Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Seven Deadly Political Sins

Cranmer has been emailed the results of a survey of ‘a pioneering online focus group of cross-party MPs, senior political editors, commentators and campaign strategists for the new website’. Apparently, they have identified ‘the Seven Deadly Political Sins’…with (they say) 'surprising results'.
(Bless ConservativeHome for the graphic)

Thus does Andrew Rawnsley expound ‘the mind of the political class and those who observe them most closely’. He asks: ‘Does it matter any more if a politician has dabbled with drugs, slept around or is over-fond of the bottle? How much will the voters care if their MP spends a lot of taxpayers' cash on expenses or picks up wodges of speeding tickets? Do the public mind if their politicians don't practise what they preach when it comes to travelling green?’

But these results are not surprising at all when one considers those who were surveyed. PoliticsHome states: ‘the Phi100 panel is an expert panel of over 100 of the top political brains in the UK’, but when one looks at the names of those 30 who have agreed to disclosure, they are overwhelmingly ‘insiders’ in the 40-ish age bracket, and those that are not are irredeemably middle-aged or in an ‘anorak’ (political adviser, think-tank) or ‘lefty’ type of profession (charity, journalism, television).

This may explain the considerable deviation from the 10 Commandments:

You shall have no other gods before me: ‘Top political brains’ have given us decades of uncontrolled immigration and enforced multiculturalism; ‘other gods’ is a natural and unavoidable consequence, so they could not possibly concede this.
You shall not worship idols: ‘Top political brains’ always have idols, and if they include Margaret Thatcher, Cranmer can understand the temptation.
You shall not take the lord’s name in vain: Some of these ‘top political brains’ have just abolished the blasphemy laws, so they could hardly profess to acknowledge the sanctity of the name of the Lord.
Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy: They abolished this one as well.
Honour your father and mother: Well, they are in the process of abolishing the need for a father, and they have legislated for households with two fathers or two mothers, and the state pours out benefits on single parents and makes living apart more lucrative than living together. It is a wonder that many children know what actually constitutes a traditional family unit.
Do not murder: Unless it is sanctioned by the state, and even then one must be careful not to confuse murder with freedom-fighting.
Do not commit adultery: Committing adultery or pre-marital promiscuity appear to be pre-requisites for being a ‘top political brain’ these days. And this ‘relaxed view’ on sex goes hand-in-hand with a ‘relaxed view’ on drugs.
Do not steal: It is difficult to see what high levels of taxation and constant inflation amount to if it is not theft. And for those who do steal another’s property, there are courses, mentoring and counselling, because their circumstances drove them to it, and the state should have compassion.
Do not bear false witness: It is probably not possible to become a ‘top political brain’ if one does not lie; indeed, involvement in politics now presupposes the infinite capacity to cheat and dissemble.
Do not covet: We live in a material age and most of the Western world is built on a foundation of capitalism. The desire to better oneself has been fused with the desire to possess more, and to possess it before one can afford it, hence the present ‘credit squeeze’. Politicians have encouraged greed, and some of them are the embodiment of it.

And so Andrew Rawnsely concludes that the guide of the ‘top political brains’ to political sins goes like this: ‘Don't worry too much about dumping the wife or admitting to some youthful drug use. But watch the demon drink: it can destroy your reputation as well as your liver. And careful with those expenses: the voters really don't like spendalots.’

The nation’s 'top political brains' - among the most powerful and influential - have reduced the Decalogue to a monologue, and a shallow and self-serving one at that.


Anonymous Terry said...

We basically now have a secondary morality where you can sin as you please on an ordinary individual level. The new morality focuses on softer fluffy things like the environment or racism under which no one can point the finger as us and say "Thou art the man!", guilty of specific personal sin.

9 April 2008 at 13:31  
Anonymous woman on a raft said...

Well, they are in the process of abolishing the need for a father

Whilst I wouldn't disagree with what I assume is Your Grace's view on the matter (based on previous posts) it is necessary to be clear about who is 'they'. On the matter of the need for a father, the decision didn't come from 'them' or 'they' - it is firmly down to the public and the courts where there was a challenge.

From the moment it became possible to offer IVF (Louise Brown 1978) all that was necessary was half-a-deck of donor DNA. The public did not stand up and yell 'if you can't do it the traditional way, it doesn't count'. They said: 'sure, if it helps'. How could anyone say otherwise, since this was the only way some men could become fathers?

It was also the case that the HFEA 1990 allowed IVF so long as the father gave written consent. Not much difference, really, from sperm donation - it is only the technicalities of fertilization which changed. A landmark case occurred with Diane Blood, whose husband died unexpectedly. Sperm samples were taken. A court battle then took place. The sperm was designated part of his estate, which Mrs Blood inherited. She was entitled as an EU citizen to go where ever she liked for treatment, and found a clinic in Belgium which was willing to perform IVF relying on the presumed consent of the late Mr Blood. UK clinics were precluded from offering the service as they could not rely on presumed consent. You will note that legally, this is not about whether anybody needs a father; it is about who owns the tissue and what limits apply to its use. Had Mr Blood given written consent, there would never have been a case and Mrs Blood might have used a UK clinic.

The public and the courts positively endorsed Mrs Blood, as they have subsequent widows. The technique of offering to freeze sperm for cancer sufferers is quite common. Mrs Blood secured a small additional Act which allows the children who were conceived when their fathers were already dead to have that father named on the birth certificate. This is thought to aid a handful of children each year who point out that their fathers are known. Had their fathers impregnated their mothers and then unfortunately died, there would be no problem with naming them on the birth certificate; it is just that the technology now allows conception to occur after the death of the sperm donor - which it always did in the case of anonymous donor insemination.

Yet a father doesn't come much more unavailable than "dead", and if you don't mind them being dead, then what does it matter if they aren't there for some other reason? If one's purpose is to deny IVF to single women, then you have to show why a single woman is any different to a widow - who, however unwillingly, is now also single. You also have to be prepared to tell cancer sufferers that unless they can manage to conceive children whilst alive, then their frozen sperm cannot be used after their death.

The current Embryology Act appears only to be putting in to statute form that which has already been accepted. The problem is not only whether single women should be denied IVF, but whether dead men should be permitted to continue to father children. These are two sides of the same coin.

9 April 2008 at 16:07  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

your grace
tempted at thatcher worship "where there is despair let us bring hope "

i was casting my mind back to when sundays were a curious peacful day , no rushing to B&Q , or the shooping mall for entertainment. participative spots and liesure abounded a plenty , as did a hearty family meal .

its as though we have speeded everything up to a point where it ceases to have meaning or relevance .

iam still fascinated from a post you put up at christmas on a TV program to become a muslim , one blogger suggested giving the would be converts a taste of pre war religous life as contrast.

it was far more hectic in church life then 3 services a day on sunday , indeed one church i know of still asks the congregation to attend sunrise on christmas day!! how much hardier can you be ??

9 April 2008 at 18:54  
Anonymous Camille Dussaulier said...

Aside from the particular subject of this post, I just wanted to share my "surprise" over the usual concealement of the actual tenth commandement. You know, the one censored by Churches, bibles and clerks: Thou shall not covet. Look how it is almost sweet and nice in this light of censorship! Too bad the real text is more or less "thou shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbour", and an enumeration follows, in which wives are put along with cattle and slaves...
Wives... Along with cattle...As a possession...

I find it outrageous and even more so if we consider that it sheds light on the whole pentateuque: it's only aimed at men, not women.
It's especially clear in the Leviticus, which provided me some of the best laughs (though bitter ones) of my life. An example ?
What about "Thou shall not sleep with a man as you do with a woman, it's an abomination in the eyes of God" ??
Now imagine if they are also talking to women..And here is heterosexual relationship for women forbidden by God. And I dream of sermons in churches advocating saphic love, "as it is said in the Bible"...
Ok, this might be childish but it sheds light on an often hidden fact: the old testament is only a text of laws, for men, and there is absolutely nothing divine about it.
It is misogynistic, defends slavery, stoning for women raped in towns (deuteronome, 22:22, check yourself...) and should no longer be considered as divine. It is in not way more peaceful than Q'ran. The New testament is, but that's an other subject altogether...

I don't know if this message will avoid censorship, I hope so since I haven't been rude and have cited quotations of the bible more exact than the one who wrote this article...
Sans rancune.

13 April 2008 at 17:59  

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