Sunday, December 23, 2007

Blair's Final Betrayal

So Blair has done what most people expected and converted to Catholicism. As to the conversion itself and anyone's personal beliefs I really don't care. I do, as a Catholic myself, feel deeply betrayed by this conversion and the timing of it.

This was not a decision made lightly or even in the few months since he left office. His wife is Catholic as are his children. He has attended Catholic mass for years. The conversion was really always on the cards. And again - a personal decision for him to make and act on himself.

But why in his years as Prime Minister, particularly the final year and a half when we all knew he was stepping down soon, did he never speak out against the institutionalised anti-Catholic legislation in Britain? Why did he never say that the Act of Succession which prevents a future monarch marrying a Catholic is wrong? Why didn't he say that the rule which prevents a Catholic being First Lord of the Treasury is an insult to the millions of Catholics in the country? Catholicism is the only religion that these rules apply to. Blair knew he was going to become a Catholic, why did he not speak out in defence of the religion he respects so much?

As usual with Blair it was a case of making sure his power trip came above everything else. He knew that by following his beliefs he would never have been PM, and that position mattered more to him than anything else. He's a hypocrite.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Tory Survey Benefits Cancer Charity - Yuck.....

The political blogs are in a bit of a tizz over the Caroline Nokes cancer survey. Conservative PPC Caroline Nokes branded one of her surveys (with permission, perhaps erronously given but given none the less) with the logo of Breast Cancer Care prominently branded and a promise to the electorate of a donation to charity for every survey returned. It wasn't a survey about health and it was made clear that it was a political survey from a political candidate.

The Guardian and Channel 4 both gleeful reported the story as a huge scandal. Conservative Home claims it's a non-story. The soon to be defunct Recess Monkey is terribly self-righteous about it all.

I don't think it's either a scam or a non-story. It's a sign of the growing cult of morality that politicians from all parties like to build up around themselves. It's twee, it's sickening, it's cloying. If I want to give money to a cancer charity I will. I don't want some candidate to tell me they're doing it on my behalf.

Giving money to charity used to be something that we did privately. Now politicians love to tell us about their donations, their marathon running, their arctic treks, and whatever else they do. It is demanded of MPs that they take part in sleepouts for homeless charities or give up their Christmas days to help in a hospital. If this is something that a particular politician feels strongly about then that's well and good. But leave the digital camera at home eh?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why Not Tell People Not To Be Criminals?

I've become increasingly wound up in the past few days by the amount of crime-prevention warnings around. On a bus stop poster near my office are about three or four threats of your house being burgled if you don't lock up, hide your presents, throw empty boxes away immediately, buy Christmas presents. We're told not to talk on our mobile phones in the street, listen to MP3 players or drink more than a small sherry for fear of being mugged. Catholic churches are even moving midnight mass for fear of them being upset by drunks.

I'm all for protecting yourself and your property and it's right that people should be reminded of their responsibilities. But why don't these posters say things like "If you break into someone's house you'll be jailed you little shit" or "A short skirt doesn't mean you can be all rapey" or "Get a job and buy your own MP3 player"?

A huge amount of money is spent on these crime prevention advertising campaigns.

Here's another way to use the money - more police and longer prison sentences.