want to be a Scottish unionist or an English person living in Scotland with that kind of atmosphere.

            Even worse is that these ghastly arch nationalists of the worst kind are going to be in power with Labour next week and governing those of us who dis not vote for them because we could not. The SNP denied the rest of the UK a chance to vote on their nefarious scheme to smash up our country. But this is a UK wide election so they can bog off as the world doesn’t revolve around them and their petty made up grievances.

          • “Always look on the bright side of life …. “
            A song Jack hates because of its association with the Python film, but which seems appropriate. The SNP’s influence is confined to the West central belt around the Clyde and Glasgow. They are loons.

          • Hi happy Jack

            I’ve been to bits of Scotland and this is what I don’t get about the SNP as the Scottish people were very friendly (unlike skegness where we got turned away from place to stay) : loch Ness (didn’t see nessie, though !) . As well as getting on a ferry to Mull and Iona , seen Edinburgh and Glasgow- the bit by the university was surprisingly nice- I do want to go to Egg, and Pebbles as I like the idea of places named after familiar things….like there’s a place called wall and another stone in Staffordshire. Although my favourite bit of the UK is Cornwall…. (which has its own independence party so I’m told).

          • Well, of course they welcome tourists, Hannah.
            There’s a place near Jack called Ecclefechan. The children getting the bus home from school are known to call out “Where’s the ‘Fechan bus?”
            (This is a true story – it really, really annoys some of their school teachers too)

          • Dude

            And in Norfolk they say Norfolk ‘n good….

            P.S. :I was called a “wee posh southern numpty Tory Sassenach” last time I was in Scotland , with an offer of a Glasgow kiss, despite saying I wasn’t gay.

          • Ha, the Scots have an inferiority complex and are fearful of ‘posh’ English lasses – especially in the Central Western belt. All those strong Scottish mums, you see. It’s why they hated Thatcher.

          • Dude

            “All those strong Scottish mums”

            Jewish mothers , grandmothers and aunties, would make the SAS quake with fear….

          • My bro was reminiscing on the 1987 election in Finchley and Lord bucket head….lol.

          • Wicked girl ….

          • Lol, that’s the one !

          • Hi happy Jack

            Well I think that most Scottish people want to remain British and not smash up a fab country like Great Britain which has lasted for like zillions of years , where ALL the nations of the UK have fought shoulder to shoulder: proud bits of each other but still a United whole , where minorities like Jews have been welcomed, with friends and allies, but sometimes alone and as he arsenal of imperial democracy, with claymore wielding Scottish guys and plucky Irish often the last line of defence against the various tyrannies of this world :

            1. The French revolutionaries and Napoleon

            2.Kaiser Wilhelm and the German Reich’s villainous empire building

            3. The fight against the Nazi fascist evil

            4. The fight against Bolshevik and socialist imperialism

            5. The Islamist terrorism and IS

          • Calm down, Hannah. Jack likes many Scots folk too. He’s lived up here for more than 25 years.

          • Dude

            When my sis has a bee in her bonnet, there’s no talking to her. Although I shared her sentiments and yours. But what’s an Essex lad doing in Scotland ? My better half is an Essex gal :she meets my ” BLT” requirements……

          • Hi happy jack,

            I was putting my case for the union, rather than thinking of you (:

          • CliveM

            Pebbles? Do you not mean Peebles?

            Lovely place.

          • Hi Clive

            Pebbles sounds coolest!

          • CliveM

            As long as you know its Peebles!

        • carl jacobs

          The SNP won’t be participating in Parliament for the benefit of the UK. They will participate only to benefit the cause of Scottish independence. This violates the fundamental assumption of democratic gov’t. You can’t incorporate into the governance of a state those who are committed to destroying that state.

          • Inspector General

            All new ground. Who knows what the future will bring. But save the doomsday scenario until what will be has played out a bit…

          • carl jacobs

            That isn’t a “doomsday scenario.” It’s a prudential assessment of risk. The probability of realizing that risk is, shall we say, high.

          • Inspector General

            Your weakness as usual, Carl. Men refusing to play to their role allotted by you…

          • carl jacobs

            You think SNP wouldn’t use their place in gov’t to advance the cause of Scottish independence? I am not “alloting” a role to anyone. I simply listen to what they say and judge accordingly.

          • Inspector General

            Let it play out Carl…

        • The implications of SNP sweeping the board in Scotland is significant for the future of the UK and British democracy, Inspector.

      • That’s a realistic threat if SNP sweep the board in Scotland and decimate Labour. The Conservatives have one MP. The death of Labour in Scotland is a threat to our Union and democracy too. With the Lib-Dems about to nose dive, it could mean a perpetual Conservative government being in power.

      • B flat

        I quite agree. I won’t vote for the Conservative Party, because it has lost its integrity. The UK will keep its integrity when it returns to being a unity in its basic cultural principles as a unit of the civilisation which was recognised as European long before the EU was a gleam in Adenauer’s eye. Multiculturalism is a tragic mistake, and a complete undermining of democracy. I will not readily forgive being the subject of experiments in social engineering by any political party.

  • Shadrach Fire

    “How can a Christian vote Tory”,”How can a Christian vote Labour”, “No question they can’t vote Lib/Dem”.
    His Grace wrote,
    You may not believe that the Conservative vine is capable of bearing good fruit, and that it ought to be chopped down. You may be persuaded that David Cameron ……….ought to be cut off.

    Yes, Cameron behaved like a cowboy politician, the deceitful way he introduced SSM and bullied his ministers to support it. The Christian Institute in their election briefing states, Vernon Bogdanor, the respected Professor of Government, recently highlighted SSM as one of the main reasons why people feel “unrepresented” at Westminster.

    Having voted Conservative all my life since 1968 I have vowed that I can longer vote Conservative whilst Cameron is the leader. Although more conservatives voted against SSM than for it, they have seemingly made no attempt to remove him.
    The leadership is all powerful and can control who is selected as candidate as Cranmer’s associate knows. So how can it revert to a true conservative party and policies?

    The only way is by judicious pruning. Votes have to be take from the conservatives so that the predators can get him out. Then you may see the loyal voters returning to the party.

    • David

      Your last paragraph represents the logical thinking that I just wish more would engage in !

      • Inspector General

        Too late David. By not holding a referendum in his last administration, Cameron let UKIP in. Their is now a viable alternative.

        • Shadrach Fire

          In principle maybe, but their candidates are a motley crew.

          • They are indeed. At best, a vote for UKIP is a protest vote. The only reason to vote for one of their candidates is to register disapproval against Cameron’s leadership. However, the possible cost is a Labour-SNP government. Is this a price worth paying. This is Jack’s dilemma.

          • Owl

            No Jack, it is not a “protest” vote.
            They seem to have you playing their game for them!

        • David

          It would only work if the Conservative party shifted away from its present pretend right. But maybe that is too late. Some still expect a future Canadian type reunification of the right, post – Cameron, but a genuine right not in name only. Time will tell. In the meanwhile UKIP must expand its influence and it is !

  • Old Blowers

    When he was 83 (in 1786), Wesley wrote in frustration regarding christian life and how the world creeps in on us, nullifying our spirits:

    “I am not afraid that the people called Methodists will
    ever cease to exist. But I am afraid, that they will exist only as a
    dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this
    undoubtedly will happen, unless they hold fast to the doctrine, spirit,
    and discipline with which they began.

    I fear because I have seen that wherever riches have
    increased, with but few exceptions, the essence of religion, the mind
    that was in Christ, has decreased in the same proportion. Therefore, I
    do not see how it is possible, in the nature of things, for any revival
    of true religion to continue long. For religion must necessarily produce
    both industry and frugality; and these cannot but produce riches. But
    as riches increase, so will pride, anger, and love of the world in all
    its forms.

    How, then, is it possible that Methodism as a religion
    of the heart should continue long? For the Methodists in every place
    grow diligent and frugal; consequently, they increase in goods. Hence
    they proportionately increase in pride, in anger, in the desire of the
    flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life. So, although the
    form of religion remains, the spirit is swiftly vanishing away.

    Is there no way to prevent this continual decline of
    genuine religion? We ought not to forbid people to be diligent and
    frugal. We must exhort all Christians to gain all they can, and to save
    all they can. But to do so is, in effect, to urge them to grow rich! So
    how can we avoid letting our money send us to hell?
    There is one way, and only one, under heaven. If those
    who “gain all they can,” and “save all they can,” will likewise “give
    all they can;” then, the more they gain, the more they will grow in
    grace.”

    If only the CofE could see the parallels and how they have lost sight of that Christian life (But I am afraid, that they will exist only as a
    dead sect, having the form of religion without the power.)…This was Mrs T’s meaning which has been distorted so that all she said was “We must exhort all Christians to gain all they can, and to save
    all they can. But to do so is, in effect, to urge them to grow rich! ” They missed out John Wesley’s concluding ..”So how can we avoid letting our money send us to hell?
    There is one way, and only one, under heaven. If those who “gain all they can,” and “save all they can,” will likewise “give all they can;” then, the more they gain, the more they will grow in grace.” A caricature is all Mrs T was worth to her enemies rather than her whole emphasis on the methodist model. Was it her fault the last parage could not be grasped by those fortunate in the late seventies to early nineties?

    Preferred her moral vision over this current rabbles any day.

    • “When he was 83 (in 1786)”, goodness, Jack thought you were musing about your own life and times there, Blowers.

      Chin up, old boy. The times we life in are indeed dark and dangerous but they are as God permits them to be and as He foreknew them. We just soldier on …. with hope and faith and charity in our hearts.

      • Old Blowers

        “Chin up, old boy. ” Old Ernstie has cracked open a couple of beers. DESPERADO’S *Chuckles hic*

    • not a machine

      Oh blowers , Wesley perhaps makes an algo rhythm from words , he did a great thing , this is most interesting quote from him .Riches make no difference to how those who turn to Christ are saved .Of course having no money may mean a limited life span , but not God . I do however Have a slightly different problem if on inserts “teachers of the gospel” in place of riches…

      • Old Blowers

        “Riches make no difference to how those who turn to Christ are saved”. Wise words indeed, however…“

        16 The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
        18“ Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.
        19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’
        20“ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
        21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

        But once saved the Lord has no desire to leave his own in abject poverty, does He.

        “22 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.
        23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
        24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
        25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life ?
        26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

        You state “Of course having no money may mean a limited life span , but not God .”..Either Christ’s words are reliable and we can bank them or the Bible is not worth the paper it’s printed on…Remember, not everyone that says “Lord, Lord is a believer and therefore covered by His promises.

        1 Peter 5:7

        7 Casting all your care upon him; for he CARETH for you. (Literally, the Greek says, “for to Him, it is a care concerning you.”
        This not only says that He cares for us as His children, but that the
        whole of our care, which He wants us to cast on Him, is very much His
        personal concern.)”

        Peter reinforces what Our Lord Jesus used as basically the same argument to counter anxiety and wrong priorities because of our proneness to anxiety and self-trust. There He reminds us that if God so looks after the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, how much more will He not care for us as our heavenly Father.

        The issue then is to put first things first, to seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness (BELIEVE), to rest in His loving care, and to not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow is in God’s hands.

        This is the opposite of socialism dressed as Christianity, the premise being ..Who needs to individually trust in God, we can all do it together without Him?

        The pure Biblical argument from Our Saviour and Apostles is.. Why worry therefore, if we are indeed His concern. He is more concerned about our welfare than we ever possibly could be.

        Furthermore, He is infinitely more capable of caring for us than we are for ourselves.

        • not a machine

          Ah blowers but if you do not have poverty of spirit because of Christ , riches become a tool to help others rather than prop up the self ?

          • Old Blowers

            “poverty of spirit” What on earth is that…Sounds very RC, Ignatius-like *sniggers*

            Colossians 1:27
            “to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

            Ephesians 1:18

            “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints”

            Ephesians 3:8

            8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,

            You see, if we have Jesus Christ, then we have every spiritual blessing (Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who did bless us in EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,). All of God’s promises are “yes” in Christ (For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.). Where on earth is there any ongoing poverty of spirit in scripture for believers.

            Continuing in a state of supposed poverty of spirit is a contrived form of humility and against what Jesus and the Holy Spirit offers us to mature as believers.

            Psalm 37:5-6

            5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

            6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

          • “poverty of spirit” What on earth is that…Sounds very RC, Ignatius-like *sniggers*”
            Blowers, let’s see what a RC, Jesuit Pope makes of it.

            Blessed are the poor in spirit…”

            “The first Beatitude … says that the poor in spirit are blessed for theirs is the kingdom of heaven …

            First of all, let us try to understand what it means to be “poor in spirit”. When the Son of God became man, he chose the path of poverty and self-emptying. As Saint Paul said in his letter to the Philippians: “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in human likeness” (2:5-7). Jesus is God who strips himself of his glory. Here we see God’s choice to be poor: he was rich and yet he became poor in order to enrich us through his poverty (cf. 2 Cor 8:9). This is the mystery we contemplate in the crib when we see the Son of God lying in a manger, and later on the cross, where his self-emptying reaches its culmination.

            The Greek adjective ptochós (poor) does not have a purely material meaning. It means “a beggar”, and it should be seen as linked to the Jewish notion of the anawim, “God’s poor”. It suggests lowliness, a sense of one’s limitations and existential poverty. The anawim trust in the Lord, and they know that they can count on him …

            You might ask me, then: What can we do, specifically, to make poverty in spirit a way of life, a real part of our own lives? I will reply by saying three things.

            First of all, try to be free with regard to material things. The Lord calls us to a Gospel lifestyle marked by sobriety, by a refusal to yield to the culture of consumerism. This means being concerned with the essentials and learning to do without all those unneeded extras which hem us in. Let us learn to be detached from possessiveness and from the idolatry of money and lavish spending. Let us put Jesus first. He can free us from the kinds of idol-worship which enslave us. Put your trust in God, dear young friends! He knows and loves us, and he never forgets us. Just as he provides for the lilies of the field (cf. Mt 6:28), so he will make sure that we lack nothing. If we are to come through the financial crisis, we must be also ready to change our lifestyle and avoid so much wastefulness. Just as we need the courage to be happy, we also need the courage to live simply.

            Second, if we are to live by this Beatitude, all of us need to experience a conversion in the way we see the poor. We have to care for them and be sensitive to their spiritual and material needs. To you young people I especially entrust the task of restoring solidarity to the heart of human culture. Faced with old and new forms of poverty – unemployment, migration and addictions of various kinds – we have the duty to be alert and thoughtful, avoiding the temptation to remain indifferent. We have to remember all those who feel unloved, who have no hope for the future and who have given up on life out of discouragement, disappointment or fear. We have to learn to be on the side of the poor, and not just indulge in rhetoric about the poor! Let us go out to meet them, look into their eyes and listen to them. The poor provide us with a concrete opportunity to encounter Christ himself, and to touch his suffering flesh.

            However – and this is my third point – the poor are not just people to whom we can give something. They have much to offer us and to teach us. How much we have to learn from the wisdom of the poor! Think about it: several hundred years ago a saint, Benedict Joseph Labré, who lived on the streets of Rome from the alms he received, became a spiritual guide to all sorts of people, including nobles and prelates. In a very real way, the poor are our teachers. They show us that people’s value is not measured by their possessions or how much money they have in the bank. A poor person, a person lacking material possessions, always maintains his or her dignity. The poor can teach us much about humility and trust in God. In the parable of the pharisee and the tax-collector (cf. Lk 18:9-14), Jesus holds the tax-collector up as a model because of his humility and his acknowledgment that he is a sinner. The widow who gave her last two coins to the temple treasury is an example of the generosity of all those who have next to nothing and yet give away everything they have (Lk 21:1-4).”

            ” … for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

            “The central theme of the Gospel is the kingdom of God. Jesus is the kingdom of God in person; he is Immanuel, God-with-us. And it is in the human heart that the kingdom, God’s sovereignty, takes root and grows. The kingdom is at once both gift and promise. It has already been given to us in Jesus, but it has yet to be realized in its fullness. That is why we pray to the Father each day: “Thy kingdom come”.

            There is a close connection between poverty and evangelization, between the theme of the last World Youth Day – “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations!” (Mt 28:19) – and the theme for this year: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). The Lord wants a poor Church which evangelizes the poor. When Jesus sent the Twelve out on mission, he said to them: “Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the labourers deserve their food” (Mt 10:9-10).

            Evangelical poverty is a basic condition for spreading the kingdom of God. The most beautiful and spontaneous expressions of joy which I have seen during my life were by poor people who had little to hold onto. Evangelization in our time will only take place as the result of contagious joy.

            We have seen, then, that the Beatitude of the poor in spirit shapes our relationship with God, with material goods and with the poor. With the example and words of Jesus before us, we realize how much we need to be converted, so that the logic of being more will prevail over that of having more! The saints can best help us to understand the profound meaning of the Beatitudes. So the canonization of John Paul II, to be celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter, will be an event marked by immense joy. He will be the great patron of the World Youth Days which he inaugurated and always supported. In the communion of saints he will continue to be a father and friend to all of you.”

            (Pope Francis – Rio de Janeiro World Youth Day)

            https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=10443

          • Old Blowers

            Oh for goodness sake..Quoting a pope…was this ex cathedra?

            RC’s and others speak regarding the beatitudes as if spoken to the world yet they were given to believers ONLY. Unbelievers, however poor WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD, nor IS THEIRS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN!!!!!! Matthew 5:1-16 is to His disciples, thereafter is to the crowds.

            Francis states ” A poor person, a person lacking material possessions, always maintains his or her dignity.” REALLY??

            There are rich thieves and there are poor thieves, are there not. Seems to be an awful lot of them parading their ‘dignity’ on Jeremy Kyle.

            RC nonsense about the poor that is as deluded as the old pharisees belief that the rich were blessed. Nonsense spoken that brings smiles and nods from the papal faithful that has no merit or standing in the Bible. ALL ARE SINNERS THAT NEED CHRIST and none can glory in their status before Him..whether great or small, rich or poor, sick or healthy, free or slave, male or female.

          • What a strange reading of the address. Are you sure not being a tad stiff necked about all of this?

            Did you miss this:

            “The Lord calls us to a Gospel lifestyle marked by sobriety, by a refusal to yield to the culture of consumerism. This means being concerned with the essentials and learning to do without all those unneeded extras which hem us in. Let us learn to be detached from possessiveness and from the idolatry of money and lavish spending. Let us put Jesus first. He can free us from the kinds of idol-worship which enslave us. Put your trust in God, dear young friends! He knows and loves us, and he never forgets us. Just as he provides for the lilies of the field (cf. Mt 6:28), so he will make sure that we lack nothing.”

            And this:

            “The central theme of the Gospel is the kingdom of God. Jesus is the kingdom of God in person; he is Immanuel, God-with-us. And it is in the human heart that the kingdom, God’s sovereignty, takes root and grows. The kingdom is at once both gift and promise. It has already been given to us in Jesus, but it has yet to be realized in its fullness. That is why we pray to the Father each day: “Thy kingdom come”.”

            It’s an address to Christians, numpty. And you doubt this where the Pope is talking about the poor who trust God and have faith in Jesus Christ:

            ” … the poor are not just people to whom we can give something. They have much to offer us and to teach us. How much we have to learn from the wisdom of the poor! Think about it: several hundred years ago a saint, Benedict Joseph Labré, who lived on the streets of Rome from the alms he received, became a spiritual guide to all sorts of people, including nobles and prelates. In a very real way, the poor are our teachers. They show us that people’s value is not measured by their possessions or how much money they have in the bank. A poor person, a person lacking material possessions, always maintains his or her dignity. The poor can teach us much about humility and trust in God.”

          • Old Blowers

            Jack, it’s all RC religiousy waffle. “The central theme of the Gospel is the kingdom of God. Jesus is the kingdom of God in person;”The central theme of the gospel is Christ, God in the flesh, crucified for our sins, buried and risen in glory. Nowt else is central.

            The kingdom of God is more than the much promoted RC social gospel.

            “The poor can teach us much about humility and trust in God.” Err, Jesus Christ can teach us much about humility and trust in God.”

          • Nothing in the address contradicts any of that …..

            Jack takes it you’re not impressed with Pope Francis’ recent call to “kneel and venerate” the poor? No, neither was Mundabor. Jack is still weighing the statement up.

            https://mundabor.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/evil-francis-wants-you-to-kneel-in-veneration-in-front-of-the-poor/

          • Old Blowers

            We need no impressions from fallen men in any state or condition to teach us how to be humble or trust in the Father.JESUS CHRIST IS ALWAYS OUR EXEMPLAR IN THIS LIFE IN ALL THINGS. IT’S THAT NON-RELIGIOUSLY SIMPLE!!!!!!!!

          • Old Blowers

            Old Ernsty does love you but you are such a dyed in the purple papist.*chortles*

          • And you, dear friend, are a stubborn old beggar with Armenian leanings.

          • Old Blowers

            I am neither Armenian nor Calvinist. The third way is that both God’s election and Human choice are right and we cannot see it work as we are not eternal beings viewing things from God’s perspective, only that He always loves/loved us first.

            Mrs B’s major gripe with God is that a monster such as Hitler also had the chance of repenting and forgiveness…but as i point out to her he did but couldn’t as Pharaoh could not. The more God reveals Himself the angrier men become against Him (He hardens them by simply revealing Himself to them), such as Linus, who therefore condemn themselves in their pride and vanity.

          • “I am neither Armenian nor Calvinist …”
            The mobile RCIA unit is en route, Blowers.

          • Old Blowers

            I have a fully operational crater, armed to the teeth.

            You really should take up meditation now you have retired. It’ll beat sitting around doing nothing all day.*sniggers*

          • OoooHmmm ….
            Funnily enough some progressive ‘Catholics’ have suggested this to Jack so he can understand how our knowledge of God has evolved. Jack told them to feck off but his comment was removed by moderators.
            Jack is busier than you think doing “nothing” all day.

          • Old Blowers

            My jokes are obviously getting too deep for you, old boy, ‘meditation’..’doing nothing’, *giggles*

          • Old Blowers

            off to peeps, ready for another day of slog…try not to get too many splinters on your jacksie tomorrow, Jack, you man of leisure you.*chuckles*

          • Coniston

            I once, years ago, heard Martin Israel speak. He was
            Jewish, born in South Africa, but became a Christian, and came to live in the UK. He was interested in Christian Psychic studies. He said one thing I remember – that even Hitler, if he repented at the last, might be saved.

        • Shadrach Fire

          Blowers. I’m so pleased to see you back on top form. You must be truly recovered.

          • Old Blowers

            I’m actually worse..I may have rheumatoid arthritis. Getting it checked as the pain in my hip joints just started over the last two weeks is horrific when waking up in the morning. I actually yelp in agony it’s that painful.

          • Jack is sorry to hear this, Blowers. He hopes you find a way of relieving the pain.

          • Old Blowers

            ALCOHOL!! It’s helping at the moment.(hic)

          • Thought your earlier assault on Pope Francis was fuelled by an earthly spirit that had clouded your mind.
            *chuckle*

          • Sorry mate. I am looking forward to my new body. Take courage.

          • Jack is pleased to see Blowers return but please do not encourage him too much. He needs his sleep. It’s getting late.

  • Meantime, claiming a moral responsibility to speak and act for environmental stewardship and the world’s poor, the Church of England announced on Thursday it would divest from companies mining high-emissions-emitting fossil fuels.

    It appears the Anglican church’s pension board and church commissioners have adopted a new climate change policy by ceasing direct investment in any company generating more than 10 percent of its revenues from the extraction of thermal coal (mainly used in power generation) or tar sands oil, totaling 12 million euro ($13.43 million).

    “Climate change is already a reality. From an ethical perspective the focus of the investing bodies must be on assisting the transition to a low carbon economy,” said the Rev. Canon Professor Richard Burridge, deputy chair of the church’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group.

    “The Church has a moral responsibility to speak and act on both environmental stewardship and justice for the world’s poor who are most vulnerable to climate change. This responsibility encompasses not only the Church’s own work to reduce our own carbon footprint, but also how the Church’s money is invested and how we engage with companies on this vital issue.” he said.

    Goodness, Jack really, really hopes Pope Francis’ expected encyclical avoids all the contested science on this issue.

    • not a machine

      Careful happy jack Labour may have men/women in white coats monitoring emissions from incense burners . I too am looking forward to pope Francis encyclical

    • IanCad

      Thanks for that Jack, I had no idea the CofE had jumped on the global warming bandwagon.
      So now they want to make the “world’s poor” pay more for the fuel that keeps them warm?
      “Drill, baby, drill!!” Time for a new chainsaw.

  • not a machine

    Many years ago when your grace placed an unusual toe in the water of the new media of the blog ,this re arrangement of you viewing something published in London late at night to something published instantly from nearly anywhere in the world by a theoretical everyone who could type/write, was a most amazing thing, gone were the rubbish of medication and porn sites in yer spam tray , you had updates from discussions.
    It was rather sparky stuff , very intellectual at times and one of the most satisfying blogs to be a quiet member of, the fact that it was proudly conservative may well have been something missing from the www at that time but for those of us who heard an educated and traditional clergyman who was curious about this new media and still thankfully his faith and perhaps (although upsetting the new mantra) edified the church members by pondering why things had gone a bit funny within the church , which some were calling change and people like me could see that some of the things , weren’t very well argued or contemplated at all , some thoughts caused theological problems , but none the less during the Blair/Brown years (when apparently they didn’t do God) , god appeared to me to be getting done over, something gushy emotionally fibrille and fractious was growing in the church , people were perhaps being prepped for a more emotionally plastic era , assuming of course that emotionally plastic minds are good things , compared to what came before. The language of politics also changed and the labour party was allowed to rack up some of the biggest debts in history , debts that would not be paid for by them but by there rather devote (taken for granted) electorates grandchildren .
    Who can forget £10000 a seat being paid for banks hospitality wings for seats with labour politicians ,who can forget seeing the underclass forming within 4 years of labour coming to power ?.The solution to poverty was of course more state control and rather sadly the flawed aspects of Labours more zealous began to take control under a progressive guise , ready to stuff those Tories within a few years of taking office , by being outnumbered by a wailing executive and a broken economy a difficult friendship and people/families in poverty for an enduring labour Reich .
    I don’t know whether comrade Balls (tear in eye) saluting the courageous impoverished for there sacrifice in ensuring new dynasty of socialism , that will be good for ever and ever , lights your fire or not , but it certainly had me at first a bit puzzled ,then a bit unsure and then finally so angry at the en masse fraud they both committed and allowed , could and should not continue .
    The Christian socialists as an organisation has always rather puzzled me , perhaps has much as the Christian conservatives have troubled them and in these tow groups debating you might find the most tricky debates of word/translation of the bible , never mind the more godless shapes of politics .
    Politics has a habit of framing religion to suite its power , but does having a faith , or more precisely a Christian faith lead to politics , or should it, ah but then the godless will say politics isn’t for Christian and another branch of socialism will rule .
    One can see the politics of the new testament if you treat it that way , ponder the mistreatment of various characters . and then ponder why the church and seemingly more death and destruction have continued without resolution .
    Are we sides in a little game for the amusement of god ?, led astray by false teaching ? many other facets also exits , but this I am sure , I have seen prayer answered and I have seen lives changed , my faith continues to shape me and quite a bit of that faith comes from reading my bible and meeting others who understand the scriptures I am very grateful for some of the people some now passed away who showed me some of the scriptures, it does not come from Ed Milliband , David Cameron , or Nick Clegg. I ponder if the church was “weaponised” before NHS fell from the labour leaders lips , if so it has a recovery job on its hands .
    I note labour have just photo opped a monolith/pledge stone tablet bit unusual in this micro age to use litho age technology , I would think that will occupy most of Monday .distraction from royal baby , remember pledge card (funny item 6 on that card “I will run up debts so large your grandchildren will be indebt ” or item 7 “The labour party will continue to answer questions in a disengenous fashion to avaoid guilt” .
    If you cannot see labour made a huge error then at least vote for those who want to look after the economy if you believe in Christ I am afraid things are rather difficult .
    I heard 600 yadizes were excuted in mosul last night

  • peter_dtm

    more to the point

    How could any Chrisitian vote for a proven anti-God anti-Person ideology like socialism ?

    To misquote Churchill

    The Tories are appaling; however compared to the other parties (of the left) they are the least appaling of them all !

    • What party has put forward a “socialist” manifesto?

      • MenAreLikeWine

        The only political system explicitly condemned by the Church in papal encyclicals?

        Socialism.

        • … as well as unrestrained capitalism.

  • grandpa1940

    I used to vote for a Tory candidate at any election held; but once bloody Cameron shoved his Same-Sex Marriage abortion down our throats, he lost my vote, along with many, many thousands more.

    As i have maybe stated before, I’d sooner vote for ‘Stoner’ Millibland than any Tory, ever again.

    • Linus

      All these noses being cut off to spite faces tells one all one needs to know about what really motivates Christian voters.

      There’s nothing of God in all of this. It’s all about tantrums, vengeance and anti-gay animus. Cameron did something for the gay community and now you hates him, you hates him, you hates him forever! Way to go proclaiming the love of Christ for all! Looking at you, love is the last thing we see. We see the reality of Christianity: hatred of all who will not conform and anger when your power to make them conform is curbed.

      That’s Christianity for you. A religion of vengeful bigotry. This election is exposing you for what you really are.

      • bmudmai

        Actually Linus, it is not as simple as that. Some people that will be the case, but that’s a humanity problem and not a Christian problem. However, the complexity is that Cameron claims to be Christian, claims we are a Christian country and then proposes calling something good which the bible says is sin. Which, (whether you agree it’s a sin or not) is actually a serious issue in Christianity. It’s as bad as the sin, if not worse. It wouldn’t be so bad if Cameron wasn’t claiming to be Christian as we are instructed to accept his misguided ways but unfortunately we are in fact instructed to not even eat at the same table as him until he comes to repentance. May seem harsh, but it’s what is said to be done if a person is said to be a believer as he should know better.

        • Linus

          Uh huh, in other words, cutting off your nose to spite your face.

          The Conservatives are the only electable party with no specific plans to further downgrade Christianity’s status in British society. They’re not planning to disestablish the Church and turf the bishops out of the Lords. They’re all for maintaining more or less the status quo.

          Vote them out and the only alternative is the radical socialist vision of Labour and the SNP. But apparently it’s more important to you to punish a fellow Christian than it is to preserve your religion’s still relatively privileged place in British society.

          Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. I wonder why Christians refuse almost to a man to listen to him?

          • carl jacobs

            Linus

            This mania to find fault does you no credit. It leads you to make charges when you self-evidently don’t have the first clue what you are talking about. It would help, after all, to understand the verse before quoting it.

            In the first place, refusing to vote for someone over a disagreement on a political issue is not called “vengeance.” It’s called “exercising the franchise to vote.” A politician runs for election. If he is defeated he has not been judicially or extra-judicially punished. He has been rejected by the voters. Losing an election is not a punishment. It’s a hazard of the profession.

            In the second place, the issue with vengeance is one of authority. When Scripture says “Vengeance is mine” it means God reserves the authority to Himself. The voter has all the authority in the world to exercise his franchise in any manner he chooses. He is specifically given that authority by the governing documents of the nation and he is expected to exercise that authority. The willingness of the voter to reject a politician because of his political decisions is the means by which the electorate may restrain the government. Voting against a politician because of his record is the very essence of a voter’s civic responsibility.

            There is a prudential case to be made for rejecting Cameron at the cost of enduring a Labor/SNP coalition. I find that case unpersuasive – in fact, I find it dumb as rocks. But I understand it. And it has nothing to do with either vengeance or the Scripture you so badly mangled in your zeal to find fault where none exists.

          • Linus

            The decision not to vote for Cameron made by those who are natural Conservative voters is nothing other than an act of vengeance.

            It’s even been openly expressed here as punishment for his introduction of equal marriage.

            “I’ll never vote for Cameron again because of gay marriage even if that means enduring a government that would have done the same and will certainly do worse” is pure and spiteful vengeance in action.

            Dress it up as a thoughtful exercise of the right to vote if you wish, but when the election result is announced and Cameron is out, the flood of “bien fait pour sa gueule” comments on this blog will betray the real motivations of most of those who post here. They want his scalp and are willing to endure anything, even a Labour victory, to get it.

            What better demonstration could there be of their dyed in the wool homophobia? Cameron did something for the gays, which is the cardinal sin to beat all sins on this blog. So he’ll never be forgiven. I’m not surprised because I’ve known for a long time just how much you hate us and how determined you are to keep us in our place as the modern equivalent of lepers or the Indian Dalit caste. But I hope that those who’ve had less experience of the lengths you’re willing to go to in order to punish us for being who we are will take note and be appropriately suspicious of Christian attempts to lull us into a false sense of security with all your talk of love.

          • SimonToo

            That looks like paranoia. You are incapable of understanding the objection to same-sex marriage. To understand is not necessarily to agree, but without understanding you are unable to argue effectively.

          • dannybhoy

            Linus,
            you do talk nonsense sometimes, perhaps because you feel persecuted by God’s condemnation of homosexual behaviour.

            You fail to mention that God also condemns heterosexual adultery or fornication.
            He doesn’t condemn these things to make our lives miserable but because He knows that ultimately these acts will not bring us happiness, and will hurt a lot of innocent people in the process.

          • Linus

            That’s right, my sex life hurts so many innocent people, doesn’t it?

            Who, I wonder? The girl who fell in love with me when I was 12 and who vowed never to marry if she couldn’t have me?

            Poor thing: she doomed herself to celibacy that day, didn’t she? Because whether I have a partner or not, I’ll never marry her. So, if she was true to her word, then she’s either a nun or an old maid now. And it’s ALL MY FAULT!!! Aren’t gays just evil and wicked depriving those poor girls of their dream husbands?

            I wonder, do you think her suffering is made worse by the knowledge that I have a partner (if she knows, or indeed still cares, or even remembers her childhood crush on me)? Do you think she lies awake at night tortured by visions of me with a man while she tosses and turns in virginal frustration?

            Your imaginary God, how wicked I am! I should immediately dump my partner, seek this woman out, marry her and, by dint of hanging holy medals in my underpants and spritzing our marriage bed with water from Bernadette Soubirous’ sacred spring of the Virgin at Lourdes, attempt to sire children on her.

            A miracle will be needed, as she must be nearly 50 years old by now. But that’s no problem for your imaginary God, is it? If he could make it happen for Elizabeth and Zacharias, why not also for me and my aged and post-menopausal wife?

            Or do you think my 30-odd years of bonking guys has rendered the poor woman sterile? Is that the harm my sex life does to others? I suppose it wouldn’t necessarily have to be her. It could be any woman. Every time my partner and I have sex, does some woman’s womb somewhere in the world shrivel up and crumble to dust like a fossilized grape from a pharoah’s tomb?

            I wonder, what other form might all this harm my partner and I do to others take? Does our sex life cause earthquakes and tsunamis? Better hold on tight then, because if the force of the catastrophe is linked to the intensity of the orgasm, after last night there’s a 9 pointer and a 100 metre wall of water coming your way…

            Get your Ukip postal vote in now before France and the United Kingdom, indeed the whole of Western Europe from Iceland to the Mediterranean coast of North Africa, is overturned and perishes in fire and water, and all because my partner and I had a roll in the hay last night. Those wicked, selfish gays having sex when the lives of millions are at stake!

          • dannybhoy

            Linus,

            As I said,
            “..perhaps because you feel persecuted by God’s condemnation of homosexual behaviour.”

            I’m not trying to condemn you or make you unhappy my friend. I don’t even think you’re wicked. I’m not gay so I don’t know how it feels to be gay. That’s why I value your commenting here, because although we Christians can’t condone what God condemns, you are as loved by God as any Christian is. After all, we are all flawed and fallible people.
            I can only say that God condemns sexual behaviour outside of marriage. Perhaps for a change you should read or watch the testimonies of Christian heterosexuals who have led promiscuous lifestyles, and how it affected them?
            Not to trivialise your own experiences, but there are lots of Christians who have found peace and fulfilment in a relationship with God despite having had the most abandoned lifestyles..

          • Linus

            So a monogamous gay man is exactly the same as as a promiscuous straight, eh?

            It’s that kind of indiscriminate lumping together of all who do not conform to your religion’s narrow sexual morality and labeling us “sinners” that creates so much ill feeling.

            In any case, this God you present as a palliative for all your ills, real or imagined, is such a medicinal concept of divinity that it fails utterly to convince.

            Is the utility of God judged by how perfect he makes you? Is he like the plaster you use to smooth over a cracked and crumbling wall?

            God as Polyfilla, eh? Now there’s the ultimate expression of the utilitarian view of religion that so many British Christians espouse. He’s like the Great Plastic Surgeon in the Sky whose raison d’être is to nip and tuck and make you perfect. Because existence revolves around you, doesn’t it? That’s why God exists, to service your desire for eternal bliss and perfection.

            I’ve known three year old children less self-obsessed than most Christians.

          • dannybhoy

            “So a monogamous gay man is exactly the same as as a promiscuous straight, eh?”

            Hey I don’t make the rules Linus!
            I’m sure I’ve told you this before, but I’m old so perhaps I haven’t.
            I became a Christian at 22 and was celibate until I married at 31.
            Never had children either.
            Did have a childhood full of eczema and an adulthood plagued with asthma, no COPD.
            Never yet felt the need to shake my fist at God and say, “Why me?!” because I know that God’s love for me is more than sufficient. If I hadn’t of had those things I might not have been in the Merchant Navy, seen the world, lived in Israel and Switzerland, lived in Christian community, met lots of wonderful people and ended up with a very loving and loyal wife.

            God says homosexual behaviour is wrong, adultery is wrong, fornication is wrong…
            As I said, I’m not judging you Linus. I just think we are mistaken to assume that God doesn’t want our happiness and that any problem we have is bigger than He can solve or overcome.

          • Linus

            Homosexuality is not an illness. A gay man does not suffer from any kind of debilitating symptoms that make celibacy a virtual certainty. If you suffer from a disfiguring disease, the likelihood of someone finding you physically attractive enough to want to have sex with you is low. So celibacy is forced on you. You have few choices short of paying for sex or hoping against hope to meet someone who is not repulsed by your condition.

            While that must be difficult, it’s also easy because your choices have been made for you. When celibacy is not a choice but rather a fait accompli, your only choice is how to deal with it: acceptance and resignation, or acceptance and resentment against a God who would put you in such a situation.

            The challenges faced by gay people are completely different. Nothing forces us to be celibate. We’re not sick. We’re not disfigured. There are plenty of potential sexual partners out there who would be only too happy to have sex with us. Only the Church tells us we must not. For no apparent reason other than God doesn’t like gay sex.

            Unmarried straights are in a somewhat similar position. Nothing forces them to be celibate. They’re not sick. They’re not disfigured. There are plenty of potential sexual partners out there who would be only too happy to have sex with them. Only the Church tells them they must not. But they do have a way out. If they want to have sex, they can get married. Marriage is their get out of jail free card.

            Where’s the gay person’s get out of jail free card? Uh oh … we don’t get one! Ours is a life sentence with no possibility of parole or freedom, only we’re not confined in a prison we can never escape from like someone with a disfiguring condition might be. No, we’re supposed to police ourselves and live in the world right in the midst of all its temptations and yet still say no to them all. By choice. Of our own free will.

            Compare the situation to Korea. Those who have celibacy forced upon them are North Koreans, living with all the privations and restrictions of their despotic régime. It’s easy enough to say no to decadent Western lifestyle and goods when they’re not available. It’s easy enough to starve when there’s no food to put on the table. I’m sure most North Koreans are unhappy about their situation, but they can’t do much about it. So their only choice is to accept things as they are and try to make the best of a bad job.

            Gay people on the other hand are South Koreans. We live in a prosperous society surrounded by many temptations. Our straight neighbours have everything we desire and are allowed to enjoy it all with no guilt or sense of shame. But we are told we must renounce everything and live like North Koreans in the midst of South Korean plenty.

            So, what do you think would happen if you took a North Korean on the brink of starvation out of his failed collective farm and plonked him down in the middle of a richly furnished market in Seoul with enough money to buy whatever he wanted? Would he look at all the plenty and say “No, I prefer to scavenge in the park for nuts and edible roots and if I don’t find any, I’ll just have to graze like a sheep. All this wonderful food is not meant for me…”

            If there really is a God and he really does hate gay sex and will damn us to hell for having it, then he’s a cruel and sadistic monster. He’s set us up to fail by putting us in the middle of temptation that cannot be resisted and neglecting to provide us with a reason to want to resist it. If having gay sex hurt us, or hurt other people, or really did cause earthquakes and tsunamis, we’d have an incentive to avoid it. But it doesn’t. It does no more harm to anyone than sex of the straight variety, and yet we’re supposed to flee from it nobly while our straight neighbours can get married and have as much sex as they like. We’re the starving North Koreans invited to a sumptuous buffet in the South and expected to simply look at all the food and keep on starving. Why? Because apparently your God gets a kick out of watching us squirm.

          • dannybhoy

            ” But they do have a way out. If they want to have sex, they can get married. Marriage is their get out of jail free card.”
            Exactly, which is part of the reason I like to hear your views, DanJ0’s views and Hannah’s views.
            I can’t argue with God because it seems unfair that He condemns you for being gay and practicing gay sex.. Although in the context of Christianity and Judaism, God has mammals and people procreate. He is not against people enjoying sex within the context of a relationship, but as you know the expected outcome is eventually children.
            I don’t see anywhere where God takes delight in punishing anybody, and I don’t seeanywhere written that He hates you for being gay.
            We do know that in the New Testament there were homosexuals who had become Christians, but it doesn’t say what social supports were in place to help them and meet their needs for love and affirmation.
            The thing is as I understand it is that Christianity is more about being in a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
            That relationship results not only in true joy and peace, but a love and compassion for other people.
            I don’t agree with trying to tell a new or young Christian how their personal relationship with God should be – only that there should be a desire to live a life pleasing to the Lord.

          • Linus

            I don’t desire to live to please God because I don’t believe he exists, so why would I want to appease a figment of other people’s imagination?

            When I talk about god as a monster, I don’t believe he is a monster, because to be a monster he’d have to exist. But I can talk about the Christian vision of god as being monstrous, which it is. Your imaginary god who requires you to reproduce – or try to reproduce – as the price of sex has basically commoditized human relationships and human beings themselves. Where’s the joy in that?

            Your problem is that you realize the basic unfairness of the Christian treatment of gay people, but you’re unwilling to question a concept of god that works for you. Because you’re alright Jack, aren’t you? Christianity was developed by people like you, for people like you. Who cares about anyone else?

            Your Christian philosophy requires me to find joy in something that you instinctively know to be joyless: the solitary confinement and isolation of enforced, unwanted, lifelong celibacy. Except for a very few extremely atypical individuals, we all seek the joy of an intimate relationship because we’re relational beings and the physically intimate pair bond is our basic social unit. And yet you say your god has decreed that I cannot experience this and must either Iive alone, or undertake to marry someone I can neither desire nor love (and in doing so, make a mockery of the entire concept of a pair bond).

            My choice is between lifelong misery and damnation, but as this would make your god an unforgiving, vicious and cruel despot, your only alternative is to make it all my fault by telling me that I’m confused, and I don’t really want what I want, because I’m not made for that. According to you, the only thing that will really make me happy is wanting what you want for me. I have to find being alone joyful, even though it isn’t. But for your religion to be true, it has to be: but only for me. Never for you. Because that would just be too hard, wouldn’t it?

            Like I said above, you’re alright Jack, aren’t you? And when you’re alright, you don’t mind who you throw under the bus. Their pain isn’t yours.

          • dannybhoy

            “Your problem is that you realize the basic unfairness of the Christian treatment of gay people, but you’re unwilling to question a concept of god that works for you.”

            I accept that. It’s true

            Because you’re alright Jack, aren’t you?
            Christianity was developed by people like you, for people like you. Who cares about anyone else?

            I don’t accept that because I do care

            “My choice is between lifelong misery and damnation, but as this would
            make your god an unforgiving, vicious and cruel despot, your only alternative is to make it all my fault by telling me that I’m confused, and I don’t really want what I want, because I’m not made for that.”
            I most certainly am not saying it’s all your fault. I don’t think it is your fault and ,
            “My choice is between lifelong misery and damnation..”

            is exactly why I do care. I wouldn’t ever say you’re damned because you’re gay Linus. That is ridiculous.
            In any case though, if you don’t believe there is a God why should you care about damnation?
            Finally, I don’t know how the God I believe in would shape your relationship with Him. Only that I believe with all my heart that He loves you and He knows your heart better than anybody.
            I do not condemn you Linus, but It seems to me that people that you really love and cared about may have really hurt you, and if that’s so I am most terribly sorry

          • Linus

            It’s a constant with Christians that as soon as you start to question their certainties, out come the infantilizing, pathologizing comments like “…people that you really love and cared about may have really hurt you…”

            Once again, your game is to manipulate me into the inferior position of a victim to whom you can graciously extend your loving kindness and sympathy. Of course I’ll be so grateful that I’ll forever look up to you. Because you need to be looked up to, don’t you? You just know you’re so much better than us poor deluded gays.

            It really is quite pitiful. And amateurish too. If you’re going to try to manipulate me, you could at least be subtle about it.

            No, those I really love and care about have not really hurt me, or at least no more than anyone is ever hurt by those they’re close to. And no, I’m not worried about damnation because your god is a fictional character who can no more damn me to a place that doesn’t exist than any other literary bogeyman can.

            The problem when talking to Christians is that you have to enter into their fictional world in order to point out its absurdities and contradictions, and when you do, they think they’ve scored a point, as if your temporary suspension of disbelief for the purposes of arguing a point amounts to an acceptance of the existence of their imaginary god.

            It doesn’t. God no more exists than Allah or Vishnu or Bilbo Baggins. If we were discussing the finer points of Tolkien’s work, I would have to enter into the story in order to critique it. But talking about Bilbo Baggins doesn’t mean accepting that he’s a real person who actually lived. Same thing with god. In the work of fiction that forms the basis of Christianity, I am condemned to lifelong misery or damnation. In reality I am condemned to neither. But it’s salutary to point out to a Christian that his religion leaves me damned if I do, and damned if I don’t. The story wasn’t written for my benefit. It was written for his. That’s the reality of Christianity for gay people. It’s a form of slavery to other people’s expectations and prejudices.

          • dannybhoy

            “It really is quite pitiful. And amateurish too. If you’re going to try to manipulate me, you could at least be subtle about it.”

            I don’t do subtle Linus, because I have no need to be subtle, only to be truthful. Why on earth would I want to make you into a victim – or deluded?
            Why would I want you to look up to me? I don’t even look up to me! I have no illusions about myself old chap.

            “No, those I really love and care about have not really hurt me, or at
            least no more than anyone is ever hurt by those they’re close to. And
            no, I’m not worried about damnation because your god is a fictional
            character who can no more damn me to a place that doesn’t exist than any
            other literary bogeyman can.”

            Okay, so that isn’t the case, but you’re surely not trying to tell me that you just ‘happened’ across this blog and were instantly traumatised by what you read here?
            Someone(s) had to have spoken to you in a way that provoked this anger in you.
            (And I’m not trying to put the blame on them or you.)

            Also whilst I appreciate your input here, and the occasional departures into politics and culture; I don’t understand quite what you personally get from continuing to engage with Christians you find so…. awful/condescending/deluded/pathetic/judgemental etc.
            We can’t even wish you well or express interest in you without you having a hissy fit! 🙂

          • Linus

            My reasons for being here have been clearly expressed elsewhere on this blog. If you choose not to understand them, that’s entirely up to you. I’m not going to repeat myself ad infinitum for your benefit, but one more time won’t hurt.

            Any reasonable person is angered by blatant homophobic prejudice. We live in a world, or at least a region of the world, where overt homophobia is at long last being relegated to the past. But there are bastions of hatred that still stand and this blog is prominent among them.

            You tell gay people who come here that they must sacrifice all chance of an intimate relationship to your vengeful and homophobic god otherwise they’ll be tortured for all eternity. I tell them this is utter and absolute nonsense and to get on with their lives, which belong to them, not to you and your imaginary god.

            When Christians are left to their own devices there’s no end to the harm they can do. And they do it. They take great pride and pleasure in harassing and intimidating gay people with their wild tales of brimstone and hellfire. In effect they want to convert us for the pure pleasure of seeing us cringe in horror and despair at the prospect of dragging our way through life miserably alone, convinced that we’re “broken” and “defective” and “objectively disordered”. Our tears and our loneliness are what they seek.

            They dress it up by saying they want us to find joy in the solitude their imaginary god demands of us, but what they really seek are people to look down on and pity. They love it when miserable celibate gays come to their churches and tell them how awful their lives are. It makes them feel like they haven’t got it so bad after all.

            That’s the kind of Christian who frequents this site and keeps the conservative Church going. And that’s the kind of Christianity that the gay community needs to be warned against. This is why I am here. And that’s the last time I’m going to explain it to you. If you choose not to understand then so be it.

          • dannybhoy

            “But there are bastions of hatred that still stand and this blog is prominent among them.”
            We’re a bastion of hatred?
            Us?

            “That’s the kind of Christian who frequents this site and keeps the
            conservative Church going. And that’s the kind of Christianity that the
            gay community needs to be warned against. This is why I am here.”

            Ah so.
            You see yourself a prophet, a sentinel to warn unsuspecting gay people of the dangers awaiting them here..
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            Must get kinda boring…

            We only have DanJ0 whom we like, and quite frequently Hannah, who is also devoutly Sephardi Jewish, and whom we all like and respect for her integrity..
            The Inspector says he reads the Pink News -which might arouse you to fury I suppose?
            I like you, Linus.
            Even though you treat me meanly…

          • Linus

            Ho ho! Straight man speak with forked tongue!

            There are many visitors to this site. Some of them are even gay, or at least not overtly homophobic. If they look at these conversations and my comments help them to discern the malice that underlies the conservative Church’s attitude towards homosexuality, my work here is done.

            I’m no prophet. I’m just a concerned individual who knows how the Church uses new technology in its bid to harm the LGBT community. In order to hear Christianity’s message of denigration and contempt for who and what we are, gay people used to have to make the effort to go to church, which of course virtually none of us did. But now the Church can reach right into our homes and attack us on our own computer screens. New tactics require new counter-measures. Even an old dinosaur like the Inspector understands this, if his interventions on Pink News are anything to go by.

            And as for your protestations of ill-usage, I’ve never accused you of being objectively disordered or called your sex life with your wife evil and sinful. I don’t insult you for who you are and what you do and feel. And yet, be it implicitly or directly, that’s exactly what you do to me all the time.

            “God wants you to be happy, Linus. So dump your bum buddy, cut off your zizi and spend the rest of your life kneelîng in repentance before the altar of the white, straight God who loves you so much he’s planned a whole lifetime of celibate misery for you, because apparently that’s what loving fathers do to their beloved gay children: shut them away in solitary confinement and throw away the key.”

            That’s your message of Christian love and forgiveness. That’s the Christian understanding of “abundant life” for the LGBT community. That’s what makes you a poisonous homophobe.

          • ZX10

            Maybe me but as a devout atheist myself I find your never ending war on something you claim does not exist very worrying why do you do it ? is it ego or just hate that drives you ?
            I come here to see how others think on issues of religion ‘I don’t believe’ doesn’t mean I don’t debate ! yet you seem to just come to show of your anti God credentials !

          • Linus

            I’m here to provide those unfortunate LGBT individuals who are mired in a gay-hating religious environment and have been referred to this unpleasant site by gay-hating Christian “friends” and family with another point of view. They need to see that every Christian argument has a secular rebuttal and that the evidence is strongly against Christianity and all religions.

            This necessarily involves robust exchanges with brainwashed Christian zealots determined to convince all gays how wicked we are and why we need to bow at their feet and worship them and their heterosexuality.

            Do I hate Christians? Not as such, but I certainly hate what they and their religion have done to people like me over the centuries, and still try to do today.

            I don’t really have Christian friends any more, as the equal marriage debate has focused too much light on real attitudes and opinions, so that it has become difficult to ignore the patronizing, sneering “hate the sin, love the sinner” foundation on which what they called a friendship, but which was actually something more like a condescending act of charity, was built.

            That’s been my overwhelming experience of Christian “love”. It’s got nothing to do with real love and respect. It’s really a mixture of the worst and most controlling elements of the parental instinct, and the desire to have a tame pet to train and order around.

            Well, the pets have risen up against their masters and now demand to be treated as equals. That appalls their former owners, who (rather like whites in the slave states of the US after their defeat in the Civil War) refuse to admit defeat. But defeated they are. And they know it.

            All they can do is attempt to sow as much discord and ruin in as many lives around them as possible in an act of revenge against those who have overthrown their former absolute rule. Which is one of the raisons d’être of this site. Which is why I’m here.

          • bmudmai

            I guess you either didn’t really read what I said, ignored what I said or have a sheer ignorance of Christianity.

            Christian’s don’t exist to be liked or preserved. We aren’t meant to be creating a comfortable environment for those of the world to continue in their ways. If standing up for what we believe to be right (in this instance that DC claims to be Christian but calls evil good) ends up with Christian suffering then that’s a price we are to pay. Upholding God and his ways is far more important then being preserved and comfortable.

      • len

        You seem to speak more about God than many Christians?.
        Is that because its not so much you don`t believe in God but just do not like him?.
        Cameron believes he is being ‘progressive’ whereas in reality he is being’ regressive’. Homosexuality is nothing new .Homosexuality is an indicator of the decline of a society and it has been witnessed many times before.
        Hate?. I hate no one rather pity them their lack of vision….

        • Linus

          It isn’t possible to hate what doesn’t exist, although one can certainly hate the idea of it.

          I hate the idea of orcs and trolls and Ringwraiths even though these things are not real. I also hate the idea of the vengeful and thoroughly unpleasant fictional sprite that Christians worship.

          How would it be possible to love a deity who singles you out for lifelong punishment for a characteristic that isn’t your fault and does nobody any harm? Expecting a gay person to love God is like expecting a Jew to love Hitler.

          • And yet you live, Linus! Despite your sinfulness and rebellion, you suck God’s good air into your lungs so that you can spew out your hatred towards Him.
            Because
            ‘ The Lord is……..longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance’ (2 Peter 3:9).
            .
            So down on your knees again with you, Linus, and a prayer of repentance while there’s still time. Then up to sing a rousing hymn:
            .
            ‘His blood can make the foulest clean;
            His blood availed for me.’
            .
            As indeed it did.

          • Linus

            It isn’t god’s air. It’s just air. Air is free and belongs to nobody, so if it’s alright by you – and even if it isn’t, what can you do to stop me? – I’ll keep on breathing without thanking anyone, because there’s no-one to thank.

            Or should I thank the thin air itself? Is it sentient? Does it resent me using it or should I be paying some kind of tribute or toll?

            You’ll have to show me where I’m supposed to stick my credit card and how much I should pay. No doubt your Church has a card terminal and would gladly provide a VAT receipt.

            What will the invoice list as the goods being purchased? Item: 1 quantity of God’s good air for use by 1 Christian sucker…

          • dannybhoy

            MM
            I don’t think Linus hates God. Linus is an intelligent man who finds himself at loggerheads with Christianity over his sexuality.
            I can’t imagine what that’s like. What I do know is that Jesus died on the cross for him as well as me, so I want Linus to know that I accept him, respect him and pray for him. That’s why I try to ignore what he says, and understand why he says it.
            I think Jesus would be just as loving and direct to Linus as He would be with you or me..

          • len

            I certainly would not like the god that you seem to have created.
            I don`t even pretend to know why God does some things but if anyone wants to know God then one should perhaps look at Jesus Christ .

          • Inspector General

            God has allowed for sterile types like yourself to enrich the world, probably. What the Inspector is having problems with is why…

          • Linus

            What, you mean the Inspector is questioning God’s plan?

            Baby steps…

        • dannybhoy

          Linus does not accept the concept of disagreeing without hating..
          Or perhaps his concept of hate is different to ours.
          Like you I don’t hate anybody (according to my definition of hate.) Linus takes it very personally when Christians refuse to accept the idea of same sex marriage.
          Even though SSM has never been recognised by any society..
          ever..
          In the context of a secular society however, civil partnerships seem to me to be eminently sensible in recognising a permanent relationship between two people of the same sex.

    • len

      I believe Cameron succumbed to pressure from within his cabinet to reform SSM perhaps as ‘a deal’ on some other issue.This matter will certainly come back to bite him where it hurts.

      • I wonder if it was because the EU were going to force the UK government to do it anyway and it would look less bad if his government jumped before they were pushed.

  • Jill

    I’m afraid I will have to join with others here by not voting Conservative. This is sad for lifelong supporters like myself, but gay marriage was the last straw. I wonder of Cameron knew how much damage this is going to cause for future generations?

    I see that madwoman in the Green Party is now openly supporting polyamorous marriage – how will Bishop Alan Wilson and other supporters of gay marriage react to that, I wonder?

    Anyone reading the material that is being presented to the Supreme Court in the USA right now against the redefinition of marriage will understand just what a blunder we have committed. Cameron and Co should be forced to read it, and to apologise to the British people who have had this forced upon them, and have been called names into the bargain.

    A good summary can be read here:

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/04/14932/?utm_source=The+Witherspoon+Institute&utm_campaign=9f5ecaaee1-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_15ce6af37b-9f5ecaaee1-84102557

    History will not look kindly on you, David Cameron, for this gross betrayal of the nation’s children – tomorrow’s adults and policymakers.

    • big

      How do you think the children of Libya and Syria will look upon Cameron?

  • big

    What is a “coalition of our minds”? And why should we temper our hostility to people like Thatcher?

  • I was hopeful of a solid argument in this post to grapple with.

    However, Cranmer appears to simply commit an equivocation fallacy, as if the fact that the modern Tory part having the word “conservative” in its official title is somehow a full and sufficient basis argument. As if the word in the title establishes that there is, in fact, some connection between voting for it, and voting for conservative values. As if the fact that there’s the word “Conservative” on the ballot paper means that you can, in fact, vote, for the values that Cranmer talks about in this post.

    This is far from clear to me, and needs an argument, not simply the donning of rose-tinted spectacles and snatches of exalted prose.

    Or should I vote Labour simply because in God’s creation, work is a good thing?

  • RuariJM

    It’s clear that political parties are made up of people who do not necessarily all agree on the issues, across the board. For example, even if I accepted every word of His Grace’s thesis, I could not vote for the Conservative candidate in my constituency because of his record – as an MP – on key pro-life issues. For example, he voted against the Bruce Amendment, which would have specifically outlawed gender-selective abortion.

    By contrast, the Conservative MP in the neighbouring constituency voted in favour. As I regard pro-life issues as more important than anything else, then I could conceivably have voted for that particular candidate.

    I don’t think it is currently possible to have confidence in any political party so the only thing one can do, in Christian conscience, is to consider what the candidates themselves say.

    On the subject of SSM, Cameron did something more than fly in the face of 600,000+ signatories to the C4M petition. He alienated core supporters, the ones who could in the past have been relied upon to do the footslogging work of delivering leaflets and speaking to people on the doorstep. I have heard it reported that Francis Maude claimed that the Tory Party could not win another election if it did not embrace SSM. The undemocratic way it was done meant that it is unlikely to win this election, at least – so, exactly the opposite of what was claimed. Reaching out to new electors is of course part and parcel of party politics – but it is not a tactic that will succeed if you alienate your longstanding support at the same time.

    • Cameron quite cynically calculated he could pee off his core supporters over SSM that early in the electoral cycle and get away with it. And it looks as if he calculated right.

      Why did he do this? Was it blackmail from his Oxford days, or was it because the Eu was going to ram it through anyway and that would strengthen UKIP’s arm? We may never know-but think on this.

      If he rammed SSM through with ZERO warning or electoral mandate in 2010, what will he do that he similarly hasn’t told us about if given another chance?

      • RuariJM

        If you think Cameron got way with it then you must be living somewhere that still has an effective party organisation, with loyal and unsung workers who pour out of the woodwork come election time, stuff envelopes, deliver leaflets, argue and debate on the doorstep and generally deliver the message – and the votes – on the day.

        I don’t. And nor does Tim Stanley, it would appear.

  • I will never forget the night the penny dropped for me about Saint Margaret of Finchley, for whom I had previously voted with enthusiasm (and given the Scargillist threat, probably inevitably). This was about 25 years ago as I recall, she was still in power.

    Matthew Parris was being interviewed on a homosexualist TV programme ‘Out on Tuesday’, a sort of ‘how can a gay be a Tory?’ interview. He was asked, as Thatcher’s private secretary, what she thought about ‘The Moral Right’ (the interviewer spat the words out.

    Parris’s reply was instructive. He said ‘She doesn’t like or trust them, but she recognises their electoral significance.’

    That was a moment of enlightenment for me. So that was why she had heavily hinted she would ‘do something’ about pornography, abortion on request, attacks on the married family etc-and whatever other sound bites and dog whistles her advisers told her would secure Christian and Christian-leaning voters.

    She hinted but never delivered. When the Alton Bill failed, she famously stood in line next to hard left pro-abortion MP Dennis Skinner apparently sharing a joke as they BOTH voted for the most liberal abortion law in Europe.

    I have never voted Conservative again, and I never will.

    Everyone must vote according to the conscience after careful consideration of alternatives. If I was about to be murdered/executed and was given a choice between lethal injection or burning alive, I’d take the injection, but I’d rather have neither. Christians ought not to vote for Dave Cameron’s party on the grounds that it is in some way Christian. Not only is it not ethically, politically or economically Christian, but it has a record of cynically courting the Christian vote while behaving according to an entirely different set of ethics..

  • >>>>Where Conservatism is uncompromising is in the preservation of religion – Christianity – perhaps no longer as its highest duty, but certainly as part of the sacral texture of public life. Conservatism repudiates the abstract truths of socialism and the exalted claims of liberalism: it seeks to govern by the dynamic political trinity of tradition, reason and pragmatism, mindful of the foundations and sensitive to mutable perspectives.

    It eschews revolution: it is not ‘radical’ in the sense of desiring to sweep away the old paths or attenuate our historical vision to persuade us of the latest revelation.<<<

    I'm afraid Your Grace that this set of assertions is simply incorrect, certainly as far as the Cameron crew is concerned. It seems a fine statement of values as far as it goes, but Dave Cameron's party is not wedded to these values. They have taken their supporters for a ride.

    For the grimly detailed evidence proving this, read Peter Hitchens' book 'The Cameron Delusion.'

    I'm sick of this vacuous election campaign which has fundamentally been about the level of debt based entitlement spending, but not as sick as I'm probably going to be on Friday morning after spending all night shouting at the TV. Have taken the day off work, will get in some beers, crisps, sackcloth and ashes.

    • big

      Stephen thanks for the up vote! As for Thatcher my moment of enlightenment was when i first heard that ghastly totally false voice.

  • Phil Benson

    What is described here is what it is to be a Tory, rather than a Conservative – and that is a very nineteenth century thing, certainly pre-Thatcher (as Thatcher would have loved to be called a Tory, but she never really was; she was a revolutionary and didn’t conserve very much). The Conservative party has become primarily a machine for winning elections, as can be seen by the fact they’ve won most of them since 1945 (the Blair government was the first instance of two back-to-back Labour governments with a majority large enough to effect significant change).

    Given this, the Conservatives will always twist and turn in the wind, a weathervane of the Zeitgeist, doing whatever will achieve electoral success.

  • nathanael reuss

    Christianity doesn’t need Conservatism, or any other Political construct for its preservation. What maybe perceived as uncompromising support is pure myth.