Friday, January 16, 2009

Conservative Party to select candidates by religion

Cranmer saw this on Slugger O’Toole a week ago, and then saw it reported by ConservativeHome a day later. He thought it curious that Mike Fealty’s emphasis was quite subtly de-emphasised by ConservativeHome, who have previously vehemently opposed the manipulation of candidate selection through ‘A-lists’, top-down ‘guidance’, and other discriminatory practices within the Conservative Party which seek to make it appear ‘more representative’ of the modern United Kingdom.

Mr Fealty observed unequivocally that the Conservative-Ulster Unionists (or whatever they are to be called) are ‘seeking Catholics and women as candidates’. His source of information was no less than Owen Paterson MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and Marion Little, described as the ‘Battleground Director’ for the UK.

For the Conservative Party to discriminate on the basis of a candidate’s religion is a most profoundly un-Conservative action, and one which runs quite counter to its own aspiration to ‘modernise’. Indeed, such an overt discrimination is taking the Party back to the 18th century, to the days when patriotism and loyalty to the Crown were discerned through a member's expressed religious adherence. The Conservative Party (as a post-19th-century construct) has never discriminated against Protestants or Anglicans as it now proposes to do - even though it is itself no longer either particularly Anglican or remotely Protestant.

Cranmer does not have time this morning to expound the history of the Party, and how its Whig and Tory roots fused to de-emphasise religious polarities while adopting the via media of the Church of England – a soft Protestantism embracing Anglo-Catholicism and eventually becoming attractive to Roman Catholics. It has been a long and complex process.

But Cranmer does wish his readers and communicants to observe this:

The Conservatives in Scotland are prioritising Scots, women, the disabled, gay and ethnic minorities.

The Conservatives in Wales are prioritising the Welsh, women, the disabled, gay and ethnic minorities.

The Conservatives in Northern Ireland are prioritising the Irish, women and Roman Catholics.

The Conservatives in England are prioritising women, the disabled, gay and ethnic minorities.

He shall leave it to his intelligent and discerning readers and communicants to see what the Conservative Party is actively discriminating against.

And intelligent and loyal Conservative Roman Catholics like Edward Leigh wonder why it is left to him and his co-religionists to articulate on behalf of the Established Church of England.

28 Comments:

Anonymous Cranmer's Curate said...

I am not party political as you know. But one of our sons when he asked me what I voted (I refused to disclose this) told me that he was inclined to support the Conservative Party. I didn't wish to be negative about this because it's great that a l2-year-old lad is taking an interest in politics.

He has grown up in an Evangelical Christian home and of his volition (we don't force him) attends his local Anglican parish church and its 11+ youth group. Is there any point his joining the Conservative Party?

Sincerely in Christ's service,

Julain Mann

16 January 2009 at 10:04  
Anonymous Alexandrian said...

This is just one more reason, why I, as a rather conservative person, would not consider voting for the party led by David Cameron.

16 January 2009 at 10:25  
Anonymous highlander said...

Your Grace, did you see this, and can you be persuaded to make comment:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/7832647.stm

16 January 2009 at 11:49  
Blogger Newmania said...

The problem is that if you "prioritise " any number of ascribed characteristics white working class men , an already ridiculously under -represented group are discriminated against even more . With the growing popularity of the BNP this cannot be wise or , in my view , right .
It was Trevor Phillips who noticed that BMEs are actually over exposed on the media as well with far far too many black and Asian families on Soaps in a country still predominantly white . This comes from a childish tokenism that, it appears , the Conservative Party are copying
Because of the omni present class basis of British society which has ossified considerably under Labour it will do little good to favour people of this or that skin pigment . Those who are the recipients of this patronising largesse will only be what are called “Coconuts” ie white on the inside.
Mr . Cameron should listen harder to the new voices of black Britain who are looking inwards and saying step one is to stop blaming other people.

16 January 2009 at 11:53  
Anonymous not a machine said...

the conservative and unionist party , can be secular , in some ways that is why politics is seperate from church , and is a sort of basis of freedom.

the socialist mind set believes religion to be historic and delusionary, so it treats all religions in the same way.

i am fascinated by how , a person can be ignorant of the law , and receive punishment , and yet to enlighten on the true faith is considered an criminal offence as it may upset.

to live under your faith is now a private matter , with seemingly little concern to the goverment , it is a shame that in these troubled and awful times , that the goverment does not admitt thats its 12 yr fragmentation of society into , broadband connected and lifestyles , that it has some disasterous side effects, but no we see the goverment ever more intent on knowing where you are and what you are doing , feeding your mind on high octane spin , while the soul starves to death .

i feel we have network interface, instead of intofaith , i just wish the goverment would extropolate the graph and tell me at what point does society completely disintigrate into a meaningless algal goo

16 January 2009 at 12:53  
Blogger Forlornehope said...

For the Conservatives to encourage more women, ethnic minorities or Catholics (in Northern Ireland) to consider standing as candidates is not unreasonable, provided that the subsequent selection is unbiased. Whether or not the selection will be on the proverbial level playing field is another matter. What would be unacceptable would be all women or all Catholic short-lists. The number of underwhelming Labour women being a testimony to the former.

16 January 2009 at 12:59  
Blogger Bryan said...

It is just sad, when useful and proper discrimination, like who is best qualified, who is most capable, and who is most competent, fall by the way side and are replaced by superficial and unimportant measures.

Reactionary discrimination, in an attempt to counter existing or even perceived discrimination does not bring about justice, nor does it serve society it merely continues the injustice and harms society as it locks the best qualified out of service in favor of lesser qualified person who "looks" more correct.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.(Wrong country, I know, but the concept is Universal.)

It is very bad, very wrong, that a "self-proclaimed" conservative party is no longer willing to judge (or discriminate) its candidates by the "content of their character" but would rather discriminate based on their sex, religion, skin color, etcetera.

16 January 2009 at 13:24  
Blogger Dave said...

I'm a white male born in the UK. I'm not gay or disabled.
I'm normal (within an necessarily wide range od course)

And what I really want is to be represented in Parliament but someone who is just like me.
You know. One of US.

There is no such thing as positive discrimination.

16 January 2009 at 13:31  
Blogger Microcosm said...

If you promote the right to discriminate you lose the right to decide who or what can be discriminated against, the legal and political institutions just promote their rights to keep everyones heads in a spin, so they can screw us all over. Then their rights to have us shot dead or tazered when we have had enough.

Cameron is a Zionist puppet out to destroy the Country like all the others. I would support the conservatives right to show him the door, only I doubt there are many politicians with the gumption to resist.

I saw written in the dirt on the back of a Lorry some time back, every man for himself, last man standing. I believe thats the way its going to end.

If it does leave me to the disabled ones, they can have some, im trusting your Grace will watch my back, dont want any Gays creeping up unawares :D

16 January 2009 at 15:36  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I'm afraid the world - Europe in particular and Britain specifically is moving back towards Fascism.

The merging of the Banking Sector with the State is the key to bringing all private sector companies under State direction - not ownership - simply direction.

Events currently transpiring would have alarmed previous generations but so supine is the Conservative Party and so bereft of ideas is Labour that the slide towards Corporatism and the kind of State Mussolini ran is seemingly unstoppable unless bankruptcy intervenes.

The Conservatives are no longer a party of principle other than power to be sold to vested interests. The presence of City funders of the major parties shows the Corporatism which will be built around the Preferred Banks and Preferred Bankers.

The amazing re-emergence of Corporatist Fascism is scarcely commented upon, but all the "diversity" and "inclusivity" in impotetence is key to emasculating institutions and sidelining independent thought and opinion. "Groupthink" is now integral to British society and penalties for "deviationism" and acts of "individualism" are steadily being increased

16 January 2009 at 16:47  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Does it matter who or what the candidates are, if Parliament is just a sham - a facade hiding euSSR Rule? In fact, doesn't Conservative adoption of PC - and the deconstruction of Britain - rather confirm that the euSSR is in charge? This party is just continuing what Labour has set in motion.

Even if the electorate is stupid enough to bother voting for any of what Your Grace rightly terms one-legged lesbian etcs, I doubt if future 'elections' are going to be either free or fair. Labour and its Master/Mistress have had plenty of time to compromise the system.

In any case, once they come out into the open (the Lisbo thing)- who's going to see any point in our paying for two 'Parliaments'?

16 January 2009 at 19:37  
Blogger Morus said...

I'm afraid I slightly disagree with Your Grace on this one.

The Labour Party were unequivocally wrong to bias the selection process in favour of certain groups by using All-Women Shortlists etc. No disagreement there.

The process the Conservatives have used has not involved slanting the criteria, or scoring candidates differently in any given contest. They have simply said that, across the entire party, they would like to see a significantly under-represented group better represented, and would even take a constituency more seriously (in terms of election funds) to that end.

By saying that they are 'seeking' women and Catholics, they are doing the right thing - encouraging people who have considered that selection by the UU was not possible, and saying "you can apply". That is a good thing for the party and for democracy.

With respect, I too am a blonde, heterosexual, Christian male - most politicians are nothing like me personally, but demographically, I am remarkably over-represented in Parliament. I do not object to measures to address the *significant* underrepresentation of women and ethnic minorities in Parliament, as long as introducing different scoring regimens is not the method.

Straight white chaps need to be careful about when they claim that they are being discriminated against. AWSs were wrong, and I cheered Peter Law when he threw it back in Labour's face, and cheered again when the 'sexist' constituency elected his wife to take his Assembly seat. The promotion of female and ethnic minority candidates, when there isn't actual positive discrimination is, IMHO, to be broadly welcomed but monitored.

16 January 2009 at 19:45  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Morus,

His Grace is most heartened that you 'slightly disagree' with him. Such moderate and restrained expression is most conducive to philosophical argument and rational discourse, and is most welcome when much of what he receives by email is abusive and 'extreme'.

He most delights in your fellowship, and, if he were incarnate, he would surely buy you a pint.

16 January 2009 at 20:18  
Anonymous Conservative Voter said...

Cranmer, you are being deliberately provocative and you know you are. Owen Paterson was making a very specific point that women and Catholics are particularly welcome to apply for the Conservative & Unionist candidates list in NI – given the gross under-representation of both in elected office in Northern Ireland. (However, it must be pointed out, the ONLY current UUP MP is a woman). However, if selected, the key qualification is that they be able and articulate Conservatives.

The Conservative and Unionist Parties will select purely on the basis of merit. If you choose to look at http://www.conservativesni.org you will note that the Conservatives welcome people of “all faiths and none, regardless of their income, sex or sexuality, their age or the colour of their skin.” However, we are, of course, very keen to receive applications from everyone.

The point Owen was making was that there is no obvious reason why women and Catholics should be excluded from getting involved in an overtly Conservative & Unionist Party. Indeed all of Northern Ireland’s Parties are now pro-Union i.e. recognise Northern Ireland’s place in the Union. People who may have been forced in the past to support a Socialist party (such as the SDLP) – despite their natural right of centre tendencies – can now support the Conservatives.

16 January 2009 at 21:40  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms Conservative Voter,

His Grace is delighted to learn that he provokes thought.

But the inference is quite clear that women and Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland are all effectively 'fast-tracked' or elevated to an undisclosed 'A-list'.

Favouring any group which is 'under-represented' is profoundly un-Conservative. Meritocracy demands quite simply that the best person ought to be the one selected. The reality is that any white, heterosexual, able-bodied Protestant male in Northern Ireland is trumped by a Roman Catholic woman; even moreso if she happened to be one-legged and Asian in appearance.

Why is the Conservative Party not seeking to address the shortage of the 'working class' on its benches? Why is it not recruiting road-sweepers or dustbin men?

16 January 2009 at 22:31  
Blogger Miss Snuffleupagus said...

Your Grace
While I tend to agree with what you say in theory, I do wonder about the practical realities of this 'prioritisation'. All I ever see are lots of stupid white men in positions of power making ignorant and dangerous decisions. Every now and then it is a woman, or a black woman at that. Not sure about the lesbians. And I have never seen any one-legged people in real positions of power.

So what on earth are you all talking about??

16 January 2009 at 22:40  
Blogger Morus said...

Civility is the bedrock for all fruitful conversation, Your Grace, and it finds a happy home on this blog. The offer of a pint would of course be reciprocated, corporeal impediments not withstanding!

"Favouring any group which is 'under-represented' is profoundly un-Conservative. Meritocracy demands quite simply that the best person ought to be the one selected."

We agree that Conservatism is rooted in meritocracy, and I would also agree that merely redressing any slight under-representation would be against the spirit of meritocracy. However, where under-representation is chronic (you could treble the number of BME MPs and ethnic minorities would still be demographically under-represented), it suggests that there may be impediments to certain groups that requires attention - not altering the final decision, but clearing unintended or indefensible obstacles in the early stages.

Ensuring that chronically under-represented groups are at least given the chance to reach the latter stages, where scrutiny of the process is greatest, is to defend meritocracy, not to usurp it.

The example I would suggest is that many disabled people struggle to find work. The sifting of CVs rejects so many candidates that little progress was being made in increasing the job prospects of disabled people. Many employers now say that, if you are registered as disabled and meet all of the essential job criteria, you will be guarenteed an interview.

Thus, no deserving able-bodied person is kept out of work unfairly, but no deserving disabled person is rejected out of hand at a stage which sees minimal scrutiny. I think that is supportive of meritocracy, rather than being subversive of the idea that no demographics should matter at all.

17 January 2009 at 00:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing there is absolutely no need for is for any party to be discriminating in favor of Gay people in general and certainly Gay men in particular.

Quite frankly playing spot the entirely straight politician of any party in parliament, is now a very slow moving sport.

It seems to me that every senior member of The Houses of Parliament either has DONE IT in the past, is doing so now, only does it when the wife is not around, or only does it when there is an advantage to be had by doing so.

We already have not only these types in abundance, we also have openly gay MPs falling out of the furniture at all levels of governance.

It is the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people that need urgent representation in parliament. It is matter of not which hole our selected MPs stick their willies in. But if it is so important that Parliament represents the ordinary public as a whole.

Why are just about all of them brainwashed university graduates when these types only represent at most 5% of the population. Who could not possibly run a profitable window cleaning company on their own or without daddies cash.

However could with 7 years extra parent payed tuition at an educational establishment most can only dream of for their own children, possible run a thing as simple as a department of state, if the establishments civil servant presented the middle class idiot with a readable script every morning, and spoon fed the utter fool the rest of the time. Which of course is exactly what they do indeed do, as surly we all know?

To my knowledge ( although I stand to be corrected, by anyone that could possibly really know for sure ) only between 5%-7% of the general public have had sex with a member of the opposite sex and then willingly repeated the act. Surly there are at least this proportion in parliament, I would very strongly contend far far more.

In my personal opinion parliament is much much further from the people now, then it has been at any other time in my living experience. This country I also contend is also more racist, homophobic, sexist, ignorant, disinterested, alienated, divided, marginalized, and beyond any doubt spiritually mortified then at any time since I have been consciously paying attention.

This is in spite of the fact that we are now collectively mortgaged up to the eye balls getting here.

If it were not so sad and really did not have to be so, it would be a highly amusing counter intuitive situation, in which to find ourselves. However much and often, older and wiser heads warned us at the time, that direct government action to unite people would indeed have the opposite effect.

Although I can fully understand, that for any one that knew someone that actually laid down their material existence for this pathetic excuse for a nation, they may never find our common situation amusing.

Fortunately for myself, my grandfathers and great grandfathers, only joined the British army before time, so they could spend the next inevitable war in a Staff Office or organizing coffins or food for the very many soon to be dead troops.

So I do have the odd laugh at society, when of course, no one is looking.

Atlas shrugged

17 January 2009 at 00:41  
Anonymous CCTV said...

With respect, I too am a blonde, heterosexual, Christian male

No you are not as described. You might be male, you might even be Christian, heterosexuality is also possible, but unless you have a PC message for us you would best describe your hair colour as "blond"

17 January 2009 at 06:33  
Anonymous Conservative Voter said...

AC - I would tend to agree with you on the point you make re. selection on merit. However, surely you accept that in a Northern Ireland context it is appropriate to encourage those who have traditionally been overtly excluded from Conservative & Unionist politics to be overtly welcomed. This is not political correctness. It is re-defining Unionism as something that used to be offered exclusively to WASP males. We seek to offer our brand of politics to the entire community - i.e. we're attempting to change the local political discourse. Of course we select purely on merit - but we want to select from the entire ocean rather than some sectarian lagoon. And unless we communicate appropriately that point may be missed.

Also, it has to be said, that women often need greater coaxing to get involved in politics - especially talented ones in full time employment.

17 January 2009 at 09:54  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Conservative Voter,

You are impugning the Ulster Unionists. They have selected Roman Catholic candidates in the past. John Gorman was even elected (Patricia Campbell was not).

A Catholic candidate in (say) South Antrim is as likely to turn traditional Unionists off as enthuse others.

17 January 2009 at 10:59  
Blogger Morus said...

CCTV - Apologies. A very good spot!

I am indeed 'blond'. 'Blonde' would require more than hair dye.

17 January 2009 at 11:14  
Anonymous anon 2 said...

Now I'm completely off golden hair! It's not the hair, you understand, just the kow-towing to that awful language! I'll never use that word again!!!!!

17 January 2009 at 13:45  
Anonymous Hibbo said...

I am worried that an organisation with ambitions to run the country should be actively seeking members whom believe in such outlandish supernatural superstition.

It's 2009.

17 January 2009 at 14:32  
Blogger The New World Order exists. said...

And this is why the Conservative Party are a lost cause, in the hands of the same Guardianista chatterers as the Liberal-Socialists of the other two.

Until Protestants 'get' this then the type of 'Black Lesbian One Legged Single Parent' politically correct tripe will increasingly be served up.

To have a policy of actively recruiting Papists - whose allegiance is always first to the Antichrist - is an act of treason.

Article XXXVII
The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England.

18 January 2009 at 00:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,

Several weeks ago I sought clarification from senior Conservsatives in NI on this matter. I was assured that no candidate would be thrust upon any constituency against their will.

Hopefully candidates will be selected on merit.

18 January 2009 at 11:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My local Association Chairman has also stated openly that he wants to select a Gujrati Hindu as a PPC.

18 January 2009 at 14:52  
Anonymous non mouse said...

I suppose the problem is that the Conservative Party is ruled by the euSSR - nothing the party says or does can therefore be in the interests of indigenous British or English people.

So instead of choosing, on merit, candidates who would appeal to the constituency and its concerns, they choose candidates who will keep happy some posturing european idiot autocratic power-monger. For such people, of course, we indigenous British and English are too stupid, ignorant, etc etc either to know or choose what's good for us, or to deserve the freedom we've earned and championed for so long.

19 January 2009 at 02:46  

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