Catholic leaders say ‘Hokey Cokey’ is 'faith hate'
Yet it is curious that ‘senior Catholics’ have entered the fray, with Peter Kearney, a spokesman for Cardinal Keith O'Brien, declaring that it was a Puritan song with ‘quite disturbing origins’.
Well, there are some - not least AC Grayling - who are persuaded that the Roman Catholic Church has ‘quite disturbing origins’, but they are not calling for it to be proscribed.
And since when did the Puritans write songs?
The Cardinal’s office says the song is ‘anti-Catholic’, adding that ‘it was devised as an attack on, and a parody of, the Catholic mass. If there are moves to restore its more malevolent meaning then consideration should perhaps be given to its wider use’.
Is the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland seriously suggesting that ‘malevolent’ football chanting should lead to the song being banned at all parties?
An example of this abhorrent evil may be observed here.
It is highly likely that the song's title derives from ‘hocus pocus’, a parody of the transubstantiating phrase ‘Hoc est enim corpus meum’ (‘this is my body’), and it is noteworthy that the song in the United States is ‘Hokey Pokey’. But Cranmer would like the Cardinal to consider that ‘faith hate’ is something of a slight overreaction.
Yet politicians (ie the SNP’s Michael Mathieson MSP) are reported to have urged police ‘to arrest anyone using the song to “taunt” Catholics under legislation designed to prevent incitement to religious hatred’.
Cranmer looks forward to the arrest of all magicians who use the phrase ‘hocus pocus’, and exhorts all rational people to join with Murdo Fraser, deputy leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, who said: "I can't believe Scottish children performing the 'Hokey Cokey' are doing so in pursuit of any sort of anti-Catholic agenda."
But paranoia is rife.
It might even lead to calls for the repeal of the Act of Settlement 1701 and the disestablishment of the Church of England.