30Apr

Vote Tomlinson

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The election looms and, as a Christian, I still feel alienated from the electoral process because all options leave me disillusioned. So pushing all parties aside I thought it might be fun to share the manifesto of my dreams. Let me present the newly formed (in my head) Tomlinson party…my idea of what ought to be offered  the electorate for the good of our nation.

1. A return to Christian values

Christian voters feel marginalised because the ethical basis on which we are governed is drifting/being driven from its historic Judeo-Christian foundation to adopt and serve a secular egalitarian vision. I would stamp out the secularism rampant in society and ask voters of all faiths to embrace our Christian heritage instead. The electorate should be made aware that Christianity gave us Oxford and Cambridge, our greatest schools and universities, our hospitals etc. Highlighting this cultural indebtedness, alongside the myriad ways in which Christianity continue to enhance Britain (via soup kitchens, volunteerism, etc) is vital to my campaign. We must stop being ashamed of our Christian values and be helped to see how they can again form our identity for the good of our future.

2. Liberty must prevail

A truly Christian nation would be great news for people of all faiths and none. Because Christianity is still the greatest champion of personal freedom and conscience this world has known. It created the Western values people hold dear, the values being dismantled in our day. Voters must be helped to see that the current ideology has only ever thrived parasitically on a Christian host and only ever leads to the growth of Nanny State at clear cost to individual freedom. With Christianity jettisoned the State becomes the god and that is bad news for all.

A nation valuing difference and respecting liberty would accept that Jewish butchers need not sell pork to their customers due to their sincerely held beliefs. But it would understand that others may sell bacon. A common sense approach that ought to be applied to Christian bakers today, but isn’t, where gay activists are demanding produce that is an affront to the baker’s beliefs. People of all faiths and none would be encouraged to live alongside one another in mutual respect. Much as we did for years when Britain was a Christian nation.

This would inform a compassionately controlled immigration policy in which people were welcomed into Britain from abroad- with delight-  so long as they were sincerely looking to contribute to the communities they inhabit and respect the Judeo-Christian values of these isles.

3. The family at the heart of society

A return to Christian Britain would put the family at the heart of society. This would mean parents being valued as the chief educators of children. There would be significant tax breaks for married couples to encourage parents to remain together for the benefit of the next generation. My party would work hard to ensure one salary was sufficient to pay the mortgage- allowing mothers genuine choice and flexibility. A luxury only afforded to the wealthy at present. In the interests of the young the notion of “gay marriage” would be abolished. Instead civil partnerships would be offered within the civic realm to reflect the liberty and respect shown to those not choosing to live by Christian standards.

4. A smaller state

The State has become bloated and expensive in recent decades believing itself worthy of probing into every corner of our private lives. So one of the main thrusts of the new party would be a massive reduction in government. Subsiduarity would be the order of the day. Help must be there for the vulnerable, and more than at present, but the aim would be to allow families and communities greater freedom to govern themselves.  The salaries of government employees would return to sensible levels with a cull on corruption and excessive expenses and pensions.  A move to drastically lower taxes and ensure revenue flows to communities- for libraries etc- not the back pockets of the few. The new State would be there to serve the community and not to dictate. An end to the new Orwellian Britain and its heavily imposed PC agenda.

5. Education

There would be a major overhaul of education. In essence greater trust would be shown to teachers to educate without government interference. The red tape would go with only a few inspections to root out the useless. And the ideology currently rampant within the current curriculum would be scrapped with an  emphasis on returning to a model in which we teach children how to think not what to think. We would insist on the highest possible academic standards.

6. On health

A Christian culture would insist that health services work to the end of sustaining not ending human life. There would be much less management of hospitals but greater emphasis given to ethical considerations. The taking of human life would be criminalised that all may be truly protected from conception to the grave.

7. On finance

In recent years capitalism has been overthrown in favour of corporationalism. Enough of the huge cartels, the big supermarkets and giant corporations who are never allowed to fail or pay tax. Back to a nation rewarding success and encouraging a level playing field. Less cronyism and more help to small businesses and local communities etc.. Banks would be regulated to ensure that a greedy few were not gambling with the future of the many.

8. Crime and punishment

At present the law is often an ass. The poor are not as well served as the wealthy by the judiciary. Prisons would be run to reflect our Christian culture with prisoners living under a Benedictine rule. The prayer would need to be optional – to reflect our libertarian values- but all would have to attend services! A bit like school chapel when I was young.

This would – in my opinion- transform lives. And a huge amount of work would be done to help rehabilitate prisoners after they have served time. Too often today they are abandoned and offered no real opportunity to choose a new life.

So there you have what I would do. A very Christian model for the nation to follow. And one that would save us from the Marxist inspired nanny Statism offered by most every party today. Would it get your vote?

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44 thoughts on “Vote Tomlinson

  1. I would think Paul Hamilton would make a good front row opposition leader to this Tomlison led government, in the House of Commons.

    1. Dear African Catholic,

      rather than making cowardly, metaphorical points, why don’t you address my particular points to Ed? You may take comfort in his black and white world, but the incarnation is evidence that God recognises the complexity of the world in which we live. So address my questions to Ed and we can discuss it.

      1. So you now endorse and champion the liberal view of clarity as weakness and vagueness as virtue. You are becoming very Anglican aren’t you Paul?!

        the world may be complex but the revelation of Christ was not, is not and should not be.

        1. The problem arises when you pretend there is clarity when the reality is vague and then use that to oppress people.

          By the way, don’t assume that all those who are theologically liberal (in your eyes) are also politically liberal.

  2. This is all worthy stuff but the sentiment about the political system and politicians mirrors that of Russell Brand. Unless one is prepared to stand as a candidate in the election it is difficult to see how it can be sensible to denounce the policies of the candidates who are putting themselves up for election.

  3. Very disappointed not to see a manifesto commitment to re-appropriate land and property taken from the Catholic Church by Henry VIII.
    And I assume your commitment to subsidiarity should be seen as a ringing endorsement of the SNP.

  4. Your phrase ‘Marxist inspired nanny state’ made me laugh so much I dribbled Ribena over the keyboard – your first party related electronic injury. There is nothing Marxist about the state. The state is run for the benefit of companies not individuals. I’m sure Marx would not approve of private rail companies receiving six times the subsidies that British Rail received so they can make more profits. I’m sure Marx would disagree with the government subsidising a French government owned company to build unwanted nuclear reactors and guaranteeing them a price for their electricity of twice what is currently paid, a price that will be passed on to the consumers. I’m sure Marx would not accept a reduction in corporation tax while the poorest are suffering. I’m sure Marx would not accept the biggest companies avoiding billions of pounds of tax whilst poor disabled people are dying because their benefits have been unfairly cut or sanctioned.

    As for public sector workers apparently rolling in money from excessive expenses and pay. I work in the public sector and my pay packet has reduced significantly over the past five years as have my working conditions and my pension entitlement. I also don’t know of anyone who gets expenses except for necessary receipted expenditure. I myself have claimed £2 in the past three years. That’ll break the bank.

    The UK is not a Marxist inspired nanny state, it is a state run by the rich for the rich which doesn’t care about the poor, the lonely, the dispossessed. I’m sure Jesus had things to say about that.

    1. The state is full of examples of nannyism and many would see 40% taxes, a shift to elite corporationism, widening wealth gaps and controlled ideology driven media as classic signs of Marxist states. Communist Russia also saw state privileged companies rewarded and huge wealth for the in crowd who ate in gated communities while the people went hungry…

      I concede that I should have spoken not of public sector workers but the high levels of public sector workers. Those do cream off the fat.

    2. I was once a public sector worker like Bourach. I certainly did not have anything like the salary and expenses of the people I had to deal with in the private sector and certainly no company car – it was bus or train. I am aware that some of the ‘external expertise’ brought in by governments at senior posts have had to be recompensed at least at the level, if not higher, that they enjoyed in the private sector. A consequence was the bleeding of good young talent at middle levels and lower senior management levels because they saw that they’d be much better off in the private sector.

      1. I was speaking of the elites within the public sector whose grasping has been notorious. The leader of KCC a few years back left her £197,000 job 18 months into the tunure and received £400,000 as a golden goodbye. That is disgraceful and clearly takes money out of public services.

        1. Was that redundancy? Was it simply the standard rate of redundancy pay as would apply to all employees of Kent County Council?

          The Leader of the Council proposed making the Chief Executive of Oxfordshire County Council redundant recently. Whilst the payout would have been large, it was simply what she was entitled to, on the basis of how many years service she had, and how much she was paid.

          Why is the Chief Executive of a large authority being paid a moderately large salary which is so much smaller than it would be in the private sector necessarily a bad thing?

  5. Fr. Ed, have you considered whether your use of a blog inseparable from your capacity as a priest is the best place to publish politically contentious views? In doing so you run the pastoral and evangelical danger of alienating parishioners and others who don’t appreciate the implicit conflation of religious and secular authority.

    I’m not talking about issues, such as abortion and euthanasia, where the Church has a right and duty to speak out, but those where the faithful have perfect freedom to hold any of a wide range of views or none, and to think the man who abuses the pulpit to suggest otherwise a silly old coot (present company excepted).

    ps I’ve suffered quite enough of this kind of thing from red, pink, orange and green clergy, thank you; the fact that I might agree with much you say is neither here nor there.

    1. I tried to ensure it is not party political. I merely am crying out for a return to Christian values within politics, greater care of the individual and the family and greater subsiduarity which is itself all a part of Catholic teaching. That can be done by both left and right if they would only turn back from the crazy path western society is heading down.

      1. Fr Ed.
        Which particular period of our Judeo-Christian past do you consider to be the high point when the values you are extolling were at their peak?

        1. Well in this country the Anglo-Saxon period was a rather positive one as was the early Norman. Most of our amazing churches and Cathedrals being built at this time. However there never really is one wonderful period but each has its challenges. Take todays Saint Athanasius, he had to face exile and was often ridiculed because he remained close to Christ when almost the entire church had gone over to Arianism. Indeed for the first 1000 years after Christ most crises centred on the nature of God – in the following 1000 years up to now the crisis is now centred on the nature of man. Through it all there is struggle but it is those who cleave to Christ and the teaching of the ages who hand on the faith from one generation to the next. Not those who seek comfort and conform to the thinking of the world.

          1. Entertaining. I’ve always thought the Anglo-Saxons sat round in the midst of the ruins of Roman civilisation, scratching their heads till the Normans came. In the meantime, Christian civilisation radiated from Ireland to Scotland, Northern England, Germany and as far as Bobbio in Italy.

      2. You’re stretching a point there, Fr., quite as much as the reds, pinkos etc in the pulpit. No, to quote Fr. Ted: “Down with this sort of thing.”

  6. Sorry, Father. I could never vote for your party or any other ostensibly religious one. We have at least 3 perfectly respectable and reputable political parties, all of which have many Christian supporters and members and I would urge my fellow Christians to vote and vote for one of the existing choices. We would “Render unto Caesar” by doing thus.This Country has no history of Christian Democratic parties despite historically obvious links between Methodism/Roman Catholicism and the Labour Party and the Established Church with the Conservative Party.
    I would say that I abhor Theocracies whether of the all too topical Islamic variety and even Christian ones. It was essentially tried in the Irish Free State/ Eire between the 1920s and 1970s with catastrophic long term results on the Catholic Church and an appalling culture of repression and cruelty towards many Irish citizens.Do I have to list the crimes and abuses carried on in the name of the Church?I much prefer our liberal/enlightened Anglican Bishops to men like Archbishop McQuaid and Christian acceptance of Freedom of choice to the appalling events at Fethard-on-Sea in 1957.That Irish theocracy has led to the alienation of vast numbers of Irish people from the Catholic Church and the remarkable situation in which the Church of Ireland is growing at the expense of the Roman Catholic Church.Of course I would wish to see our freedom of religious expression as Christians protected and realistic changes in legislation (informed by conscience and compassion) such as the highly desirable lowering of the upper age limit for abortion.

    1. “at least 3 perfectly respectable and reputable political parties”

      Who might they be then? As far as I can see, they are all like the proverbial curate’s egg – good in parts only.

    2. From the time Constantine adopted Christianity as the religion of the empire, Catholicism began to inculcate aspects of Roman legalism and organisation ; and the growing temporal power of the church was a mixed blessing. It brought security from state persecution but at the same time encouraged the development of a Papal Monarchy and the involvement of the papacy in European politics.
      With the loss of the Papal States came the knee-jerk reaction of ultramontanism and exaggerated interpretations of Papal Infallability. Following Vatican2 the Petrine Ministry seems to be returning to its pastoral origins and divesting itself of the trappings and ceremonies of a worldly monarchy.
      Throughout its history whenever the church has become politically powerful it has led to negative outcomes (and that is the most charitable interpretation). There is no need to go into medieval and Renaissance corruption or the worldliness of the Papacy and the hierarchy or even the disastrous theocracy in Ireland.
      Suffice it to say that wherever the church has exercised political power it has empowered the human frailties of its officials. It is certainly true that the church must be divinely inspired and protected to have survived some of its leaders.
      Only when it has followed the lead of its saints and
      missionaries and holy men and women has it shown its true mission to the world. The present Holy Father is trying to lead the church away from concepts of power, absolutism and self-righteous judgementalism which are the vestigial and psychological dregs of its temporal power into the ways of
      gentleness, compassion, trust in the Spirit and the God of surprises.

    3. Father’s argument was not in the least Theocratic. A theocracy is like what you have in ISIS, not in what Father proposed at all. Study the real meaning of Theocracy and you will see the difference.

  7. None of the three ‘main’ parties can in all conscience be voted for by any Chrustian in my opinion as they all support the ‘culture of death’ as described by St John Paul II.
    The current system is corrupt and has cut itself off from its roots, it withers as we watch the turgid politicians all try to spend OUR money more recklessley than the others – a plague on all of their houses!

    1. That’s why I wonder about the source of Mike’s mention of “respectable and reputable”. It is not justified by events and comments ‘in the street’. Some of his other comments must be just as suspect. My own experience from frequent journeys around Ireland is that, following the economic crash brought on by the banks, a lot of younger people left for work and that affected church attendances. But, in the last 3 years I have observed a noticeable increase at Sunday Masses and strangely enough by young people. The steady rural economy and recovery has brought people home again. I was also told, by lay people, in South America that people leaving the church tend to return, sometimes several decades later. Interesting is it not.

      1. Sorry Pat. I don’t buy that at all. In fact the prevailing attitude of many young Irish is to consider the Catholic Church entirely irrelevent and a little bit sinister.Mass attendance in Ireland was nearly 90% in 1984. I believe it is down to 18% nowadays.Stronger in Northern Ireland interestingly for historical and cultural reasons and as I previously noted,The Church of Ireland is doing rather well and taking RC converts.
        I’m not at all anti the modern Irish Church which has a heck of a job to do rebuilding trust and regaining the allegiance of the Irish people but you cannot deny the appalling scale of priestly abuse and the vile behaviour of many women in Religious Orders.If you don’t believe me,read what the Irish Government has reported.And I did mention the events of Fethard-on-Sea in the 1950s which you may well know about. I challenge anybody to defend that

        1. I know what I have seen for myself, in real life situations. I have long since learned to take ‘statistics’ with a very large dose of salt I know how easily they can be manipulated to give the answer wanted.

          1. In fairness to Mike, I stay at Patrick’s College, Maynooth every year. Where once the Pugin Hall was full of seminarians, they are now able to occupy a couple of tables at most. Last time I made enquiries about services, I was advised that the College Chapel was only opened on special occasions, regular services are easily catered for in the small Oratory. The dwindling numbers year on year does not reflect a currently growing or thriving church.

          2. Reply to Phil’s observation
            Mynooth ought to be closed, or the seminary located elsewhere. But I wonder what will happen if a married priesthood is brought back into the Latin Rite. Pope Francis has already removed restrictions for Eastern Rite Catholic Churches Located outside their home territories. But, my comment was based on over thirty years of personal observation in rural congregations mostly in the West of Ireland (Donegal, Galway, Clare and Kerry). There the scenery and the food are fantastic – so is the fishing if you can outwit the critters. The East of Ireland may be different. I have seen the stagnation and an almost despairing decline but now I see the signs of revitalization. It is not just numbers but age distribution too. There is also a different, better and slowly growing, spirit which was absent before. I note that recent academic studies tend to support my impression. Changes are certainly in the air. Two such reports are given below:-

            The Catholic Church in Ireland Today, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (January 2015)
            “While the dominant of image of Irish Catholicism is of a Church in crisis, contributors to The Catholic Church in Ireland Today have also been struck by signs of resilience and renewal within the faith”

            http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=21277
            Census shows growth in number of Catholics in Ireland

    1. You don’t say whether you think Hitchens is right or wrong. I think he nails Cameron totally.

      For my part if any party had the wit to offer an interesting idea like introducing the rule of St Benedict into prisons then I might have given them a second look. No chance. So it seems I will go the voting station as usual wearing a peg on my nose as I draw the ‘X’ that marks the spot.

  8. A policy which promotes a system hereby a family can survive on one salary only is admirable; but why should its purpose be to afford only mothers choice? Why shouldn’t a father choose to stay at home if he wants to?

    Also can I just gently point out to those who are saying they don’t want to vote for anyone, will do so with a peg on their nose etc that both men and women went to prison and died for the right to vote. Indeed my own grandmother who I remember clearly was well into her thirties before she could vote. So don’t denigrate a right that was gained at such cost and sacrifice.

    1. No need to be gentle, Mary G. Your point about the struggles of our ancestors to gain universal enfranchisement is the (very large) elephant in a windowless room. To refuse to engage with the democratic process is to put democracy itself at risk – including the right to hold divergent political or religious opinions. In the 1950 General Election the turnout was 83.9% – in 2010 it was 65.1%. The clear and present danger in this context is not “liberalism” (however defined) but apathy – or, in a minority, the solipsistic belief that one’s own agenda is somehow “above” contemporary politics.
      This year, as every reader will be aware, sees the eight hundredth anniversary of Magna Carta. It was signed on June 6th. 1215. Some readers may be less aware that on the twenty-fourth of August of the same year Pope Innocent III issued a Papal Bull annulling it. This was of course back in the “good old days” (Substitute “Ebola” for “Plague”, Shane?) when nobody even dreamed of giving women the vote.
      I strongly urge all readers to cast their vote tomorrow – with or without a clothes peg.

    2. I vote in part for the very reasons you state, Mary. The hard earned right to choose our own government.
      The peg is a response to what has been – even by recent standards – a pathetic campaign by the main parties. But pride of place for screwing things up should go to the mass media who for the most part are poisoning the whole process.

    3. Thankyou for saying this ,Mary.Universal Suffrage for men did not become law until 1918 – or for women somewhat later. Please don’t rubbish this precious right by being precious and not voting because there is no specifically Catholic party.Hold your nose if you like but exercise your hard won right to vote

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