Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Catholic Political Party For England? Part II

There have been some interesting comments on this blog and on Stuart's eChurch Blog which is also running with this idea.

Our hashtag on Twitter is #CatholicParty but I don't imagine the name actually being 'Catholic Party' if it did gain enough traction to become a reality. I would hope more to see a party with core principles that would attract those who are currently disenfranchised. A party for those of us who have core moral principles that we are not prepared to compromise any longer by voting for parties that advocate/support abortion and euthanasia for example.

I know many people, including atheists, who oppose abortion and euthanasia. They should not be excluded from a new political party because of their belief or lack of belief. Similarly there are other Christian groups and people of other faiths who hold dear our core beliefs and they too should be welcomed.

A commentator on eChurch Blog has suggested that this would be a vanity project, a chance for Catholics to wave a flag about how righteous we are. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am only floating this idea but would prefer not to waste time using a political party to 'show off' my religious beliefs. Politics is hard work and anybody spending time seriously involved needs to be aware that the electorate do not vote for mavericks or obsessives. Any new party needs to appeal to a broad range of people while adhering and refusing to compromise its core principles.

Nor is there any question of compromising the seperation of church and state. I do not imagine a party rising to power (if only!) that could disestablish the Church of England and replace it with another religion. That is not what this idea is about. It is solely about offering those of us with views that are disregarded or even scorned by current political parties a political home.

We may never replace the Coalition in government but at least we would have a party that we could vote for. Voting for the current parties, who despise the values and principles of  millions of us, is probably worse than abstaining. If we never won an election at least we could vote and have a clear conscience.

The Party of Conscience maybe?


Anonymous said...

To actually test the waters one would of course have some stats to back up a need for another party? Have just had a look myself and can not see any recent surveys by the ONS or MORI that would suggest the electorate are crying out for a religious party to rule in the UK? When members of the public are asked religious views unless extreme in their own views, it rates as of little importance?

A Catholic party would never be allowed to gain power in the UK the C/E, government/Monarchy would make sure of that. After studying modern history/politics I know whatever my views on religion are I would never advocate joining these two forces ever again and allowing absolute power over the people. One only has to read a history book to see how sucessful religion/politics has been! Dark ages, no thank you!

Who are those people you talk about who are currently disenfrachised? Iam appalled by norms and values in society at present re riots/looting but thats not down to the state. Its the result of bad parents.

If you had enough evidence that it was beneficial to establish said party, location indeed would be important. I would not suggest you choosing poor/under privileged areas as you will be seen to be taking advantage of them(brain washing)? Nor to suceed would I choose the North West.

You would need a charismatic leader? I hear mr Blair is looking for a new job!!!!


Gregg said...

Hello M, hope all's well.

I too am a history graduate and am certainly not advocating a return to some kind of medieval theocracy a la some kind of christian Iran.

Nor am I interested in merely trying to follow public opinion like Blair and co. I am calling for a party that is more interested in principle than getting into power at all costs.

I increasingly feel disenfranchised as do people I meet and chat to on an almost daily basis. The proliferation of new parties, and the falling actual votes for the old three back this up in my view.

Politics used to be about people coming together with common principles and beliefs, they then set out to convince people to vote for them. That is what I am thinking about. What we currently have are alliances of greedy career politicians looking to further their positions on the gravy train. If a principle slapped them in the face most of them wouldn't recognise it.

e.f. bartlam said...

It's my personal policy to stay out of the internal affairs of other countries...y'all do what you want.

But just as a general observation, religion certain isn't the only belief system that, when coupled with political power, has produced oppression...far from it.

Greg how do you feel about Knoxville Tennessee. We need somebody to take the UT Volunteers over at Flimsy Cups.

Gregg said...

Knoxville Tennessee sounds great tom me Erik. Just wish I could get Mrs B on a plane!!

Hope you and your family are well. You've got me, having a look at Flimsy Cups, wondering again about American Football. I love the razmataz but have never got to grips with subtleties. I'll try again.


e.f. bartlam said...

It's not as complicated as it looks...it's Rugby with downs. Once you institute the downs everything else logically follows on...even the pads. Forward pass is a novelty but other than that it's an obvious take on rugby.

Of course we're talking about College football...the intimacy of non-league football with all the tradition, history (college football is much older than the NFL...almost as old as the association rules), and rivalries of a grand old league like the Premiership. Specifically we are talking about the SEC...God's gift to sport. :)

There's some razzmatazz to be sure but it's genuine in the case of college ball. Idiots at the NFL trying to export the game like they do are making a huge mistake...and being not a little culturally arrogant.

Put me in charge of taking it to the world and I'll have em all hooked in ten years....which is nine years and 364 days to slow for the NFL.

You better start learning to sing Rocky Top and buy a boat.

Anonymous said...


A worthy topic of discussion and one that requires a book-length treatment, both in regard to the value and damage limitation of such a project.

If you are serious about this then I do not doubt that there is sufficient ability and political sophistication amongst the faithful if you know where to look. However, before opening it to the floor, I would suggest working on this yourself with people you trust not to run away with an idea that could so easily go wrong. If you don’t mind my ten penny worth, I believe that first, adopting a historical perspective rather than a politico-philosophical approach, will serve you better in the long-term. Personally, I’m convinced that any such project will sooner or later become unstuck if it does not sufficiently countenance the limitations of the project itself; the inevitable antipathy it will face in engaging the press, the politicians and the popular majority, as well as the questionable support it will get from a somewhat divided laity and the potential harm it could do to the Church, were it to succumb to misrepresentative compromise.

If you are taking this forward, I suggest it would be worth undertaking a review of the closest thing to a case in point first off: such as the Christian Peoples Alliance’s efforts over the last decade. I would also consider approaching Lord Alton of Liverpool. He has of course been both a Lib Dem MP and is now a cross-bencher in the Lords, but was one of the three founding members of the Movement for Christian Democracy in the 1990’s along with Derek Enright (Labour) and Ken Hargreaves (Conservative), which pre-empted the CPA.

If God wills it, it will happen. Why not?

bonae voluntatis,