Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How did Ruth Kelly vote on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill?

She has a habit of being absent from the Chamber whenever Government policy might conflict with her beliefs. Certainly, through the recent raft of gay rights legislation imposed by Tony Blair upon the entire population, the Opus Dei representative to HM Government has been suspiciously and conspicuously absent during key votes.

And so Labour backbenchers waited with bated breath to see if the Transport Secretary might put in an appearance during the vote on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

She was given the luxury of a free vote a few weeks ago to vote against the Bill’s contentious provisions, but, as a member of the Cabinet, she was obliged to support the final vote. If she voted against it, she would necessarily have to resign. If she supported it, there would be cries of hypocrisy. If she found herself ‘unavoidably detained’ away from the division lobbies – her usual strategy – she would be a coward.

Cranmer would like his readers and communicants to consider this matter carefully. Would the Lord want her to put her seal of approval to this evil Bill, or to make a principled stand by voting against the Government and resigning?

Is it more important to have an Opus Dei representative leading the nation’s transport policy, or should she have sacrificed her considerable salary and chauffeur-driven?

Alas, as Cranmer has recently observed, they do not make martyrs like they used to.

For those who wish to register their opposition to this Bill, one of Cranmer's erstwhile communicants has emailed him with details of a petition to Her Majesty to withhold Royal Assent.

She will not, of course, but Taki notes that she certainly may. Yet we do live in a representative democracy, in which case redress is supposed to be at the ballot box. But that does not negate the significance of Her Majesty's loyal subjects making their views on this matter very clear. She is, after all, by the Grace of God, still Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and is answerable to God before her First Minister.


Blogger Jomo said...

Your Grace I think you expect too much from the monstrous regiment.

On Opus Dei the only three members I have ever heard of are Silas the Monk, Tommy Burns RIP and Ruth Kelly.

The first two are no longer with us and RK has been politically dead for some time. I think she managed to remain a favourite of both Tony and Gordo for all the good its done her.

She carried the can on HIPS and now is left to take the flak on the Manchester congestion charge.
No doubt at some time in the near future she will be offered up as a sacrifice when either Gordo play his last card and renews his cabinet or more likely a new leader allows her to spend more time with the children.

However, the more important issue remains - how given the record of this administration can any Christian of whatever denomination remain a member of the Labour party or vote for a labour candidate?

10 June 2008 at 09:43  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

i am reminded of how much labour corrupts the soul these days , so that one does not know there own mind

10 June 2008 at 16:50  
Anonymous John said...

This is not corruption " o Israel", it is parliamentary hypocrisy.

10 June 2008 at 17:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are correct in your assertion that no believer could ever vote Labour. It is the cancer at the heart of our society.

10 June 2008 at 19:40  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

parlimentary hypocrisy is indeed a problem , i can see that not having a position is important in having one , but to say we should then make laws that only lawyers can interpret is making parliment not representational .

its the same with post office closure , quite few mps voted on the bill to close them and then went and attended local stop the closure rallys !!

did your grace see rowan williams interview on newsnight ??

i am still trying to figure out if he is right on "shouting loudly will not make any difference" or for that matter "pastoral difficulties"

the C of E has been at the heart of our nation for 600yrs at least christianity for over 1000yrs , there is no replacement for it , so am i right to protest at its devaluation ??
it is true that it is structure built upon the free will of the people who see it has value and creates service and understanding of god .

i am baffled as to why these things have seemingly become unoticeably unfashionable ,i cannot see that spin and micro laws have done us any good , its as though we have all bought into a very good fake or copy of what life is !! cheap so that we all got one as well.

how many people could lift themselves up to now from being labour controlled automatons , to be truly free and on good terms with spiritual life ???

the archbishop is rightly cautious in his words , the people have to find god again and take up the earnest journey of life , marriage and death , but it concerns me that these words that describe aspects of the christian life cannot be understood unless you study the bible and enter into a spiritual life and seek to discard your sins by godly forgiveness .

there is a danger that we see the solution as reinvigorating the structures , i think we cannot do that , we have to build based on the gospels , not on concern of decline in attendence .

what are the spiritual benefits of secularism ?? would seem to be the most pressing of questions , how can you tell between the real and the fake ???

11 June 2008 at 01:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace, I rather think that Mr Cusack of 'Taki' mis-states the constitutional position of the monarchy when he states that the Royal Assent may be withheld at the Monarch's discretion.

He cites Queen Anne's refusal to assent to the Scottish Militias bill in 1708 as an example of a Monarch exercising her discretion whereas in fact the Royal Assent was witheld by Queen Anne on the advice of her ministers.

The last time that a Monarch witheld assent, exercising his discretion as opposed to acting on ministerial advice, was in 1678 when Charles II refused to assent to a bill "for preserving the Peace of the Kingdom by raising the Militia, and continuing them in Duty for Two and Forty Days".

Since the constitutional settlement of 1688-9, which defined the nature of our constitutional monarchy, there has been not one example of a Monarch witholding the Royal Assent at their discretion.

For those who pray in aid the Monarch's Coronation Oath, it is worth recalling that the last Monarch to use that argument to object to legislation, George IV in 1829 regarding the Roman Catholic Emancipation bill, was 'persuaded' by his ministers to grant assent.

The constitutional position of the monarchy is (still) best summed up by Bagehot: the right to be consulted; the right to advise;
the right to warn.

Mr Cusack's account of 20th century monarchical influence are all very well (he might have included the invention in 1923 by George V of the rule that a Prime Minister could not sit in the House of Lords [thus Lord Curzon was not asked to form a Government upon the death of Andrew Bonar Law]; this ruling was elevated to the status of a 'constitutional convention' in 1940 when George VI in rejecting Lord Halifax as a possible Prime Minister relied, in part, upon the ruling of his father) but they are quite irrelevant to exercise of the Royal Assent.

von Hayek

11 June 2008 at 02:30  

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